Regular readers will already be familiar with our “gaming piles o’ shame” over there on The Mantelpiece. Sir Gaulian’s backlog is mightily more impressive than mine, but both are nothing to be sniffed at. Put simply, we have far more games than we have time to play them.
This is a frustrating situation to be in. We have all those brilliant games sitting there, but there just simply isn’t the time to sit and play through them all, especially considering that some of the longer ones may well take 50 hours or more to finish. That’s great value for money, but terrible if you want to sample everything good that’s out there.
It’s also a source of anxiety. There are just so many great games that are worthy of my time and that I really want to play, but I can only play a fraction of them, and I fret about which game to move onto next because I know that some will perhaps never get their time in the sun. It’s a subject I’ve touched on before. Some might call this a ‘first world dilemma’, but I think that would be dismissing it a bit too easily… there’s always some deep-seated reason for genuine human emotion.
I decided to dig into the psychology of gaming backlogs. Not much has been written on the subject, but there was plenty on how people get backlogs in the first place – i.e. the psychology of selling – and there were a few interesting things about how people deal with the similar matter of never being able to read all of the worthwhile books that have been published. I put it all together and put it into this article for Kotaku UK:
It all got pretty deep by the end.
But judging by the comments, it’s a subject that quite a few people have thought about and indeed worry about. So many games, so little time…