“THREE TIMES A WEEK, I SWEAR” & The Topic of Game Hoarding

I’m actually doing a lot of writing now in a few different places, but I refuse to allow the domain name and website I love so much to languish in a lack of content. I now make a promise to post here at least three times per week, whether that be with a doodle, a think-post, or a Rewind, (WHICH I STILL PLAN TO BRING BACK THANK YOU VERY MUCH).

So, today’s topic will be games. Again. More specifically, buying them.

I remember when Good Old Games first launched back in 2008. I was in the closed beta for the service, one of the first rounds of invites, even. I bought Fallout 1 & 2 as quickly as my browser would allow. (On a side note, saying you were in the first round of closed-beta invites to some website has the same cadence as an old man saying he was “first off the boat on D-Day.”) Over the course of three years, I would buy 22 more games from GOG, and they’re now proudly displayed in my little online library shelf.

22 might seem like a low number, but we're talking about a store that has 300 games, with 250 of them being absolutely terrible.

You know those “Pay What You Want” bundles that have been getting big lately? Yeah, I’ve been into those – I’ve gotten all of them. I usually pay around five to ten bucks for each one – they each come with five-ish games, sometimes more if you pay a certain amount. I’ve gotten at least ten or so of these bundles over the past few months, not including the good ‘ole Humble Bundle, which has been running for almost two years now.

And finally, there’s the grand-daddy of them all. Steam. I joined Steam when I was 14 – every couple of months I’d go to the Wawa near my house to buy a $25 American Express Gift Card with money I’d gotten primarily by not eating lunch for a few days just so I could go on and buy something awesome on the internet. It started with the Half-Life 1 Anthology and the Source Premier pack during the first of the now annual Steam Holiday Sale. After six years, I’ve managed to garner 129 136 160+ games in my Steam library. (I started writing this post pre-Humble Bundle 4, then had to revise it again after the Steam Holiday Sale…)

So here’s what I’m getting at. It’s an admission, and I’m just glad we didn’t have to have an intervention here.

It’s might not be obvious, primarily because I don’t have boxes stacked in my closets or cat skeletons piling up under the kitchen table, but I’m a Digital Game Hoarder. I’ve decided that this is a thing because then it might eventually become “okay.”

Before, I told you how many Steam games I own. I’ll now tell you how many I’ve actually played for more than, lets say a half hour.

40.

That’s a quarter. Many of these have never even been installed.

I’ll admit – some of these games may have come bundled together in weird ways, or I ended up buying a series that was on sale only actually wanting the first game, but any way you slice it that’s a rough number to be dealing with.

I would like to say that I can help it, but I can’t. It’s just so easy to keep things organized when they’re on my computer and I’ve got a terabyte of space. It’s like being a hoarder who lives in a mansion that happens to have a lot of shelves.

I’m not a neat person. Far from it – My living space is a mess, as any people who have visited can personally attest to. (With the exception of one girl who, in a desperate but ultimately futile exercise, tried to clean it.) While don’t have boxes of things piled up in the space that I live in keeping me from getting around my own room, I do have a lot of honestly quite useful things around that don’t fall into any category other than “bullshit.” An example being that I’ve got an old Brother Word Processor from about 1988. It takes ink cartridges that cost me $40 and I had to buy a USB floppy disk drive to get my files off of it. But it doesn’t have Facebook or Wikipedia or all of the other things that keep me from doing actual writing work, which is why I keep it around. The same basic “When I use it it’s really useful” rule goes for my canvas and paints, or my N64.

Which brings me back to the point I had completely forgotten – my games.

If I get the urge to play Fallout, or finally play Fallout 2, or decide to give The Witcher more than twenty minutes of my time, I’d like for them to be there, ready and installed, in the “Games” folder on my desktop. I don’t think it’s necessarily a problem that I buy the games on a whim – that’s not being a hoarder, that’s just being an impulsive shopper, which is an entirely different issue all its own.

In the end I can usually make myself feel better about my bad habits by saying to myself, “Well, at least I’m not addicted to heroin.”

And amen to that.

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