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  • Writer's pictureJames Crow

The Never Ending Backlog Battle

Join James from Games with Jon & James and Podcasters United as he shares how to hopefully overcome your gaming backlog.

Whenever the term backlog is used a feeling of dread often follows. As our collections grow larger, with each passing month, there is simply not enough time to ever truly catch up. As gamers, we are often quick to pick up any game that catches our eye, even though we already have many games in our collections, with the hope that we'll eventually get around to playing it. This FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real issue, and with the increasing quantity and quality of games released each year, it's becoming increasingly difficult to manage our backlogs.

I examined my collection and the games I have yet to play…it was eye-opening, to say the least. This year alone I purchased almost 90 games, both current generation and retro, and of the games I have purchased I have only played about 10. Seeing my issue, I wanted to write this article as a way to offer advice for managing backlogs and collections for other gamers who may be finding themselves in a similar situation as it was only recently that I started to understand and manage my never-ending battle.

First and foremost, the most challenging aspect of being a video game enthusiast is managing the amount of time we can devote to gaming. As our lives mature, family responsibilities increase, work demands more of our attention, and gaming can often take a back seat. Despite our best intentions, we can find ourselves feeling overwhelmed with obligations, and when we finally have the opportunity to game, exhaustion sets in, and we opt for a much-deserved rest instead.

This is the hardest of all things to overcome when it comes to our backlog, but with the right planning and organization, it can be done. Life tends to move quickly, so it is important to prioritize and plan your gaming time. The biggest realization I have come to and can offer as advice is this: SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOURSELF! I honestly have just barely started to do this and let me tell you, it is amazing. I honestly have just barely started to do this, and let me tell you, it is absolutely incredible! Not only am I getting to experience the joy of gaming, I have actually managed to make it through a few titles that, until I started carving out time for gaming, I probably would not have had the opportunity to play this year.

Before I started to designate specific periods of time for gaming, I would often have what I call "gaming inaction," where I was unable to decide what game to start playing and would instead replay games I already knew, as I didn't have to use my brain or put any effort into them. This is what caused my backlog to pile up, and I truly regret not implementing my time-blocking strategy sooner than I did.

The next thing I must share might ruffle a few feathers, but it needs to be said. As gamers, we often tend to buy anything and everything we see, justifying it as “if I see it and want it, I buy it”. While it is our money and we can spend it however we choose, doing so only adds game after game that we may never play in pursuit of the next “shiny” thing. This will only worsen the problem, something which I, myself, took a long time to accept. It wasn't until about three months ago that this realization hit me like a ton of bricks.

Once I truly became aware of the huge number of video games I was buying, I made an unprecedented decision: I stopped buying every JRPG that came out. Instead, I selected only those games that I truly wanted and was no longer focused on acquiring the latest releases or growing my collection. The point I am trying to make to you is this: focus on what makes you happy. It's better to wait and finish a game before you move on to the next one. Chances are, there will be a sale in the future, and not only will you save money, but you will also have finished the game you were playing and a few others, thus avoiding adding even more games to your ever-growing collection.

At the end of the day, our collections of amazing titles will only continue to flourish; however, when a game we are excited about comes out, we should take a moment to consider how soon we will be able to play it. Will it languish on the shelf, collecting dust, or will we get to spend some quality time with it? With the gaming industry booming, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer number of titles available for purchase. Therefore, we should take the time to appreciate what we have, work on our backlogs, and perhaps wait to buy that latest game until we can make the most of it.

Everyone’s gaming style and collection is different, by no means is the advice I am giving the end-all-be-all when it comes to the challenge of an ever-growing collection. These tips and tricks can definitely help overcome what might feel like an insurmountable obstacle. Ultimately, it will help you get back to a simpler time when it comes to gaming and just maybe, reduce and or eliminate that dreaded backlog.


About the Author:

James is an avid enthusiast of all things gaming, especially RPGs. He is an aerial photographer and digital marketer by day and a die-hard gamer by night. His ideal weekend is spent relaxing playing an RPG and recording the next episode of the Games with Jon & James podcast sharing all his JRPG knowledge with you.

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