As much as I love games, sometimes I just run out of time to play. Recently, I went almost two weeks without gaming, which would have been more torturous had I not been on vacation. And with desirable games coming out at least twice a month for me, I have trouble keeping up with them all.
I understand some people play only a single game at a time. They spend a solid week or two navigating that game from start to finish, and then they set the game on their “beat” shelf and move on to the next game. It’s an orderly, efficient system. It must feel good to be so skilled at finishing games like that.
There’s a part of me that would love to do that too, but I’m too distracted by old games. Sure, I’ll play BioShock Infinite the day its released, but later that week, I want to dive back into Mass Effect 2, just because I can and because I love it and stuff.
So I’m playing two games at once. And then, two weeks later, I get a gift card to a video game store and purchase the Tomb Raider reboot. And I forgot that I bought Skyrim a few weeks ago to start a new playthrough of it, which has been sorely neglected ever since. Not only that, but I also have to keep a game going on my Nintendo 3DS, and that game is currently Fire Emblem: Awakening.
So let’s fast forward to when I have a few hours to myself, which I designate as gaming time. What do I play first? The sheer number of choices is overwhelming, and my Steam library is getting fat, fast.
Fortunately, I don’t have trouble keeping the storylines straight when I play several games at once, but my progress in each slows to a crawl. Didn’t I just say I purchased and launched BioShock Infinite as soon as it was released? Well, that was in March, and I only just finished the game a couple weeks ago. All that chatter about the mind-blowing ending was left unseen; I caught up on blog posts discussing it just last week, but it felt too late to participate in any of the comment box conversations.
I’m just way too behind.
I’m still working my way through Tomb Raider. There are several other new games that I want to play but won’t get around to until later this summer. I probably won’t pick up The Last of Us for a few months, simply because I have so many other games that take priority for me, personally.
But the problems I have with my gaming backlog make me wonder if I’m handling all of this right. Instead of scattering myself across several games at once, it would be so much more efficient to pick just one game and be monogamous to it. Because when I finished BioShock Infinite last month, I felt so satisfied… and then I wondered why I didn’t finish it ages ago, like normal gamers do. Or maybe every game has this problem sometimes.
Then I remember. Not finishing it sooner had something to do with Mass Effect 3’s Citadel DLC, a new playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins, my reviews for Population GO, my neverending questing in Fire Emblem: Awakening, the new Tomb Raider… and, deep down, the fact that a part of me never wants to say good bye to a good thing.