Lucas Zuege's Blog

Gaming is not a waste of time

For most of my life, I have been a gamer. I remember first getting into gaming with Harry Potter Quidditch on an old Windows XP computer. I remember playing "Pokemon Crater", a Pokemon fan-game, at the library after school. I even remember playing my first real MMO, Endless Ages, and playing so much that I got banned from using the computer all summer long.

Gaming has transformed my life into what it is today.

It got me into computers, which ultimately lead me to pursuing a career in Information Technology.

It helped me through many tough times in my life, where I was alone and had no one else to turn too.

It lead me to making some great friendships that have mostly survived too today.

All in all, gaming is definitely something that has been a major factor in my life.

But... recently, I started wondering if gaming is a waste of time?

How it started

For quite awhile now, I have been someone who considers himself a minimalist. Not in the sense that I only own the clothes on my back, and I refuse to purchase anything, but in the sense that I purchase and own things with intent.

Minimalism has helped me break some bad financial habits, and, in general, increase my overall happiness. During the COVID lockdown, I decided to take it a step further and started looking into self-help and self-improvement things.

This lead me down the path of reviewing my life and how I spend my time. Honestly, now that I look back on it, I started getting into it a little too much. I started reading books. I started listening to podcasts that could be considered in the self-improvement categories, and I started to cut things from my life that were considered, to many, "wasting my life away." One of those being gaming.

I dramatically cut back on the amount of time that I played games, and instead attempted to do other things.

But ultimately, it lead to being miserable. After finishing up work, I would just end up being on YouTube or randomly searching the Internet. In the grand scheme of things, I didn't have many other hobbies other than Gaming, Mahjong and Bowling. Cutting out one of my major hobbies led to me becoming depressed and unknowing what to do with the extra time.

Focus on "improving yourself"

If you have ever been one to look into the world of "self-improvement," then obviously one of the main goals is "improving yourself."

The more I thought about it, the more I started to realize something. All of these people talking about getting rid of the distractions, and focus on improving yourself mostly had the same thing in common.

Their advice always seems to resolve around bettering yourself so that you can do more "work" or earn money from your skills.

Cut out your hobbies, and instead learn a skill that will allow you to start your own business or become a freelancer.

Many of the self-improvement books, YouTube channels, and blogs that I spent time on, all seemed to base their self-improvement ideals on just that.

But, what if I am happy with where I am in my career? What if I don't want to learn skills just for the sake of making money? What if I just want to enjoy my leisure time, instead of turning my leisure time into another form of work?

Gaming is not a waste of time

In the end I started to reintroduce gaming back into my life. It never fully left it, but there would be periods that I would go 2-4 weeks without playing a game.

Now that I discarded the mindset of gaming being a waste of time, I have reintroduced gaming back into my schedule, and I can definitely tell that I have been happier.

What you do with your time is entirely up to you. To others, what you do may seem like a waste of time. But, if it brings you happiness and joy, or it allows you to forget about the struggles of life, and just be in the moment, then it is definitely not a waste of time. Instead, it is something that you should do.

If at any point in the future gaming starts becoming something that doesn't bring you joy or happiness, then maybe it can be considered a waste of time? But until then, keep on grinding out those levels, solving that puzzle, or getting those sweet 360 no-scopes!

#Gaming #Opinion