The Shame of it All: My Stack of Unplayed Games

Originally posted at www.knowngriefers.com. Hope you enjoy!

Sometimes being a gamer means knowing when to throw in the towel. Some games are simply never going to get played, much less beaten. However, even that understanding usually isn't enough to stop you from buying those Clearance Sale treasures. And garage sales? They are veritable gold mines just waiting to be ransacked. But what happens when those neglected games start piling up? Will you ever get around to actually playing them? Chris takes a hard look in the mirror, at his stash of unplayed games, and how he got to this point.

Well, a while ago, I turned a corner. Videogames became more than a form of entertainment for me. They became something for me to collect. Throughout my life, I've always had something of an obsessive personality. I find something that speaks to me, and I consume every single detail about it. My first love was Ghostbusters, and I had all the trappings. The tan jumpsuit, the Proton Pack and gun, the trap, the Slimer Big Wheel, I had it all. One of my earliest memories is going to see the Ecto-1 at the grand opening of a local grocery store.

AWESOME!

After Ghostbusters, I became a huge TMNT fan. I had a treasure chest full of the action figures, and had all the VHS tapes my parents could afford. I saw the Ninja Turtles Live! stage show, in which Shredder threatened to steal everyone's voices in the audience. My young brain couldn't handle such a terrible deed, and I burst out into such uncontrollable tears that my aunt had to escort me from the building. I'm unsure of whether or not I actually saw the end of the show, but I know for a fact I owned the Pizza Hut exclusive soundtrack.

In the mid 90s, Star Wars started to get big again. The relaunch of the Power of the Force action figure line was huge for me. I spent nearly every week's allowance on the newest additions to the line, and bought nearly every Star Wars-branded thing I could find for the next few years. Fortunately, the prequels soon came along, and killed just about every shred of nostalgia I had for the Star Wars franchise.

After college, I decided that drinking was a pretty good way to spend the time. My roommate at the time, friend-of-the-site Adam Marcey, and I spent quite a few years drinking our early 20s away. Sometime in 2006, Adam brought home an Xbox 360, and hooked it up to his new HDTV. After several weeks of Call of Duty 4 waking me up with its massive explosions, combined with Adam's complete lack of ability to get past the TV station raid, I knew that gaming had gotten its hooks back in me.

Chris and Adam. In happier times.

I bought Marvel Ultimate Alliance and NBA 2K7, and found myself enjoying games for the first time in a few years. I had pretty much stopped buying games sometime in 2002 or 2003, and only occasionally got back into it. Games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were amazing, but I simply had better things to do. Namely: drink until I passed out.

In 2008, I purchased my very own Xbox 360, and ever since then, all bets are off. I've attempted to make up for the years I wasn't paying much attention to games, and my wallet has felt the effects ever since. I started off by buying Adam's old games off of him, and then progressed to the money vampire that is eBay. I bought up nearly all of the AAA games for the 360 that appealed to me: Bioshock, Skate, COD4, Assassin's Creed, etc.

At some point I started buying games faster than I could play them. Then, I started getting into the past generations.

A few PS2 games I always wanted to play caught my eye. Hitman 2 was only a couple bucks at GameStop. Lord of the Rings looked awesome. A Bard's Tale? Sure, why not. And Spider-Man: Friend or Foe continued my love affair with the Webbed One. However, I've never gotten around to any of these games. For one reason or another, they all sit on my shelf, unplayed and unloved. I keep telling myself I'll get around to them, but will I?

The answer is: probably not, but that hasn't stopped me from buying up all kinds of games I'll never get around to.

Fable III Collector's Edition was marked down to $20 at Target sometime around Christmas. I bought it immediately, as I'm a huge fan of Fable II. However, months went by and I never got around to opening it. At a certain point, the fact that it was a sealed Collector's Edition meant I COULDN'T open it, lest I destroy any collectible value it may have. To this day, it sits sealed on my shelf. Though, I'd actually like to play it sometimes. I even downloaded the DLC, for Christ's sake.

