The Duldrums of an Interminable Gaming Backlog

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My backlog is absolutely massive.  Thanks to Steam sales and Amazon daily deals, I have more games then I know what to do with (and this is as an unemployed part-time college student).  Most of my gaming time is split between playing something I can’t really “finish” (Battlefield 3, MMO’s, etc.) and working my way through that backlog.

Some of you may be asking “What’s the problem with that?  Having a bunch of games to play is awesome!”  Not quite.

My never-ending backlog has the unfortunate side effect of often getting me to focus more on completing games instead of actually enjoying them.  I find myself constantly saying “I need to get through this game” instead of “I want to play this game.”

It’s a nasty rut and I find myself in it often nowadays.  As someone who enjoys writing about games, it really hurts my ability to talk about them.  My focus on “getting through” a game means I’m not looking at what makes a game interesting or unique but only how quickly I can push through it on my quest to finish the next game. 

Looking back at games I’ve played during these times either reveals giant holes in my memory about what made those games special or only brings back the frustration I felt in trying to power through them.  It’s sad to think about these games I should have given more time than I did.

It usually takes a new game coming along to knock my senses back in.  Darksiders II just released and it is like a breath of fresh gaming air.  I keep noticing how massive and utterly gorgeous the environments are, how epic and enjoyable the music is, how much fun I’m having with the quick and responsive combat.  It feels like a game that I’m playing to enjoy, not one I’m playing to “get through.”      

Games like this remind me to slow down and experience a game.  Pay attention to beautiful art style or the catchy tunes.  Try to really absorb the story and universe and make sure to take some time to reflect on it when I’m done with the game.  If a game is really fun to play, enjoy myself!

My lengthy backlog weighs heavily on my mind sometimes but it isn’t worth speeding through my games just to clear it out.  If I can’t get anything out of playing a game, was it really worth playing in the first place?

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