Experience Points: The Chaos Of The Game Backlog
Whilst the last week and half has been characterised by a general bashing of the Xbox One reveal by the core gamer community, I thought that I would take today as a sign to write about something that we all deal with on some level. This beast is simply known as the backlog. I’ve written before about the insurmountable gaming backlog that many gamers have sleepless nights about. This is a daunting reality that many gamers must face with fearsome reserve if they are ever to overcome this spectre, this demon of their gaming’s past life. You have to be honest about admitting the problem first, and spit out the truth like it’s toxic as if your very life depends on the admittance that you’re suffering through the backlog blues. If you feel like a hoarder then it’s time to change. Joking aside, the backlog is one of many gamers’ woes. The question you’re probably wondering is: how I am overcoming the challenge that is the backlog?
The first step was coming to the realisation that I did indeed have a backlog and that it was quite vast. Time did not permit that games could be completed simultaneously, as I had intended with previous purchases, as reality and life are a hard mistress that is unforgiving when it comes to life commitments. The approach I’ve adopted in retrospect of this epiphany was to deal with my backlog by platform, and move forward from there. In my first attempt of challenging the backlog, I tried playing an open world game on my PS3, only to be faced with the mundane sameness that comes with the grind of repetitive errand-based quests that are the staple of open world games.
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I adapted and made my next move, choosing to complete games I was currently playing on my Xbox 360. This has taken me quite awhile, but after completely finishing a couple of games from my Xbox 360 library I felt ecstatic. Currently this leaves around roughly five Xbox 360 games to finish within my backlog. Fighting the impulse to purchase new games has been the greatest hardship of coming to terms with my backlog. At present, I have now decided to complete a slew of PS3 exclusives that I have coveted for so long, and now have the chance to play. This time around I made a concerted effort to pursue linear games before diving into time consuming open world games and RPGs. Funnily enough, I had one PS3 game that I hadn’t fully completed, which was an open world game nonetheless, namely inFamous, and I’m currently finishing my playthrough of the game, and am thoroughly enjoying it. After finishing inFamous, I plan to play through a host of linear titles and after tackling enough games I will pursue my collection of open world games with the utmost resolve.
When your backlog grows, you may become more anxious than usual. I certainly did and felt that I had outdone myself by purchasing game after game. I soon came to terms with the idea that I may not enjoy every game that I have bought, and that it was within reason to not be smitten with a game that others swoon over as if the holy grail of videogames. As a gamer, you have your own tastes and you should play games that you’re highly interested in. This is a factor which I feel is of central importance when demolishing a backlog of games.
If you don’t enjoy a game, persuading yourself that it’s your own problem and that the game is actually a godsend, but you can’t grasp it, is both a waste of time and an excuse to procrastinate by mulling over a game. Wasting time is counter-effective and new games are being released continuously, in contrast to those ruminating over how much they hate a particular game. If you for some reason do not have the spirit and motivation to play a game, try another game and attempt a different playthrough. I am certain that you’ll be surprised and find other games worthy of your precious time.
Now I feel a greater surge of motivation than before and my backlog which once seemed insurmountable, and a shackle, to myself as a gamer, is now a collection that I look forward to. When you change your outlook on your backlog, it is not as scary as it first seemed. However, I do recommend not adding more games to your backlog, as you might find yourself among chaos once more.