It’s time again for Ask Kotaku, the weekly feature in which Kotaku-ites ponders a single burning question. Then we ask for your opinion.
This week we ask Kotaku: How big is your backlog?
Not too big I think. I’ve played Civilization VIbecause I find it comforting what was a major way to decompress this year and last, but sometimes I forgot to clean up my backlog. I bought quite a lot Wolfenstein
Should be a pretty simple calculation here. Start all the games, subtract the ones I haven’t finished yet, the rest is my backlog. So something like five? Oh wait, maybe I could have miscalculated.
I have to sit down and seriously examine my backlog. If I include all of the games that I would like to play but not yet, that’s huge. If I limit myself to games that I’ve played but have to go back and quit, that’s a lot Disgaea, most of the 3D studio RPGs – basically a lot of longer games that I gave up in favor of smaller, tighter, and faster games. Considering the length of the Disgaea I’m not sure I have enough time in my life to end them all. Desolate, but at some point in a person’s life they start to picture what’s left and I don’t have time to upgrade anime characters from level one to a thousand to make them viable party members.
In this sense, I give myself a hard limit. My backlog is allowed 25 games. Japanese role-playing games count as two. Disgaea Games count as three.
Before we get into a question like “How big is your backlog?” To deal with, I think it is crucial to answer broader questions like “What is a backlog?” To answer. or “Why is there a backlog?” It is clear that every person who plays video games has one to some degree, which means that it is a pervasive problem. Why does this always happen? And what can we do to help everyone you know deal with this widespread problem? I’m just distracting you from the fact that my own backlog numbers are somewhere in the double digits – including games like Spiritfarer, Blue fire, Brave Standard 2, Hitman 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Lost Words: Beyond the Side, Guard dogs: Legion, Yakuza: Like a dragon, Nioh 2, Unruly heroes, The medium, and Death squareplus two extensions each for The outer worlds, Immortal Fenyx Rising, and Eternal fate– Are you sure you will climb higher in the coming weeks? May be. Maybe not. I will never tell!
My backlog is massive. It’s a huge mass that I’m trying not to think about. I’m terrible at finishing games, which makes it difficult to actually progress in order to close my deficit. But I’m also terrible at trying new things. I’ve seen some shows and movies about a dozen times, but the pressure of starting a new show or sitting for two hours with a movie that I don’t know I like? Dreadful. The same thing happens to me and games. Instead, I look to consolation games like Stardew Valley to pass the time. It’s a personal failure.
I have two arrears. One is made up of games I own that I haven’t played or finished yet. That’s a large, but still manageable, list of games. Stuff like Spirit of Tsushima, some DLC, and a few minor games that I bought but never played.
The less manageable and much, much larger deficit consists of games that I still need, want or should play. I have recently begun to cross this list off for our current ones Arrears month. Stuff like Quake 4, Unreal 2and other older games that are not loved but that I want to play anyway. I have so many indie games here too. They look great, people tell me they’re great, and yet I have so many other great games that steal my free time that I rarely get them.
I sometimes think about how small my backlog was when I was younger. Before a job, on vacation from school, with a pile of old and new PS2 games and nothing else to do. I remember playing and finishing every game I got my hands on and often repeating it a few times after that. I miss these times. But now I also have money and my own space, so I’ll take that plus two big arrears.
Larger than I can handle in the one human lifespan I can afford, I realized. As I get older I think a lot about how we are only on this planet for a limited amount of time and we have to make conscious choices about how we will spend that time. I have fun at parties! Do you remember this Yes, me neither.
Anyway, thoughts like that tend to undermine great long-running plans, like “I’m definitely going to do a full playthrough of the main line.” Dragon Quest one day games. “Also, most attempts to target my attention one way or another fail, and I take a more chaotic approach where a game suddenly comes to my mind and is fun, and when I’m in the right mood and in the right place I can just start it up and start playing, I started recently Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, Anger, Enderal, The first tree (free Epic Store Dealie) and Abadox for this very reason. ((Final Fantasy XV also, but side quest mania may have ended my run there.) I also just recorded an Oculus Quest 2 and am thrilled with the variety of VR experiences waiting to be sampled and rated.
Then beyond games there is movies and music and books and television and of course the internet … It’s all so much! One of my constant challenges is figuring out how to balance media consumption with actual life in the world in a way that works for me and supports my bigger goals, rather than letting an insatiable sense of FOMO chase me down. It’s hard to break out of the ultra-consumer mindset, but does it align with my values and how I would like to live my life when I give such a high priority to media consumption? I have to conclude that it is not. Ultimately, I find the concept of a gaming backlog to be suffocating and unhelpful. I would do well not to fall into this framework when I think of games that are not played.
How about you?
KotakuIt’s weighed up, but you may have some backlogged thoughts that you can relieve yourself of. Share with us! We’ll be back next Monday to deliberate and debate another nerdy topic. See you in the comments!