We are all guilty of this. You just bought a game that had great reviews. Or maybe a friend convinced you to buy it. Perhaps even, it was on sale and it just looked good. No matter how you come to acquire it, upon playing this game you realized something. It's just not enjoyable to you. I'm here to tell you, it's ok. Just walk away and stop playing. Seems simple enough, yet a lot of us don't practice it. But why? Are we trying to get our money's worth? Are we trying to justify our purchase? Our time is precious yet we don’t treat it that way. Maybe it's about time you start.
It has taken me up to 2016 to realize that just because I bought a game, doesn’t require me to finish it. There are countless games that have gone on sale or I have received for free. Games that I felt I had to finish because I "owned" them. That is a hard life to live. In fact it almost feels like work. Work that not only you are not getting payed for, but also not getting anything out of. So why do we continue to do it?
Sometimes I think it is the promise of great payoff such as storytelling. A promise that doesn't always pay off, but when it does you were glad you had the experience. Just think if you had walked away from Bioshock or some other heavy story driven game. It's hard to judge when it is time to walk away. I myself have some loose rules or guidelines that may help you on your journey to defeating your backlog.
First and foremost, if you start a game and are not hooked immediately, walk away for a day or so. Come back and give it another go. And if that doesn’t do it for you then I suggest moving on. Next, if you find yourself feeling strained or forced after a few hours of play, stop playing. At the point of two to four hours of play, it's pretty clear whether or not you are enjoying a game. If the only thing you are holding out for is a few more cut scenes or fragments of story, just look it up on YouTube. If this was a free game you have received, well, let's just say there may be a reason it was free. Don't feel obligated to play any of those freebies. Of course if you do, there is no shame in enjoying them. I loved Pneuma: Breath of Life. Lastly, if you had picked up a game for cheap, don't feel bad if you don’t like it. Again, there may have been a reason it was so cheap. Just walk away.
By no means is any of this meant to deter you from playing games. On the contrary, it is meant for you to keep enjoying games. After all, that's what it is all about. Sure, there are times when a game can get grindy or repetitive. But, if the end goal is what brings you enjoyment then keep doing it.
Achievements and Trophies have become a wonderful way to try something you have never thought of before. They can also be an artificial way to lengthen games or hook those of you that are completionist. Don't fall for it. You know what I am talking about. You have those last few left to Platinum the game. Problem is, those last few achievements are not only a time suck, but not any fun. I myself still go for a lot of achievements, but as soon as it stops being fun, I'm not interested. I recommend you try it.
All of these are polite suggestions if only to get you to think about it. In fact, just recently I went through about four games in an hour. I knew I was not really going to enjoy my time with them. Once you free yourself from these very metaphorical chains, gaming can be so much more fun again. I hope you will take this into consideration next time you are doing what we absolutely love to do. GAME!