Readers may or may not remember my vow to not buy any games in 2013. As New Year’s resolutions go, it lasted longer than most, although in the end, I didn’t quite make it. The lure of the Christmas Steam sale, and the prospect of transporting fake manure from fake Grimsby to fake Carlisle in a fake truck proved too much to resist.


In one way it seems a shame not to see it through the extra few days to the new year. But this was never really about contriving a sense of achievement out of an extended period of self-denial. If it had, the whole thing would have been a lot harder, and I would have been feverishly been counting down the days until it was over.

To tell you the truth, though, it wasn’t all that difficult at all. At first, it felt a little strange not to be making my usual lunchtime trips to the Computer Exchange. (Instead, I went to Superdrug, and probably went overboard on keeping the household stocked up on toothpaste and shower gel in those early months.) And yes, I was occasionally tempted by news of Steam or GOG discounts, whenever they reached me. But it was never anything more than that – a mild feeling of going without, like being at a dinner party and not helping yourself to the last bit of pudding, even though you kind of wanted to. (If you were alone, you’d have eaten it, even though you were full, but you’d only have regretted it later.)

I didn’t save any money, although given that I normally only buy heavily-discounted or second-hand games, I didn’t expect to – especially seeing as these funds were most likely diverted to the purchase of dental flossing sticks and large bottles of Sanex. I also didn’t make much progress through my backlog – a quick review of the year (speaking of which – don’t worry readers, it’s coming soon!) suggests that my time was largely split between newer games that I’d already played quite a bit of and older abandonware fare.

So, you may ask, what was the point? Well, I guess it goes back to that conversation I had with my work colleague that prompted this whole idea. I’m not sure when the last time was that I had a look at my games collection and thought, there’s nothing here for me – time for something new. In fact, I don’t think that’s ever happened. At no stage in the year was I bored. Given a free evening or weekend I’d never be short of ideas about what to play.

I’m not interested in paying a premium for the latest tech or releases, and buying newer games that I’m not interested in simply to try and keep up to date is something I’ve become less and less bothered about. (That’s not to say I’m not interested in newer games, and over the Christmas period, generous friends and relatives have furnished me with some items from my Steam wishlist and an Xbox 360, for those times when I’m in the mood for such things.)

In the meantime, older titles have been added to the collection because they could be potential review-fodder. But I’ve come to realise that there’s a limit to what I’m going to be able to write about. On the evidence of the past year, I’ve probably got my hands full already.

Reason enough, I reckon, to keep it going. No new games in 2014? Why not?