Extragame gaming

What are some examples of activities that you perform outside of the actual game, IRL, but would nevertheless be considered “gaming” under a broad definition?

The simplest example may be drawing maps. I always draw a map to help me find my way through L'Renouille, the huge, intertwining final dungeon of Suikoden 2. I drew a map of the final dungeon in the original Zelda. As I was drawing it, room by room, I slowly realized that it was in the shape of a human skull.

When playing Subnautica recently I decided to build a second base in a hostile environment deep inside the planet. I felt like I was planning a voyage to the new world. I made a detailed IRL list of all the materials and resources I would need, sorted by purpose. I ended up forgetting something anyway but managed to make it work.

Does anyone else do this stuff

Taking copious, copious amounts of notes so I can write about the game at a later date.

some of the “serious” Microsoft flight sim stuff I’ve been playing a bit of lately, for eg using 3rd party applications for flight planning and logisitics at a level of granularity MSFS 2020 proper does not provide. Because the game is going for a 1:1 representation of the planet, and it draws from real world data on airport location, runway configuration, etc. you can use the same reference materials irl pilots use

When I was a kid playing Dragon Warrior Monsters, with the aid of a strategy guide, I created a massive chart (on three pieces of paper taped together) on how to get DeathMore via breeding starting from commonly found monsters. I don't think I ever actually finished my project of following through on this chart in-game.

I used to make shopping lists for the materials I‘d need to make Monster Hunter armor sets and weapon upgrades I wanted. Back in my day the game didn’t do that for you!!

Also before Monster Hunter World the armor skill system was (imo) needlessly convoluted and clunky, and after a certain point it was all but impractical to not use an armor set search tool (yes it was called [ASS](https://monsterhunter.fandom.com/wiki/Athenas_Armor_Set_Search)) to eke out more optimized builds. Well, I guess the more streamlined system now is much more legible for more of the game while you're just throwing together equipment based on what's available, and armor set searchers are still very useful for higher level optimization and figuring out how to achieve the results you want in different ways or with different options. You punch in the skills you want, calibrate it to your current capabilities, and it spits out all the possible combinations of armor pieces to get those skills. It would give you suggestions for which other skills you would also get with certain combinations too.

@“Syzygy”#p35297 Someone Pokke‘d holes into my brain at some point so I certainly find it necessary to get optimized, hehe. It’s certainly more fun than just copying current “meta” sets. I also like to introduce a meta challenge to it by locking in pieces I find aesthetically pleasing, or at least locking out ones I can‘t stand the look of. So there’s some fun to be had!

I dont‘t think this would be considered ’gaming‘ but this thread reminded me of how I often find myself making some music vaguely inspired by the games i’m playing.

when im playing something i‘ll often think “i wonder if I can make something with that general vibe” and I end up making a track that I don’t even bother to finish, mix or even play well enough but I find it fun to record things that I know I don‘t have to put any effort into. Last year I made a track inspired by ThunderForce IV that I liked but I can’t find it at the moment.

They aren‘t very good but i’ll share some:

I made this track a few days ago while playing nier automata, I think this one was inspired by the desert area

This one I made last year when I was playing a lot of animal crossing


I took notes of everything suspiscious that happened in Persona 4 when I played it because I thought there would be an actual mystery. It did help me find the final boss. It's also fun to read through them and remember the story.

There are lots of notes of fog but it also includes this great line.


Beef Industry?? - no cows

@“穴”#p35303 I love this desert track.

[upl-image-preview url=//i.imgur.com/xWfspUO.jpeg]

I don’t know if this counts, but I got this player guide not too long after getting FF6 in 1994 or 5, and I used to just read it like a book over and over again. It’s written like an extended magazine review by somebody who clearly just loved the game but was not an insider at all. He misses all sorts of stuff! Peter Olafson, if you’re around, I love(d) this book so much.


