Let’s talk hobbies!
There’s a strong common thread that runs through my most predominating fixations: the element of escapism. I think it’s probably a common theme for imaginative types, (i.e. NERDS!) especially growing up. Reality can be overly bleak, a little confusing, and outright dull, especially when compared to the more flavorful realms in books and games. Reading was my first love; I read whatever I could get my paws on. Once I cracked open I book I could focus on little else till I reached the back cover. (I’m still like that) But there’s an interactive aspect that’s missing from reading, so the creative impulse in me gravitated toward less passive, more hands-on forms of escapism.
Writing was a given; having invested so much time and energy into reading books, I was itching to try my hand at writing one.
And video games were a logical progression, too. Interactive stories with goals, choices and, eventually, interaction with fellow nerds-Er, I mean, like-minded individuals?! Sign me up!
As much as I love reading and writing, the interactivity and social aspects of gaming and the community therein were a welcome change of pace. Books fulfilled my need for escapist fantasies but they could get a bit lonely. Games offered a fictional world full of real people, all looking for much the same thing as me- a break from reality. (Albeit a much more intensive, time-consuming one. I’m looking at you, World of Warcraft.)
In recent years, this quest for interactive escapism has evolved further, manifesting itself in cosplay and conventions. Cons have completed my escapist spectrum, offering a less immersive but far more tangible, active, and incredibly social outlet for a break from the everyday. I’ve only dabbled in cosplay, but what little I’ve experienced has been absolutely incredible. Suiting up in something ridiculous, becoming one of your favorite characters for the day, and surrounding yourself with hordes of people who will recognize and applaud you for it- it’s not an experience I can properly describe. But it’s amazing. Conventions themselves are so surreal, like a breach in reality that allows the fantastic to bleed through, just for a moment. Con weekends are the Oz to my nine-to-five Kansas. If you haven’t experienced one, I highly recommend it. It’s a TON of fun.
So that’s my four-tiered strategy to escaping reality! Only problem now is finding time to accommodate it all. Especially with the rest of life always getting in the way.