The curse of the backlog

About a year and a half ago, I opened an account on backloggery.com, a website that allows you to catalog and keep track of your beaten and unbeaten games. My intention back then was to get back into gaming after five intense years of engineering school. I had just secured a job for after graduation and had politely declined the leadership positions I was offered from my student organizations. Senior year, I decided, would be the time to reclaim my life and get back to doing the things I loved: reading, writing, and playing video games.

Unfortunately, this was much easier said than done, and for several reasons. The remainder of the school year sped by, and before I knew it I was graduating with a BE in electrical engineering and facing a full-time position at a major bank. It was at that point I discovered the reality that, even as an adult, time is a scarce resource. Work eats up most of your time, for sure. Then on the weekends you want to go out, or risk feeling like you wasted all of your free time sitting in front of a computer. On weeknights time gets split between free time, errands (gotta do the groceries when you live on your own!) and spending time with your friends. And then there are the nights you’re simply too tired to care about anything.

But worst of all, battling the backlog is about battling your own desire to buy new games. Sounds silly, I’m sure, but consider the Steam sales where you can basically buy a year’s worth of games for about $2. Or consider the Humble Bundle offers where you can literally pay nothing to get good games. Sadly, a cluttered library full of unplayed games is the reality for many gamers.

Thus, I created this blog as motivation to get back on track and actually finish out my backlog. Here I will post reports on my progress in addition to my thoughts on beating games, being an adult gamer, and the gaming industry in general. As of today, I have 75 unbeaten or unplayed games in my library. Not bad, really. There are people who have it a lot worse, anyway. If I’m good with not buying any new games, I may have it done in a year’s time. If not…. well, we’ll see.

For now, here are some rules I will be following:

  1. You can find my full catalog on backloggery.com, though I will also be keeping a running list on this site.
  2. The goal is to beat the games, but if I feel it can be reasonably done, I will also try to complete it. See backloggery.com if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
  3. Some of the games on my backlog are actually owned by my brother, though I tend to include them all for completion. I might choose to drop them later if I realize I’m really not into them at all.
  4. I own several sports games by random chance, but let’s face it – I don’t consider them real games, and neither do you probably. I doubt I’ll be playing them any time soon, so most of them are excluded from the list.
  5. In general, if I start a game, I like to finish it. This might include games I started with my room mates (such as Gears of War or Heavy Rain) that I don’t actually own, but would still like to say I finished.
  6. Some games are unbeatable by their very nature (ie. my Atari games). The rule I follow is that if the game doesn’t have implicit goals, then I won’t make up any for them.
  7. Browser and mobile games do not count. I barely play them regardless.

I’m sure more rules will follow, so keep an eye on the About page for the most up to date information. Also, I’m still on a basic WordPress template right now, but I’m hoping o improve the look of the site in the coming days. For now, the content is what’s important. Who knows what my backlog will look like a year from now, but here’s to hoping my number that the number is down, not up.

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