Revisiting The Backlog Part 2: When Having Less Games You Want Means More Attention On The Ones You Own

One of the great burdens of being an adult is weighing your options to make the best possible decision. Is this really a need or a want? With the world being what it is these days, those choices are crucial to ensure you have enough in your savings to pay bills, meet basic necessities, and still have enough for those just in case emergencies. Buying the latest video game release would be far below anyone’s list of priorities right now, if you have the extra money to spare. If you’re a gamer cutting back on purchasing games on a whim for any number of reasons, the ever daunting backlog becomes increasingly useful to have when saving money is what’s more important at the moment.

I wrote how lockdown has made it easier to return to my backlog when the time wasn’t always there pre-pandemic. Time has always been a struggle for me, and I did attempt to set a noble goal to play one video game in a month. My video game month challenges eventually came to an end because it got increasingly difficult to fit in time during a weeknight or weekend to play the game I had chosen. It eventually caused a bit of fatigue to force myself to play when I may not always be in the mood. Since then I took a more laid back approach to gaming—playing when I felt like it without feeling restricted to the limitations I set upon myself.

While doing activities that make it worthwhile to take part in the outside world—museums, movies, dining indoors, travel to foreign countries—are still off the table, this leaves the door wide open for a little more gaming than before.

You might think having five months to play more video games means having completed at least two or more during that time period. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for me. When I decided to play The Witcher 2, with a little of Breath of the Wild in between, it occurred to me my choices were games that were lengthier and more involved than others. Both are open world fantasy games with plenty of side quests or main story quests to keep you busy for hours.

I would like to say all my gaming hours have been devoted to these two particular games, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons has made it very difficult to tear myself away for even a moment. Despite the occasional distraction, thanks to New Horizons, I am glad there isn’t much in the way of new releases I personally want right now. The reasons why are simple:

  1. The few games I may be interested in can wait until there’s a deep discount on the game.
  2. The game of the moment (Ghost of Tsushima) is on a console I don’t own (PS4).

These reasons alone helps me stick with the games I’ve got, and they have grown considerably in the last 11 years. The impulse to buy more games than you’ll ever be able to play in your lifetime is irrational and crazy, but we still do it anyway. I’m glad those impulses have been tempered a bit, maybe with age or a shrewd practicality that develops more and more when other serious considerations come to the forefront.

I no longer feel the pressure to play every single buzzed about game of the year. I may like to play it, if it’s on a console I have, but I’ve learned to be okay with not getting to every video game. Let’s be honest, I may not even get to play all the games I have in my backlog. But I have a collection worthy of my time and attention, even if the games I play are nine years too old while the gamer next to me is happily playing Ghost of Tsushima.

Do you find yourself playing more games in your backlog or are you tempted by the new releases coming out each month?

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