Vinyl

a nice sit down

My favourite era of game-playing:

City of Heroes and World of Warcraft, circa 2005. They were all I cared about for months or maybe years, games whose systems I suspect I understood more than any other, due to sheer time spent with them, and talking about them with friends and allies. I couldn’t realistically play an MMO now, as my affection has been dulled by a time-shortage and by ennui for their grand-scale Skinner boxes, but I am nostalgic for a time where they were my everything. Well-worn records I played over and over, and it felt special every time.


There’d be other games, sure, but they were but fleeting distractions from one ongoing conversation and thought process. Somewhere I’ve got an external hard drive filled with nothing but thousands of screenshots from early WoW. I’d felt I had to record and commemorate every moment. Because I had the time and mental space to.

Even if I weren’t a games critic I’m sure I’d feel overwhelmed today. Do you? Don’t you? So many games. So many games.

Back when we started RPS, there were days when we didn’t know what to write about, and that was when we only ran a handful of posts per day anyway. The PC was stuck in a transitional period, still hanging onto discs by its fingernails even as Steam steadily and inevitably recruited more and more publishers to its ranks. A game being an indie game was still something to remark upon, rather than take as a given. Big publishers only cared about Xbox, small devs weren’t great at getting the word out by themselves, Kickstarter would have sounded like a hippy fantasy and Early Access like high cynicism (as, in a few cases, it is). There weren’t many games, so we went pretty deep into much of what we did get, both on the site and in person.

So many games now. You don’t want to see our inbox. I don’t begrudge or lament this: to see the PC so vibrant, and to see so many smart people able to put their ideas and talents in front of an audience is nothing but wonderful. To not have days where there’s nothing to say is ideal. What I lament is missing out: it’s not possible to play everything, and even what there is time for I’m not able to sit and stew with, long enough to write something that goes a little deeper long after the event. Bar the occasional diary – i.e. ‘when Alec somehow convinces his colleagues that the site would most benefit from him playing one RPG all day, every day for a couple of weeks’ – I churn through games, onto the next one before the last one has had chance to sink into my brain. New cement poured over wet handprints, insights lost before they can fully form.

Add to that the anxiety of not being part of the conversation, of wanting to have common ground with friends and peers, and I find I’m still playing more mainstream fare than ‘indie’ (sarcastic quote marks included because no-one knows what that word even means anymore), depriving myself of the opportunity to experience games which might trigger brand new thoughts. Oh God, give me a clone, give me a sleep machine, give me anything to double my time and double what I can play. Or the opposite. Take all the games away. Let me sit with one for a month or more, let my brain naturally spool analysis and critique about it in idle moments, in the shower, at the dinner table, in conversation about something else, and let me feel like a game is for me, rather than one more title snatched off the infinite conveyor belt. Let me not worry that I’m missing out, let me just take all I can from what’s in front of me.

I’m older now too, of course. Without the responsibilities of a family and a home of my own necessitating so much time away from the screen I feel so comfortable in front of, I’m sure I’d be spending lunchtimes, evenings and weekends with Dota or LOL, Hearthstone or Bloodborne, or even going through Kentucky Route Zero with a fine mental toothcomb. I could be an expert at one thing, rather than (or in addition to) a hopefully thoughtful filtering system for hundreds.

Again: I don’t begrudge this. I’m beyond spoilt for choice, but more importantly that means that others, with less traditional (for the games industry, at least) mindsets, lifestyles and tastes, are slowly-slowly being offered any choice at all for the first time. The slow-motion explosion in games for anyone and by anyone is a cultural blessing. I’d never want a return to a time when big publishers owned the schedule, and in turn the entire conversation, but I have to adapt to knowing there are now so many conversations I can’t be a part of, or have to leave early.

