I Won’t Call It a Backlog

If you’ve spent any time around gamers (and if you haven’t, how the heck did you end up here?) sooner or later, someone’s going to mention their backlog. Hell, I used to talk about my backlog all the time; all those games I picked up here and there for pennies on the dollar that I might – or might not – get around to playing.

But the more I thought about it, the more the negative connotations of the word backlog started to get to me.

backlog (noun) - an accumulation of something, especially uncompleted work or matters that need to be dealt with.

Here’s where my issue comes in – “uncompleted work or matters that need to be dealt with“. Doesn’t it make you a little bit sad to think of all of those glorious games yet to be played as nothing more than matters that need to be dealt with – or worse, work???

While I totally understand – and agree – that language evolves past classic definitions, I prefer to look at my collection of games as a library. I can take out any volume and spend time with it as I please. I feel like it’s ok to have things on my shelves that interested me at one time, but no longer do.

I’m sure there was a time when I actually believed I would play every single game I ever acquired. Now, I’ve almost given up on knowing what I already have. I started building my Steam library ten years ago, and started purchasing on GoG the next year. I have games on Origin, Uplay, Twitch, the Bethesda launcher, Battlenet, and yes, even Epic.

My Steam Profile (from SteamDB)

Worth: $23490 ($5973 with sales)

Games owned: 2470

I have yet to find a simple way to track it all (although I have high hopes for GoG Galaxy 2.0). Even if you take my old collection of physical PC games, mobile games, and the few XBox 360 titles we still have lying around out of the equation, my library still contains around 3000 individual pieces of digital gaming history.

I think I’m happier with both the time I spend gaming and the time I don’t spend gaming now that I’ve made a conscious decision to look at my unplayed games in a new way. Do you get bogged down by your backlog? Are you comfortable with how many games you own that you just haven’t gotten around to? Do you feel like it makes gaming more or less enjoyable when you’re spoiled for choice?

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7 thoughts on “I Won’t Call It a Backlog

  1. I do feel a bit sad thinking of all the great games I started but haven’t finished yet (thanks ADD! :p) and the others I have yet to start.

    I am trying to play what I can though as much as I can. But as far as making them less enjoyable? Not really. I like to have options. I just wish we could go for 5 years with crap game releases so I could make an actual dent on my backlog. :p

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    1. Unfinished (good) games bug me a little, if I’m completely honest, but I’ve gotten very comfortable abandoning games I don’t like, and with games I have yet to play.

      Still, I’m much happier now that I’m not always thinking about what ELSE I could be playing; those games will still be there when I get around to them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I am definitely better at abandoning games that don’t work for me too. I just chalk them to a loss and move on.

        Then there are games that I didn’t appreciate back in the days because of my mindset was… well, a lot more limited, let’s put it that way, and now I’d like to give them a proper chance. The only problem is some of those old games the controls and/or UI didn’t age well at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was about to write a longer comment that I think will be better served as a post later, so I’ll say thank you for two things – that idea and having a larger “backlog” than me!

    I agree on the language aspect as well, for sure – when I say I have a “backlog” of games, it feels like a chore, something that has to be dealt with, which isn’t really the case. Someday, I’ll go back for some of them – late last year I finished the Hotline Miami series after owning the first game for about 5 years without ever having launched it. I liked having that choice, and when I came back for the game, it was a great experience and I am glad to have the ability to summon up a new (old) experience like that on a whim.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. quietschisto

    That’s a good thought! I’m always for thinking about the way we talk about things and what they actually insinuate. It’s the same way with “beating” a game. The game is not your enemy…

    Like

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