Thursday, March 18, 2010

On Unexpected Hobbies Outside of Gaming

Sometimes I wonder if my hobbies really do somehow complement each other.

On one hand, I am a huge fan of RPGs. For me, I not only enjoy playing them, but there are few things better than flipping through and randomly reading old articles in Dragon Magazine or old fan publications. I love the legacy of the hobby, the living legacies (Lou Zocchi, Frank Mentzer, Erol Otus), but also the new breed (Clash Bowley [yes, Clash, compared to some, you’re new], Chad Underkoffler, and all the DIY people exploding with creativity this past year). I treasure every minute of walking the floor at Gen Con each year, thinking of all the community and history that's there.

I even enjoy the parts outsiders might consider silly, such as getting excited at Gen Con Indy every year when I see the first gamer walking around downtown (we know our own).

On the other hand, I am also a huge fan of IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500. For me, I enjoy not only visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but there are few things better than listening to The Most Knowledgeable & Interesting Man Ever, Donald Davidson, recount minutiae every May on the “The Talk Of Gasoline Alley” and remembering old races and trivia. I love the legacy of the 500, the living legacies (the Andretti family, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones), but also the new breed (Sarah Fisher, Tomas Scheckter, and the awesomely-named Will Power). I treasure every moment I get to spend at the Speedway, thinking of all the community and history that's there.

I even enjoy the parts outsiders might consider silly, such as getting excited to hear Jim Nabors belt out “Back Home Again In Indiana” before the race every year.

Both are considered relatively niche compared to a larger hobby (tabletop RPGs to MMOs, IndyCar to soap opera—er, NASCAR).

One of these days, I’m going to create an RPG to go along with a version of the boardgame Formula De modified for Indy. It’d be fun to play out some of the controversies, debacles, and great rivalries in RPG form. Am I perhaps the only person on earth for which these two hobbies converge? All too likely. But give me 3-4 players, and we’re off!

I’m an Indianapolis native, and two of my most favorite events in the world reside in the city I returned to after 8 years away. Am I lucky? I would say so, yes.

What about you? Do you have any hobbies people might not expect from the traditional idea of a gamer?

19 comments:

GolfBlogger said...

In addition to my miniature wargaming, RPG and Board Gaming addictions, I'm also a golf fanatic. In season, I play 3-4 rounds a week.

Rob Conley said...

I created accurate simulations of historical spacecraft for the Orbiter Space Simulator. Some are accurate enough to use the old flight plans and procedures as written.

http://www.ibiblio.org/mscorbit/
http://www.orbitersim.com

Kyioshi "Kyo" Kiske said...

Airsoft, sometimes dressed up as a space marine or something. Other don't usually get this.

Sean said...

Paragliding - though I gave it up when I got married. People who complain about how expensive game is should really look at some of the other hobbies out there.

Mr. Gone said...

From the time I was sixteen until about a year ago I was a touring death metal guitarist*. I've never been in a band with a gamer, so naturally, whenever I would read any type of magazines or RPG books in the van I'd receive some wise-cracks. I almost had a chainmail slip-sleeve cover made for my speaker cabinets, but life on the road was barely paying my bills.

*(www.myspace.com/brothervondoom)

WalkerP said...

I'm a big fan of basketball and the NBA. Pretty mainstream, but rare to find among my fellow gamers (though there are quite a lot of football fans among gamers, for some reason).

I'm also really into composting, but I'm not sure if that is complex enough to actually call a hobby.

Mikey97D said...

I'm a dirtbiker first and then a gamer second. I get very excited getting ready for an enduro, harescramble and sometimes I adventure onto a motocross course.

I like gaming for the social aspect. The dirtbike lets me try to push a bike through the woods like the scenes out of Return of the Jedi and helps keep me mentally and physically tough.

Bonemaster said...

Hobbies not gaming related? Hmmm let me think... The only one that I haven't warped into something Gaming related has to being an Amateur Radio Operator (aka HAM Radio). Everything else has been kind of subvert in some way to support my gaming hobby.

clash bowley said...

I'm a baseball fanatic, but generally love sports of any kind. I used to play, but I'm to old to do that any more! I also used to be a musician, but I quit that before I began RPing, though I did wargame a lot back then! My first RPing group was filled with musicians, though...

-clash

Super Happy Fun Time Hamster Go said...

Hmm it seems like a lot of us have pretty social hobbies, and maybe that's the tie that binds. For me, all of my hobbies are creative and crafty in nature - DnD, cooking, and gardening. I absorb information about all of the above like a sponge, and I love reading about any of them.

da Trux said...

Mr. Gone - i'm diggin' your band! and you guys are in Dayton! you should come out to Columbus, if you haven't already.

most of the little free time i have is spent going to concerts, listening to music, and writing reviews. with school over with finally, i go do that a lot more.

Otherwise, i read comics a lot (and am about to experiment with dual-GMing a Heroes Unlimited campaign with my roommate), read books, i like cooking, and occasionally golf or disc golf. I walk or take the bus everywhere i go, so i see a lot of the city - i'm the son of an architect, and i've always been fascinated with architecture.

Mr. Gone said...

@Mikey97D - That's awesome. My first job when I was in high school was assembling/repairing dirt-bikes for a local Suzuki dealer. At the end of the day when everything had to come in we were sometimes allowed to give some of the used ones a test drive.

@da Trux - I no longer tour with them. I helped co-write the album and record it, did a few tours, then moved on. I'm not sure if they're even still together? I still do some side projects with various musicians, and even my own stuff, but the van-days are done for me. Ha! I was actually just at Magnolia's Records the other week for my Scion pass.

Swordgleam said...

I've realized that when I just list out my hobbies, I sound relatively sporty: sailing, indoor rock climbing, riding.

It's odd, though. Most of the sailors I know are total geeks in one way or another. No idea why.

As for riding, while some of the girls I know from the barn (and yes, nearly everyone who rides around here is female) have a geeky streak, they're generally as close to being stereotypically "normal" as it gets. On the other hand, one of the guys in my gaming group took riding lessons just so he could better understand his character, an expert in mounted combat. This drove our DM crazy, since now there were two of us going, "No, a real horse would never do that."

I also make chainmail, but that's hardly surprising.

Eric Wilde said...

Weightlifting.

HinterWelt said...

Camping.
Geocaching.
Biking.
Fencing.
Curling.
House renovation (yeah, I do it for fun).

Jason Richards said...

Everybody is a geek for something! My latest hobby and massive time- and cash-drain is collecting football cards. I'm a Fightin' Texas Aggie and love all things related to that, so have started collecting cards of players in their A&M uniforms.

I also play golf (poorly), work out (not sure that's a hobby), and enjoy working in and improving the yard.

Blair said...

Collecting harsh underground metal/punk records, playing in a harsh underground metal/punk band.

Andreas Davour said...

I prefer sportscar racing to Indy, but I'd play in a raceing RPG anytime, as long as it has nothing to do with F1...

Zachary The First said...

@Andreas: Anything but F1, let me assure you!