I understand all too well why a 30 or 40-something vinyl neophyte returns to expensive and cumbersome nostalgia, because he misses the act of a music purchase feeling special and personal, because he wants something to play over and over again, thrilling in the physical interaction, pulling a little more from the songs each time. He does this even though the MP3 age means he’s exposed to and enjoys so much more music than he once was, that he is in a far more enlightened and diverse era thanks the great leveller that is the internet.

I can’t pretend that’s not in me too. I do miss the quiet. I miss building one thing up, both before and after the actual experience of it. I’ve seen more new ideas in the last year than in the last 35, but I worry that they’ve all sped past me on that great conveyor belt before I can grab hold of them.

Anyway, now I’m going to go and play The Witcher for three dozen hours. First-world problems.

36 Comments

  1. jezcentral says:

    I’ve only played a fraction of my ridiculously large Steam library, but the one time I can recreate that moment of infinite time from adolescence is at the start of a multi-day LAN party.

    I get out of the car, ready for 5 days of gaming at the latest LeachLAN, unpack my PC, switch it on, and sit back, enjoying the bliss of no wife, no children, no work, no calls on my time (even if I still miss the first two, massively).

    Then I usually piss off to the newsagents and buy loads of chocolate and coke. THEN, I start gaming. :)

  2. BathroomCitizen says:

    I have a huge Steam backlog too – it’s grown to a frightening level, I’d say.

    But this fear has started to lose its grip on me: as time goes on and my free gaming time inesorably shortens, I made peace with myself in that I can’t possibly TRY every single game that comes out or that I have in my list; let alone ENJOY and let it simmer in my brain, like Alec said. Now, that would be living in a fantasy world, where time is infinite and everyone can play videogames all day.

    The real solution to avoid a mental breakdown over what games to play is this: I try to think like when I was a teenager.
    Back then I had limited resources and my dad bought them for me. Every new release felt like something big that shaked the foundations of my life, i.e. each new game really counted.
    I really should buy, play and dedicate time to new games that matter to me, that catch my eye and my fantasy, even though the knowledge that I’m missing out on little undiscovered gems will be gnawing at my feet.

    For me, no more impulse buys on gaming bundles on which “I’ll make time to play, someday”. It’s that ‘someday’ that augments our already sky-high backlogs – yeah, like a special day will magically arrive where I’ll have all the free time in the world and think at nothing else other than playing.

    I’d wish.

    I feel so cynical on this matter. I need some outside-positivity, can anyone cheer me up?

    • heretic says:

      How did you manage to stop yourself from impulse buying bundles?

      Just earlier I bought the Paradox bundle for the extra Magika key I could give to my girlfriend to play in co-op, but end result is we haven’t had the time to try it out.

      Also CK2 is a massive time sink, and HOI3 is apparently broken without the DLC, so I guess I got massively suckered with that bundle (apart maybe from CK2!).

      Need some discipline to just let it go… but how?!

      • freiform says:

        I also had my share of beer-induced buys of bundles, deals and whatnot, bloating my steam library to the point where I cannot find what I actually want to play.
        I put some 30 hours into Pillars, but then the latest and greatest RPG got released and, well, Pillars lost its spell over me. Befor Pillars, I put an astonishing number of hours into WOW for four months, reviving my old character that I’ve been playing since vanilla. After a break of over three years. But it went.

        Regardless, I have other hobbies too! I like drinking beer not only while browing the webs for trophys to add to my steam-library, I also enjoy it with company and all screens off! I like stargazing, driving old cars, cycling, my better half, reading, did I mention drinking? The list goes on!
        Somewhere in between I realized how pointless this collecting is and it just stopped. Well, mostly. But there’s rarely a bundle I cannot resist.

      • Orix says:

        I’ve been struggling with this myself.

