New Year’s resolutions have traditionally been an exercise in failure for me. Emotion overcomes reason as I get caught up in visions of new beginnings and make a pledge to do some big thing in the new year. Inevitably my efforts come up short, renewing doubts about my ability to follow through. Last year was no exception to the rule, even though it was about gaming. And if there’s anything I possess the ability to do, it’s play more games. My failure to play twelve new titles in twelve months was pretty disappointing. It’s not that I had no interest in new experiences, but rather I’m extremely comfortable with what I already know. Just like many of us have favorite books or movies that we can quote line by line, others of us have favorite games that remain engaging when played time and again. I’m simply avoiding new, unproven experiences and sticking with those which I know have an entertaining payoff.
There’s nothing bad about this, but I count myself among those gamers who have developed an affliction referred to as “gaming guilt”. There are a few different types of gaming guilt, but mine stems from my gargantuan backlog of unplayed games. For example, the oldest email receipt I can find is for Half Life: Opposing Force. I purchased this way back on March 13th, 2011 and have not yet played through it. There are hundreds of other titles in my collection that share a similar fate. To be specific: My gaming library contains 377 titles. By my count, I’ve only played about 40 of them through to completion. A lot of them of them I played through multiple times. This means that a whopping 89% of my game collection sits uncompleted. There is nothing logical about this.
Video games are a unique commodity, so I don’t think it’s reasonable to compare their acquisition to books or movies. Thanks to digital sales, giveaways, and bundles, it’s easier than ever to amass a huge collection of titles for minimal investment. Collecting is fine, but I honestly thought I’d played more than ten percent of my library. While I have no regrets about spending time on games that I love, I do wonder what other gems are lurking in the backlog. It’s highly likely there are dozens of games that I’ll wish I’d have played sooner. And it’s equally likely I own a great many duds that aren’t worth the time it would take to download them. Probably. But I have no way of knowing this until I play some new games. What surprises does my backlog contain? It’s time to find out!2018 will bring a change to my gaming habits, but I hesitate to call it a resolution. Rather than keep my hard drive loaded up with dozens of games, I’m going to limit myself to having no more than five installed at any time. Only one of those five can be something I’ve beaten before. This should let me indulge in nostalgia when I want to, but not at the expense of new discoveries. To make sure I don’t wind up five twenty-hour epics installed at the same time, I’ll check the length of each games on HowLongToBeat.com. It’s probably not wise to place any other constraints on those give games, lest I wind up with titles I’m in no mood to play. This should be quite the interesting experiment, and I’ll do my best to share it with you. I’m going to try to post more, but I’ll keep my plan close to the vest in case it ends up being a total failure. As time allows, I also plan to do some streaming and post a few feature videos. Stay tuned to my YouTube and TwitchTV channels for more.
I hope all of you have a fun and exciting 2018; I plan to!