Editorial: I’m Drowning in a Wave of Ecstasy

I realize that such a title will encourage more entirely inappropriate comments directed my way, but I find it difficult to turn down a good opportunity to quote a band that nobody has or ever should have heard about.

Its meaning in relation to this article is simple. I have so many good games I want to play, I end up playing nothing. Although this might seem a little like Riddles’ previously mentioned Gamer’s Fatigue, I speak of something a little different.

It happens far too often when I’ll come home from a good but tiring day at work, turn on my XBox 360 and look at my massive stack of games and then hit a wall. I like all of them, that’s why I bought them, but because no one game stands out above another, I’ll end up deliberating for 20 minutes and ultimately just watch 30 Rock until I fall asleep. I’m usually in an unmistakable mood for gaming, but with so many choices, I get overwhelmed. Should I play a few games of NHL 07? Or maybe I should sink a few more hours into something more involved like Lost Odyssey or Blue Dragon? Maybe I’ll boot up the ol’ PS2 and replay a failsafe Final Fantasy title. Perhaps I should break out Suikoden Tierkreis on my DS. But I can play that practically anywhere, I should take advantage of the consoles while I’m home, shouldn’t I?
These wishy-washy thoughts continue until I eventually give up, like I said, and resort to watching something instead.

He's about to drown...

He's about to drown...

It’s probably obvious from my examples, but it’s not like I have no good options. A few games I mentioned in particular, Lost Odyssey and Suikoden Tierkreis are extremely engaging titles that represent the best of their sort on their respective consoles. So I really think it comes down to having too many good options, as bizarre as that sounds. When I was younger, not only did I have more time to play games, but I had fewer games to play. Therefore I would become intensely familiar with what few titles I had. Perhaps it’s those memories that cause hesitation as well. I’m always trying to recreate that sort of familiarity with new titles, but knowing that I have – literally – dozens of other games waiting to be played creates a pressure on me to almost take my time quickly. Of course that’s a complete impossibility, so therein lies my issue.

Do you share this bizarre quandary, dear readers? Do you feel like you have too many good games to play and therefore you can’t pick a single title out of a stack of 30? Or maybe you just feel like my title was misleading? The comment section below is a very good place to share your response to these questions!

18 Comments

  1. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2009.07.10 at 04:05 | Permalink

    This is something I think everyone will relate to, I have so many games that I’m literally paralised by choice, and I seem to recall Lusi complaining of his dithering on CatFancyCast. Honestly, I own games now which I will probably never complete in my lifetime.

  2. Epyon
    Posted 2009.07.10 at 06:33 | Permalink

    Hmm, can’t say I can relate too much to this. Even though I don’t play too much lately (and waste my time in the inane tasks I commented before) I always have a game to devote time to, and while I’m half done with it, I’m already deciding on the next.

    In my opinion the best and most efficient way around is to stick with one game at a time, or at least one game at a time for each genre. I found myself going through my RPG backlog (now bigger than ever) by focusing on one RPG at a time and having one action or fighting game as a backup when I needed a change of pace.

  3. Lusipurr
    Posted 2009.07.10 at 12:25 | Permalink

    @SN: Yes. Too many games and I end up sitting around trying to figure out what to play, and never actually playing anything.

    Except for TF2. I play a lot of TF2.

  4. Ethos
    Posted 2009.07.10 at 13:52 | Permalink

    Yeah, see, after I wrote this article, I couldn’t decide what to play, so I went to the Deal of the Week on XBox Live, downloaded N+ at half price and played that for an hour or two.

  5. Oyashiro
    Posted 2009.07.10 at 14:46 | Permalink

    Same here, I buy games I sometimes don’t even play. I guess its kind of like a addiction. Although I’ve been enjoying Odin Sphere lately.

  6. Protomark
    Posted 2009.07.10 at 15:59 | Permalink

    i am swamped with games right now – I went on a huge Megaten kick and bought Persona 3, Devil Summoner 2, and SMT3: Nocturne within a month, and i have Lost Odyssey in the pipe as well. I had this moment of realization while gearing up to play Persona 3 the other day: i have to mentally prepare myself to play this game. I need to be in the mood. As soon as i realized that, i went and did something else.