        I’ve had to reason with myself over the past 24 hours that I DO NOT *really* want the Run and Gun Bundle on Bundlestars. And then listed reason as to why:

        1) Blades of Time looks pretty, but: I have loads of hack n’ slash games that do the same thing, i.e. being a pretty hacker slasher, but better (DmC, Brutal Legend, Killer is Dead, etc. etc) that I *still haven’t played*, so I don’t need another one…
        2) Op Flashpoint games, open world military sandbox with vehicles and commandable squad? Sounds awesome. But, hold on, I own ARMA and never played it. In fact I go out of my way to avoid modern warfare games because it’s just not a setting that clicks with me. Ever.
        3) The rest of the bundle looks rubbish, and I won’t play any of those. Granted I could trade them for other games, but the only thing other people want to trade with is mainly other bundle games, which I would have gotten myself if I really wanted ’em.

        So. I think it’s just trying hard to rationalise things. Sure, its £2.75, you’d probably spend about the same on a cup of coffee, but coffee doesn’t clog up your steam library and make you feel guilty for buying stuff you don’t have time for.

        I currently have a 260 game long wishlist. I probably buy one or two from it per week if they’re on sale. This way, I’m buying games I actually want, and if I see it on sale, and can still rationalise not buying it, it comes off the wishlist.

        I’ve also gotten into the habit of not forcing myself to finish a game if I’m not enjoying it, or if I’ve gotten enough from it to feel satisfied, just for the sake of completing it. Several case in points for this week were:
        1) “The Bridge”, that game just wasn’t fun. Stopped playing it.
        2) “Eidolon” provided a nice walk and some interesting bits to read, but enough is enough. I’m not going out of my way to find all the reading and tools when the landscape is so minimal and slow to progress through. I found the bit on the map I wanted to get to, took a few nice screenies, mission accomplished.
        3) “Lego: The Hobbit”: completed the main levels some a few times over, did plenty of side quests and exploring, but to hell with it for collecting every fecking thing, way too much work and the fun has kinda ceased.

        So, yeah, my pitiful tactics for fighting through my library :D

    • Beanbee says:

      Maybe we should stop calling it a library and start thinking it as ‘our planned retirement’.

      • Orix says:

        Hah! Amen. Been on Steam 10 years, and have accrued about 600 games… if I stop collecting now, I might be able to play through the entire library before I die :D

  3. Cochise779 says:

    At first, I felt anxious about all the games. There were so many! Then I was happy. There are so many! There’s something for everyone. All my friends play games, even the ones who don’t own consoles or PCs.

    But I can’t keep up. There’s more I want to play than I can, and I want to play all of it the way that i used to play. I’m with you, Alec. We’d be idiots for not recognizing things are better now, and yet can’t fight a feeling that we lost something too.

    I worry about saturation. There are only so many people and so much time and so much space in the backlog. I’m beginning to think my only solution is to leave the conversation – return to letting big publisher YouTube trailers and Steam stumble-upons be my playlist. I’m not happy about that future, but maybe if I don’t know about all the games whizzing by, I won’t feel so lost and drowned.

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    Andy_Panthro says:

    It’s not even just games, all of the TV shows, films, books (old and new) that I want to consume and yet I would need to make it my full time job in order to adequately process them all. With things as they are, I have to pick and choose. All those people with 100s of hours in Skyrim (which I have still yet to play, it’s gathering virtual dust in my Steam library) are bewildering to me. I can’t fathom playing anything for that length of time, let alone concentrating so much on a single game when I have dozens waiting for me.

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    Hodge says:

    Yep, this a hundred times.

    I’m slowly learning to prioritize things as either ‘must play’ or ‘if I get time’ and accept that a lot of the stuff on the ‘if I get time’ list just won’t ever get played. The flipside to that (ha! vinyl reference!) is the stuff I do end up playing is usually pretty ace.

