Video Games Backlog Dilemma

My backlog of mostly PS3 games has been building up quite rapidly.

Going back to my middle and high school years, I would only get money to buy a game when I got a report card with straight A’s. This resulted in me focusing on one game at a time until it was beaten, like Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht for the PS2 which I dropped over 80 hours into.

Now I have the opposite problem: enough money to buy any game I want, but no time to play them all. I keep purchasing new releases because they look interesting and I want to play them. However, I add it to the backlog pile and assume I’ll get around to it someday. Anyone else experience the same problem?

It doesn’t help that video games are horrible investments. The majority of them never increase in value, but instead plummet to the $20 or $30 mark within a few months. Of course, there are rare exceptions such as Suikoden II and Valkyrie Profile. This has prompted me to stop buying games on their release day and instead wait for the price drops.

A few games that I had to pick up right away were all the big titles such as Final Fantasy XIII and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. Most of my gaming time in the recent years has been devoted to MMOs like World of Warcraft along with the new SC2. The online community aspect of these games paired with the ability to play with your friends makes them easy choices to start up when there’s free time.

So I guess the issue here isn’t about not having enough free time, but instead about which games are appealing enough to actually play. The video game market is oversaturated with new releases every month. Unless it’s a blockbuster title, a game has to be innovative and polished enough for me to even consider trying it out.

Most games just seem to be variations of other games in their genre. Plus, my gaming experiences has probably altered my mind to find games with similar and unoriginal concepts to be boring. At least Steam gives independent developers an easier way to bring their products onto the market, which I find are usually more innovative than the stuff from larger companies.

I’m still waiting for a full immersion virtual reality gaming system though.

19 Comments to “Video Games Backlog Dilemma”

  1. Shadow says:

    I have the exact same issue, except I joined the current generation of consoles rather late. I have a backlog of 10+ games released years ago which I’ve bought cheap. As I play those, I continue to pick up interesting games that drop in retail price. It’s a somewhat sad cycle.

    Even if I dedicated months to gaming, I doubt I’d get through the backlog (I’ve spent about 3 months on GTA IV alone so far because I only find spurts of time to play it). Add in stuff like school, job (which enables me to get games in the first place), blogging, and what little social life I participate in and this backlog could last many years.

    I agree that many games are a copy or revision on a known genre. However, until I get really tired of it I usually go on with my consumerism. One thing I do is stay away from MMORPGs (I’d have no time for much else if I went there).

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    Reltair Reply:

    Yeah, back when I played WoW, I didn’t have time for anything else. I don’t see my backlog ever ending. Oh well, at least they’ll be there when I’m old. 🙂

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  2. I’ve kinda fallen out of the loop in video games and the only thing I even keep track of are the soundtracks. Odd when I never even bother with new games since my PS2 backlog is still ridiculously full.

    And I wouldn’t buy games as investment property. It’s rare that games will ever appreciate in value, so as long as you can get your money’s worth of enjoyment from the games you buy, you should be good to go.

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    Reltair Reply:

    I don’t buy new releases anymore unless I know for sure it’s worth it. Dropping $60 on a new game and then playing it for 1 hour until I realize it’s boring kind of sucks.

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  3. LG says:

    “Now I have the opposite problem: enough money to buy any game I want, but no time to play them all.”

    I have this same problem, only with anime. For years, I could only afford to buy something, tops, every 4 months. I watched and rewatched shows until I could afford to buy another one. Now I’ve got tons of unwatched DVDs, plus a Hulu queue that is rapidly increasing. A decently paying job, plus more options for watching anime for free legally, have made my backlog daunting.

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    Reltair Reply:

    Once the funds are available, it’s basically unlimited access to anime/games. However, there’s too much available to realistically watch/play them all due to other commitments. 🙁

    At least you can choose to buy and watch whatever you want. ^^

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  4. Lanir says:

    I think a full immersion virtual reality game world would be highly disturbing. Not at first, at first it would rock. But when you get bored of it, what do you do..? Start jumping off bridges?

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    Reltair Reply:

    The possibilities are endless… 🙂

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  5. IshokuOsero says:

    I have a backlog of games myself, though mine are a combination of DS/PSP/360 games, with a couple Wii games thrown in. I’ve yet to get myself a PS3, but I really need to.

    What a coincidence, by the way, I’m playing WoW right now. >.>

    But yes, I have a backlog of games, a backlog of anime, a backlog of manga, of other various books (psychology, sci-fi, fantasy, etc )… and just of life in general, haha. If I’m not at work, I’m out with people, and when I’m home I always try to cram in WoW and anime at the same time (it works pretty well for me – WoW on one screen, anime on the other ). I think a big part of the problem with me though, is that I’m such a social person that if I can’t be talking to someone at the same time I’m doing something else, then I won’t do it. My gaming consoles are in another room separate from my computer room, so it just doesn’t get done unless someone comes over.

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    Reltair Reply:

    Yeah, anime and WoW at the same time works great. Backlog of life in general is right; so much to do, so little time.

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  6. Master Vamp says:

    do you have Gran Turismo 4?

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    Master Vamp Reply:

    Gran Turismo 5. sorry

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    Reltair Reply:

    Nope, I didn’t pre-order it since I’m not a big fan of racing games. Maybe I’ll pick it up when it goes down in price.

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    Master Vamp Reply:

    but the graphic of the game is cool my friend but it will release at 10 November 2010. for more information see http://www.gran-turismo.com

    Reltair Reply:

    The graphics on GT5 look amazing. I’ll think about getting it if enough people I know get it. Multiplayer ftw!

  7. Yi says:

    I guess it’s fortunate I don’t play any games at all. Don’t have this dilemma of having to sit through unappealing games or let it go to waste.

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    Reltair Reply:

    Good job! Games are a waste of time for the most part, but it is hard to resist.

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  8. neobita says:

    I have the exact same problem like you. Being a family guy, my time for video games has dropped significantly. Nowadays, I bought new game releases, only to be able to play it about an hour on weekend. Although I knew at first that I won’t have time to play it, the temptation to buy it always manage to make me reach my wallet. Now I’m just trying to find myself some time to play all the games I have, whether its on PC or PS3.

    Furthermore, my daughter had develop the same kind of interest towards video games, she even have a few games that she likes to play. Although this slashes my times to play game even more (she would want me to sit next to her and teach her how to play the game), it does bring some moment of joy to my heart to watch my legacy passed down to the new generation.

    To manage my game time efficiently currently, I use a website known as The Backloggery. http://www.backloggery.com/

    You can update your games here and also insert bits of information from the games, such as whether you finished it or not, quest not completed, or just about anything. But the coolest part of the website is the fortune cookie, it opens up and reveal the game that you could play in random order… Although, I think the website no longer allows registration.. maybe you could try again later.

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    Reltair Reply:

    Wow, I can imagine that having a family significantly drops the time for video games. I recently started working full time, so my game time has been cut even more. It’s nice that you’re teaching your daughter how to play a few games. I am of the belief that games help us develop our mental and physical reflexes. 🙂

    The Backloggery is pretty neat. I can’t believe I never heard of it before.

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