    It was really kind of jarring. I’m often finding myself in this position, considering that for the first time in my life i actually have a backlog of similar games, sitting in a stack on my desk awaiting consumption. I have so much new, exciting crap to play, but Persona 3 is such a meaty game that i’m convinced i have to finish it before moving on to something else, and it’s really, really difficult to fight the urge to set it aside. i usually think about it for a second and then just end up playing something nice and familiar, or just going outside or something. And those fresh, shrinkwrapped games sitting in that stack on my desk go unplayed, even though i’ve owned them for at most a month now. My ability (or inability) to commit to games has started to get in the way of playing new games.

    So, yeah. I can empathize with you. The problem with being picky about the games you buy is that you want to always want to play them all. it’s weird.

  7. Ethos
    Posted 2009.07.10 at 20:00 | Permalink

    “The problem with being picky about the games you buy is that you want to always want to play them all. it’s weird.”
    You nailed it right that Proto.

  8. TumbleCheck
    Posted 2009.07.11 at 02:11 | Permalink

    Man, I know exactly how you feel. I’ve got all my recently purchased games lined up in front of my tv and I’ll just sit down and wonder what I’m in the mood to play or what I should play because I bought these friggin’ games and they’re going to waste just sitting there. inevitably, I end up doing the same friggin’ thing, popping in some series show or watching shows online and going to bed ’cause I wasted so much time trying to decide.

    though, of recent I’ve been digging into super mario galaxy and it’s kept my interest enough to go back to it. honestly, I think it’s because I can just pick it up, play a couple levels and put it down for a week and not have to worry about wondering where the hell I am in the game. Hopefully, i’ll be able to finish it before I lose interest or something

  9. DarthGibblet
    Posted 2009.07.11 at 09:04 | Permalink

    Add this as another “me too” post, since I’ve got the same issue as so many other people in this thread. Recently, I’ve actually found something that helps, though. When I’m sitting down to kill time (be it with a game or whatever), I ask myself “Don’t think, just answer, what do you want to do?,” then, I do whatever the first thing is that pops into my head. More often than not, it’s exactly what I wanted to do without so much deliberation time, and the few times it turns up something I’m just not in the mood for are worth all that time not deliberating.

  10. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2009.07.11 at 10:13 | Permalink

    This whole conversation puts me in mind of Buridan’s ass:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buridan's_ass

  11. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2009.07.11 at 10:38 | Permalink

    For some reason my link didn’t work properly….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buridan%27s_ass

  12. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2009.07.11 at 10:39 | Permalink

    Ah that’s better.

  13. Oyashiro
    Posted 2009.07.11 at 23:43 | Permalink

    I thought that link would be about something completely different. xD

  14. breaka666
    Posted 2009.07.12 at 20:28 | Permalink

    as someone with a pitifully low budget I find it hard to sympathize. I would be happy to trade problems if anyone’s interested.
    have any of you considered just not buying as many games? that sure as hell helps me. or maybe making a rule that says you can’t go to your back catalog until you’ve spent x amount of hours on your new games? that way you can at least not have the guilt of not touching new games.

  15. TumbleCheck
    Posted 2009.07.13 at 01:22 | Permalink

    @Breaka666 Yeah, I definitly bought too many games in too short a time. my thought process was getting them now so I don’t have to buy them online. Not really a big fan of purchasing things online.

    the problem with setting a goal like playing for so many hours is that, at least for me, it turns the game into a chore and then I get unmotivated to play them even more.

  16. Ethos
    Posted 2009.07.13 at 02:38 | Permalink

    @TumbleCheck – I agree almost entirely except I have no problem buying things online. But when I see it in the store, I don’t want to pass up the opportunity to get it. Especially when I see it used for a good price.
    But gaming should never be a chore, absolutely. And I agree that time allotment can lend itself to that view.

  17. breaka666
    Posted 2009.07.14 at 22:25 | Permalink

    @Ethos I see your point. maybe you should just be poor, it works for me.

  18. breaka666
    Posted 2009.07.14 at 22:31 | Permalink

    But then Ethos would have to start sleeping with japanese businessmen for free, wouldn’t he. And then there’d be no way to pay for trips to events like E3.
    Nevermind, dumb idea.