    There’s a book called The Paradox Of Choice which is exactly about this and well worth the read if you’re interested in the psychology behind this stuff.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      I’m so damn guilty of that. My Steam library climbed from around a dozen to perhaps 50 by the time I graduated secondary school a decade ago and started to earn money of my own, most of them I played enough to be worth the money and felt completed.
      In the last four to five years, and a bundle apocalypse later that count has climbed to an alarming 666 as of today according to Steam…
      Despite that I’m playing less, not because I lack time or motivation. I don’t have kids, I’m currently back to studies and a good 20 miles added to my LAT relationship due to that circumstance.

      I just end up playing the same old games as I did before the library hyper inflation or procrastinate away my game time watching someone else have fun in a useless let’s play on youtube.

  6. caff says:

    Great article.

    To think only 10 years ago, all the talk on PC forums was “why can’t we have this?”.

    But this year it’s crazy. I have games stuffed in my library….

    Hand of Fate
    Pillars of Eternity
    Grand Theft Auto V
    Life is Strange
    The Talos Principle
    Invisible Inc
    Grim Fandango Remastered
    The Escapists
    Crypt of the Necrodancer
    Alien Isolation
    Ori and the Blind Forest

    And now it’s the Witcher 3.

    And it’s only May…

    I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR ALL THIS GOODNESS. BUT KEEP IT COMING.

    • Horg says:

      Good guy Alien Isolation: does the horror so pants shitingly well that you make time for all those other games in your library you were probably never going to get round to.

      • BathroomCitizen says:

        Ah!
        I was thinking just the same thing last night. Alien: Isolation gave me so much anxiety that I had to stop playing. That gave me the excuse to give Dark Souls 2 a try, finally!

  7. heretic says:

    Indeed.

    @Hodge, thanks for the link to the Paradox of Choice. Can’t agree more, even last time I was in the supermarket there were like 5 different brands of mildew remover, I had no idea what to get so decided to just not buy anything and just use some vinegar which I already had at home… fail consumer choice!

    It’s a real issue though, but it made me realise marketing really works – I wanted to buy the new shinies, it’s always the new shinies! GAT 5, Witcher 3 etc

    I’ve held off GTA 5 so far but I really wanted to get it, despite the fact that I still have a bunch of (maybe less fun) games to finish on my desktop.

    In the end I bought Pillars of Eternity only because Amazon has jacked up it’s free delivery to GBP 20! And GTA 5 still hasn’t dropped a pound dammit…

  8. Kefren says:

    I recently felt this, seeing so many games in GOG and Steam that I owned. I decided to use an alternating system.

    1. Install a handful of games I am not that interested in. Play each one once or twice, just to get a feel for it, treat it as a single adventure, so when I die in Miasmata or Five Nights At Freddy’s I feel that I have had an interesting experience (like reading a short story). In fact, playing it once often makes that game much more interesting, with higher stakes. Then I uninstall them. So I’ve had some fun from them and could revisit them in the future if I felt like it; but also cleared 5-6 games from my backlog in just a few evenings.

    2. Pick one game that I really look forward to playing. Play it as much as I want until it is complete, or I get bored with it.

    Then just go back to 1. It really helped starting to make a dent in my backlog, and means I just switch modes. I’ve found it works well for me. Occasionally a game in 1 turns out to be so addictive that I just keep playing it (looking at you, Broforce!) but that’s fine too – I discovered a gem that earns its keep and I’ll come back to.

    Whenever I am coming up to the time to switch 1 to 2 or vice versa it is always satisfying picking the game(s) and service (GOG or Steam), browsing the library, thinking about each one.

    Another idea is to have two games on the go at the time, but very different types. One could be more in-depth with a big story (e.g. an RPG); another could be something good to pick-up-and-play with quick levels (a puzzle game like Fractal or Hexcells; or a fast blast like Broforce or Really Big Sky). So you play according to whether you have 5 minutes or a whole evening. Then when you’re done – two more games ticked off.

