New Year, New You: A Game Plan for Attacking Your Gaming Backlog

If you're anything like us, you have a crazy backlog of must-play games. Here's some tips to help you attack it in the New Year.

a year ago

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If you're reading this, chances are you have a backlog of games waiting to be played, just like me. These games are likely calling out to you, asking to be played and enjoyed.

Everything from must play triple-A titles to niche indies with a cult following just sitting in your library leaving you paralyzed on where to start.  I mean who even has time?!

Okay hear me out, this year we challenge ourselves to complete a handful of those games, experience some great stories, and cross them off the list. So let’s make a plan and get started.

Deciding What to Play

One of the toughest parts about a long list is deciding where to start.  The way we will cut down on this is by narrowing the overall list down to 10 games that over everything else seem like the most exciting thing to play.  Be sure to diversify the list so that fatigue doesn’t set in playing the same genre over and over again.  10 games will give you enough to play without being too daunting.  If you need a break from games on your list or a new game comes out that you have been dying to play, there needs to be time for other guilty pleasure and or comfort games, whether that be solo or with friends! You never want this to feel like a job.

Mike's personal list for 2023.
My personal list for 2023

Schedule Your Play

Time is such a precious thing for all of us and is one of the few things in life we can never get back, so let’s make it count. Scheduling can sound like work but that’s not the point of this, it’s also important for mental health. Whether it be time you get to yourself or time with your loved ones, prioritizing your time helps ensure you make the most of it.  If playing games is an important fun way to unwind and spend personal time, scheduling it can also help others respect it.  Not only that but with a set time each day, week, or even every other week to sit down and just do your own thing it allows you to feel okay doing it as well.  This is a planned time period, everything else can be tuned out for a bit.  Be sure to schedule a reminder to help avoid wasting time on things like social media that can melt away hours without even realizing it.

Keeping up with everything else will also help when sitting down to enjoy games. Use schedules not just for the free time but also for work, family, health, etc. Sometimes there will be priorities on the schedule that come up and maybe you won’t have that time for yourself, but make sure to reschedule. Family and work should come first, but always be sure to fit in the personal time.

Schedule your time.
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

Avoid Fatigue and Road Blocks

Checking these games off the list might be what we are trying to do here, but the real goal is always to enjoy the time you are spending playing games… Have FUN! If you are trying to play one game at a time and all of a sudden you hit a roadblock or get a little fatigued with a longer RPG, it could bring this whole process to a halt. This is why it’s important to stagger games and also know when a game just isn’t for you. What I mean by staggering games is make sure you always have at least 2 games you are working on at any given time. If one of those is a brutally tough adventure, maybe have a more relaxing game with some chill grinding or simple story to relax with for days when a big challenge seems exhausting. Now when it comes to knowing when to quit; this is more subjective, but it is important to not let pride get in the way of fun. For some this spot might be 2 hours into a game and for others it might be 15, but set an amount of time you are willing to give to a game and if that time passes and it just isn’t fun it’s okay to quit. Your time is valuable and you shouldn’t force your way through something you aren’t enjoying.

Left: Elden Ring Right: Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Left: Elden Ring Right: Kirby and the Forgotten Land

“Good Luck, Have Fun”

GLHF is a common abbreviation in gaming I have always enjoyed, even when it is being used sarcastically in online matchmaking.  Here though, I mean it.  This whole challenge to knock some games off the backlog this year is about having fun, setting aside time for yourself, even working on bettering time management and mental health.  Let’s make this journey together!

Everyone taking on this challenge, post your list of games in the MIDNIGHT SLATE Discord server #gaming channel.  We can all come together there and talk about the games we're playing, the moments in them that move us, the struggles, the laughs, and the fun. No matter when you see this and decide to start the journey for yourself, feel free to join the community. It is always fun to have someone to share these moments with.

Michael Dhalle

Published a year ago


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