What Extreme Organization Looks Like: Creating A Spreadsheet For Your Video Games

Spending a month and counting at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus can and will eventually take its toll on you. Maybe you’re starting to feel extreme cabin fever, despite every effort you make to go on the occasional walk while social distancing. Or maybe you’re just plain bored out of your mind after doing everything that could possibly keep you busy. I’m doing fine for the most part, and haven’t snapped from the confinement. But I do think all this time indoors has started affecting me in weird ways. What is it you ask? I’ve created an inventory of my video games.

You might be wondering why on earth would I want to create a spreadsheet of my video games? Has all the writing, gaming, book reading, and Netflix watching finally gotten too boring for me? Not exactly. A month into the statewide shelter in place in New York has yet to really make me bored of my current hobbies. It’s probably because I rotate between all of them that I hardly feel bored. In fact, I can’t wait until my work week is over so I can figure out how I want to indulge in all of my interests. No, the reason for my sudden compulsion to list all my video games in a neat and easy to read Google spreadsheet comes from an offhand comment my older sister made.

About a few weeks ago when she came to visit me for my birthday, my sister was perusing the stack of video games in my room. She mentioned how she wanted to buy me a video game for my birthday, but had no idea what game I currently have or didn’t have yet. FYI, my sister opted to just give me an Amazon gift card to buy my own video game.

Staring long and hard at my collection of video games, my sister said, “You should make a spreadsheet of all the video games you have. It’ll be easier to know what you already own.”

At the time I was looking up something on the computer and I mostly dismissed her with a hand wave and a “Yeah, yeah.” But when she left the next day to go back to her apartment in Brooklyn, something about her suggestion still sat with me.

After finishing a day of writing one Sunday morning, I took a look at the stack of games sitting off to one side in my room. With my laptop still on and open on my bed I created a new Google spreadsheet, creating columns for title, platform, played, unplayed, and partially played. Before I knew it I was going through every physical copy of the video games I owned, filling out the sections I laid out on the spreadsheet. When I finished recording those, I moved onto the digital copies next.

This is what happens when you have too much extra time on your hands during quarantine.

The process was a bit tedious, and I did wonder out loud why I was even doing this at all. Did I really need to have a spreadsheet of all my video games? Yes and no. The spreadsheet has been extremely helpful in keeping track of the games I had. When I went through a plastic bin of video games I had stored there, I took out games I haven’t played in months or years. Some I forgot I had at all. Looking at some of these old games felt like I was going through a photo album of memories full of warm and happy gaming experiences. I couldn’t believe how much time had gone by since I played Kirby’s Epic Yarn, or fell in love with Alistair for the first time in Dragon Age Origins. But then the deeper I went into listing every single title in my possession I was starting to think this was a strange and weird project I never would have done, if we weren’t in the middle of a global pandemic. I didn’t have the time before the pandemic nor would I have the energy and motivation to bother. Like I said, being stuck inside for an indefinite amount of time can make you do things you probably wouldn’t have dreamed of doing before.

Dedicating some time to make this spreadsheet of my video games has proven to be mostly beneficial despite the pain of putting it together. I now have an easier time of ticking off the games I have played to full satisfaction, or figuring out which of the unplayed or partially played ones could use some of my attention. Also, when anyone asks me what video games do I have, all I have to do is simply share my handy dandy spreadsheet to put that answer to rest.

It pays to be a super organized person, and I have my sister to thank for activating that part of my brain that likes to make things neat and tidy.

Are there any strange activities or projects you have been doing during your time inside that you probably wouldn’t have done before?

4 thoughts on “What Extreme Organization Looks Like: Creating A Spreadsheet For Your Video Games

  1. Hmm…the other day we alphabetized all our video games (and movies), does that count? 😅 I keep a running spreadsheet that simply lists the games I’ve played over the years on individual systems, however, your idea is inspiring! A long time ago, I signed up for one of those gaming sites that helps you keep track of your backlog/games played, but I never really used it. Keeping track using a spreadsheet seems much more manageable.

    1. I think it counts! Not sure I’m ambitious enough to start physically alphabetizing my games and movies. I’ll have to draw a line there. 😛 But after I finished putting this spreadsheet together, it’s a lot better than eyeballing my games and trying to think of what I currently have. And a spreadsheet alphabetizes everything instantly! It’s a pain to put together, but worth it once it’s all done. I’m amazed by how many games I truly do have when I thought I didn’t have that much. Mind blown!

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