  9. Cinek says:

    My favourite era of game-playing is… now. Sure, in 2005 there might be some games I liked and aren’t available any more – not in this state, not with these communities, some games even died out completely, but… there’s so many games to choose from that I play what I like and when I feel like it – I can be more picky than ever before and enjoy the games I’d like to play on right now with less restrains than ever before (heck, I can even play the games that are yet to be released thanks to early access and crowdfunding).

    As far as for reviewer it might be overwhelming – for me as a pure gamer these are better days than ever before. The only real limit is the amount of time you can spend gaming.

  10. Banks says:

    Nowadays I find myself ditching the games I don’t love immediately, whereas years ago I was a lot more tolerant with padding and generic stuff.

    I still do love gaming, but I only find compelling fresh new ideas and interesting challenges. Life is too short.

  11. SwiftRanger says:

    I think it all depends on what type of games you want to play. A lot of smaller titles don’t mean a certain genre is doing okay, there should be a balance between AAA and indie stuff or even better: there should be a lot more games in that midrange section of not-quite-AAA and not-really-small-indie-anymore. The kind of stuff that Obsidian, Larian, inXile are slowly moving towards with better production values, a longer “game” and a more refined experience from the start (not just after a year of patching as it is now). The partybased RPG genre is almost back at where it was quality-wise in ’98, ’99 and 2000.

    Roguelikes, 2D platformers, partybased RPG’s, DotA-clones, turnbased strategy are ruling the PC-waves and sure, it’s a varied bunch but it doesn’t include decent to great RTSs. There are many games I can play and enjoy nowadays but not the kind I’d really want to see. I haven’t seen a real bright star in RTS games since 2007 (SupCom:FA and WiC being the highlights then). That’s just too long a period to overcome and even now I’d say the future doesn’t look that bright with either more DotA-influences, dead RTS-franchises and poor imitations of what once was. :(

  12. frenz0rz says:

    “Somewhere I’ve got an external hard drive filled with nothing but thousands of screenshots from early WoW.”

    I thought I was the only one! I even spent some time a few years ago categorising them into years, levels and guild affiliations, in case I ever want to look up a screenshot of a particular moment or person.

    A bit sad maybe? Perhaps but, as you describe for yourself, my time in WoW was an experience I’ll never have again and of which I have fond and vivid memories. It was a hugely formative adventure growing up through high school and college, and as with all things nostalgic, the fact that I know I’ll never go through it again makes it all the more special.

    But now? So many games. So many great games. Any yet somehow, I never seem to find myself playing them.

  13. mpOzelot says:

    Here is a silly and unstructured thought:
    You guys should ditch all press releases and trailers of the week in a corner of the front page (add an extra dedicated column to the website or something), and only focus on writing posts like this one.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      Seconded. I wish I lived in a world where that was economically viable.

      • zentropy says:

        Threesies.

        • BathroomCitizen says:

          Fourthed.
          Nowadays I can’t even keep up with reading about new game releases. On RPS I just skim most of the stuff and go straight for the features and supporter posts.

          And, as already mentioned above, I know that it isn’t economically viable for them. But a man can dream!

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    gritz says:

    Great article. More stuff like this, please.

  15. skalpadda says:

    Bar the occasional diary – i.e. ‘when Alec somehow convinces his colleagues that the site would most benefit from him playing one RPG all day, every day for a couple of weeks’ – I churn through games, onto the next one before the last one has had chance to sink into my brain. New cement poured over wet handprints, insights lost before they can fully form.

    I can think of no greater benefit to the site (the purpose of the site being to cater to my personal taste of course)!

    And yes I do think there’s something lost despite all that we’ve gained. When the floodgates started opening and we began to enter the age of Backloggeddon I hovered up almost everything that looked vaguely interesting and tried to play it all, but lately I’ve noticed I’ve become far more conservative and I only play things I’m genuinely excited about. I still like having all this choice but I’ve come to terms with the fact that just because it’s there and looks shiny that doesn’t have to mean I should try to consume it all. I also rarely play a single game so long that I feel I become truly good at it any more.

