Why The Gaming Pile of Shame Stacks Up

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We all have good reasons for putting down a video game for a while. Maybe it’s time to go to work, your girlfriend wants something called a date or more commonly something new and shiny comes out.

Sometimes games in your collection get forgotten about. Every time I walk past them I’m imagining the evil monkey from Family Guy pointing a finger of accusation.

I’ll Finish Later

But games aren’t cheap, so why do we abandon them on the side of the road after going for a sweet drive into the forest? You wouldn’t walk out of a movie halfway through (in most cases). You paid good money for both (in most cases) so why don’t we stick around for our games?

 Stop blocking them out of your mind and think about what’s in your Gaming Pile of Shame. Gamers are fickle. A lull in the gameplay or even a difficult decision can make me put a game down for a while.

“Do I save the orphans or the kittens? What kind of impact will this have late game?”

“I just gave you 20 raptor teeth and now you want 30 raptor hearts? Why couldn’t I get both at the same time?”

“So my choices are the same dungeon I was just in or drive 20 minutes to the next one? How about the power of my OFF button!”

We spend so much money on video games, yet we rarely come back to them, or even complete them. Friends tell me this could just be me being lazy. Does that mean if I took time away from study to play games that would make me less lazy? Can someone explain that one to me?

Fight Sloth, Capture Pokemon

Not Enough Time

If you were to play for 2 hours each weekday and then 6 hours on the weekend, that would leave you at 16ish hours of solid gaming. In one week you could probably make a small dent in Fallout: New Vegas and its boast of 100+ hours.

Big games are becoming harder and harder to finish. I don’t mean actual difficulty. Games are out with 50+ hours worth of gameplay, these are so called “near infinite” long games. Much of these hours are actually padding that we get quickly sick of. Just Cause 2 claimed to have more than 100 hours of gameplay time.

Well yes, maybe I could spend 100 hours playing the game. But that includes 50 hours or more of travel time. Films don’t have long scenes of travelling (unless it’s some sort of chase scene) why do games give them to us?

A good, fun game doesn’t need to be long and drawn out. Gamers loved Portal, that was only four hours of creepy humour, but it was worth it.

Some have no dialogue, still creepy

Too Much Choice

There are so many games out now we don’t have time to play them all. When I was young I had Super Mario Kart and Mario All Stars for the SNES. With only two games available to me you can bet I had gold on all the Cups. So what’s the issue? There are more games available now, I have more money (only just) or that I have less time to play?

With all the AAA titles coming out every day to distract us it’s no wonder we put games down. You can’t blame me for being distracted by….. ohhh shiny. Uh, what was I doing? Right.

You could just come back later though but then you have to contend with that. “What was I doing?.. oh right re-watching this cut-scene before the impossible boss battle.”

JRPGS Just to be clear

Too Hard?

Sometimes the game is just too hard, so much so that rage quit is inevitable. A blessing and a smack in the face is when the game stops to offer lowering the difficulty level.

The first game I came across that did this was Devil May Cry. Easy mode wasn’t even available until you died two or three times in the first chapter.

Where is the Rainbows and Ice-Cream Difficulty?

Developers need to work on ways to combat the, “Gaming Pile of Shame.” The people who make our games no doubt want us to finish them. Or else all that work they put into the super secret twist ending would be wasted.

Games are slowly gaining features like being able to change the difficulty as you go. Some games like Left 4 Dead 2 even changed the difficulty only the fly depending on how noob you were being.

Other Mediums

In movies and books the ending is big. After all that hard work of fighting back unwashed alien hordes, the story comes together. The loose ends are tied up, the big twist has been taken care of and the good guys have prevailed again. Games have been tainted by bad endings.

You storm the citadel of the evil alien dictator. Only to have time freeze and the guy you saw at the start tell you the journey is over until you buy the sequel. I’m looking at you Half Life 2.

Playing the world’s smallest violin just for you.

My Shame

For me, the most shameful game I always wanted to finish? Deus Ex. That’s right, I could never decide if I wanted to kill my brother or join his terrorist force. Still considered one of the greatest games of all time and I still haven’t finished it.

But ask yourself, what is in your pile of shame? Let us know in the comments below.

Oh wow, (Insert game name here) 3 comes out soon. Look at those shiny new graphics.

Dan would love for you you follow him on Twitter and keep him up to date with your latest additions to the pile. To see what the staff have been playing, check out our weekly summary.

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