The ‘Too Many Video Games’ Dilemma

I was originally going to title this post ‘Why Don’t I Use My Nintendo Switch  More Often?’, but then I realized there’s a bigger problem afoot. It’s something that I’ve talked about in the past but never sat down to think through the actual implications of my current dilemma.

I’m also pretty sure that there are millions of people out there who have the same issue that I do. Let me tell you about what finally got me to write out my thoughts and what I think we can do as a video game community to help combat this problem.

Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Does that bother me? A little. Will that stop me from sharing what’s going on in my head? Nope.

Flashback to Two Days Ago

I take the train to and from work 4-5 days a week. On a good day, I’ll catch the bullet train and have a 30-minute ride. During one of the nights where I stay at work late, the train gets me home in about 50 minutes.

This distinction is important because while the bullet train shaves 20 minutes off my commute, it is typically filled to the brim by the time it gets to my stop. That means I’m either crowded next to a bunch of strangers or sitting on the inside stairs of the train, still surrounded by strangers.

On the flipside, the later trains always have open seating (except for on days where there’s a baseball game…shakes fist angrily). Many times, I won’t even have to sit next to someone! The result is close to an hour of time where I can sit comfortably and do whatever I want.

Two days ago, I took the later train after getting dinner at Tacorea (I recommend if you are going to get the tater tots, don’t also get a burrito. When you do get a burrito with the tots order, you probably won’t finish it. If you do finish it, I’ll give you a dollar. Actually, I’ll probably just be really impressed by you). The night before, I had decided to put my Switch in my bookbag, knowing that I’d have some time to play on the train coming home.

I pulled the system out of its case, plugged in my headphones and geared up for some on-the-go gaming.

Photo Credit: DeviantArt

Little did I know, this was about to be one of my most enjoyable train rides.

Within a minute of pulling out the console, I was booting up BOTW and prepping myself mentally to conquer another shrine.

Aside from the fact that Zelda is a great game, I was blown away by the quality of gaming I had the palm of my hands. The graphics looked great, the gameplay was superb and I quickly forgot about the shouting youth who were on the first floor of the train (still shaking fist angrily).

As I got off the train, I thought to myself “I should bring my Switch on the train more often”. There was a strong sense of accomplishment, having wrapped up some end of the week work assignments and acquiring a spirit orb with 5 minutes left in my commute.

When I got home, I realized just how much I had neglected my portable console. This was a system that was incredibly difficult to get my hands on in the days following launch with a game that was praised as one of the greatest of 2017.

Yet, here I was over a year after launch having not even progressed halfway through my first Switch game. There was a problem here.

The Predicament

It’s not that I singled out Switch for my neglectful ways. Really, I have neglected many MANY MANY video games and consoles.

Let me tell you about the electronics that have consumed our 1-bedroom apartment:

  • 2 PS4s
  • 1 Wii U
  • 1 raspberry pi retro console
  • 1 retroengine sigma
  • 2 Nintendo Switches
  • 2 3DS XLs
  • 1 N64
  • 1 ipad mini
  • 1 ipad pro
  • 1 kindle fire
  • 1 kindle paper white
  • 3-4 laptops (depending on the day)
  • 1 gaming PC
  • 3 smartphones
Photo Credit: Thrillist

All of you already know this, but I really like video games. So much so, that I probably have access to at least 100 games without leaving my home (not including the thousands of roms for my retro consoles. Don’t even get me started on the board games on the shelf…

See folks, the problem is that there are likely over 100 thousand video games that have been created since the beginning of video game history (ie. the beginning of time). Not all of them are good games, but there are many out there that are worth playing. The issue is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to play all these games!

Hence, ‘The Predicament’.

One thing that gets me in trouble is the abundance of free games that I’m privy to. My Playstation Plus membership gives me access to three-ish free games on my PS4 every month, at least one of which usually deserve my time. I also have half a dozen random accounts that shell out free AAA games.

On top of all this, I’ve been addicted to slickdeals for almost a decade now. I’m a sucker for good sales, especially video game sales, and I typically find myself in possession of at least 3 unopened games.

Sure, I could split my time between multiple video games. However, as I’ve written in a previous post, Fortnite is Life.

What to Do

I actually do see a world where I can enjoy more video games. It’d either be my full-time job OR I would be retired and have plenty of free time. Until then, it’s more than likely that my gaming will be shared between Fortnite (70%), NBA 2k18 (20%) and Overwatch (10%).

I believe the closest I can get to this Utopian future is to access a library of games through an online service, instead of purchasing games which collect dust in my cabinets.

There have been companies who tried this. I’m pretty sure I still have the login to my OnLive account. Ubisoft currently is offering For Honor for free through their site. EA Access is exactly what you would expect. The list goes on.

What I’m looking for is a product that brings all games together, from all consoles/PC, from all eras at a reasonable fee. I imagine this product having a monthly subscription service or a pay-as-you-go account that allows you to pay a small price to have access to specific games. In reality, I’m describing a video game equivalent of a Netflix-Hulu-HBO combo, but one can dream.

Until someone makes this, I’ll be spending my time on a handful of titles, while continuing to build my backlog for retirement.

Do you have ‘the predicament’ too? What games are in your backlog?

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