  16. Ejia says:

    As I’ve grown older I realize that I don’t actually want to play ALL the games – I have no interest in sports games, fighting games, and driving/flight simulators (but I’m fine with arcade-style racers). I’m not too hot about roguelikes, and horror games, either.

    But I want to at least try everything else. And then get into them – explore, fiddle.

    I think immortality is a worthy goal if only because then I’ll finally have enough time to finish all my damn books and games.

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      Still nobody figured out the secrets of Lich-dom?

      Then we don’t deserve to be real gamers.

  17. Hypocee says:

    I just went and looked it up – we’re near the tenth anniversary of a comment of mine which I remember vividly, in which I posited that it had then been four or five years since it was physically possible to play all the games which were excellent and deserving of attention. 2000ish sounds about right still.

    I’ve come to peace with it. Most importantly, I think twice and thrice before recommending anything to a specific person. I’ll tell an anecdote, give a Tom Francis Asshole Summary, or discuss If You Like A And B You Might Like C Because Y, but the fact is I have no right to try try to claim anyone else’s time. The two gaming podcasts I listen to regularly, Idle Thumbs and the Crate and Crowbar, are dominated by discussions where one person has played a given thing and is telling the others about it. It’s cool! Telling friends about something that happened in your life is a game in itself. You don’t have to have had the same experience, in fact if you haven’t you can spread and be given only the cream of all these different entertainments. Similarly I’ll happily read games journalism or criticism about games I’d never in a million years buy, let alone play. Genre writing can stifle, but so often it instead provides a comfortable starting point between a writer and an audience, and a handy set of bones to push on.

  18. dangerlift says:

    Preparing to move my Steam library over to a new rig, I came upon a novel solution.

    Step 1. Delete everything that you are neither currently playing, or have not played within the last 2-3 weeks.
    Step 2. Bask in the glory that is your digital addiction sans guilt

  19. iainl says:

    The thing about vinyl is that I can only play it on the big hi-fi in the living room. And the thing about playing music on the big hi-fi in the living room is that I can’t shove it on in the background and go concentrate on something else. Particularly when the disc is going to hit the run-out groove in 20 minutes, tops.

    So I listen to it. It’s no wonder that it sounds better than my mp3 files if I’m actually paying attention.

    So yes, it’s just like with the Steam Backlog Of Shame – you barely notice that recent file in your iTunes library, let alone give it the chance to prove itself.

  20. Anguy says:

    I too have a huge backlog and on top of that I’m ashamed to admit I’m a bit addicted to getting as many achievements as possible. It’s not like I play EVERYTHING to completion just because of achievements though. There have been a bunch of games that I initially thought had to be really great games but that I ended up not liking very much (Like And Yet it Moves or Dustforce). These games I stopped playing entirely and didn’t even care for the achievements.
    Still I sometimes choose to play a game that doesn’t have achievements over one that has just because I know I don’t have to force myself to do certain things just for an achievement. I get more enjoyment out of these games most of the times (This sounds really bad I just realised, like I am a proper addict).

    Another issue I have is that I’m hugely interested in stories which is why I own games from genres I’m not particularly good at like strategy games or puzzle games if there’s a story that seems appealing.

    All in all my backlog isn’t as huge as other people’s (My combined library from GoG and Steam is about 400 games strong with around 250 unplayed) and I managed to restrain myself from bundles and only buy things that are at least 75% off or somewhere around 5€. Except for sequels where I love the series or the premise like Witcher 3 or Deus Ex.

