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Difference between video gaming and other hobbies


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Hello everyone, first post.

I've been reading about this today and it's something I've wondered about a few times already.

What is the difference between gaming and any other hobby like reading a book?

I used to spend hours reading when I got a good book and I would think about it all day.

I feel the same thing with video games, I feel like I am addicted... but to what?

Do I really like pushing these buttons? No.

It is the experience that holds me in, same as when I read books or watch movies.

I do feel I am addicted and I do want to improve myself but when I think about it, everything seems to boil down to be the same.

Why bother going through all these problems if the end result is not any better?

What makes an activity "better" than another one to improve your life?

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In my experience, I've realised that gaming is a problem for me.

If I read a book, I can only read for a limited time, then I want to do something else, something productive. If I game, I can easily game for 10 hours straight, skipping a meal or two in the process.

I think gaming can be extremely fun, and it lets you socialize with your gamer friends. You can play together, you can talk about new games, you can talk about crazy strategies and so on. Also you do learn some things from games. For example I've learned a lot of history from the game Europa Universalis IV. But that is pretty much the only upsides to gaming. And they are in my opinion overshadowed by the inefficiency with which they bring these joys. I feel a lot more social and have a much more meaningful relationship with a friend with whom I jam on the guitar for an hour, than with a friend I play counterstrike with for 5 hours.

I've just started my own streak, and I of course cannot be certain that this will drastically change my life for the better. I do however find it likely. With most of my waking hours previously going into gaming, hindering all productivity, i am confident that I will learn more, spend more time with my friends, seek out new skills and experiences and so on.

Even though I might "waste" two hours on a book today, it is much better than wasting 10 hours on gaming. However, if you actually feel the same way when reading and playing video games, you might want to also quit reading non-fiction. To me, it is about looking at what really hinders you and keeps you from becoming who you want to be. If all your time is spent on one single "inproductive" activity, then it might be time to let that activity go.

To try and answer your last question:
I think, that most activities are healthy, as long as they don't halts your progress in other important activities in your life. If gaming keeps you from learning the skills you actually want, if it keeps you from studying or working, if it keeps you from taking care of and spending time with the people you like to have around you, then I think it is harmful. That means that reading also can be harmful if it does the above. 
I however think that it is a lot easier to become addicted and completely absorbed by video games, even though I haven't really looked up any studies to prove it.

I am sure that others will be able to come with better explanations, but this explanation is good enough for me, and that is the important thing to me. I wish you the best of luck in figuring out whether this forum can help you or not, and I hope to see you around, if you decide that quitting gaming will enhance your life.

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I actualyl think there is no inherent difference in good or bad between some sorts of gaming and other activities like reading fiction. But gaming has components (for example instant gratification) which make it easier to get addicted to them. My definition of addiction is that you can't stop doing smth even if you want too and if it influences your life in a bad way. I think a good hobby makes you feel good while doing it but also makes you feel good after you finished doing it. Reading books does that for me. Gaming never did.

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