Is It Possible to be Addicted to Games and Yet Not Play Them?

Reader Josh H., a college sophomore, says he's been gaming and making videos for years, so he sent us this one. It's alright—I'm not sure it says anything we didn't know already, as the Pile of Shame is a commonly understood concept for most any serious video gamer.


What struck a nerve with me, though, was this comment, sent along with the video link in an email.

"When I look at one game I think about another and so forth and so on. Then I end up playing Facebook for 5 hours accomplishing nothing."


Playing Facebook for 5 hours, I assume means frittering away your time looking at what everyone else is up to, not necessarily playing Facebook games. That's the loop I find myself getting into, especially after I've completed a review and can get back into any game I wish to play.

The problem is the review has shut off all momentum. I haven't played NCAA Football 13, usually my most favorite series, in a month. So I sit at my computer, checking the New York Times, Yahoo! Sports, Reddit, my company's other sites—and then back again. And eventually I muster up the determination to reacquaintance myself with where I last left off. Worse yet, I find that I'm completely intimidated to start something new, like Mark of the Ninja, because I know I'll have to leave it again for something else very soon—in this case, NBA 2K13.

Like Josh, I have an impressive wall of games. It is one of the perks of this business, and I am fortunate to have the job I do and to receive all of these games without paying for any of them. I'm real proud of how big and varied that collection is, and sometimes imagine that if I was trapped on desert island with that console and a generator and a TV, I'd really not ever worry about being rescued.

But at some point, I do think I'm a hoarder. I do like playing games, but some games, I like having them more. I don't have a Steam library that full but I do have plenty of titles I've never finished or never even touched.


How about yourselves? Do you find yourselves drawn to having games more than playing them? Is it certain types of games? Do you have some games on your shelf the way some people have great books on their shelves—there's an obligation to be familiar with them as the major works of the genre, even if you're not interested in really completing them?

Or am I just navel-gazing, and playing Kotaku for five hours, when I—when we should all be playing games?


YouTube video uploaded by Josh H.

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God you dropped this article right when I was thinking this exact same thing. It's starting to get ridiculous how many games on my shelf are still in plastic. I just got Shadows of the Damned cause it was less than 10 bucks on amazon. I know the game interests me, but I also know I wont open, let alone play that game for months, like after Christmas for sure. Now its true that I can use the excuse that "I have too many games to finish first", but I haven't even started Mass Effect 3 yet, or Kingdom Hearts 3D, or Bulletstorm for that matter. At a certain point I need to realize that some of these games will never get beat, let alone played. Plus having your system crash and loosing your saves sure takes the wind out of your sails to go back and beat FFXIII when you were literally at the last boss.

No, the truth of the matter is getting clear now; I like HAVING games more than I like playing games these days. I guess it's the thought that I have options when I finally have free time. It's same reason I own a porn dvd. I never watch it, but if I dont have internet, I'm glad to know I have it, just in case. Maybe I'm being too kind on myself, maybe I really am a hoarder. I prefer the term collector though. I still have every game and system I've ever bought. I never sell my games, I only share them. And I still find myself buying SNES games every month.

At this point I have to buy furniture to house all these games. That should be a sign. If you have to buy speacial stuff to hold your stuff, you have too much stuff.

I'll leave you with a picture. Here's my collection as of 8 months ago( not including current gen). It's of course grown since then.