  21. Likethiss says:

    Excellent article. I’ve been thinking about this exact same thing for quite a while now. The most convincing conclusion (atleast to myself) i’ve come to has been that the games are simply not that good anymore. And i dont mean graphics or mechanics wise, because obviously they are ten times better than what it was in early 2000. Mostly i think that games are severely lacking in innovation in terms of gameplay mechanics. In my opinion one trick or almost unique gadget does not a good game make. The games i’ve played the most in the last 5 years have been the Men of War series and indie titles like Rogue Legacy. Oh yeah, and games with supposedly good stories tend to be written as well as a book i would put down within the first 3 pages (Im looking at you Witcher 2)

    I dont know if i even have any point to make, just thinking out loud because my backlog is also filling with games like Shadow of Mordor, Pillars of Eternity, GTA V and all the other “hot” new games that just cant keep me interested for more than an odd hour or two at max.

  22. mpOzelot says:

    Like many, I’ve also fell for the tempting sales and ended up with quite a backlog of titles waiting for my attention. While I see this abundance vs time as an issue, I also see it as a chance of defining your tastes and personality as a player in a more detailed manner.
    Collecting retro console games has been an hobby of mine for a couple of years now, many games I desired as a kid, but never got to play, were now at hand and cheap (at least most of em). This of course fueled a wave of impulse purchases, and many titles are on the shelves collecting dust now.
    But a physical medium, makes the issue of having a lot of games but not playing them much more apparent. The necessity of getting rid of unplayed games (paradoxally much easier to do than with digital ones) forced me to rethink every single purchase I’ve made. Getting rid of stuff is actually a much more empowering and defining act than purchasing, it makes you think about what you really see as indispensable, and how your belongings reflect who you are.
    In the case of games, I feel like the best solution is to think of why you play games, what is that you find attracting about the medium, and focus on titles that resonate with that answer. Try to define your tastes and start to treat your backlog as a garden (or a vynil collection), trim here and there, and only purchase and play what really resonates with your “game persona” (note how I’m avoiding the word gamer here).
    Also remember that art is timeless and has no expire date, not playing the hot new thing when it comes out is not the end of the world, you might be feeling that you are missing out on the discussion by during so, but masterpieces can keep the dialogue open for virtually forever. In contrast, I’ve found out that playing popular games years after their release helps to put em in perspective, the past years goty might not be has good as it seemed when the crowds disperse and the peer pressure is way less.

  23. Glamdalf says:

    The complete overkill of awesomeness that’s coming out bothers me way too much. Wouldn’t it be great if the world decided to put all production on hold for a year? No new games, movies, series, books, comics, music, board games for a whole year, so everyone can catch up. Even then it would be impossible for me to consume everything I want to, but maybe it would take away some of my restlessness. I should talk to the industries, they’ll probably really dig this idea.

    Frustrating thing is that I know that it’s far more enjoyable to spend a lot of time on a few things than to spend little time on a lot of things, but I just can’t find the peace of mind to do so knowing that’s there’s some much more stuff waiting for me. Pillars of Eternity is the only RPG that I played from start to finish in the last few years, and even with that wonderful game I felt relieved, unburdened when I reached the end credits.

    I find some comfort in sturgeon’s law, but even the 10% that’s left is a lot to chew on.

    We’re living in tough times.

  24. Emeraude says:

    Been on my mind since yesterday, and I think the comparison falls flat on some level..

    First, the music offer was already big enough in vinyl time that wading through it was a full time job and not one individual could listen to it all – as any professional DJ or amateur crate-digger could confirm you. What the advent of the internet meant is only that now anyone can do it, and it’s never been easier to do.

    Then, the difference between current abundance of offer for games on PC and previous “famine” (and honestly I keep thinking people are way overstating this) is less an issue of technological progress in publication/emission and more one of contrast between a period where publisher chose to neglect the platform and one where they can’t afford to do it because the consoles alternative as lost its luster.

    If anything, I think the comparison should be made to broadcasting – TV: or radio once you have perfectly controlled channels,s and you got your content from there; there were few enough channels that you could see it all – and to you and everyone that mattered to you your community, it was all that was on offer, so it was all there was – never mind all the content that never made on those channels.

    So it felt manageable and there was a sense of social cohesion that is now lost.