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DiscussionAug 9, 2023 8:00 am CT

How many games is too many games?

Have you ever encountered the term Tsundoku? It’s a Japanese word that refers to the habit of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. In crafting and board gaming circles, there is a clear understanding that there are always two hobbies — one is engaging in the hobby actively and the other is acquiring the materials to engage in the hobby. Needing to have the new hotness, to hold the shiny even if you can’t use it right now, it will be there for later™. Your “shelf of shame” may even include games you’ve bought that are still be in shrink-wrap many months later.

Some people speculate that this phenomenon is linked to FOMO, that you see people around you discussing or engaging with aspects of your hobby and you don’t want to be the only person on the block not to have tried the latest and greatest thing, whatever it is. People are social animals and tend imitate those around them. Social media can elevate that experience as you see many people posting their experiences and it becomes hard to seperate that this is an aggregate of experiences an don’t the experience of a single person. You feel you need to keep up with them all and can’t see that no one person is doing all of that.

I often buy games with the very real intention of playing them but then time gets away from me. I know that personally I tend to align more with the “loyally play something until I have done ALL THE THINGS” style of gaming. But at the same time, there is definitely a collector vibe going on and I love checking out new games, at least in theory. I feel like every other day I am getting an email telling me something on my Steam Wishlist is on sale, but if I am being honest with myself I wonder if I am simply collecting. 

Late last week I did a bit of a clean up on my gaming PC to uninstall some games I probably won’t play again to clear up some space on my drive. There are so many games out there I want to try but I just can’t find the time. I’m trying to be more strict with myself about whether I will realistically find time to try something new, or not.

Do you see yourself as loyal to a handful of games or are you always moving from game to game? How many games do you have in your library and have you played most of them at least a little bit?

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