The Video Game Backlog

Where to start? That’s a question I find myself asking in reference to this article, as well as with my current video game Backlog. We all (well most of us at least) have issues with keeping up on video games. Sometimes I’ll have four games in the shrink wrap begging to be opened and enjoyed. The Backlog inspires many emotions fear, joy, anticipation, and confusion (for non gamer’s this would have to be the silliest thing they’ve ever read). However, if you are a gamer you know exactly what I’m talking about. Let’s break this glass case of emotion down shard by shard.

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Fear: This represents the questions you have zero answers for when looking at your Backlog. Will I become too invested in this title and miss a new release as a result? Thus adding said title to the Backlog as a result, perpetuating the situation and not giving the desired result of shrinking your Backlog. There’s also the fear that what you may have inadvertently learned about the title has created some kind of pre-conception that you hand’t previously encountered when you made your purchase. Last but not least I always have to ask myself this question “If I didn’t have time to catch up before, then why would I have it now?” This fearful question typically plagues me when I am looking at a particularly long title (Far Cry 3) has made me suffer from this particular hesitation for some time.

Confusion: This is a short, but quite potent Backlog emotion. This brings me back to the first three words I typed into this article “Where to start?” I don’t typically buy games that I have no interest in playing. I’m not particularly swayed by others reviews, or recommendations. So if I’m looking at a Backlog of five games, it’s generally five games I really want to play. This conundrum makes it hard to choose between the titles and opens up an entirely too full can of worms. I find myself trying to weigh my options to choose correctly (almost trying to review a game before I play it in some cases) Now let’s get to the brighter side of things.

Anticipation: This bit stems from the amazing marketing campaigns publishers typically put together nowadays. The steady flow of information, screen shots, and trailers tend to push my anticipation to a boiling point in some cases too early before a game is released. This doesn’t detour me from making the purchase, however it does feed into the title falling into the Backlog. A great example of this would have to be Assassin’s Creed 3. To further complicate things I’m not particularly smitten with the first three hours of the game that I have played. Therefore, it’s likely it will be backlogged until I have nothing further to play.

Joy: This is the best Backlog emotion of all. When you know, for a fact, that you’ll have time to dust off a game you’ve been chomping at the bit to get into. Say there’s a long weekend coming up, or the kids are staying with grandma and grandpa for the weekend, this is your Backlog’s time to shine. It doesn’t happen often. It’s one of the more fleeting Backlog emotions, but when you get to sink your teeth into a fantastic game that you’ve been waiting to play the joy is definitely there.

There’s our gross Gamer Backlog emotions (at least mine) all thrown out for the interwebs to do with what they will. I may be a bit extreme in my case, but the Backlog issue plagues many if not all Gamer’s at some point. So much so that Neogaf has started a 2013 Backlog Blitz. More precisely there’s a challenge for the month of February to finish four Backlog games. If you have the stones, and are brave enough to post your Backlog goal in our comments you’ll be forever immortalized. Take a bit out of the Backlog!

Dylan Zellmer

I split time between games journalism and making video games. My love of it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), fitness and my family define me otherwise.
  • I don’t understand this Backlog. Why can’t you wait until you beat one good game before moving on, The new releases will go only down in price and honestly, if the developer only made the game a must-have because of the pre-order bonus, it shouldn’t be bought. Every great game should be able to stand on its own feet with the baseline copy.

    • dzelly85

      WELL SIR, to answer your question I buy a lot of buy 2 get 1 free’s when retailers give deals. Therefore, I stock up on games (as in plural) instead of just one at a time. I didn’t say pre-order bonuses were the reason I buy games either. It’s because of all the marketing aspects together that they appeal. As in trailers, screen shots, and game play demos that are released. So to summarize I usually bite off more than I can chew and have a lot waiting in the wings. I am kind of OCD as it is and when I’m behind the video game gun I tend to have a myriad of feelings about (however ridiculous that is) I never said there was logic behind my argument…

  • I would start with either Asuras Wrath or Shadows of the Damned.

  • Daniel

    Good luck bro, you’re lucky too have a backlog this small.