Backlogging : How Not To Become A Video Game Hoarder
Are you one those who just keeps on stacking and stacking their games?
Let’s start with the definition of Backlog:
- an accumulation of uncompleted work, unsold stock, etc, to be dealt with
- (mainly US & Canadian) a large log at the back of a fireplace
Yeah, no…I’m not writing an article about the art of living in Canada in the winter and how to attend to a fireplace. Or am I? (I’m really not)
”The accumulation of uncompleted work” might ring a bell in some of our heads. As gamers, there are sometimes too many games to play and not enough hours in a week. Some of us still go to school, others work, and some even do both – man, I don’t miss that time. It can be hard to juggle all those responsibilities as well as friend and family gatherings.
I’ll come clean to you guys, I have well over 20 games in my backlog right now. I know it’s not that much, as some of my friends have more than double this amount, or even triple, but I still wanted to take some time and share that with you.
Let’s take a look at my list real quick. I bought Bloodborne on Boxing Day – It’s the Canadian Black Friday. One of my friend lent me Phantom Hourglass and Majora’s Mask for 3DS. I just bought Pokémon Blue and as I am writing this, I just realized that I haven’t finished Alpha Sapphire and Soul Silver yet. I bought Bayonetta 2 and played it twice, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze as well…all that and I haven’t talked about my pile of discounted games I was able to scavenge through Steam! Ouff…
How did I get sidetrack from those games so quickly? All of those games are wonderful! I should go play them right now! I should stop writing this line and – – –
Yeah, no…I won’t leave you like that. I promised you in the title that I had a solution. A solution to not become buried under a pile virtual wonders. I’ll even give you five easy tricks to follow!
1. Buy only what you know you will play
Yeah that one is easy, duh! Once you put a clear limit on the table, you won’t buy more that you can chew. I know for a fact that I won’t have the patience for the Witcher 3; many told me that this game is superb. A compelling story, great gameplay, beautiful graphics, etc. But you know what? I don’t have time right now. I’ll buy it later!
2. Play the waiting game
Stores drop their prices so quickly nowadays. If you buy a game on Day One and play it only for three months, you will lose money. In those 90 days, the game will either be at a lower price, be in the discount bin or sometimes, you will be able to buy it from a friend! Let them pay for your hobby! (cue evil laugh)
3. Steam Summer and Winter Sales are your enemy!
Well, it isn’t really. Hang on
3.1 Don’t buy EVERYTHING during Steam Summer and Winter Sales
The best trick I can tell you is to set up a budget. If you don’t want to buy the whole store, set up a limit for how much you want to spend on the sale. Anyhow most of the games on sale that day will be on sale during the next big event probably six months from now, and maybe even for less. Unless it’s related to ducks…Buy everything that is duck-related!
4. Finish your plate (or you can’t have any pudding)
Finish, or at least play heavily the game you just bought before buying something else. I know some RPGs will take more than two or three sitting to complete all the sidequests and achievements – I’m looking at you Metal Gear Solid 5. I won’t finish it right away, but at least I have played the main campaign before getting something else.
5. A game a month keeps the Dr. Mario away
This one is a little tricky! In fact, I’m struggling to follow that rule myself. It’s simple: one game a month. With that rule, not only will I spend less on games, but I will also have time to play some of my backlogged ones too! Thanks to that rule I am sharing with you today, I was able to finish Yoshi’s Wooly World with my girlfriend this month, as well as finish my old Shovel Knight save file. That game was so good!
Bonus: Don’t buy DLC for an unplayed game.
Yeah, I’m guilty for that one also. I have all the characters on Smash 4 and I’m not even playing it any more. I guess I’ll get back to it someday, but…you know, <3 Bayonetta <3
Ps: I am a very busy fellow. I’m not often at home and most of the time I spend it to eat, sleep and write. Those tricks are more oriented for people with little time like me. If you have time to play fifteen games at the same time, than by all means, do it! You do you buddy!
So there you go! I know that most of that information was pretty basic, but those tricks helped me on my spending habits.
While talking to friends about backlogging, I realized something; it’s a great problem to have. Not having enough time to play all the great games that comes out means that there are A TON of great games on the market. As an industry, and a community, I think we should be proud that one of our problems is that there are too many great games. Not all industries can tell the same. I’m looking at you Hollywood!