This post is motivated from a conversation I had on twitter yesterday where one person was surprised that collecting games on steam was a thing. Sometimes I forget that we’re not all steam game players – there’s also the Origin game client, battlenet client, other clients I haven’t named, and then of course there’s console games. Even though I own 233 steam games I don’t consider myself a ‘collector’ of them because I don’t actively seek games out. They tend to be simple humble bundles, or games from good sales. At what point would I consider myself a collector? I’m not sure. If I went just by sheer number of games then sure, I suppose 233 is more than enough to qualify – but I don’t *feel* like a collector of steam games.
Looking over my stats was a bit of a surprise. 60% of the games I own I’ve never played. I think a lot of people who acquire steam games can probably say the same thing. We buy them and we either never play them or we play them for incredibly limited amounts of time. Why does this happen? Well, lets face it, our time is precious. If we’re not completely sold on a game and we bought it on a whim or it came bundled with another game, we may not have that urge and motivation to log in when we only have an hour here and there. Why would we want to play something we’ve barely even heard of when our comfort game is waiting just over there.
It’s much harder to get me to try something I’ve never heard of before or that I’m uncertain about. That’s not to say that these games are not also amazing to play, I have no doubt that they are, but convincing me takes some time. Then there’s the obligation we may feel to play MMOs that currently require a subscription. What about all of those early access games that we buy thinking “I’ll play it when it fully releases, this game looks awesome and has so much potential!” only that game never gets out of the early access stage and years later it’s still sitting in your steam library. Yep. I have a few of those sitting around too.
One thing I don’t do is feel bad about collecting games, even games I’ve never played. I think collecting things is human nature. Comic books, baseball cards, art, rocks, whatever. These are our hobbies, and we invest in them. Some hobbies grow in value over time – and some don’t. I don’t expect that my steam account will be “worth” anything if I were to pass on but I do know that getting a neat game makes me smile, and playing those games and discovering them can take me away from a pretty crummy day and brighten things up. Berating ourselves for getting a treat of any sort is a common practice. I think these treats are essential to our well being. Of course I do mean in realistic terms here, obviously if you have no source of income and you’re spending food money on video games there’s a problem – but if you’re working hard and want a game – even a game you may not play for long – that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Of course I do have a goal to try to play more of my steam games, especially those I’ve never played before. Just need more hours in a day.