Game Hoarding and The Paradox of Choice


My categories are very similar:

Backlog - Default category for new games unless I start playing them immediately.
Playing - Games I’m actively playing or intend on finishing (Usually between 5 and 10 games).
Eternal - Games with unlimited replay value that never entirely leave my rotation.
Finished - What it says on the tin.
Island of Lost Games - Games I started but bounced off of, or otherwise don’t plan on finishing.
Distant Oasis - Games I started and liked, but didn’t finish for whatever reason. I’d like to return to them but they’re very low priority.
Deep Backlog - Games I haven’t played, and will only play if something in my life changes dramatically. This could also be called the unemployment backlog.

I like the idea of having a shortlist of games I’m excited to start (this exists in my head already) but I worry about upsetting the delicate equilibrium I have going on right now.


I’ve been wrestling with this question for a while now, and have only partial success. Really since getting a PC and having access to cheap games. I do like everyone’s ideas about categories. I used to do something similar on Steam, but it started to break down I think because a) there were also games I was getting not on steam, b) visually it still wasn’t keeping them partitioned enough, and c) it felt a little annoying to sort them out.

My thought now is maybe this categories as actual folders on my desktop with shortcuts for each of the relevant games in them. That solves the cross-‘platform’ problem, and possibly the clutter problem.

Another tool that I’ve found helpful is Backloggery for tracking your progress and helping see in list form what your backlog is looking like.

So all that above answers the first question well, but the second question is much tougher and is the bigger struggle for me. I get so into looking for the ‘next great thing™’ that I spend way too much time researching what that game is (or games are), and end up losing sight of them once I’ve actually obtained them. This might go back to what others have said about budgeting.

I also should really cut lose from Humble Monthly and buying bundles because these tend to feel like a burden that I need to either play or giveaway. And a lot of times I don’t feel like doing either. I’d just rather pay full price for a single game on that I know I want to play than buy a bundle of 5 games, some of which I’m mildly interested in. But that doesn’t always keep me from still doing the latter.


I keep three game graveyards. :slight_smile: One for games that seemed okay but weren’t my jam, one for games that could be fun again if a gamebreaking bug got fixed, and one for games that are simply terrible. That way I know which games to check back in on later for fixes, and which games might be things that friends might want to try even though I don’t. I also keep categories for levels of done-ness (replayable, done, not started, etc).

Yeah at this point I am terribly bored with most kinds of grind and AAA games. I used to play a ton of JRPGs and MMOs and I just can’t be bothered anymore. The Mass Effect series and Skyrim were the last two really big ones that I actually enjoyed and there are a bunch of other big names that are rotting in my queue or where I got a few hours in and quit. I play a lot more indie and smaller-studio games now.


I finished up my backlog about two years ago. At this point I’m waiting on the debut of new games and revisiting previous favorites in-between. I had such a stockpile of games I bought on a whim just for a retail therapy fix vs genuine interest. That was crystal clear as soon as I started on the endeavor to finish them all.
I’m really selective about what I buy now. Mostly indie and small developer stuff. I mentally debate whether a game is right for me for a long time before committing to a purchase these days. I miss out on a lot of launch period conversations, but honestly I enjoy the conversations surrounding a game better after people have gotten familiar with it and had time to properly reflect.