Shameless Gaming Month is something a lot of the writers and the folks over on the X-Talk forums are participating in. As many did last year, they’re completing the uncompleted, playing the unplayed, and perhaps getting around to letting go of that one game they didn’t want to finish simply because they didn’t want it to end. I wanted to join in this year.
I still want to join in. I just have no idea where to start. I’m finding it hard to break old habits and with Shameless Gaming Month coinciding with the Steam Summer sale, I’m just adding more shame to the already bulbous pile. You want to know why? You want to know what could be keeping me, a man with more time than sense, from accomplishing such a task? Well, to begin with, I finally got around to playing Tribes Ascend, having wanted to do so since before the beta. I just never found the time to download it, I was too busy playing other games.. Now, I’m hooked, so much so that I’ve already bought the starter pack, albeit at a reduced price. I’m currently hoarding experience points, lest my will weaken and I purchase something else for the game.
I can’t stop playing Battlefield 3, even when I try to fight the urge to do so. I have yet to gather the lint and buttons together for the latest DLC or Premium but my fervour is ever-evident. Battlefield is a constant at this stage of my life, like watching the evening news or having a cup of tea in the morning. Even after all these years, I find myself playing it on a near-daily basis – specially with my new headphones that cancel noise and not just a round at a time either! Deus Ex: Human Revolution recently found itself in my possession thanks to the Steam Summer sales. The countless hours I’ll spend on that in the coming weeks will abase me even further. To boot, I’ve fallen off the wagon and renewed my subscription to EVE Online, returning to the oft labelled accounting simulator after a long, itching, absence.
What I should have been doing however is finishing the games in my line of sight – Games like Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, a loan from a friend that’s starting to look more like a gift. Shadows of the Damned lies below it, taunting me. I look at it and think “I should play it…but damn, it can be a right pain in the hole at times!”. The same truth holds for the lonely Dark Souls underneath. To my left stands BioShock 2; unfinished, to its right is Dead Island; unfinished, keeping them company are Condemned, Mass Effect and Hellgate: London; unfinished. Well below it, just out of my direct view sit Dead Space and Tomb Raider Anniversary. Yes, you guessed it, they’re both unfinished. At my feet is the limited edition of The Last Story, gathering more dust than hours. I’m an unabashed Sakaguchi and Uematsu fan, I bought a Wii after all these years just for this one game. I really enjoyed the time I’ve spent with it, nevertheless it hasn’t been touched in quite a while. On another shelf, far to my right, sits Darksiders. This is the game that I didn’t want to end. I’m quite literally right at the final boss but I just can’t bring myself to go right through to the endgame cinematics. Enslaved is shackled nearby, another great game I have yet to get around to finishing. Then there’s my Steam library. I won’t even start to list the uncompleted or downright unplayed titles in there. Let’s just say the number is in the double digits and leave it at that.
So there you have it. We’re half-way through the month and, if anything, my pile of games is only getting bigger. Shameless Gaming Month has been nothing but shameful for me. This is hard work. As an avid gamer, I seek out enjoyment. Lamentably, I seem to rely too much on old favourites for it, sure in the certainty that I’ll have fun playing them. Even then that’s no excuse as I know I enjoy the bulk of games in my shame pile. I’m trying to think positive however. There’s still roughly half a month left to make a real commitment to get through or at least play some of these games. If I even finished one of them, I believe I’d be content, doubly so if that one game happened to be The Last Story. For now, this month is not one of shameless self-congratulation where I’m concerned. For me, it’s just been a month like any other, just one more shameful gaming month.