No, I’m not having another eBay clearout. But something’s got to give. Another year has passed and the cupboard under the stairs is still overflowing with unplayed games. And yet, I still buy more: a trip to CeX at lunchtime here, an idle browse of eBay there…and don’t even get me started on the digital archive of unplayed items that is my Steam account (there’s one or two on GOG, too, I think).

I was explaining this problem to a work colleague, who shared with me his own strategy for purchasing games. “Essentially,” he said, “I buy a game and play it until I finish it, or get bored of it. Then I buy another one.”

It all sounds rather straightforward when you put it like that. I’m not sure when it all got out of hand: perhaps it was the extended period of time lumbered with an old and wheezy machine that couldn’t handle anything released after 2002, which left a good six years’ worth of gaming to catch up on; or maybe there’s something about FFG (or any similar website) that leads someone to make strange and unpredictable choices on the basis that something “might be interesting to cover one day”. Or perhaps I’ve just always bought more games than I’ve been able to play.

This is hardly an unusual problem, and if I showed you a picture of the cupboard itself, it would certainly look rather pathetic when compared with some of the mighty collections I’ve seen documented elsewhere. (Oh, go on then…if nothing else the sheer messiness of it all might raise a chuckle).

(Actually, that looks quite tidy, doesn’t it? How about the bottom shelf, instead?)

Also: I generally do get around to playing most things, eventually, even if some considerable time has passed since the moment I pulled it off the shelves. (The game I completed most recently was purchased from a branch of Zavvi, a chain that went bust at the end of 2008). But, of course, by that time, others have appeared.

However – it’s time to break the cycle. So, here goes: I’m going to ban myself from buying games in 2013. New, or used, physical or digital, it’s all out of bounds. Instead, I’m going to focus on that backlog.

I actually don’t think it’s going to be difficult, and it’s certainly not something I’d want to be construed as a bizarre and unnecessary form of self-flagellation, as I force myself to invest all of my spare time in murderously unenjoyable strategy titles that I wished I’d never bought in the first place, while complaining about it on the internet.

On the contrary, I think it’s going to be fun – most of the games are ones that I do genuinely want to play, but for reasons unknown I just, well, haven’t. Anything I can write about on FFG, I will, and anything I can’t, I won’t.

I also won’t bore on about this self-imposed ban, either. I wanted to write about it here, though, just to state my intention, on the record. Whether it works, or lasts, or whatever, remains to be seen, but I’m looking forward to it.