Chipping off the Backlog – Introduction

Hi there, I’m FauxLeisha! Welcome to the beginning of my blog series “Chipping off the Backlog,” where I share my journey to complete all of the games in my gaming backlog.

Let’s be real, most gamers that buy their own games having a backlog, those games they bought and haven’t played to completion or haven’t played at all. A lot of people want to work said backlog, but that’s often easier said than done, especially if you have a large collection and / or like to frequently check out sales on Steam or at your local game store. If you read the “My Story” section of my blog, you’ll see that I decided to stop saying “I’ll get to these games” or “I’ll give these games the time they deserve” and actually do so! I decided to make a blog out of this journey (A) to hold myself accountable (B) because I felt this was a journey worth sharing, and (C) I love writing and talking about video games, period.

In this first entry, I’m going to explain how I began my journey, as well as the format for most posts

Step One – Looking at What I Have

I started my journey by cataloging all the video game I currently own. I made an Excel spreadsheet, noting the following for each game: what platform they were for, whether I owned them physically or digitally, if I had put a lot of effort into getting the game (did I do a lot of research and searching for it, or was it an impulse purchase?), and whether or not I had completed the game. When I finished, I found that I currently own 119 games, not counting the individual games on complications.

By making this Excel sheet, not only did I have a better idea of what I was working with, but I also had a better idea of my thinking when it came to buying games. For instance, I’ve spent the last two years playing a lot of fighting games, and it turned out nearly half my collection consists of them. I also found that a lot of the games I bought digitally were impulse purchases, usually from a Steam or PSN sale. I’ll get more into pondering these things in a later.

Step 2 – Figuring Out What I Was Going to Focus On

Once that sheet was done, I then made a separate sheet of just the games I hadn’t finished. When I looked over this list, I noticed that there were games I owned multiple versions of, such as both the PS3 and PS4 versions of The Evil Within. Then there was the fact that a lot of the games I hadn’t completed were fighting games and arcade style games, which are pretty subjective on what it means to “complete” them. To me, it didn’t make sense to complete the same game once per platform, and it would have been a headache to deal with what it means to “complete” a fighting game (and like I said, almost half of my current collection consists of them!), so I removed them from the sheet.

All in all, after removing games I had beaten, multiples of the same game, and all my fighting and arcade style games, that left me with 35 games that I felt I wanted to complete. Still a larger number than it should be, but seeing how my collection at this point consists of 119 games, 35 is a relief.

Step 3 – Committing

Ok, here was the though part: I told myself that to complete this journey, I had to commit to playing all the games on my list before I could buy or obtain any others. If I received a game as a gift that’s fine, but even if a game I really wanted could be obtained for cheap or even for free (like on PS Plus), I had to pass. There’s no way the backlog would ever get shaven down if kept I adding to it!

This is the hardest part I feel, with the popularity of Steam sales and Mom & Pop shop selling retro games for cheap, it’s easy to keep buying games and not complete them. Eventually, we build up the habit of buying games simply because they’re on sale, not because we actually want them. I’m not saying this to criticize others, I’m just as guilty of this myself. But if you really want to reduce your backlog, this is something you have to commit to. Believe me, even as I write this I keep having to tell myself “I know a game I want is GameStop’s deal of the day, but I’m not going to buy it.” It’s tough, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end

Step 4 – Get Playing!

Now comes the fun part – playing the games! For this step, I decided to focus on one game at a time, because I feel that will help me stay focused and actually take in everything about the games. After all, I want to enjoy the games, not just check off a list! Of course, feel free to tackle this however you want, this is just how I decided to approach things.

I’ll also note that I don’t have a particular order to what I’m playing, I just look over my list and picked based on what I was feeling. Recently the host of an all-ladies gaming group I’m in asked everyone “what makes you decide to pick up a game?” I’ve been applying that question to what I do.

The Format

For each entry in “Chipping off the Backlog,” I’m going to both share my story with the game, and also review it. I want this blog to enjoyable for both those who want to read about what I’m doing, as well as those who just want to read the game reviews. If you want the full picture, read the entirety of the posts. If you just want the game reviews, skip sections titled “My Story” and “My Conclusion.”

Alrighty! That’s how I started this crazy journey, and what I will be doing throughout this blog! Join me next time to see the beginning of this journey with my story about buying and playing inFamous, as well as my review of it. Take care, and I’ll see you then!

All images (c) their respective owners

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