“We used to play games we never pay for. Now we pay for games we never play. This is how Steam has changed PC gaming.”
I have, at last count, 131 games in my Steam library. This represents nearly a decade of money spent on things I cannot physically hold and hundreds of hours logged in worlds that do not exist outside of virtual space. I’ve often heard friends talk of their to-read or to-watch lists. Those of us who have Steam sometimes face the issue of an ever-increasing to-play list. Like the impulse CD bought years ago at a gas station, or the book from an old rummage sale, heading unloved from one person’s shelf to mine, my Steam library is filled with games I don’t play. In fact, there are some games I purchased, or received as a gift, and have never played; there are some I never even bothered to download.
In and of itself, that’s a fairly depressing statement. Games represent the artistic and technical collaborations of large groups of people, sometimes hundreds of people, but they have become backlog on my computer. It is, to be fair, the right of every customer to choose what they do with something once it has been purchased, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed with myself. I do not like to be disappointed with myself. To that end, I’m going to be changing the way I play games on Steam for a bit:
- As of May 1, 2017, I am buying no new games on Steam, except possibly as gifts for other people.
- I have taken the 131 games in my library and randomized them with https://www.random.org/lists/
- I will play them in the order presented on that randomized list, writing down my observations and thoughts as I go.
- Once the list has been completed, I can continue to use Steam normally, if I choose to do so.
This is less of an exercise in reviewing old games and more and examination of myself and the feelings these games generate within me.This series of posts allows me to explore the depths of my backlog, discovering, or rediscovering, games I love, games I once loved, games I played, but soon discarded, and games I can’t even recall. If it helps, imagine me dressed like Indiana Jones, spelunking in some long-forgotten temple that looks like the Steam library interface (okay, even if you don’t think of me that way, I’m going to think of me that way)
If people want, I’ll post the list of games so they can know what to expect. Also, before I go any further, I have to express my gratitude; a great big thank you to Almost Infinite for hosting these posts, and to the almost infinitely pleasant and thoughtful Graham MacFarlane for being interested in this project.
Here’s hoping some of you find this interesting as well. So, without any further delay, Full Steam Ahead!