When I was 13 years old I had maybe 10 proper games for the family PC, and played them all thoroughly. Now, between my disc, steam and gog.com libraries, and I have over a hundred games I have yet to play.
Rows of them scowl at me from shelves, real or virtual, demanding answers as to why I’ve not given them more attention. Several old RPGs such as Ultima 7 demand their turn, asking exactly how long I’m going to take to complete Might and Magic 6 (been at it 18 months so far). Medieval Total War reminds me that commanding armies of knights and spearmen should be my kind of thing. Old Sierra adventures entice me back to the 90s. I behold so many games either untouched, or barely touched, and am constantly in a state of shame.
The key reason they remain unplayed is time. My existence is not what it was as a carefree 20something, and the demands of real life are significant. (They’re worth it though. Observe the ring on my finger).
I’ve also found that, even when I sit down to try something new, I end up staring at my library, paralysed with indecision. I’ve noticed a similar problem with Netflix – so many options, so little ability to commit. I guess it’s some fear that, if I don’t enjoy the game or fail to make progress, it will mean evenings wasted. So that can lead to replaying games with which I’m already familiar, which is a safe and comfortable option. So that’s how I ended up revisiting the Captal Wastelands of Fallout 3 last year. This doesn’t help the Unplayed list get shorter, of course. Also, looking at this in terms of my knowledge and experience as a gamer, my lack of boldness is denying myself the chance of discovering something new I might enjoy (and review here, if it’s suitable).
So last year I promised myself I would not buy any new games. The Unplayed list had expanded too far, it weighed on me too heavily. I vowed it would grow no further.
This required some willpower. In particular, I have been strongly wanting to get Fallout 4 and Dishonored 2. Also I’m always tempted by the pixelly VGA charms of oldies on gog.com. Even beardy RPGs and complicated strategy titles that I know I’ll never get far with. I had to harden my heart towards steam and gog sales, to delete the constant mails remding me of wonderful deals, to tell myself no Stoo, you do not have time to try Colonisation or Populous.
Still, I held firm. No purchases were made. Unfortunately this didn’t greatly help me reduce the unplayed list. In fact you’ll notice I’ve not added a review in about a year. However at least the list isn’t any longer! And it may go down this year – expect something Star Trek related and something early from Blizzard.
The ban has now been lifted, but, I’m still trying to keep purchases to a minimum. I guess last year had some lasting impact on my habits. If I get one recent game it’ll most likely be Dishonored 2, since the original was both excellent, and a better sequel to the Thief series than the 2014 Thief itself. As for buying oldies, well, I’m keeping at least a “no damn RPGs” rule seeing as I have about four other Might and Magics to play.