A Breaking My Backlog Addendum

So, it’s been about a year since I stopped buying games. I’ve mentioned this a few times, but that’s because I can’t help but mention it. After buying hundreds of games and not playing them, it blows my mind that I’ve gone so long just playing games on my backlog. I’ve averaged at least one full game a month, and I think that’s pretty great.

But, I’ve also taken this anniversary to reassess things. I’ve started to wonder if perhaps I need to change a few things on the pledge. After all, as Emerson says, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Simply put, staying consistent for consistency’s sake is a poor way to live life. It’s good to examine, reflect, and reassess everything we do.

So, that’s what I’m doing.

Let me start by saying that I am not giving up on my pledge. I still intend to complete my entire backlog. However, I am going to give myself a little leeway to purchase new games, but only under strict circumstances:

  1. For every game I complete on my backlog, I’m going to deposit a dollar into a special fund. It’s this fund from which I’ll pull money to buy new games.
  2. I am only going to buy indie games. I’ll get to the reason why in a second. But, I still won’t buy mainstream, AAA titles.
  3. The game must have come out within the last year.
  4. I must pay full-price for the game. No Steam sales.

As to why I’m making this change, there are a few reasons. First and foremost, I want to buy games again. I’ll just say that right now. I’m making this adjustment because there are a lot of games that have come out during this time that I just want to play. Second, and almost as important, in not buying the indie games I love, I am not supporting companies that rely on those early purchases. This is also why I’m going to maintain item 3 on the above list. Indie companies rely on those early sales to basically determine the success of the game and start planning for the future.

Item 4 is a little more complicated, but it does relate to items 2 and 3. I read a Twitter thread one time which talked about how sales are both a blessing and a curse. While the company does usually get their full commission, or near to it, bi-annual Steam sales and the like have created a culture in which people want to play an indie game, but tell themselves to wait to get it on sale. The issue with this is that the sale may not be for a year or two. And, as previously mentioned, those day, week, or month one sales are immensely important.

I want to contribute to that.

So, when does all of this start? Well, I think I’m going to start it as of today. I was going to start it at the beginning of November, but the first three games I played in November (from the last article) were not very long, and I just didn’t feel that was fair. I don’t want to just play a bunch of 30-minute games to earn enough money to buy something new. That’s not the purpose of this.

So, there we have it. There are the changes I’m instituting. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a few games I want to play. Because I really want to play Outer Wilds.

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