Tobold's Blog
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Game overload

Steam Calculator tells me that of the 355 games on Steam I own, 249 have never been played. My iPad has several pages full of icons for games that I downloaded, but never started either. But the more games I have, the less I play. I'm suffering from game overload. I find it very hard to find the energy to start a new game, and end up playing old games instead.

[EDIT:] I found a website that could help me find a game to play in my Steam library, called "What should I Steam?". You give it some simple search parameter, like "high ranked game" or "strategy game", and it proposes a random game from your library that corresponds to that.

It is definitely important to clearly remember that you have fun living this life every single moment. I have over 700 days /played in World of Warcraft. It may seem like a lot of my time was wasted if I look at it from the point of view of a regular mundane person, who doesn't play video games, but I had a lot of fun playing WoW. And other games. It was not time wasted. I met many friends. I think I left a good trace in their lives.

If you have a lot of games you have yet to play, but you simply don't have time to do it, just don't be greedy. Surely you don't just sit and watch paint dry instead of playing games. AFAIK you have a family. You live for them and with them. And while you play the games you've played before, you also feel joy.

I don't think playing all the games you buy should be the ultimate goal. It is a logical thing but that's not all there is to it. You surely felt some inclination to buy those games when you did. Mood may have changed since then but playing them is still an open opportunity. And you definitely gave support to their authors by buying those games.

I am not good at writing stuff and expressing my ideas, but life is never wasted. Time is never wasted. Even in prison. You don't have to feel sorry for not playing the games. Fluid mood is so human. It is only natural.
We are a similar age Tobold and time is more valuable than money at this point. I have no regrets about the money spent on games I never play but I do worry that having too much choice makes it harder to choose any one game to play and wastes time.
So, it turns out that the people at Steam are marketing geniuses! Cut a game's price... sell a ton of them, many never even get played! The fact that they even keep this statistic has to make you wonder.

First world problems: Buying things you don't need.
Why is this a problem? Assuming you aren't going to tell us you have some kind of addiction issues that mean you can;t stop yourself buying more games or that buying so many games is putting you at financial risk (and I'm sure neither of those scenarios is remotely relevant) then all you're saying is that you buy stuff you're not going to use. So what?

In the case of digital video games there's not even an argument that what you're doing is wasteful. You're not using any meanigful or significant resources or causing any environmental damage (at least no more than you already cause by owning and operating a computer). Your ownership of these games is notional. Have you even downloaded the ones you haven't played or are they just entries in a database indicating your right to play these titles should you ever choose to do so?

As for "game overload", why does it make any difference whther you "own" the games or not? Whether you have them listed against your Steam account or whether you don't, they still exist, able to be played. Do you feel overloaded by the mere existence of games you're not playing and if so why limit that to ones you nominally "own"?

Just play what you like and enjoy it. End of.

1445 Steam games and counting. You're not even remotely into eyebrow raising territory yet.

My limiting factor at this point is distinctly disk space first, and time a distant second. The spirit is willing, the hardware is weak.

Fer instance, I grabbed the definitive edition of Shadow of War for a steal over at Humble Bundle - it was already 73% off, and I had about $6.50 wallet credit accumulated and a $5 off coupon from the Humble Monthly not offering Project Cars in my region. Literally paying 5 bucks for a sequel to a game I enjoyed but was patiently waiting for.

I nearly died when I tried to install it and realized it would take 100GB. That's about the total remaining space left in the hard disk meant for general storage.

Is it easier to leave the chore of inventory cleanup to a later date and play an existing installed game instead? Yeah, but that's not the fault of the games at this point. That's a PEBKAC issue, and only an issue if you make it one. If it bothers you, nothing stops you from making a list, checking it twice and crossing stuff off it. Or you can choose to not let it bother you.
I'm right the opposite. I value my money just as much, if not more, than my time. I own a total of 48 games on Steam, and have played through all of them but 3, but those 3 vary in difficulty as they are puzzle games, and I am stuck on being able to figure out some of the puzzles. But I'm not one of those who runs to the hint/walk-thru sites to get a solution. I simply pick and choose a time that I feel mentally capable of exerting the effort to attempt a go at them.

My tastes have definitely changed over the past 15 years or so. I went through the WoW phase, but at the same time I was still enjoying single player games as a means to escape the social elements of the online experience.

One of the things that has helped me in buying games over the years is my friends list in Steam. All of the guys and gals on my friends list are people who I met over 25 years ago back in my days of BBS's and the Doom era. I've maintained contact because we all share the same interests in games as it pertains to immersion, story line, interaction and overall gaming experiences. I trust their feedback and recommendations, and we occasionally gift each other games as a way of sharing our own personal gaming experiences. It's the best information system that I know of in terms of making informed decisions about buying any game.

The other thing I do is that I participate in Beta testing. It's one of the best ways to stay on top of the technology curve and I maintain my PC spec's to be able to do so. My interest in games is as strong as it ever was. I've just made changes along the way to fit my work/play schedule without allowing myself to be pulled in too many directions at once.
@Jeromai I feel better now with my measely 885 games on Steam.

@Tobold I empathize greatly.

I don't understand how some players tend to hoard games in their Steam library. I've got a grand total of 38 games of which 14 were paid (and 100% finished) and 24 came from free offers/bundles. When I'm interested in a game I just buy and play it. Why should I fill my library with useless stuff that I already know I will never play?
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