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Into the Backlog: A Journey Starts with a Single Workbook

Let’s get this out of the way: backlogs aren’t meant to be completed. Anybody who hoards video games knows this, yet we press on anyway (pun intended). Since I declared I have an interest in video games, here’s my chance to get that category rolling. Links of note will be listed under Further Reading.

I am what you would call a Patient Gamer™. Generally, I don’t buy games on release date (there have been a few exceptions). More often than not I’m months or years behind. When I buy a game it’s either on sale or in a bundle with other games. While my hoard is not as impressive as others by a long shot, it’s become a chore to pick a game to focus on and play.  

To be honest, I’m tired of looking at this pile of untouched or unfinished games. It’s not even about the money I spent. In my mind, it’s already gone, there’s no sense in ruminating over it. But now I’m bothered enough to the point where I want to do something about it, however futile. 

Image by MasterTux from Pixabay
Pictured: me vs. the hoard. Or should it be horde?

To start, I compiled an inventory of all the games I own across all the systems I have. What’s the point of putting in all this effort? I have a few reasons:

  • It gives me the most complete picture to date of what I own.
  • I can see if I have duplicates (spoiler, I do).
  • I can attempt to do some query wizardry to help pick out games to play. Then I can’t blame analysis paralysis when I say I don’t know what to play.

In its current state, my backlog data tracking is nothing fancy. There are online services dedicated to this specific task, e.g. The Backloggery or Keep Track of My Games. I decided to keep it local for now in an Excel workbook. It’s more than one sheet (thirteen!), but it tracks everything I have across all the systems I own. Every platform gets its own sheet for clarity. The only fields I have listed are:

  • Title
  • Time to beat, according to How Long to Beat
  • My time
  • Did I complete it?
  • Extra notes

For some extra legwork, I added up all the games I have in total:

  • Game Boy Color: 9
  • Game Boy Advance: 11
  • Nintendo DS: 15
  • Nintendo 3DS: 14
  • PS Vita: 4
  • N64: 18
  • GameCube: 15
  • Wii: 6
  • Wii U: 16
  • PS2: 14
  • PS3: 11
  • Switch: 10
  • PC (Steam, GOG, Epic, Uplay, etc.): 283 (!!)

426 games in total, give or take. I didn’t bother trying to calculate how much everything is worth. A lot I purchased second-hand, in a Humble Bundle or Steam sale, got as a freebie, held on to since childhood, and so on. Overall, big yikes, I have my work cut out for me.

I’m putting it out into the universe: I want to conquer my backlog. I’ve set the stage with preliminary inventory data. Next post in this category, I’ll talk about what I’ve done to help randomize my game choices.

Further Reading

The Backloggery

Keep Track of My Games

How Long to Beat


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