WHAT HAPPENED TO MY OBSESSION WITH VIDEO GAMES?

I have replaced a hobby that lasted most of my life with a more fulfilling passion.

Today I want to share with you a more personal story about my life. I understand telling you about my obsession with video games and what has happened to it recently might sound off topic, but there’s an underlying message about pursuing your passion.

I have loved video games ever since I can remember

Let’s rewind back to my elementary school years. My first video game console I owned was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System which I had bought from a kid working at the neighborhood video rental store. It came with ten games or so and I loved playing that thing. I would rent games on the weekend, and I slowly grew my library of games to even include the Super Scope. Damn, that thing was cool.

Eventually, I traded in all of that for a Nintendo 64. During that time I had also gotten an original Playstation at a church youth group outing.

Next, I got a PS One. I even got the travel LCD screen for it and my friend and I would bring both of ours to play on band trips using his dad’s battery pack for power.

Then I upgraded to the PS2, which went to college with me.

My freshman year in college I bought the Xbox 360. And that’s when the pastime went into full obsession. I know I have spent thousands on that one console alone.

Grand Theft Auto IV Collector’s Edition with a lock box, duffle bag (which I still use regularly), and a few other accessories for $89.99? Bought it.
The Halo 3 Legendary Edition with the Master Chief helmet for $129.99? Yup.
Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition with working night vision goggles for $149.99? You bet.

I believe at one point I counted that I had around 50 games in my library.

Today, I have an Xbox One and a good number of games for it, but nothing like the damage I did with that Xbox 360.

Of course, I haven’t mentioned all of the handheld consoles I had also gone through. I had the original Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advanced, Game Boy Advanced SP, Game Boy Micro, and Sony PSP.

On top of that, my first computer for school was an Alienware Area 51m laptop which was one of the best gaming laptops available at the time.

At the time of writing this, I still have the PS2, Xbox 360, and the Xbox One, but that’s about to change.

I’m selling a big part of my life

That’s right. This past week, I posted my Xbox 360 with a majority of the games and all of its accessories on eBay. As I was going through the inventory, I remembered playing the games, or waiting in line to pick it up on release day. This hobby was a big part of my life.

I have met some of my closest friends playing video games (usually in person first, then we would play together online). I also maintained friendships by playing video games. My brother and I would play together daily while we lived hundreds of miles apart.

But something more significant than is now dominating my time. Yes, as you can probably guess, my passion for creating Iconoflage has completely replaced my obsession with video games.

FOLLOWING MY PASSION IS WAY MORE FULFILLING THAN ANY VIDEO GAME WAS

One of the biggest reasons why I’m selling these memory-filled objects is because when I turned off the console, there was no impact in reality. Sure, I got another achievement that added 20 points to my Gamerscore, but that doesn’t hold any real value.

With Iconoflage, I am constantly creating new things in the real world. These are things I can share with people and make a living from.

To make it better, I’m constantly looking for the next challenge whether that’s the object I’m drawing on, or the medium I’m using.  Finishing an Iconoflage project is way more fulfilling than getting an achievement on the Xbox. Alright, I’ll admit receiving the Key to Liberty City for completing GTA IV in less than 30 days was pretty cool, but that’s beside the point.

I didn’t realize I would find something productive so enjoyable. This is where work truly becomes play.

My Key to Liberty City
(I’m going to hold on to this.)

I’M NOT THE FIRST PERSON GIVING UP AN OBSESSION

It should be pretty obvious that I’m not the first (or last) person who’s giving up an obsession to pursue a passion. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, Terence Tang shared a very similar story about selling his sneaker collection to help fund his business.

There are people like you and me who are giving up something significant to pursue their passions every day. But, it does take time to find the right niche that you care that deeply for. I thought it was logo design for me, but then I got into Iconoflage and now I can’t stop doing it.

KEEP SEARCHING AND YOU’LL FIND YOUR PASSION

I’m not writing this to make you feel bad for any hobbies or obsessions you have. No matter if it’s playing video games, binge watching on Netflix, or what have you. But I want to encourage you if it’s something that leaves you unsatisfied.

If you feel like what you’re doing isn’t fulfilling, it is possible to find that creative or productive passion that you enjoy so much that you want to do it all the time.

I’ll admit it takes some time and experimentation to find exactly what that passion is. And if you are currently pursuing your passion, but it’s something you frequently want to take a break from, you haven’t found your true passion yet.

You will find your fulfilling passion. I didn’t realize I found mine it until I took a moment to realize that I now had stuff collecting dust.

My obsession with video games was something that lasted for 20 years of my life. Then one day, my passion for Iconoflage eclipsed it. With how much more fulfilling it is, I don’t even have time to look for anything else to do. And I know if I can find something that I enjoy more than a hobby that lasted most of my life, you can find your fulfilling passion as well.

Have you ever given up something that was a big part of your life so you can pursue your passion? Or are you still trying to find something that you enjoy doing that’s also fulfilling?
I would love to hear about it.

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