I’m fairly certain it’s safe to assume that in today’s industry everybody has a pile of shame. That is, a bunch of games they have yet to play or, failing that, have barely touched. With console gamers having free games and fairly decent sales thrown at them by both Xbox Live and PS+, while PC gamers have websites and services such as GOG, Humble Bundle and Steam launching seemingly unending promotional sales at them left, right and centre; it should come as no surprise to anyone that all of us have, at the very least, one tier to their own pile. According to my Steamdb I have 34 entirely untouched games. That’s 12% of the games I own overall, and that doesn’t account for the stuff I have played but only briefly, or the stuff I own on services other than Steam (Gamersgate, Direct2drive, Stardock, GOG, for instance).
With Intel recently claiming there to be over 700 million PC gamers worldwide (700 million, we are legion!), I’m fairly confident to make the assumption that most of them have Steam – seeing as how it can be somewhat difficult to be a PC gamer without it – and are just as susceptible to the Summer, Christmas, mid-week, weekend and other seasonal/occasional sales as I am. Perhaps even more so in some cases. I know for sure there are those who dwarf my meager selection and are incredibly likely to have considerably less time than I do, too.
So, what’s the point in all of this? The pile of shame is nothing new, it’s not limited to PC gamers and it’s not likely to be going away anytime soon. Especially with annual development cycles becoming the norm and indie developers flinging their projects of varying degrees of quality at us in what seems to be a constant stream. Why now, have I decided to chime into the discussion? Well, I could comment on how fortunate we are, that this, this of all things, is assessed as a problem. First world problems don’t come any more first world. But no, that’s been done much better by others. I could complain about how the industry needs to slow down and give us a chance to finish some of this stuff, but where do you point that blame? You can point the finger for a lot of stuff but your decision to spend your money on things that you subsequently choose not to use is… well, your decision. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean I have to have it. Which is my Steam sale mantra, along with “there’ll be another sale, there’ll be another sale”.
No, saying your pile of shame is anything other than your own fault is like saying burning yourself with cigarettes is the fault of the store clerk who sold them to you. The truth is, nobody is really complaining about their pile of shame. In fact, in calling it a pile of shame, they’re pointing out that it’s existence is demonstrably their own fault. So the only thing I can really say on the subject is count your blessings. This is awesome, is it not? Sure, maybe reigning in on the impulse purchasing and knuckling down with some of those hidden gems is a good way to go, though how to tackle the list of the unplayed is an individual thing. You’ll do it how you do it, and I will do it how I instinctively will… but don’t ever say that you’re bored. It’s too good a time to be a gamer to be bored. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really need to spend some time on Divinity: Original Sin and Shadowrun Returns.