A few months ago we asked readers if a video game has ever spurred them to try a new real-life activity. Tony Hawk Pro Skater proved to be the most influential and injury-causing game. Here are some of the responses.

Skate Or Die:

  • My little brother and I loved the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater so much that we were inspired to take up skateboarding. We went all in and designed our own boards at a skate shop with the decks, trucks, and wheels that we loved from the game. Our mom wasn't super happy with the resulting doctor bills.

    Kimball Jackson
  • The first Tony Hawk on PlayStation made me want to skateboard. I bought one and spent a lot of time getting hurt, then would come inside and feel better about myself with a little Tony Hawk.

    Dan Jensen
  • I tried to skateboard after Tony Hawk's Pro Skater I fell and scraped my knee.

    Christian Campos
  • I know I am not the only one! Tony Hawk's Pro Skater got a lot of friends and myself into skateboarding. Even though we didn't have perfect balance or get up as quick from a bail, some of my best memories are skateboarding.

    Vinny Lee
  • After playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 as a kid, I was super into skateboarding. My dad bought me a skateboard and I was in this dorky skateboard phase for about two months.

    William Parker

The World Is Your Playground:

  • Mirrors Edge got me into the extreme sport of parkour and allowed me to understand how parkour "runners" look at the world. Upon finishing the game I picked up old sport hobbies like skateboarding and started rock climbing in California. It's incredible and keeps my mind sharp because I now look at physical obstacles and terrain as a game. Granted, none of these obstacles are bright red and laid out in a convenient obstacle course fashion, but that's what imagination's for right?

    Mike Mehalick
  • Playing Mirrors Edge and made me want to go outside and try parkour. Granted I’m not the most spry of people but now I do enjoy being outdoors in exciting city situations.I'm looking forward to the sequel.

  • The one activity that games have gotten me interested in is parkour/free running. After completing similar feats as Cole McGrath and Nathan Drake, I just had to try it, and I've been loving it ever since!

    Steve Swain
  • If any game influenced me to try a new activity in real life, it would be Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. It released when I was in middle school, and my friends and I were instantly hooked. We started free running around our school and neighborhood. It was always funny to watch our school janitors question themselves as they cleaned footprints off of walls and pillars that were over 8 feet off of the ground.

    Seth McCall
  • Like many other fans of the series, I wanted to take my climbing experiences in Assassin's Creed to the real world. My friend accidentally threw his car keys onto the roof a two-story pavilion at our school, and I took to climbing the building using the gutter that ran down the side of the building. I made it to the top safely and I got the keys, but the best part was looking down and seeing all the terrified faces of my friends at the bottom as I reached over the top of the ledge.

    Josh Gautreaux
  • The first Assassin's Creed inspired me to learn parkour.

    Galen Turoci


  • Sleeping Dogs expanded my culinary interests; mainly because I needed to answer the question, "Why don’t you have a pork bun in your hand?" Ever since exploring the virtual streets of Hong Kong, I’ve been seeking out real Cantonese cuisine, and even trying my hand at cooking noodle bowls, chicken on a stick, and roast duck. However, I refuse to try Curry Fish Balls. Because, well...balls.  

    Jason Fryer
  • Tales of Symphonia inspired me to make peach cookies. We would get them in the game and they sounded so good. It turns out that they actually exist and are delicious!

    Kate Ung
  • Years back I was playing Shadow Hearts 2 and started the crazy side quest Man Festival, where you go through a tower of wrestlemania rings facing lots of curry-based enemies. I had never eaten curry in my life, but when I finally finished I found myself hungry and oddly curious, so I went down to the store to buy a pack of mild curry mix. I've eaten curry about once a week since.

    Curtis Pace

A Sporting Chance:

  • I used to enjoy watching the World Cup and playing FIFA 98 with my family and friends, but for some reason, I got out of the habit. Recently though, I picked up FIFA 2013 and was reminded of how much fun it was to play and scream like idiots – so much so, that we decided to play real soccer. Great idea right? Well, lets just say I lasted about 10 minutes in the Florida heat, but it was a blast. Since then, I've ordered a new pair of cleats and have motivated myself to start running and training to get into better shape for soccer. I'm also training my thumbs for more FIFA! All thanks to a little nostalgia and fun times playing a video game.

  • While no game has necessarily caused me to physically try a new activity, the FIFA franchise did turn me into a soccer fan during my teenage years. I learned the rules of the game and became familiar with a lot of the leagues and teams simply from paying the games. Before I knew it I was watching matches on TV, and eventually became a fan. Now soccer is one of my favorite sports, and of course I still play the FIFA games every year.

