My Not So Secret Shame

 E verybody has a thing; a little quirk that helps people define who they are,  an unusual trait that people can identify with.  For example, a friend of mine can’t touch recycled plastic bags without crying. Another one is completely and utterly obsessed with unicorns, whilst one of my guy friends drinks coffee like the world is ending. When it comes to me, there are a large number of little nuances that make me who I am. Just to name a few off the top of my head, I’m obsessed with clocks, zippers, polkadots, have a serious phobia of getting stuff on my hands and strongly believe with all of my being that zombies will reign one day. But the ‘thing’ I’m writing about today is my complete lack of ability to finish anything, ever. But most importantly (and heart breakingly) for the past few years I haven’t been able to finish a video game. And I believe this may pose a problem given my chosen career path.

The very first game I played that I actually got into was called Kings Quest IV, a point and click (and type) adventure game that told the tale of Princess Rosella who is sent to the world of Tamir in search of a magical fruit that can heal her father’s sickness.  The story line isn’t anything flash, but it was a game made in the 80’s, so what do you expect.

As a 6yr old playing this game I found it fascinating. I loved that Rosella had to listen to everything I typed, and as a little kid that feature alone kept me entertained for hours. “Drown yourself,” “Punch the bard,” “Kill that guy,” “Shutup bard,” “Steal his harp,” “Shank the bard,” “Smack his face in,” etc, were just a few of the many many things my Amiga keyboard had to convey for me.

However, though I found that game incredibly entertaining, I still haven’t seen the ending, because not only was it the first game I ever played, it’s also the first game I never finished. And I’ve owned that title for 15 years.

I wish I could blame this annoying problem on a short attention span, but I’ve finishedFinal Fantasy 8 too many times to count, and that game was damn long. I suppose the real problem is that game developers can’t design a game to cater towards people like me, who are probably ADD but just don’t know it. (That’s right Jenn, blame someone else. Good work.)

Maybe it’s that I keep buying games before I’m done with the ones I own. Maybe it’s that I’m obsessed with The Sims (the one game in the entire world that just never ends), or maybe it’s because the last game I finished was Final Fantasy X-2 and that game was so bad it destroyed me for life. Whatever the cause, all I know is I haven’t finished a game in at least five years.

The amount of games I’ve gotten to the end of and then abandoned is staggering. I currently have saved games out front of end bosses/levels for at least 10 different titles, none of which I see myself finishing any time soon.

Currently my list of shame includes:

Final Fantasy 12
Final Fantasy 13
Heavy Rain
Burnout Paradise
GTA IV
Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare
Dragon Quest 4
Dragon Quest 9
Pokemon Soul Silver
Drawn to Life
Broken Sword 1
Broken Sword 2
Tomb Raider Chronicles
Tomb Raider Underworld
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Uncharted 2
Little Big Planet
Oblivion

And that’s just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

I find this problem increasingly hard to comprehend sometimes, especially as I am the daughter of a rather big game nerd. A rather big game nerd who has no unfinished game on his list. Whilst I struggle to make it to end game in most titles, my father doesn’t consider himself ‘done’ with a game until he has finished it at least three times. And usually that’s three times in a row.

I’m hoping that one day my problem will just resolve itself, and I’ll be hit with the urge to finish every game in my cupboard, then dig out my old consoles so I can finish those titles too. But if on the off chance that doesn’t happen, then I just might seek professional help. And then never turn up.

29 Comments
30 Comments
Posted by Jennacide

 E verybody has a thing; a little quirk that helps people define who they are,  an unusual trait that people can identify with.  For example, a friend of mine can’t touch recycled plastic bags without crying. Another one is completely and utterly obsessed with unicorns, whilst one of my guy friends drinks coffee like the world is ending. When it comes to me, there are a large number of little nuances that make me who I am. Just to name a few off the top of my head, I’m obsessed with clocks, zippers, polkadots, have a serious phobia of getting stuff on my hands and strongly believe with all of my being that zombies will reign one day. But the ‘thing’ I’m writing about today is my complete lack of ability to finish anything, ever. But most importantly (and heart breakingly) for the past few years I haven’t been able to finish a video game. And I believe this may pose a problem given my chosen career path.

The very first game I played that I actually got into was called Kings Quest IV, a point and click (and type) adventure game that told the tale of Princess Rosella who is sent to the world of Tamir in search of a magical fruit that can heal her father’s sickness.  The story line isn’t anything flash, but it was a game made in the 80’s, so what do you expect.