Fusion Frenzy 2 was a birthday gift from Rock, as was Deus Ex. Rainbow Six: Vegas was a gift from a well-meaning friend, although it's just too hard for me. Earth Defense Force was bought for its sheer dumbness at a Blockbuster Video closing sale. The rest of the games pictured were all spur-of-the-moment clearance sales, or thrift store finds. I swear I'll get around to them. Someday.

Speaking of thrift stores, they have been the source of some of my best gaming deals. MDK is a game I've been interested in for a long time, if only for the relationship it has to the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise. Both that and Cool Boarders 4 were bought for about $0.50 each, a price I feel is more than fair. Even if I never get around to playing them, I'd be losing money by NOT buying them! The N64 carts were part of the Craigslist purchase that net me a Jungle Green N64. I'm sure both Donkey Kong 64 and Cruisin' World are good games, but my N64 is basically a WWF No Mercy machine.

The SNES carts were bought at a garage sale for $0.25 each. I also picked up Mario All-Stars and Mario's Time Machine at the same sale. The only problem? I don't actually own a SNES. Hmm.

So as you can see, I've got quite a bit of games to keep me busy. For the immediate future, I'll probably continue to plug through Skryim. After that, it's anybody's guess. Is there anything you'd like to see me dive into? Cuz I'll do it. I got nothing but time. Time, and a lot of games.

Christopher Linendoll is in debt. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.

18 Comments
19 Comments
Posted by CLinendoll

Originally posted at www.knowngriefers.com. Hope you enjoy!

Sometimes being a gamer means knowing when to throw in the towel. Some games are simply never going to get played, much less beaten. However, even that understanding usually isn't enough to stop you from buying those Clearance Sale treasures. And garage sales? They are veritable gold mines just waiting to be ransacked. But what happens when those neglected games start piling up? Will you ever get around to actually playing them? Chris takes a hard look in the mirror, at his stash of unplayed games, and how he got to this point.

Well, a while ago, I turned a corner. Videogames became more than a form of entertainment for me. They became something for me to collect. Throughout my life, I've always had something of an obsessive personality. I find something that speaks to me, and I consume every single detail about it. My first love was Ghostbusters, and I had all the trappings. The tan jumpsuit, the Proton Pack and gun, the trap, the Slimer Big Wheel, I had it all. One of my earliest memories is going to see the Ecto-1 at the grand opening of a local grocery store.

AWESOME!

After Ghostbusters, I became a huge TMNT fan. I had a treasure chest full of the action figures, and had all the VHS tapes my parents could afford. I saw the Ninja Turtles Live! stage show, in which Shredder threatened to steal everyone's voices in the audience. My young brain couldn't handle such a terrible deed, and I burst out into such uncontrollable tears that my aunt had to escort me from the building. I'm unsure of whether or not I actually saw the end of the show, but I know for a fact I owned the Pizza Hut exclusive soundtrack.

In the mid 90s, Star Wars started to get big again. The relaunch of the Power of the Force action figure line was huge for me. I spent nearly every week's allowance on the newest additions to the line, and bought nearly every Star Wars-branded thing I could find for the next few years. Fortunately, the prequels soon came along, and killed just about every shred of nostalgia I had for the Star Wars franchise.

After college, I decided that drinking was a pretty good way to spend the time. My roommate at the time, friend-of-the-site Adam Marcey, and I spent quite a few years drinking our early 20s away. Sometime in 2006, Adam brought home an Xbox 360, and hooked it up to his new HDTV. After several weeks of Call of Duty 4 waking me up with its massive explosions, combined with Adam's complete lack of ability to get past the TV station raid, I knew that gaming had gotten its hooks back in me.

Chris and Adam. In happier times.

I bought Marvel Ultimate Alliance and NBA 2K7, and found myself enjoying games for the first time in a few years. I had pretty much stopped buying games sometime in 2002 or 2003, and only occasionally got back into it. Games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were amazing, but I simply had better things to do. Namely: drink until I passed out.

In 2008, I purchased my very own Xbox 360, and ever since then, all bets are off. I've attempted to make up for the years I wasn't paying much attention to games, and my wallet has felt the effects ever since. I started off by buying Adam's old games off of him, and then progressed to the money vampire that is eBay. I bought up nearly all of the AAA games for the 360 that appealed to me: Bioshock, Skate, COD4, Assassin's Creed, etc.

