You ever wonder what life would've been like had you not been a gamer?

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#1 Posted by SolidGame_basic (24036 posts) -

I'm not sure what I would've been doing instead. Become a Rhodes Scholar? Traveled the world? Or just do something else? Probably would've done something else, lol. How about you, SW?

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#2 Posted by warmblur (2140 posts) -

I know this sounds corny as hell but if it wasn't for gaming I don't think I could manage my depression like I have been doing for decades I have no idea what I would of become maybe a heroin addict or something.

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#3 Posted by speedfreak48t5p (13572 posts) -

No, I never wondered that.

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#4 Posted by SolidGame_basic (24036 posts) -

@warmblur said:

I know this sounds corny as hell but if it wasn't for gaming I don't think I could manage my depression like I have been doing for decades I have no idea what I would of become maybe a heroin addict or something.

Wow, I didn't think about something like that. But I'm glad gaming does that for people. It's been there for me too.

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#5 Posted by Subspecies (306 posts) -

I'd smoke less.

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#6 Posted by DarthBuzzard (127 posts) -

I'd be tending crops and chasing trespassers with a pitchfork.

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#7 Posted by DaVillain- (36022 posts) -
@speedfreak48t5p said:

No, I never wondered that.

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#8 Posted by onesiphorus (2824 posts) -

I would be doing right now: studying a foreign language or reading the Bible. At this time, I am not gaming as I have debts to pay as a result of spending too much on mobile game microtransactions and fast food that started nearly last year. What was I thinking?

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#9 Posted by Renegade_Fury (20500 posts) -

Sure, but I think, other than some of my thought processes, the only change would be that my other hobbies would fill in the gap left by gaming. Health and career wise, there wouldn't be any difference either.

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#10 Posted by Blazepanzer24 (146 posts) -

Probably just watching anime, documentaries, and writing.

Still...aside from an early death or the technology simply not existing, I have a hard time imagining not being a gamer. Maybe a different route starting out with lcd games before buying those battery powered joypads that plug into an av jack, sure, or perhaps buying the joypads first and then maybe getting an NES classic, but that's still technically gaming. And I'm sure at some point I'd have still entered console gaming.

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#11 Posted by cainetao11 (36498 posts) -

I'd probably be teaching Martial Arts by now and not be overweight.

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#12 Posted by GoldenElementXL (3016 posts) -

For me gaming is a hobby, not an identity. I find it strange that people define who they are this way.

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#13 Posted by locopatho (23597 posts) -

Gaming got me through some very dark, unhappy times, I am honestly unsure if anything else could have done the same. Glad games DO exist :P

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#14 Posted by with_teeth26 (9470 posts) -

I'd probably be a much more productive and overall impressive person, based on the trajectory of my brothers who stopped gaming when they were teenagers

but god damn do i love me some video games.

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#15 Posted by rzxv04 (569 posts) -

Of course. Could turn either way: worse or better.

"Better" - more personal growth, social growth, plethora of practical skills.

"Worse" - finding an unhealthy hobby.

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#16 Posted by Sevenizz (3615 posts) -

I consider myself as someone who likes to play videogames. I don’t feel the need to identify as a gamer. That seems rather pompous.

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#17 Edited by Ant_17 (12124 posts) -

A music snob.

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#18 Posted by BenjaminBanklin (4350 posts) -

I mean, you can still play video games and be all that. If you think gaming is holding you back from your dreams then I don't think the games are the problem.

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#19 Posted by Speeny (1507 posts) -

Yeah, it would have been pretty boring. :(

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#20 Edited by KungfuKitten (26416 posts) -

I sometimes wonder about that. And then I think of all the things I could have learned in that time, and wouldn't have. And then I think about all the funny, sad, amazing experiences I have had in gaming. And I start to think that people who don't play games, some of them are missing out.

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#21 Posted by knight-k (2600 posts) -

@BenjaminBanklin said:

I mean, you can still play video games and be all that. If you think gaming is holding you back from your dreams then I don't think the games are the problem.

This, balance in life is key.

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#22 Edited by hrt_rulz01 (18687 posts) -

@speedfreak48t5p said:

No, I never wondered that.

Me either. I guess I would've found another hobby (I used to read a lot when I was younger, so I'd definitely read more).

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#23 Posted by R4gn4r0k (30712 posts) -

Nah, I see lots of people addicted to social media, the amount of likes/followers they have and mobile gaming so I'm really glad I got into gaming when I did and experienced true gaming with SNES and PC.

It shaped my life in a good way: It made me interested in real world locations, real history and retro 16-bit music, among many other things :P

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#24 Posted by djoffer (1216 posts) -

Interesting question, I would imagine my 20’s would have been a lot more productive, and would probably have finished an education a lot sooner. So guessing I would be a longer in my professional career that I currently am. Otherwise I doubt it would be that different, today I have a much better balance in life than I did 10 years ago.

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#25 Posted by uninspiredcup (32764 posts) -

Less radiation for sure.

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#26 Posted by Nirgal (7 posts) -

I often read this forum but I have never posted before.