As a 6yr old playing this game I found it fascinating. I loved that Rosella had to listen to everything I typed, and as a little kid that feature alone kept me entertained for hours. “Drown yourself,” “Punch the bard,” “Kill that guy,” “Shutup bard,” “Steal his harp,” “Shank the bard,” “Smack his face in,” etc, were just a few of the many many things my Amiga keyboard had to convey for me.

However, though I found that game incredibly entertaining, I still haven’t seen the ending, because not only was it the first game I ever played, it’s also the first game I never finished. And I’ve owned that title for 15 years.

I wish I could blame this annoying problem on a short attention span, but I’ve finishedFinal Fantasy 8 too many times to count, and that game was damn long. I suppose the real problem is that game developers can’t design a game to cater towards people like me, who are probably ADD but just don’t know it. (That’s right Jenn, blame someone else. Good work.)

Maybe it’s that I keep buying games before I’m done with the ones I own. Maybe it’s that I’m obsessed with The Sims (the one game in the entire world that just never ends), or maybe it’s because the last game I finished was Final Fantasy X-2 and that game was so bad it destroyed me for life. Whatever the cause, all I know is I haven’t finished a game in at least five years.

The amount of games I’ve gotten to the end of and then abandoned is staggering. I currently have saved games out front of end bosses/levels for at least 10 different titles, none of which I see myself finishing any time soon.

Currently my list of shame includes:

Final Fantasy 12
Final Fantasy 13
Heavy Rain
Burnout Paradise
GTA IV
Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare
Dragon Quest 4
Dragon Quest 9
Pokemon Soul Silver
Drawn to Life
Broken Sword 1
Broken Sword 2
Tomb Raider Chronicles
Tomb Raider Underworld
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Uncharted 2
Little Big Planet
Oblivion

And that’s just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

I find this problem increasingly hard to comprehend sometimes, especially as I am the daughter of a rather big game nerd. A rather big game nerd who has no unfinished game on his list. Whilst I struggle to make it to end game in most titles, my father doesn’t consider himself ‘done’ with a game until he has finished it at least three times. And usually that’s three times in a row.

I’m hoping that one day my problem will just resolve itself, and I’ll be hit with the urge to finish every game in my cupboard, then dig out my old consoles so I can finish those titles too. But if on the off chance that doesn’t happen, then I just might seek professional help. And then never turn up.

Edited by cnlmullen
Tangentially relevant thought: 10+ years ago games tended to be a lot longer and more difficult to beat; I think that people weren't always expected to beat games back then. These days there's less of a jump in difficulty as you progress in a game, and most games can be beaten in 5-30 hours. I guess that's because people buy more games these days, so lasting appeal in games isn't that important anymore.
 
Also: It's not that bad, I have a much more disgraceful problem -- unopened games.
Posted by mylifeforAiur

You haven't finished the first two Broken Sword game? You make me sick!^^

Posted by artofwar420

It's hard to finish games, one of my personal goals is to finish every single game I've started. I'd say atm I finish about 70% of games I start. I'd like that number to be a bit higher.

Posted by MistaSparkle
@Jennacide:
I'm not scared of getting things on my hands, but I can't stand it. Especially sand. Do you also have a big problem with sand?
Posted by Osaladin

I don't like to think about it, but: 
 
Dragon Age Origins 
Dawn of War II 
DiRT 2 
Osmos 
Trine 
Bioshock 
Amnesia: The Dark Descent 
Braid 
Eufloria 
Machinarium 
Super Meat Boy 
Torchlight 
VVVVVV 
World of Goo 
 
Pretty much fuck Steam sales, except for DAO. I'll finish all of these, I promise... except for Braid, don't kill me, but I didn't like it.

Edited by Wrighteous86
@MistaSparkle said:

" @Jennacide: I'm not scared of getting things on my hands, but I can't stand it. Especially sand. Do you also have a big problem with sand? "



Posted by BeachThunder
@Jennacide: I usually have the opposite problem, often I try to finish games, regardless of whether I'm enjoying them or not.
 
However:

@mylifeforAiur said:
" You haven't finished the first two Broken Sword game? You make me sick!^^ "
I bought the first two and played the first one for about ten minutes and then stopped. That was about 4 years ago D:
Online
Posted by mylifeforAiur
@Wrighteous86: How dare you offend me with a picture of Hayden Christensen. You will pay dearly for this!^^ 
 
@BeachThunder: Expect to be stabbed by some random person soon...................>.<
Posted by artofwar420

@Jennacide: Also, what do you mean by stuff on your hands? Like dirt? Sammiches? :P

Posted by crusader8463

I don't have that problem myself. I get so few games that I ether always play it to completion because I have nothing else to do, or I hate it so much that I never want to look at it again.