At some point I started buying games faster than I could play them. Then, I started getting into the past generations.

A few PS2 games I always wanted to play caught my eye. Hitman 2 was only a couple bucks at GameStop. Lord of the Rings looked awesome. A Bard's Tale? Sure, why not. And Spider-Man: Friend or Foe continued my love affair with the Webbed One. However, I've never gotten around to any of these games. For one reason or another, they all sit on my shelf, unplayed and unloved. I keep telling myself I'll get around to them, but will I?

The answer is: probably not, but that hasn't stopped me from buying up all kinds of games I'll never get around to.

Fable III Collector's Edition was marked down to $20 at Target sometime around Christmas. I bought it immediately, as I'm a huge fan of Fable II. However, months went by and I never got around to opening it. At a certain point, the fact that it was a sealed Collector's Edition meant I COULDN'T open it, lest I destroy any collectible value it may have. To this day, it sits sealed on my shelf. Though, I'd actually like to play it sometimes. I even downloaded the DLC, for Christ's sake.

Fusion Frenzy 2 was a birthday gift from Rock, as was Deus Ex. Rainbow Six: Vegas was a gift from a well-meaning friend, although it's just too hard for me. Earth Defense Force was bought for its sheer dumbness at a Blockbuster Video closing sale. The rest of the games pictured were all spur-of-the-moment clearance sales, or thrift store finds. I swear I'll get around to them. Someday.

Speaking of thrift stores, they have been the source of some of my best gaming deals. MDK is a game I've been interested in for a long time, if only for the relationship it has to the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise. Both that and Cool Boarders 4 were bought for about $0.50 each, a price I feel is more than fair. Even if I never get around to playing them, I'd be losing money by NOT buying them! The N64 carts were part of the Craigslist purchase that net me a Jungle Green N64. I'm sure both Donkey Kong 64 and Cruisin' World are good games, but my N64 is basically a WWF No Mercy machine.

The SNES carts were bought at a garage sale for $0.25 each. I also picked up Mario All-Stars and Mario's Time Machine at the same sale. The only problem? I don't actually own a SNES. Hmm.

So as you can see, I've got quite a bit of games to keep me busy. For the immediate future, I'll probably continue to plug through Skryim. After that, it's anybody's guess. Is there anything you'd like to see me dive into? Cuz I'll do it. I got nothing but time. Time, and a lot of games.

Christopher Linendoll is in debt. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.

Posted by EquitasInvictus

@CLinendoll: I'd say 90% of avid gamers have an extensive backlog. I know I do!

By the way Return of the King was a really well-done PS2 game, especially for co-op. I have so many good memories of playing co-op of that with my cousin!

Online
Posted by CLinendoll

I used to be really good about buying a game and finishing it before buying the next one. That went out the window once I got an eBay account.

Posted by AlisterCat

@CLinendoll: I was the same, until I discovered steam sales. I just finished Splinter Cell Conviction in 2 sittings. It is very easy to get through. Not punishing like most stealth games.

Posted by frankfartmouth

Backlog envy

Posted by CLinendoll

@frankfartmouth said:

Backlog envy

And to think that I often walk up to my shelves, and think to myself: I have NOTHING to play!

Edited by rockyhorrorgerri

Same problem. I have an extensive backlog of games right now, every time one is on sale, a friend beat something, a clearance item, I pick it up. However I do, and WILL play the games, I take my sweet time playing thru what I have and beating them extensively before continuing on. For starters, just looking at my shelf I haven't even TOUCHED the following:

Banjo Kazooie nuts and bolts, the darkness, dark sector, dead space 1/2, fairytale fights, oblivion, perfect dark zero, rainbow six vegas 1, shadows of the damned, lego batman, nights, skyward sword, upon 17 NES/SNES games I've recently bought.

As for you're dilemma with the Collectors edition of Fable... I understand completely. Not so much with video games as I am not crazy into buying new, I do however collect memorabilia and such FROM game franchises, that I am anal about never touching and being collectors etc. Recently bought an Ocrina off Amazon, play it a few times, I just simply like looking at it :D I think if I would have splurged more on a better quality one, I'd learn how to play it... but eh.

