Content of the article: "You’re not going to finish all of your games, so stop trying. Enjoy each day at a time."
There have been various versions of this post over the years, but I've been thinking about it a lot in the last few days and wanted to put down my thoughts. This is one of the friendliest and most wholesome subs I'm a part of, so I thought you guys may find something of use in it.
Earlier this week, I woke up really sick. Had a 101.5F fever (38.6C for my metric friends) body aches, head ache…totally miserable. I felt like it was hard to breathe, though it was maybe an anxiety response. Got to urgent care, got a COVID test…was negative. Spent one day absolutely miserable and the next day I was feeling like I'd been hit by a truck, but my other symptoms were gone. Probably had some 24 hour virus of some other kind.
During the time where I thought I had COVID and was going to die (I know this would be somewhat unlikely for me, but I have health-focused anxiety), one of the things I kept thinking about is how I have so many games I've wanted to play that I haven't played yet. I'll never have played my way through Chrono Trigger (didn't have an SNES, haven't got it on Steam) or FF7, or any number of other "must plays".
I thought about how I'd "wasted" lots of time in Path of Exile or Warframe or No Man's Sky, games with "no end" while I "neglected" other games in my "backlog".
But then I thought about how a few years ago when I had been laid off, I played games like 8+ hours a day. We had just had our second kid so I was playing during his naps at first, but then we had to put him in daycare or else lose our reserved spot, so I was at home from like 9-3 with no responsibilities, and then I also played some at night when the kids were in bed.
During that time, for almost an entire year, I got through something like 15-20 games. Granted, I like to play RPGs and such so some of those games were things like Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2, Divinity Original Sin 1, Witcher 3, Dragon Age Inquisition, Baldur's Gate 1, and XCOM2, but some of them were also exceedingly short like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. I also don't beeline for the end and do a lot of exploring, so that does take up time. But the point is that it isn't like with almost no other responsibilities during a majority of the day I wasn't able to "catch up" on my backlog. In fact, due to humble bundles, steam discounts, and other giveaways, I think my overall backlog got LARGER.
Most of us don't have the luxury of zero responsibilities. Most of us have some kind of family or job or school to take care of, and sometimes all of those at once. Most days, once the kids are in bed at 8, I give time with the wife to watch a show or two, so from maybe 10p to 12a (if I'm not exhausted) I can game.
With a free game or two coming in from Epic every week (even if you only play one in five or ten of them) that's still really hard to keep up with, let alone games that you actually want and buy, either on discount or at release (for games where multiplayer communities are important).
But the more I thought about it, the more I started to think about how "games as a service" is a thing, and despite some of the pitfalls of it, how it may make more sense for our mental health.
You don't go to a library and feel overwhelmed and upset because there are a bajillion books there that you might like and you'll never read all of them. You pick a few books and you read them as you have time, and then you get more. You don't go on Netflix and feel shitty because you haven't watched every single series and movie you might ever like…you watch something you feel like that day.
I think we all need to approach gaming more like that. There will ALWAYS be more games out there than we're able to play, and even if gaming were your literal job you probably wouldn't be able to catch up or keep up.
So since it's impossible, instead enjoy each day, each hour of your gaming. If you're not having fun and doing something "just to finish the game"…that's stupid. You only have so much life to live, and so many hours to enjoy that life. Don't spend it doing something you don't even like when you have the choice to do something you do like.
I hope maybe I've said something new or insightful compared to previous posts like this. If not, then I hope maybe it still gave you pause about any feelings of guilt or negativity regarding "having a backlog".
We don't have backlogs…we have libraries with games available when we're ready.
- I’ve been replaying old games over new games recently and I just wanted to get it off my chest.
- Feeling down for quite some time now, any game suggestions that are good pick me ups?
- Deleting games from my library increased my enjoyment of playing other games immensely
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