I was interested in this topic a lot since I am a former hardcore gamer, I still game now, but much less often. Basically around an hour a week.

Back when I was a teenager excessive gaming had an extremely negative effect on my life. I don't think it was the main cause of my problems. It was mostly a coping mechanism, but, together with the fact that I come from a relative wealth off family and I didn't need to work for money, it allowed me to indefinitely escape my problems and never face them.

This made me over sensitive, fearful, shy, socially awkward and lazy. I would give up easily if I could not face a problem and would easily feel frustrated as well when circumstances were not ideal. By the time I was 26 I had never had a girlfriend, almost didnt graduate highschool, failed repeatedly to graduate college, and had lost all but my close friends due to deliberate social isolation. I also had several nevours breakdowns that got me fired from several jobs.

At the time I also lived with my parents at their house in Buenos Aires, Argentina (South Part of South America). I was not independ economically or emotionally and didn’t have the ambition to persue that objective either. I wanted it, but not enough to leave the confort of my house and the happiness of my games.

And it was a kind of happiness, but temporal, at the same time I was also very unhappy with my own state, and depressed as well.

It was not until one day, due to some circumstances, I lost the economical and emotional support of my family. I was forced to leave gaming and face my life entirely by myself or face starvation. Those times were extremly hard, but they made me a new. I was able to get and keep a job, as my food and accomodations depended on that. Once my job was relatively stable and I got back in to (a much cheaper) collegue but with an entirely new drive, knowing I had not back up anymore. With that new attitude I graduated in 4 years. I also enlisted in language classes: I was able to learn first English (My native language is spanish), then portuguese and Chinese fuently and now some japanese. I got in to a gym and changed my diet, and my body turned from unhealthy skinny to very ripped. I started dating and making new friends, facings risks and having adventures. I was poor as ****, but it was the happiest moment of my life.

I am now 33 and work for a multinational corporation with a salary several times higher than the average of my country, a wonderful girlfriend and friends, travel a lot and have a very confortable life. I can say that even though gaming was never the source of my problems, it definetely helped me not face them and that proved to be terrible for a long time of my life. So my advice is game with moderation and always face your problems. The more you face them, the easier they become.

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#27 Posted by Robbie23 (318 posts) -

I would be a billion air.

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#28 Posted by freedomfreak (51141 posts) -

Not sure, but worse probably. Certainly not any better.

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#29 Posted by ArchoNils2 (10329 posts) -

Probably the same, but would have watched more movies and tv series

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#30 Posted by HitmanActual (1009 posts) -

I'd be watching more porn...if that's possible 0_o

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#31 Edited by Yams1980 (3424 posts) -

If i didn't have gaming i'd probably be living in the woods somewhere living off the land. Or maybe married with kids and contemplating suicide at every waking moment.

I got a friend who did that, ended up getting married and tons of kids, never games any more and looks like he wants to end it each time I see him. Hilarious and sad.

Either way life would be garbage and pointless without gaming.

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#32 Edited by robert_sparkes (2918 posts) -

It's not even entered my head it would be a lot more boring as I hardly ever watch tv apart from sport.

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#33 Edited by nepu7supastar7 (5064 posts) -


I'd probably have been more productive in my other hobbies like art and writing and stuff. For me, it slowed me down more than it saved. But goddamm has it been fun! Maybe I'd have taken on an art career on something.....🤔

I know little me would've been playing with dolls instead and would've been more socially active.

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#34 Posted by Dark_sageX (3386 posts) -

Not really, its impossible to say. Though my life would be drastically different thats for sure.

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#35 Posted by NoodleFighter (10165 posts) -

I'd be about the same or worse. I know damn well I wouldn't use my time more productively if I didn't game. I'd just binge watch and read anime, manga and comics more. Like others have said gaming has helped me get through some hard times. It also helped spike some passions.

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#36 Posted by XVision84 (15786 posts) -

Not as good. Gaming is an amazing artform that blends reading, art, music, and makes it all interactive. I'll never understand people who praise art/music/books but then look down on gaming as if it's not a combination of all 3 lol.

I'd likely spend more time on my other hobbies (writing, 3d sculpting, sports, etc.) or pick up another one. It wouldn't make a difference in my productivity since I try to keep a work life balance regardless.

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#37 Edited by jahnee (3983 posts) -

Good question that I think has a polarised answer for me, as for many I think. Gaming has made me more creative, inspired me and created many friendships. But it has also at times made me feel distracted, disorganised and addicted. Some games really are an extension to reality, some are puzzles, some are relaxing and some are just plain competitive. All games except the competitive ones I can truly vouch for being a positive element in my life. Those are art forms that can be enjoyed without the feeling of wanting to be the best.

With competitive gaming, some games had me or have me hooked in an unhealthy way. I think of Overwatch and now honestly Apex Legends. These games have such good rewarding gameplay that it's easy to say "one more game" and it ends up becoming hours. These games are designed by masters who know how to hook their players and make them keep playing. These are the scary games for me. They give you a sense of reward and satisfaction and solely targets the competitive part and short term reward system: Building stats, communication with teamplay, making leadership decisions, satisfying graphics with sound design and interesting gameplay mechanics. Perhaps my personality is sensitive to become addicted to these games, but I am afraid I am not the only one. I love these games, but I love my life and future more.

