What is a Hobby? This is a question I’ve been toying with a lot lately, and as you can see in the video above, it came up for Rhett and Link as well.
There’s a really obvious way that the question “what is a hobby?” comes up for me, and that’s with my Warmachine and Hordes tabletop wargaming. In wargaming in general, there’s the game aspect of actually playing… and there’s the so-called “hobby” aspect of the building, painting, and basing of the models. I mean, there’s other aspects I suppose, like the worldbuilding lore (“fluff”) that you can read, or the list-building strategizing that is one of my favorite parts, there’s competitive versus casual approaches, there’s podcasts and YouTube videos and…
There’s a lot. But a big, big piece is the Hobby aspect. And sure, the whole thing – the whole game – could be called a hobby. Heck, gaming in general is, I’m sure, considered a hobby by some. But even if we just consider the painting as the Hobby… I am not doing much of it. I listen to podcasts, I dojo new army lists, I enjoy playing and get to most weeks. But I have models I’ve bought that I haven’t even built yet, and I’ve still just painted the one troll.
When I’ve been thinking about it, I think there’s a few things. The painting is an artistic outlet – and right now, I have one of those. I have my webcomic. So I’m putting time, thought, and effort into that, but there’s also the element where I’m doing that for me. You could maybe consider it a hobby. Painting for me, I think, would feel more like work. The building the models is worthwhile work (so I can play with them!) but the painting…
Thinking of the webcomic as possibly a hobby, that widens the question to this website as a whole, doesn’t it? Is this a hobby? We’ve kept at it day-in and day-out for over three-and-a-half years now. And with more contributors, with the hope of moving towards advertising, of growing and expanding… a lot more of what I’m doing with it is work now, too. Scheduling posts. Organizing the week. Editing together podcasts. I partially need the webcomic just to make sure I keep having fun with this!
And it is fun, we enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong! That’s why we do it, and how we’ve kept doing it. Is that what’s needed for something to be a hobby? There’s work, and there’s enjoyment? I don’t know that I accept that as a definition either.
I mean, what’s the definition if we Google it?
an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure
Oh. Well maybe all of this is a hobby. Maybe none of it. Is it about my own definition? About others’? Because it means something very different for me to say “this is my hobby” than for you to say “oh, that thing you do, it’s just a hobby.”
So now, I open it up to you – what do you think of as a hobby? And what transcends that definition? And have you ever had trouble with that distinction? Let me know what you think in the comments below!