Oh Backlog, My Backlog

Twenty-seven. That’s the number of games I own that I haven’t completed, and that doesn’t even count free “Games With Gold” titles. New games. Old games. Some haven’t even made it into their respective systems. They span five platforms. And, boy, do they weigh on me.

I’m not alone in this. Many gamers have a “backlog” of video games that, for whatever reason, they haven’t gotten to yet. There are entire websites devoted to tracking backlogs. They start because, sometimes, new games come out more quickly than players can get through them. Other times, it’s because gamers have stumbled onto gems they missed the first time around.

And sales. Sales can do a lot to separate a gamer from his or her money. Steam sales are killer. This past Black Friday? I can count three games alone I picked up on that day. If I see a game go on sale at a really good price, I’ll pick it up — even though I may not get around to playing it until that game is discounted anyway.

I know I’m digging myself a hole, here. Using data from HowLongToBeat, I figured out that my backlog would take approximately 385 hours to get through — and that’s just main story modes. If I decided to go off on some side missions, or if I decided I wanted to be a completionist, I’d need way more time than that.

385 hours. That would be 16 days of 24-hour gaming. That is crazy.

So my question to anyone in a similar predicament out there is… how do you avoid it? Or can’t you? Is it possible to be current with your game collection, or is a backlog just a fact of life?

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I’ve considered putting some rules in place, but even then, I’m not sure I could follow them. Buying based on reviews would mean trusting the taste of others, and with games, that isn’t always the best idea. Buying based on hype? Watch Dogs taught us not to do that.

But buying isn’t the only problem. Playing is, too. How much time should you put into a game before you move on? If you can’t get into a game early, should you can it and move along? Or should you play through to the very end, even if you aren’t enjoying it?

I’d love to know how you all handle this. Leave some (constructive) ideas, please.

About the author

— Shawn Farner

Shawn Farner is a Harrisburg-based tech blogger who has been involved in online media for over eight years. He covers consumer electronics, Web companies, and gaming.

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