If We Want To Play A Game We Already Own, Why Do We Not Play It?

on the internet no one knows you're a dog

Allow me to begin by saying, today, I could not for the life of me, come up with proper images to put to this piece. So I decided to use random husky memes (and one personal photo at the end) to punctuate my thoughts instead. Neither has anything to do with the other, but hopefully, amusement is involved.

I was thinking about my current game challenge to play four survival horror games this month, and how poorly it is going. Which got me to thinking about why. Why, if I want to play these games so much, am I not sealing the deal?

Honestly, I don’t know. There isn’t a good reason. And that’s not a good reason.

dude wait what

A lot of the comments I read on gaming sites, especially on Fridays, are from people who intend to get to their backlogs. This is a noble endeavor, to play games we already own, yet so often the good intentions lead to a whole lot of not getting to the backlog.

Why is that?

For some folks, I know it comes down to not having enough time, and that’s a reason I can get behind. If you don’t have time to play all the games you own, then so be it. That’s just a facts-of-life sort of situation.

i forgot how to dog

But, speaking for myself, that’s not the issue I have. I am fortunate enough to not have excessive time constraints on my playing. Yet the majority of my backlog remains untouched.

I’ve worked around this issue by slowing my roll on buying new games (I’ve been getting better at this over the past year), yet I still buy them here and there.

And what gets me most about my backlog is when a game slips into it that shouldn’t.

hyper awake  hyper asleep

Case in point: The Witcher 3.

I couldn’t wait for the game to release to the point that I pre-ordered it. I picked it up at early midnight release. I started in on it that night. And I played it like crazy until the major glitches hit. I figured I would hold off until they were patched so I didn’t lose progress or something equally unsavory.

But something happened: I never got back to it. Or, rather, I haven’t gotten back to it yet.

But this is a crap reason.

I adored the game. I genuinely want to get back to it, and yet I haven’t, even though the issues have since been patched.

And why? It would be easy to say it is because of my monthly gaming challenges (which, in all fairness, do take some time), but if I really wanted to play it, wouldn’t I just hunker down and play it?

I think so.

you can't see my i'm a flower

On a completely different scale, the same thing happened to me with Pokemon X. I pre-ordered it. I picked it up at release, and I played the heck out of it for several days, and I still have no idea why I didn’t finish it. I was having an excellent time.

So I ask myself: did I just not want to play it as much as I thought I did? Or is something wrong with the completionist in me and my gaming brain?

I can’t imagine that’s it. Yet I don’t have a good reason.

penguin husky

I don’t think I’m alone at the times I “get serious” about working on my backlog. I have every honest intention of knocking it out (at least, in decent-sized chunks), and managing my time in a more efficient manner so I can make progress a bit more quickly. But then the whole thing starts to feel like an endless slog, and that should never be what video games are.

How much simpler things were when I was younger and had all of like five games for my NES so I never had to worry about not getting to one of them. I played them over and over. And over.

pure bread husky

So thinking about this, I realize that if I want to play something, I should just get down to brass tacks and play it. I should play it loud and proud and with all the gusto and verve I am capable of. Because I love games. And I want to have those experiences. For me, those experiences are what it’s all about.

So with that, I ask you, why do you think you have a backlog? Or, if you don’t have a backlog, how do you manage it so well? I’d love to hear about it.

And with that, I leave you with one of my favorite photos of our husky, Cloud.

He has no backlog.

Have an excellent weekend, friends. Cheers!

cloud up close

10 replies »

  1. For the most part yes,I wanted to go back to the witcher 3 once I finished Arkham knight but I got kinda sidetracked by mortal kombat x.


  2. I know what you’re talking about. Sometimes even when I’m certain that I’m going to enjoy a particular game, I just don’t get around to it. If it is a huge open-world game for instance, the time commitment may be intimidating, but of course, time can be made for such things.

    Mostly, I believe it comes down to whether or not you truly want to engage with the given title the moment that you look at it on your shelf. Sometimes the answer is just no, and that’s okay. As much as I love games, sometimes there will be something else that is drawing my attention, so I do whatever is going to bring me enjoyment in that moment.

    The backlog and those great games will always be there when I definitively want to play, and I know that’s when I will enjoy them the most.

    Oh, and I just have to say, those images really cracked me up! Thanks for that! :P


    • I am exactly the same about open-world games. I am sort of in this predicament with the Witcher. I want to dive back in, but I know how huge the world is and how many hours can be sunk into it. It’s daunting.

      As much as I agree about being in the mood for certain games, there’s also something to be said for just diving into a game at any moment. Sometimes the “right” time won’t present itself, at least in my experience.

      And thank you! I was a wee bit amused with them as well. :)


  3. As a kid I had plenty of free time and few games, so I played the crap out of the ones I had. As an adult the situation has inverted. Not that I have plenty of money, but I definitely have much less free time. I’ve been able to afford way more games than I have time to play. And there are so many amazing games that seem to release with scary regularity. That being said, with a bit more diligence I could certainly be less backlogged than I am now, if not completely free (it’s probably too late for that).

    As Johnn117 said, sometimes you end up not being in the mood for the games on your shelf that you haven’t played yet. Valid excuse or not, it’s a huge part of the problem for me and it’s not always just about the game in question. Sometimes after a stressful day, when I need the recreation provided by a game the most, I simply can’t find the motivation to fire it up. While it’s true that they’ll always be there when I’m ready, so will numerous additional games that release in the meantime. So I guess I just need to prioritize my time better, I know I need to. If I’d truly rather play games then whatever activities (usually TV) I settle for when I don’t feel up to playing, maybe I should work harder to fight that lack of motivation. How many times, after starting a game when I don’t feel like it, am I likely to be glad I did? My guess is a lot.

    Fight the backlog!


    • That seems to be the plight of adulthood, doesn’t it? Finally enough money to buy into all those experiences, and not enough time to HAVE them. Talk about a catch 22.

      I hear that. There are so many games I want to play in theory, but in actuality, I don’t get to them. And I have no good excuse!

      I think that is great advice, so I’m going to steal it and give it to myself. Because you’re right, I’m betting I’m just about always going to be glad I started a game. What am I waiting for? If I overthink it, I will never do anything. At all. That seems like a bad idea. Or at least a really depressing one.


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