Overwatch has cost me a good two years of my time. I played it for over 2000 hours, reached Grand Master and top 500 but I was addicted. I felt the game was in control and not me. The urge to play and keep playing was so big, I tried uninstalling but kept returning. Then I changed my password of all accounts and had to lock myself out. That worked. Now Apex Legends too has me hooked. Problem is I am good at these games, and the teamplay mechanics make you feel amazing with the gameplay loop always being different as it's a multiplayer game. The adrenaline is too intense with these games too. Overwatch at one point gave me a serious mental burnout from the constant adrenaline of the fast paced pressured action. I felt disconnected and had derealisation from playing too long too many times. That's the whole problem with these games. They are so rewarding and make you want to keep playing, but these games should not be played for so long because of the high stress and intensity they ask from the player (if you want to actually win that is).

All in all couch gaming and having friends over for 4 player Halo co-op campaign or firefight is the solution to replace these competitive games. There has to be a sacrifice somewhere and I feel quitting games that try to force a leaderboard system on me are unhealthy for me.

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#38 Posted by VagrantSnow (267 posts) -

Would have made my high school years less bearable for sure and I wouldn't have met my ex... I mean he did dump me but we had a good 10 years together.

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#39 Posted by AJStyles (736 posts) -

I would be drinking and doing hard drugs. Probably end up homeless, jail or dead.

No joke. Video games are the only thing keeping me sane.

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#40 Edited by Daredevils2k (2010 posts) -

I would of trained my self to the be the worlds greatest thumb wrestler

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#41 Edited by Rockman999 (7468 posts) -

I probably would have gotten shot or locked up like every other nigga growing up in Harlem. 😂😂😂

Gaming didn't save my life though, the after school programs and robotics club at my high school did.

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#42 Posted by lundy86_4 (52666 posts) -

I'd probably have a lot more money. I just upgraded to a Samsung Q8 and RTX 2080 last month.

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#43 Posted by DragonfireXZ95 (25195 posts) -
@with_teeth26 said:

I'd probably be a much more productive and overall impressive person, based on the trajectory of my brothers who stopped gaming when they were teenagers

but god damn do i love me some video games.

Or you could end up a depressed junkie, because the games kept you sane all these years. XD

Honestly, though, I may have tried other things had it not been for gaming, but I'm so introverted, I probably would just read more books, written more, and watched more movies/shows. I feel like watching shows rots your brain way more than gaming does, though; those things have absolutely no redeeming factors for watching, whereas gaming improves reflexes, problem solving skills, social skills, etc.

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#44 Posted by Litchie (23705 posts) -

Hm.. no. But now that you mention it, I'd probably be bored more often and have more money. :P

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#45 Posted by FlawlessPoop (151 posts) -

i don't want to find out.

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#46 Posted by IA_Retro_Gamer_Dad (23 posts) -

I would have probably focussed on my other hobbies more which is sports and fishing.

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#47 Posted by R4gn4r0k (30712 posts) -
@Litchie said:

Hm.. no. But now that you mention it, I'd probably be bored more often and have more money. :P

Gaming is probably the cheapest hobby I ever had, and I say this as a PC gamer.

I just avoid returning costs (subscriptions, etc...). The only true returning cost I have is paying for internet.

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#48 Edited by Ten_Pints (3754 posts) -

I honestly don't know, probably would have found some other hobby, maybe one of people you see who do carpentry and make things just for fun.

I'm one of those people who not only like games but I like modding them to do stuff. Stuff like fallout and X I've probably spent half as much time teaching myself how to mod them as I have playing the game.

I usually end up making a mod for myself to either fix or mitigate bugs and annoyances then never end up playing it myself because I get bored of it quickly or the next game comes out.

For example in X3 I made a script mod to add functionality the game never intended, I made a mod where you could use another persons mod he made just to find calculate prices and locations of buildable space stations, I looked at that and found out how the info was stored from his mod and made my own mod to send build ships you are in control of to find nearest or cheapest places go to them, buy enough to fill cargo space and fly to your destination drop the stations then automatically arrange the stations in a grid pattern of your custom dimensions and spacing and rotation make sure no collisions (the game never bothered to check itself) the join them.

That script saved you so much time in game, made that and only used it once myself. Had fun making it though, learning not only what is possible but fun little tricks to optimise it and get around limitations by converting the game database to your own so it didn't end up crashing the game, the game is dynamic so you could not hard code it.

Same with fallout, the script I wanted to make needed to store big numbers which the game could not handle so had to find other methods to get around it, damn that game is made like shit.

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#49 Posted by dzimm (5345 posts) -

If I wasn't a gamer, I would have a lot more disposable income.

Or maybe not. I'd probably have simply found another hobby to blow all my money on.

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#50 Posted by pmanden (587 posts) -

@hitmanactual: Just play GTA, the Witcher or General Custer's Revenge all the time - a fine combination of gaming and porn.