EDIT: And I'm not even touching how many games on Steam I haven't gotten to yet. Since sales, and giveaways, and generous people in the world, I've accumulated close to 55+ games in the past 2 weeks. Granted I've played maybe 2 so far.

Posted by DillonWerner

Steam had caused me to have a very, very, very long backlog list. Some of them I wonder if I will ever even touch.

Posted by RUDEMIESTER

I have Arkham City with all the DLC unplayed and unopened still along with a few other current gen games that I haven't gotten the chance to play. I'm thinking about dropping them off at a Red Cross or some other donation place.

Edited by CLinendoll

@RUDEMIESTER said:

I have Arkham City with all the DLC unplayed and unopened still along with a few other current gen games that I haven't gotten the chance to play. I'm thinking about dropping them off at a Red Cross or some other donation place.

May I point you towards these gentlemen? http://fronttowardsgamer.com/osd/

Posted by Morrow

@CLinendoll:

Don't worry, I only have one console, and my backlog is bigger than yours :)

...oh no... ._.

Posted by psylah

Does a game you started playing and gave up on due to difficulty or learning curve count toward the stack?

Posted by Bobby_The_Great

I'm not joking, my backlog easily consist of over 100 games that I own. Stupid sales, especially Steam ones. I swear, one day I'll beat them all. 

Posted by Juno

I know that feel bro.

Huge stack of 360 and PC games, a few PS3 and handheld games to play through. I just keep adding and not playing.

Posted by JackSukeru

Aside from games I've completely given up on, an overwhelming majority of which consist of long-ass rpgs, my backlog list doesn't feel completely impossible.

Games I've given up on off the top of my head are:

  • Dragon Age: Origins, making decisions and learning the systems and lore took too much time and I eventually dreaded to get back to it.
  • Resonance of Fate, the combat was really cool and it had a cool idea with the guns but the characters and story were so boring that it was hard to keep fighting the though battles.
  • Final Fantasy XII, I grinded too much so it got hard to commit large chuncks of time to it, even though I never finished X I don't put it on this list because I got to the part where you were supposed to fight the final boss and just lost interest.
  • Dragon Quest 8, finished a really though, two form, boss and kept going for a bit, combat not being fun made me lose my commitment. Also lost my save, or rather my save is on my PS2 memory card for which I have no PS2.
  • Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, Spent to much frikking time grinding on different characters and eventually burned myself out.
  • Eternal Sonata, it's off my backlog list but I might get back to it, what I really need is for someone to play it with so we can make fun of the story.
  • Mass Effect, got into it for a bit, but lost interest in getting back to it.
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma, eh, game was really hard and not in a way I thought was fun.
  • Persona 3, hard to go back after Persona 4 let you make non stupid decisions for your party members.
  • Tales of Eternia (PsP), Long-ass standard rpg, lost interest.
  • Metal Gear Ac!d card game and Portable Ops, couldn't learn the systems of either one, annoying!

I keep an "official like" backlog list on this site and it currently has 8 games on it, these games are not on it because I would never finish anything if I had that to tackle. There are also a few Steam games I may or may not ever start and I'm fine with that, Zeno Clash, Aquaria, Cave Story+ I don't count these either.

Well now I feel bad, at least some of those games on my abandonment list are ones I which I could've finished, I still have 2 long ass rpgs on my current list, and the risk of them ending up here are kind of depressing. Ah well.

Posted by kgb0515

My issue is that I get too many games at the same time and then I stop playing for some reason or another. I have so many games that I've put 2 or 3 hours into and then haven't touched them again for weeks. I have video game ADD or something. Maybe it's just regular ADD?

Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish

I have actively stopped buying things from steam sales. I ignore the front page now and refuse to let myself buy games on there. 

Posted by Jay444111

I got a worse pile of stacked games... they are all 80 hour JRPGs...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by CLinendoll

@kgb0515 said:

My issue is that I get too many games at the same time and then I stop playing for some reason or another. I have so many games that I've put 2 or 3 hours into and then haven't touched them again for weeks. I have video game ADD or something. Maybe it's just regular ADD?

I have that, too. Crazy game ADHD.