How to tackle your pile of shame
The dreaded pile of shame: a culmination of all the games you set aside when life got too busy. We all have one, and it’s a haunting reminder that greatness awaits if only we had more time to sit down and relax, controller in hand. But fret not, for there is a light at the end of the tunnel: there are ways to sift through the madness! “I don’t need tips,” you say! Well if it were so easy, you wouldn’t have a large shame pile to begin with.
Make a list
It sounds unnecessary, but having a tangible list of all the games you’ve put on the back burner would make things a bit easier to manage. Separating the games into categories is even more helpful: games not started, games 50% completed, etc. You don’t realize how easy it is to forget all the games you set aside when they’re mixed in with the rest of your collection, not including digital downloads you have stored on Steam.
Set a schedule
Creating an agenda for your work week (and if possible, weekends) is essential for everyday life, really, as it helps pinpoint where there’s room for improvement to make the most of your time. Having a calendar helps keep track of upcoming events and appointments so you can then plan your free time more wisely (and don’t accidentally forget a friend’s birthday). Taking the time to organize yourself a bit will allow you to see where you can fit in reading/writing/gaming—after you take care of the more important tasks, of course!
Setting a schedule also prevents you from wasting free time: How often have you found yourself with two straight hours of nothing to do that just cropped up out of nowhere? They may be rare, but I’m sure they happen, and it’s during these moments that you can tackle that copy of Ni no Kuni you left for later. Only, I’ve often found myself just watching whatever’s on television when these hours spring up, and I always kick myself later for not doing something more
productive fun with my time. Don’t be me.
Know when Achievements and Trophies are worth it
Personally I love the sound of that achievement ding when I’ve completed an objective, and seeing that platinum trophy icon appear on the upper-right hand side of my screen is an amazing feeling. BUT when you have a shame list that just keeps growing, sometimes 100% every game is not feasible. You have to choose what brings you more joy: achievements or the variety and completion of multiple games. Knowing how long a game can take to complete is also good knowledge to have, but I wouldn’t recommend rushing through a game just to get to the next item on your list either. Don’t deprive yourself of the pleasure these games bring, it defeats the entire purpose of the activity you’re trying to make time for.
It’s dangerous to go alone!
Friends are great for many things, such as tackling those games you have neglected for awhile. Having a good co-op buddy (online or taking turns on the couch) will help you run through games quicker and more efficiently. The best part? It’ll be more fun regardless, so it’s a win-win!
Ditch the games you’ll never get back to… Seriously
It may be hard to accept but you won’t finish all those games; if you’re too busy now, your life is just going to continue to get more occupied. Which is why it’s time to accept the inevitable: there are simply some games you will never go back to—games you’ll never finish. Maybe you lost a save file worth twenty hours of hard work, and just the thought of redoing all those missions is enough to put the game off for another day. Or maybe you know Final Fantasy XIII gets better at the thirty-five hour mark but getting to that point sounds grueling. No matter how many times you convince yourself you’ll eventually find the time for every single game in that pile, when you factor in all the future games you’re going to get, it’s a lost cause.
Ultimately sell the game or gift it to a friend, because something that may just be gathering dust in your home may bring great joy to another. That’s rewarding enough!