Posted by LiquidPrince

If you can't finish Uncharted 2 then your are hopeless.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

Hey Aussie!
 
Carn the 'Pies and all that...
 
Mixed up Mother Goose hey?   I love Sierra Adventure games.
 
My personal favourite is Space Quest IV.   Easily the funniest of the lot and the Narator is the dude who played the Narator for Roger Ramjet (he's our man!). 
 
  

  
 
Great list by the way!
Posted by iWonder

I have the opposite problem. I've played alot of shitty games but now that I've played them I cant get the nagging feeling out my head that YO IWONDER YOU STILL NEED TO FINISH I WANNA BE THE GUY BRO WHEN YOU GONNA DO THAT ARE YOU GONNA DO THAT DO YOU WANT TO TURBO WHILE YOU TURBO OR SOMETHING TALK TO ME BRO

Posted by Example1013
@Osaladin: You know what's amusing? DAO is one of only like 15 games I've beaten, and actually joins the elite few that I've beaten twice. I think I've logged close to 130 hours since I got the Ultimate Edition in like October, counting Awakening, Amgarrak and Witch Hunt straight through for 2 characters, beginning to end.
 
I  daresay I've logged almost as many hours into that game as I did into LeafGreen (well, one cartridge anyways, since between 2 cartridges I logged about 250 hours).
 
I never complete games. I actually started buying games like in 1999, but the first game I beat was Zelda: A Link to the Past in like 2005.
 
Hell, I haven't even been able to bring myself to start Uncharted, and I got that a year or two ago.
 
Also, blasphemy, I got bored and quit Assassin's Creed II at about Sequence 4, never finished a Final Fantasy game (I still have IX, VII, and Tactics for PSX), never beat Super Mario Brothers despite playing it both on SNES from about 1995 to 2000 (then gave away--how stupid am I? It'd be worth MONEY now) and on GBA from the time it came out, never beat Metroid Prime, etc. etc. etc.
 
 
I'm not sure it's exactly ADD that causes people like me to stop playing games. My friend can't even play the same thing for more than a couple of hours, unless it's NBA 2k** or Madden 20**
 
I think some people just get bored with things easier and never go back.
 
although I also have ADD, so maybe I'm wrong.
Posted by Osaladin
@example1013: I hope to one day be like you as far as DAO goes. 
 
I can completely sympathize with getting bored. I can't even get past the menu screens on sports games, and driving games completely lose my attention if they aren't arcadey. 
 
If you want to talk about older games I haven't finished, I'd take all the space on the internets just to tell you.
Posted by Dalai

The one that comes to mind for me is Zelda: Wind Waker. I got about halfway through the Triforce fetch quest and then just stopped. 
 
But that's pretty much the only game I could think of. I have a huge list of games in my backlog, but I never get too deep into games before I move on to something else.

Posted by gamb1t

my list of shame
 
rtcw (really ashamed i never finished it since im a diehard wolfenstein fan)
bioshock 
resident evil 4 
metal gear solid 2
littlebigplanet
deaspace (got to chapter 6 2 weeks ago and i havent picked it up again)

Posted by captain_clayman

oh man you should see my list of shame.  i  have like 50 ps2 games i never beat.  and like 150 retro games i've played a lot but have never even neared the end.

Posted by iam3green

i know what you mean. i have a lot of xbox 360, ps3, and PC games that i never finished. i have a problem of buying a game then buying another game. it is really hard for me to beat games. the last game that i bought was black ops but i think it was because it was a short game. 
 
games i'm currently playing: 
forza motorsport 3
gran turismo 5
star wars: knights of the old republic
black ops multiplayer. 
 
and a bunch of other multiplayer game.

Posted by Little_Socrates

I didn't finish Uncharted 2 either until about two months ago. My list of shame is much longer than the one posted above, but I'm fixing it. Which is why it's time for me to prescribe you. 
 
I'm prescribing this; in order to cure your inability to finish anything, you need to beat one game a week. To be fair, my "game physician" gave me one other option; I'm allowed to advance one level in Fire Emblem (a game I'm oddly TERRIBLE at) if I find that I can't beat a game in a week. If you have a GBA or a DS, you can do the same. If you've already beat Fire Emblem on normal difficulty, you can move up to Hard Mode, or Hector's story, or Hector Hard Mode. 
 