    Ryan Schechtman
  • I always hated golf as I grew up in my country, Dominican Republic. After moving to Florida in 2000, some of my cousins were huge on golfing and I just couldn’t believe it because I hated the game. One day I decided to buy Tiger Woods 2004 and that was it. I learned all the rules, had a basic idea on how a swing should look, layups, and on and on. I have been golfing non-stop ever since and have bought every single TW game from 2004 to 2012 (I actually got tired of and haven’t bought the last 2 installments because they're just too repetitive, I’ll admit!).

    Jorge De La Rosa 
  • SSX Tricky tricked me into thinking I needed to be a snowboarder. I was in college at the time and with what little time and money I had, I managed to purchase one, use it, and fail miserably. Needless to say it only took a few attempts before I dropped the idea and accepted the fact I am a far better digital boarder. Unfortunately, the chicks were not impressed with that.

  • When I was younger, my favorite event to play on Wii Sports Resort was Wakeboarding. Now, almost all the tricks I could do with the Wii Remote I can pull off on the water.

    Owen Puleston

Parlor Games:

  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas inspired me to learn to play pool. Once I had it down in the game, I found it so easy in real life. And fun, too!

    DeLisa Farquharson
  • The first one that comes to mind is Liar's Dice from Red Dead Redemption. I generally don't like to take the time to learn new card or dice games. However, Liar's Dice was so much fun that I ended up spending more time playing that than I did poker in the game, which I already knew how to play. This naturally led me to continue playing Liar's Dice even after the game was over and I bought some dice to play with my friends.

    Bobby Crain
  • I enjoyed Zen Studios' pinball games so much that I participated in a local arcade pinball tournament and then bought my own machine. Check it out.

    John Tidwell

Putting Up A Fight:

  • Fighting games and epic battles in RPGs – specifically Street Fighter and Final Fantasy – are what led to me trying martial arts as a child. Fast forward to this September and I'll be testing for my second degree black belt in Taekwondo. The form I'm developing even has some video game fighting moves, including one from Ken/Ryu. You'll never guess what.

    Patrick Jason Quintos-Almario
  • Fifteen years ago, Tekken's Eddy Gordo introduced me to Capoeira. The more I learned about Capoeira the more I wanted to try it out in real life. Unfortunately, there was nowhere for me to learn back then. Fast forward to last year when I learned that multiple places to learn had popped up in the time I was away at college. I took a free class and it was love at first ginga (Capoeira's basic moving stance). It's a great vehicle for cultural enrichment in addition to being a great workout. I got to meet lots of cool people and stopped my belly from ballooning at the same time. As a matter of fact, in a few minutes I am leaving to rehearse for a performance at our yearly ceremony. Other video games have inspired me to try stuff out too, but Capoeira is the only thing I've stuck with.

    Tibeau Hampton

Blinded By Science:

  • After becoming obsessed with the Mass Effect games, I got interested in future technology and took a summer robotics and engineering class.

    Madeline Vokovitch
  • Because of Bioshock and Brigid Tenenbaum, I am currently in the process of becoming a geneticist. Expect plasmids in about 15 years.

    David Plancarte

Open-World Exploration:

  • My eight-year-old daughter hasn't been much of a gamer in the past, but lately she has started joining in Minecraft LAN games with my nine-year-old son and I. In the beginning, she had a hard time even moving around, let alone figuring out what to do. After awhile, though, she was crafting with the best of them. Most evenings the three of us sit down (after homework!) and explore the world together, looking for villagers and high adventure. She isn't an outdoors person, but she decided she wanted a REAL exploration, so we packed a few backpacks and hit the nearest state park. We climbed to the top of a waterfall, had snacks on a trail, and even had to find a makeshift shelter from the rain, all because of her family Minecraft adventure!

    Collin McMullen

The Jokers:

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent convinced me to try out never turning off my lights again. Thanks for asking; it's nice talking to someone other than my therapist about it for once.

    Mark Wasson
  • Super Mario Bros. spurred me to try mushrooms. I didn't grow any bigger. I also tried eating some flowers. I didn't shoot fireballs.  

    Daniel Napoles
  • The BioWare games have inspired me to start senselessly flirting with everyone around me in the hopes I'll get an achievement for romancing all party members.

    Isabell Welch

Have video games inspired you to undertake any real-life activities? Share your experiences in the comments below!