Top 10 Video Game Alternatives

Have you been thinking of quitting video games? 

Maybe you think you can be more productive with your time or feel bad for spending so much money on this hobby. Or maybe video games just don't satisfy you like they did when you were younger. Don't worry though, I got your back. 

Here is a top ten list of video game alternatives waiting for you to explore!

1. Reading and Writing

Young woman reading a book while she sits on a bean bag chair

Reading is a common alternative to video games, but it's a hard thing to sell to gamers. For one, reading not only takes effort to do, it also takes effort to even sit down and begin a book.

So why do it? Because a really good book puts you in a trance and makes you forget the differences between reality and fiction.

And while each book has an ending, the worlds and characters will stay with you, almost like the authors were writing with you in mind. Begin your "treasure hunt" today and find a book that hooks you in. Here are some links to get you started:

While reading a good book puts you in a trance, writing is about forging a book that casts the hypnosis spell on your readers. Writing is a worthy craft to master and a great hobby to have. I have spent countless hours creating worlds and characters and storylines.

Write a novel, write a short story, write a graphic novel, write a comic strip, or even write the story to your own video game! Here are some links to get you started:

2. Drawing

Sketchbook with pencils lying on top of it, drawing

Before "modern" cameras came along and became widespread, drawing used to be quite the fundamental skill to have.

How else could we capture moments? The skill to be able to replicate life on paper or delve into your creativity and pull something unique out is an admirable thing and pleasing to the mind.

This hobby is a worthy video game alternative for two reasons: the satisfaction you get from improving your skills and being able to create an endless number of things on paper. Plus it's easy to get into and you only need a pencil and paper.

The best way to begin this journey is to pick one thing to learn how to draw, then research how! Here are some links to get you started:

3. Cooking

Two big pots in kitchen steaming

Probably the most useful hobby to have and the most worthy to master.
Let's rattle off the reasons why:
  • Far healthier & cheaper than takeout food
  • Ability to create any meal you're craving
  • Earn brownie points with the ladies (or whoever you're into)
  • Makes you more self-sufficient
  • The world of cooking is vast; you'll never get bored of it

Here are some links to get you started:

4. Bodybuilding and General Weight Training

Man in gym about to deadlift, weight training

Raise your strength, stamina, and size points with iron and discipline.
The benefits of bodybuilding or just general weight training are as profound as the benefits of cooking:
  • A strong, aesthetic physique earns you respect and admiration
  • Greatly increase your confidence and self-worth
  • Earn brownie points with the ladies (or whoever you're into)
  • Increase your discipline and willpower through training 
  • Be strong af
  • Proper nutrition will allow you to live a healthy, comfortable life

Gamers are known to seek out challenges, but a mastery like bodybuilding is a completely different beast. To get the results you want, you must train properly, eat properly, and take care of yourself properly.

And while it may be a tiring, overwhelming lifestyle to live with the wrong attitude, the merits of bodybuilding/weight training are worth the effort. Here are some links to get you started:

5. Running

Man on bridge stretching, preparing to run

Why would people run for fun?

If you were out of shape growing up, running might be one of the last things you'd volunteer to do, but this really is a wonderful sport once you get a taste of the "runner's high", which is really just tidal waves of endorphins that hit you during the workout.

The pumping of your heart, feeling like a machine that won't tire out, it gets addicting quickly. Here are some links to get you started:

6. Play the Piano or Guitar

guitarist on stage, playing his guitar

Take the dexterity you've built up playing video games and apply it to learning the piano or guitar, both hailed as excellent instruments, especially for solo artists.

Learning either of these instruments (any instrument, really) is a potent mastery, one that can be used to develop your character while creating music that speaks magnitudes.

Or follow the footsteps of Tenacious D or the Flight of the Conchords and make us laugh along to your songs! Here are some links to get you started:

7. Archery 

Old Japanese man using bow, Traditional Archery

Shooting a bow is both meditative and primal.

It's quite easily something you can lose an entire evening doing without even trying. It's just so natural. Plus the satisfaction of hitting the target is akin to why many people play video games, especially online competitive ones.

I can't really think of anything else to say about this one, archery (and marksmanship, in general) speaks for itself for why it's a worthy video game alternative. Here are some links to get you started:

8. Graphic Novels

Huge selection of comic books and graphic novels

Video games and comic books, the meat and potatoes of being a geek. There are many people who choose graphic novels over video games since they're much cheaper, but that's not the only reason this is listed as a video game alternative:
  • Far easier to read than traditional novels
  • Amazing artwork
  • Amazing stories and characters
  • Collect and even trade them
  • Motivates you to read more
  • Motivates you to draw more
  • Revisit them like you would older video games
  • Mentally stimulating

And the best part about graphic novels? It is an endless world to explore. Here are some links to get you started: 

9. Movies and TV Shows

Small movie theater, street view

When I don't feel like playing a game, I watch something new.

The great thing about watching movies and shows is how passive the activity is, it doesn't require much effort to start or do.

So what do you say?

Why not become a movie guy or a show guy or both? Start a collection, join some fandoms, there is a community behind any great show. While there are many services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, don't forget the satisfaction of owning your own blu-ray collection! Here are some links to get you started:

10. Coding

Web development, HTML and CSS

Did I save the best for last?

The world of coding is deep and the journey is foreign and challenging. The good thing is, it's the same for everyone, even "smart" people. Learning to code is not only one of the best video game alternatives, it is a potent mastery to have, one you can make a great career out of too.

A word of encouragement if you walk down this path: You're going to struggle with this and that is normal. It doesn't mean you're not smart enough or cut out to be a developer.

Everyone who has learned to code has done so through months of frustration, but they will all tell you it is worth it. Here are some links to get you started:

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Need a more complete lsit of video game alternatives? Please check out my Master List of them!