Too Many Games To Play
I remember when I was a kid I found it really frustrating waiting to get my hands on a new game. I would either have to save my pocket money over several weeks, wait for my Birthday or Christmas or whine at my parents until they caved. Now that I look back, I’m actually glad that I had to wait because when I did finally get my hands on those games I really appreciated them and would play them to the fullest. Nowadays I’m surrounded by piles of games to the point that storage is becoming an issue. I also have 291 games on my Steam account, many of which I’ve never even gotten around to installing let alone playing them. In some ways, I don’t think I value games as much as I use to.
Obviously as we get older we tend to have more money to spend – I went a bit crazy after starting college -, but I think that the changes to the way in which content is distributed could also be contributing to this (as explained by ‘Looking For Playtime‘ in the post ‘Beginnings, Endings and A Mess of Unfinished Games.‘) Steam in particular could be held culpuble for the explosion of game purchases in my life, many of them gotten through sales. It’s also incredibly easy and quick to add new titles to your library. The updating of the store has become an enjoyable event that I check every day, forcing me to constantly exert my willpower. If I’m not buying them for myself then I’m usually receiving them as a gift. The games industry has also grown and it feels like new shinier games are arriving more rapidly, causing what we already own to become old news pretty quickly.
I think the blog ‘Thinking Play‘ describes this phenomenon quite aptly by calling it ‘The Age of Backlogs.’ It’s not just games, but also box-sets and books. There are just so many distractions and things to do that it’s difficult to find the time to fit it all into our lives. I’m starting to forget what boredom feels like.
It’s wonderful that we can get so much content to enjoy, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by choice so end up doing nothing instead. I never thought I would complain about owning too many games, but I miss that feeling of bringing a new game back from the shops, ripping off the cellophane and throwing the disc into the console out of sheer excitement. Then again, it is somewhat satisfying watching the number increase on my Steam library :P.