@“CidNight”#p35307 read it like a book over and over again

I never even owned this game (or an snes), just played it as a rental at a friend's house and was totally obsessed for a while. I didn't see a path to acquiring either an snes or the game but had enough elementary school cash to buy this book and "played" the game by the power of imagination

@“yeso”#p35313 it’s really well written! Kind of colloquial like a good blog post, but still tells the story well and walks you through the mechanics and “secrets.” Like 20 years ahead of it’s time.

It’s basically an excellent Let’s Play.

I used to do this a lot. There is probably still a notepad from around 1993 in a box under my parents' house with all my notes and maps and diagrams from my first playthrough of Star Control II. I manually mapped out the Quasi-Space portals, I was mapping out the Rainbow Worlds, and taking notes on all sorts of things that were going on.

The most recent example I can think of is when I was playing Fez, while it was new, and the secrets were still ... secret. I never found / noticed ||the actual cypher key for the alphabet, the animation of the dog and fox|| so instead I have pages of notes in a notepad where I was performing frequency analysis to manually decipher and decrypt the language in the game.
(it turned out to be very easy because nothing is actually encrypted, it is just a different unknown replacement alphabet)

I wasn't reading any forums or FAQs or anything because I wanted to discover things on my own. Afterwards, while talking with friends that also played the game I would mention how I did this and everyone thought I was mad.

I still have those notes!

Sitting in a room listening to the character select screen music while you and your friend's quick snack break evolves into a long argument about whether or not Reloaded is better than the first Matrix (it is).

Okay, so that might not be gaming, but what about when you're arguing over who gets to play Scorpion in the next round or something?


@“baftaboo”#p35340 whether or not Reloaded is better than the first Matrix (it is).

A bold claim!
(I disagree)

This brings to mind another behaviour I can mention that maybe doesn't quite cut it but maybe does: Loading up a new game for the first time, and spending time in the menus, looking at all the options and settings and going through every thing possible I can before eventually having nothing left to press other than "new game".

I really enjoy those opening moments. I'm not sure why.

I love keeping notes and journals for when I‘m playing games. I had a notebook dedicated to La Mulana (even though I didn’t get very far) and I take notes for recipes and ingredients lists when I‘m playing No Man’s Sky.


I did the same thing for the stone tablets in Hyper Light Drifter when it first came out. Every time I found a new one I'd draw the letters in a note book because I was convinced they actually said something. They did say stuff, but someone figured it out before me so I ended up giving up.

Oh yeah and this is kinda loose but I feel it fits. When Pokémon Go first came out my friends and I went downtown to catch Pokémon and _everybody_ was playing. It was nuts. People were scurrying around with their phones out and shouting at random people about Pokémon they had spotted in certain areas. It felt like the Pokémon were real and stuff. I miss that brief period of Pokémon Go craze where if you saw someone out swiping their phone you knew exactly what they were doing.

@“CidNight”#p35307 That was me with the Chrono Trigger instruction manual…I remember even taking that with me on a family vacation to Florida and obsessively studying all of the characters' combo techs in the hotel room lol

@“kory”#p35354 Back when instruction manuals were just choc-a-bloc full of art by people like Akira Toriyama and Yoshitaka Amano.

Back when I used to play the mainline Pokémon games I used to obsessively take notes on stats / breeding / movesets, etc to the point that I would be thinking more about the composition of my competitive team than actually playing it. I sunk around 1,100 hours into Diamond / Pearl for that reason, and after bouncing off Heart Gold / Soul Silver I went cold turkey and haven't touched the series since.

On a less extreme level I've taken a similar approach to team composition in Etrian Odyssey and MegaTen games. The single player-only nature of those series lends itself well to a finite amount of tinkering as opposed to the extremely dynamic, competitive nature of Pokémon.

@“Syzygy”#p35287 yes i've always wondered if MMO players came up with their own tools for organizing (what seems to me) the huge amount of information. or if some games provide tools for doing that

@"穴"#p35303 wonderful tunes, put that desert track in kory's space trucker thread