Surprisingly, I'm holding myself to this prescription. The games have spanned in length pretty nicely; the first week, I beat Uncharted 2 (a much shorter game than some of the others) so I could work on Fallout 3; sure enough, I completed that a couple weeks later after taking a break for Rock Band 3. For Super Meat Boy, I restricted it to meaning the Dark World's true ending conclusion, and for AC: Bro, I ended up putting 15 hours into that game. 
 
I'm giving you this prescription for two reasons: 
1) You need to learn to finish things, and if this doesn't work, professional help may be required. 
2) We both need to stop spending so much of our hard-earned cash on games if we're not going to finish them. There's so many great CD's out there, and so many great movies, and so many great books, and so many great people, that our money and time are better spent on other things if completion is not only something we don't do, but something we're a bit ashamed we don't do.  
 
Start up a list on GB of the "Games You've Finished To Beat Your Shame" (or whatever name you want.) Your first game needs to be up there by Sunday morning. I recommend starting with Uncharted 2 or LittleBigPlanet as you organize yourself for the weeks to come, as many of the other games you haven't finished are really long and might require some prior investment. 
 
P.S. How many hours per week would you spend playing games right now, anyhow?

Posted by Enigma777

I don't like stepping on the cracks on a sidewalk...

Posted by MarkWahlberg

Never beat Oblivion, but the one that really gets to me is Uru. I was right at the end. Right at the freaking end! And I stopped. After soooo many puzzles. After going through soooo much agony. I just stopped. It's partially because I came to a giant fetch quest that had you running through every level you'd been in in the entire game, but still. This was like 5 years ago, and it still bugs me.

Posted by awesomeusername

The only game I never finished was probably GTA: Liberty City Stories on PS2. This one mission I got to was so hard, I just quit. Then my brother sold it to GameStop. I finish all current gen games. Old gen games like Super Mario 64 and stuff, I never finished. But I also finished all PS2 games I had. I remember giving up on San Andreas and picking it up 2 years later I think and beating it.

Posted by Jennacide
@Little_Socrates:  Firstly, wow, that's really good advice!  I'll definitely make myself up a list, I really like that idea.  
Secondly, the amount of hours I spend playing games a week varies. And is much too high of a number to count. But lets just say a lot. 24 hours in a day, I'd be awake for about 18 of them. Minus 2 hours for eating etc and... probably the rest of the time , barring days I go out, on which my game time would be nothing more than an hour or two. Hard question 
Thirdly, I didn't even THINK about the cash side of things. I have SO many ps3 games and none of them I've finished. Adding up how much money I've spent on those games would result in a staggering amount. Geez. :/ 
 
And for all you asking about my hand thing, I don't like not being able to see the skin on my hands. So anything, from dirt, sand, crumbs, paint, gloves, etc that covers my skin I slightly freak out about.  
 
...shutup. I'm normal :P
Posted by Example1013

That hand thing seems to be fairly common with ADD. I know some people who have the disability who don't enjoy stuff on their hands like that.
 
Also, my stack of unfinished PS2 games could probably take up a small bookshelf. I don't have pics, but then I'm not at home either.
 
We should totally have a contest to see who has the biggest pile of unfinished games!

Posted by Jennacide

Oh, and Final Fantasy Advance Tactics 1 and 2... Loved those games to pieces (the second I sunk over 50 hours into) but still ever finished. >.<

Posted by Jennacide

Oh, and I don't actually HAVE ADD. Sorry I didn't make that clear.  
 
Although after reading all the comments regarding the disorder, I'm starting to think maybe I do. :S Meep.  
 
Oh well. The ADHD kids I taught at school were always my favourites anyway.

Posted by Ben99

that is a big , Big problem

Posted by Example1013
@Jennacide said:
" Oh, and I don't actually HAVE ADD. Sorry I didn't make that clear.   Although after reading all the comments regarding the disorder, I'm starting to think maybe I do. :S Meep.   Oh well. The ADHD kids I taught at school were always my favourites anyway. "
I didn't get that much when I was younger. I think it was a combination of the fact that I was always distracted/distracting, never tried, and was really threatening because I often stood up to my teachers (and corrected them; I'd imagine an adult would really hate being corrected by a 10-year-old, especially when the 10-year-old is right).