Working on Playing Fewer Games

Hi All,
This topic is probably a strange one considering that I think most people would like to find more time to play more games, but there’s been something bugging me for a while about how I’ve been spending my time with games. And due to work and baby and other life goals the time I have to play is a lot less than what it used to be. In the past I think I’ve had a very maximalist and consumerist approach to playing games that has been detrimental to my enjoyment and the value of the time I spend playing games. It’s all been about completing the wishlist or backlog or making sure to play the “MOST IMPORTANT” game of the moment. There’s definitely some FOMO baked in to all of it.

So, I’m working on playing fewer games, and trying to make sure the time I spend with them feels rewarding. A couple of steps I’ve taken include:

  • Deleting all wishlists.
  • Tracking the games I play in a year and also writing a brief summary of my experience with it.
  • Avoiding any attempt to force myself to play something I’m not enjoying in the moment (doesn’t mean I won’t go back, but just making sure I’m not pushing through something out of obligation.)
  • Not being afraid to just straight up abandon a game if its not clicking with me, even if its very popular or a critical darling.
  • Be more open to playing that random game whose steam page or description looks interesting. (Game Pass and PS Now are big helps with this since it doesn’t necessarily involve me dropping money on something that I might no find entertaining.)

I’m taking a similar approach with all media (movies, books, tv, etc.) and so far, so good… Anyone else tried a similar approach to playing games? Any other good tips out there for being more mindful of the way we engage and interact with media?

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In case you don’t know, or don’t already have a system for this you like, there is a site called backloggd that I use exactly for this purpose!

As for the question at hand, the biggest issue for me was always FOMO. Though over the years I’ve gotten much better at knowing when a popular game just won’t be for me. Yeah, I’ll miss out on discussing the game - which like, enjoying discussing games critically is a big reason I came to the Waypoint communities in the first place.

But I figure I should pick carefully otherwise I’m just talking about a bunch of games I don’t like all the time, and that’s not a space I want to be in too much considering my current mental state and gestures vaguely at the world.

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Having so much disposable capital for the first time in my life combined with having every console and access to Game Pass has been murder for me finishing games. I’m like you, OP, in that I’m trying to look for ways to make me stick by a game even if it’s logging it on Backloggd or writing about it on here.

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I have a very simple rule that works pretty well for me - I beat 2 games for every 1 I buy.

I’ve accumulated a backlog over the years so I’m rarely short of things to play, plus I’m fortunate to often get free games, gifts, or games purchased by somebody else in my household to play, which keeps the “buy” number down.

“Beating” the game is somewhat arbitrary - you can just cut off a game when you feel you’re satisfied with it. Animal Crossing New Horizons can’t really be “beat,” but credits roll when you finish all Tom Nook’s quests, so that basically counts for me.

I definitely dip into the negatives sometimes, like I did around holiday season last year but generally this helps me get the most out of every game I purchase. Checking my notes, I’ve apparently beaten 33 games over the past three years or so and purchased 16.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve seen backloggd mentioned on other threads and should probably take a good look at it, though I’m a bit of a sucker for creating spreadsheets for things like this.

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