It's time for another "getting to know you" poll. With the readership and Followers of this blog increasing I thought I'd pose another question that will not only help me understand who you are but is also a subject I have a keen interest in. The poll can be found on the Right of this column and comments or discussion can be left below.
If, like me, you have a blog or other social site about your hobby then the cat is well and truly out of the bag, but many gamers I know keep their hobby interests segregated from their work life. I guess if your a high ranking Civil Servant, a High Court Judge or CEO of a big multinational, letting on about your 'little metal men' probably won't do your image much good in the shallow culture we live today. But for the majority of average people do our hobby interests really have that much of an impact on career opportunities?
I took a conscious decision not to hide my hobbies from view when I started getting involved in online forums and game network sites. I knew that the Internet would 'blow my cover' and I took some time to really think about the impact this might have on my career. In the end I concluded the answer to that questions was "next to none" and decided to stop hiding my hobby like an embarrassingly illness. That's not to say I publicise my interests. I don't turn up to meetings and say "My name is Lee Hadley and I paint toy soldiers..." and I don't have an "I brake for Kobolds" bumper sticker on my car. But now and again the subject comes up and I no longer hide my interests. Has it damaged my reputation? I don't think so. I've had promotions and pay rises since I 'came out' and most people I talk to seem to be genuinely interested in my hobby. I've even discovered a few closet gamers in the company, although I'd never reveal this fact unless they felt comfortable about it.
The silly thing is our hobby isn't something to be embarrassed about. Thanks to my hobby I have a keen interest in History and Art and have developed skills in Photography, Computing, Painting and Writing. Put like that our hobby is a bona fide asset on any CV.