Video Games Were My Creative Hobby

Down + B. Pressing these buttons when throwing a Poké Ball increased its capture rate—supposedly. Come to think of it, it might just have been a myth. But I still did it anyway. Every single time. Like many other 90s kids, video games played a big part in my childhood. But for me, it was not only playing games. It was also making them.

On what I like to think of as The Afternoon That Changed My Life, my cousins introduced me to RPG Maker. As the name suggests, that piece of software allowed you to create role-playing games.

A picture of a world map created with RPG Maker MV
A world map created with RPG Maker MV.

I love stories and RPGs have always been my favorite genre. For me, playing Final Fantasy was like watching a movie. Except the story took 60 hours to unfold. And I was the hero. That was a highly engaging experience as a kid. It took me months to finish one of those games!

So when given the opportunity to create what I liked most, I couldn’t resist. RPG Maker changed my very relation to video games. Suddenly, it was not only about playing games, it was also creating them. Video games became my creative hobby.

Now, creating games is very time-consuming. So as an amateur, you’re essentially a one-person studio. It takes a lot of different crafts to make even a basic video game. So by middle school, I was spending my days writing stories, creating all sorts of graphics, and even trying to make music.

That’s actually how I started spending so much time on computers in the first place. This video game-making hobby would eventually lead me to learn programming. Hadn't I did that, I don't think I would be a software engineer today. Talk about a life-changing afternoon.

I often come across people thinking that they haven't found “their thing.” My advice would be to try and pick something they like—art, games, sports, whatever makes you happy. But now, instead of only consuming it, try to create some of it (or to practice it, if it's a physical activity.)

You might like it. And I believe passion is not something you choose. It is something you'll discover through experience.

Last updated on March 13, 2022.