In a previous post I mentioned how, around the year 2008, I started participating in forums and discussions on a popular video game website (for various reasons, I've stopped visiting that website nearly two years ago). Since that time, I've discovered many gaming websites, blogs, Youtube channels, magazines. My two main references for any gaming-related news, reviews, previews, random features, analysis, etc. today are the website GamesRadar and the magazine EDGE, although I still visit other websites from time to time and for a few years I read various publications on the gaming world.
Anyway, I realized recently that I've been spending quite a lot of my free time reading, listening, watching anything gaming-related instead of actually playing games. And it's not the first time something like this has happened. I remember that, when I was in university, I was very active on that gaming forum I mentioned earlier and I probably spent hours per day debating with strangers about games and sports (the website had a sports forum as well). Of course, I didn't have as much time to play games since I had to study, but even when I got home and had free time on my hands, I still spent many hours per week on that website instead of actually playing the games we discussed or argued about. And I didn't hate it at all. I loved reading other people's opinion on games, why they love or dislike certain games or genres (as long as the argument making some sense, not the "HAlo3 iz bettar than everyting it haz colord tanks you guyz al suk balz wit gay-ass Cal off doody" type of arguments).
It seemed to me illogical to talk about something more often than actually doing the thing. Then I started to think about it a bit more. There are certain subjects, hobbies or activities where it makes a lot of sense to spend more time talking about it than doing it. For example, if you like climbing, you might talk about it a lot with friends and people who do this activity with you, many hours per week, but you can't realistically practice climbing many hours per week if you have a regular job and other responsibilities (and it can get expensive). Another example is professional athletes. Certain sports, like American Football, require a tremendous amount of preparation per week for a 3-hour game, and a lot of it is off the field.
So the act of "talking more than doing" is not at all illogical in certain cases where the talking actually helps the doing a LOT. However, as far as gaming is concerned, it's kinda hard to justify doing so. But I honestly think it helped me being a "better" gamer. Not getting-high-kill/death-ratios-and-high-scores-better, but more capable of understanding gaming as an industry, as a "world" Understanding who the developers and publishers are, which games influenced others in the same genre and whether genres really should be a thing anymore, how JRPGs dominated a certain era, the development (a bit) of physics engines, etc. I'm certainly not pretending to know everything and anything gaming-related. Faaaaaaar from that, actually. Very far. I still consider myself a sort of novice regarding many aspects of the gaming industry, but I love to learn about it. I love reading interviews with Mark Cerny, the PS4 system architect, or Platinum Games founder Shinji Mikami. I think it's a fascinating, fast-growing and always-evolving industry.
Thinking about it, I kinda love the fact that video games are a bit more than a simple "hobby" for me. Considering all the time I spent on reading and watching all that stuff, I can safely say it's more of a passion, not unlike (even it's to a lesser degree) my lifelong passion for basketball. This situation kinda reminds me of what happened to me this week while talking to a colleague where I currently work (a bookstore). I was explaining to her what my field of study was (teaching), and while I was pointing out why I chose teaching as a career, it made me realize (even more) how much I love teaching. Same thing happened here. While trying to make sense of me spending more time talking/reading/watching games than actually playing them, I realized how much I like Gaming as a whole. A passion, if you will.