When I’m not spending my spare time working on a creative project, I spend some more spare time on one of my many hobbies. I think hobbies provide another outlet for inspiration as well as a chance to relax. Who am I kidding, I’m just lazy.
Like most people, I love music and movies. I can’t work without some sort of music playing. My current music favorites range from Dance, Dubstep and Symphonic Metal all the way to Jazz and Rock. I like a little bit of everything. I also enjoy some cartoons and anime. Of course, I have my small collection of comics that I like to look at for inspiration as well. Something that’s been a part of my life since I was fairly young. Most of my favorite comics are near my desk, while the rest are boxed away. I’ve amassed a medium-sized collection, a couple boxes worth, along with many #1 issues from the beginning of the Image Comics era.
Beyond those fairly average interests, I have two other defining hobbies, one a little more uncommon than the other.
Where I tend to waste most of my spare spare time, and the one hobby I’m probably most obsessed with, is gaming (video games), primarily MMORPGs. I started playing video games back with the Sega Master System in the late ’80s. Today I don’t play many console games, my primary gaming system of choice is the PC. In recent years I found an addiction for games that provide me with a vast open world that I can freely explore. For single-player games I gravitate to open-world games such as Oblivion, Skyrim, GTA, Saints Row and the likes. I may enjoy a good RPG now and then as well like Mass Effect, Persona, Fable or the occasional Final Fantasy. And going back all the way to my first computer game on the Amiga, I still love a good racing game, my favorites including Test Drive Unlimited and Forza Horizon.
However my biggest gaming addiction is MMORPGs, online role-playing games. These provide me a “fix” for my love of a vast open world to explore with a wider variety than you typically get in single-player games. This obsession was started with an innocent little invite to play Anarchy Online with some friends. Since then I’ve played nearly every major MMO released. Like many, I spent many years in World of Warcraft and leveled several characters to the level cap. I also seem to have a soft spot for imported MMOs from Korea and Japan. My second most played MMO is probably Lineage 2, a Korean MMO.
While these days I don’t play them as obsessively as I used to, I still find time every couple nights a week to hop into one of my current favorite MMOs such as Guild Wars 2, The Secret World and Tera Online.
Guild Wars 2 is an all around decent MMO that tried to break the standard MMO formula. I think one of the highlight of this game is the sense of camaraderie you get when it’s essential that other players you are not even grouped with help each other out to accomplish a goal. They also lovingly crafted a world with many little hidden nooks to find.
The Secret World is another MMO that tried to break from convention, but the thing I love about it most is its setting. It’s set on our everyday earth where the secret societies and all the monsters of legend are true. This is the kind of idea I love to incorporate into my own stories, the mundane with the fantastical.
Tera Online is probably the MMO I’m currently most attached to. While it’s far from perfect and in fact sub-par by most standards, a lot of its quarks are part of its charm. Most importantly to me is the vast, seamless open world that is just so fantastical, beautiful and memorizing that I just enjoy exploring almost more than actually playing. On top of that, like most Korean MMOs, the designs are just so unique. The armor and clothes have so much detail and flare and are just damn sexy, something many western MMOs seem to miss out on. For many it’s just -too- over the top, but for me it’s pretty awesome.
It doesn’t end there, though, as an avid reader of MMO news, I have several upcoming “distractions” that I’m looking forward to, namely the reboot of Final Fantasy XIV and Blade & Soul, both of which also happen to be from Asia.
Finally my second, and somewhat uncommon, hobby, which also happens to hail from Asia, is Ball-Jointed Dolls or BJDs. These are a class of doll made typically out of resin plastic and are strung together utilizing ball joints to allow movement. They greatly range in style and size and are typically made to order or sold as limited editions.
Many collect BJDs because they can be completely customized and are a great beautiful form for photography. Some BJDs can truly be considered works of art. Personally, the best thing about them for me is the customization. It allows you to create your own character in a physical form. When I learned about these dolls I became really intrigued. There is a large community built around them along with a large variety of little items that are in themselves amazing. I currently own two BJDs. They are both SD sized, which is about 2 feet tall. They both have names and may potentially represent characters in my future projects.
So that about sums up my hobbies, some fairly average, while others are a bit unique. I think hobbies really say a lot about a person. What are some of you unique hobbies?
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