Android / Editorials & Opinion / PC Gaming

Game Hoarding, Or How to Never Play Videogames Again

When I was growing up, I never had enough video games to play.  Most of my free time was spent pouring over gaming magazines looking for new games and creating the Christmas lists designed to get them.  Even though my parents never caved to my yearnings, I was the type of kid who prepared poster presentations explaining why I deserve my Christmas present on 9/9/99 (the release date of the Dreamcast, if you’ve forgotten) instead of 12/25/99.  Now, after being a day one Steam user who has followed every single day of every single Steam sale as if they were Christmas Day, I have way too many games to play.

As of right now, my current count is 269 games. And I am not entirely certain if that includes games which I bought through other sales expressly because they could be added to Steam.  Seriously, my most wanted game ever could go on a 90% off sale tomorrow, and if I couldn’t add it to my Steam collection, I would seriously consider skipping over it.

The kid I used to be probably would’ve argued that my vast collection, my inability to really exhaust my library in any reasonable amount of time, is a good thing.  But I firmly believe that too much of something can be worse than too little.

Before Steam, I had to carefully pick and choose my games.  Now I just wait for the sale.  I used to play games through thoroughly to get my money’s worth.  Now I have too many choices to pick just one to focus on, and god help that game if it has any slower parts because I will start something else.  Once, I would buy games when I wanted to play them.  Now, I buy them in case I will want to play them.

The end result is clear.  I’ve spent a lot of money I shouldn’t have to amass a collection I either don’t need or don’t yet need and have hardly gotten my money back.  But that ends today and that ends now.

I am instituting a new personal rule.  Anything I am willing to purchase, no matter the discount, should be worth at a minimum five hours of my time.  When compared to going to, buying, or renting a movie, that may be a lot to ask.  But games are games and the good ones soak up your time like sponges.  Case in point, I spent over two full days playing Terraria in its first week – it was that good a game.

I am tired of being stunted by choice and wasting money. Steam sales will continue to own my wallet, but it is time I start owning what I buy.  It is time to start playing games again.

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3 thoughts on “Game Hoarding, Or How to Never Play Videogames Again

  1. This post hit close to home! I’m in the exact same situation. I find that a lot of my games have only had about 5-10 minutes of ‘testing’ time, and that’s it. There are some which I’ve never installed from Steam, or even taken off the wrapping from the box.

    My biggest problems are with series. I always have to own a whole series, even if I’m only in game number 2 out of a 5 game series.

    And I find I never dedicate myself to a game anymore to properly finish it, and with my annoying compulsion to do EVERYTHING in a game, I never ever see the end.

    I’ve been trying to finish Skyrim since November last year, but feel I have to do every little sidequest before finishing the main one (Which I’m trying to change about myself, because if I did the main quest first, then I can consider the game complete and not have to worry if I don’t get time for all the sidequests).

    You pointed out a magical time in our lives in your post. Those times when we were kids and had more time to play less games. We became experts at the games we were lucky to own, which we’ll never be again with any other game.

  2. Thanks for the response.

    That’s the funny thing about a lot of games these days. Games like Skyrim (or really any other game in that series), Minecraft, or anything multiplayer tend to last a lot longer than I remember games lasting as a kid, even after having mastered and explored them thoroughly. Skyrim especially a great example for me because it was one of those games that I had to play. I waited until I was off from school and I dived into it for a period of few weeks without hesitation or reserve. More or less, I played it like a recently released MMO.

    This of course allowed me to knock out all of the Factions and Main Quest line and do enough of the sidequests to get my money’s worth. But similar to your need to own series, I really like owning DLC for games that I’ve played thoroughly, even though a thorough play through once often means I won’t touch it again for years. So Dawnguard has been sitting idle, as has the majority of Fallout New Vegas’s DLC (which is a shame because that is a story and setting I am much more invested in). In the end, whether I play the DLC or not, I still feel guilty that one game gets all of my attention while those other games that I might not have even installed yet sit idle.

  3. Pingback: 5 Hours with From Dust | Game Delver

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