Shameless Gaming Month 2012 is upon us. Shameless Gaming Month started over at Trjn.net and aims to use the slow gaming month of July as a time to delve into our unfinished and unplayed game collection and reduce our pile of shame.
Of course saying “complete your games” is much simpler said than done. If these games were easy to plough through then we’d have done it long before now. So to aid you in beating back your pile of shame I’m providing a few ideas on how to get started, and finished, with your games.
Make a list
I currently have a backlog of roughly 70 unfinished games, and even with the use of a Hermione’s time-turner I’d likely struggle to complete them all within a month. But if you break it down into a series of bite size chunk it’s much more manageable. When you look at a pile of 70 games it can be daunting to know where to start, but picking from a selection of 7 is much easier task. So look at your pile of shame, pick out the titles you think you’d enjoy, maybe a few you’ve yet to start with a few your halfway through, maybe check the completion time on howlongtobeat.com and sort it down into smaller piles. Either make a physical stack of games, or on PC sort them into Steam Categories. A few hills are much simpler to scale than a looming Everest.
Make it social
Get friends to join in. See which games you share in common, whether completed or in your respective pile of shame and see about gaming together. With co-op and multiplayer titles you can directly play against or with each other. For singleplayer titles play alongside each other with the campaign, discussing the game book club style, or aiding and encouraging each other in your progression, seeing who can get to the end first. If you don’t know anyone who shares your games then maybe hit up someone on the forum.
Pace your games
I find it best to not play a single game at a time, it can make it a chore instead of a joy and very quickly kills your effort in defeating your pile of shame. So mix a couple of games up, I like to have a longer RPG title paced out with a couple smaller simpler titles to play every few hours. Something like Skyrim with a few levels of Mirrors Edge mixed in. You’ll find you’ll go through your games in no time.
Stop buying games
Press X or Die writer Ethan Oliver has an excellent policy of only purchasing games if he would want to immediately play them, even if it’s a dirt cheap title. A large reason so many of us build up large backlogs is because the cheap deals we can get on gaming sites make you go “why not, I’ll maybe enjoy it”. It’s also a bit of a false economy, sure the game is cheap, but when you pick up a dozen or so cheap games that you never end up touching for more than a few minutes it soon racks up. A single £40 game that you play through to the end is much more valuable than a dozen £3 games that you never touch.
These tips may not work for everyone but they should give a great starting off point in whittling down your pile of shame and making your game collection valuable to you instead of just taking up space on a dusty shelf or cramped hard drive.
Discuss your plans and success for Shameless Gaming Month, and maybe share some tips of your own, over at X-talk.