When I saw the “Love Your Backlog” I wasn’t really interested at first, it’s kind of dead horse – everyone buys too many games in sales or bundles and never catches up. Bhagpuss’ post somehow stood out, but I’m not really sure why.
First of all, the word backlog doesn’t have such a negative vibe for me. As a Software Developer it’s mostly used for all the stuff that you absolutely plan to do, but not in the immediate future (usually 1-3 weeks). Also it’s mostly sorted by priority, so after your current cycle is over you just pick stuff from the top and start with that. So much for the theory. Very often it’s just a pile of random ideas and stuff that someone should do, but nobody knows why or how. But anyway, for games it’s a coarsely sorted list of stuff I want to play, I don’t see the need to work through it at any certain speed.
And that’s the other point – I don’t really feel the pressure to work through, for most of the titles in it. Sure, there’s always this one full or half-price game you absolutely wanted to start the weekend after buying it, but you didn’t and suddenly it’s 2020.
But I don’t have so many of these. OK, there are some
- Quake Champions in 2018 – didn’t play a lot
- Dead Cells in 2018 – I loved it, but it frustrated my by being too hard, but did play it!
- Cities: Skylines in 2017 – never started
Of course there are a few more, but if I spend 1 EUR on a game and only do that like once a month, I have zero regrets about not playing it. I know I’m kinda not loosely spending money, because I keep track, but the cost of a few coffees or beers over the course of a year don’t bother me. I’m kinda glad I’m not a hoarder, I let most sales pass without buying anything.
Not even sure if this counts towards the backlog, but there’s actually a bigger pile of games that I bought, started to play… and then didn’t love but also didn’t hate. For some reason I just stopped playing before reaching a meaningful amount of hours, usually 2-5. If it was cheap, fine, I got my money’s worth of entertainment out of it already. But some of them… sure it was cheaper than going to the cinema (I’m pinning that at 5 EUR per hour) but I don’t feel like I got my money’s worth if I play a 10 EUR game for only 2h, but maybe I’m overly critical here.
Last point, I find the metric of adding up the numbers for these “How long to beat X” totally useless for me. Take Borderlands 3. Should be 21h(main) and 60h (completionist) – I’m 50h in, finished the main story (more like at 30h) but am only Level 41 and have a ton of side missions to do. What’s the real number now? I stopped playing a lot of games before I reached the completionist or even main+extras number. Anno 1404 should be 17h for the main story, we’ll see. And for all the titles I get from a Humble Bundle or something… it never even crossed my mind that I would play even half of them for anything near completion time, so why would I count them? It’s more like buying a bundle for 2-3 games and getting 5 more for free…