Steam is challenging us to clear out our backlogs

Easier said than done

We buy games – a lot of games – and we don’t always finish them. Hey, it happens! That’s just how backlogs go. This weekend, Steam is here to give us a nudge in the right direction with the Spring Cleaning Event. It’s a challenge to look through your library and check names off the to-play-later list.

The Spring Cleaning Event is split into daily tasks and projects, both of which will let you work toward earning a Steam profile badge and leveling it up while checking out past game purchases that need love. Why bother? Well, why not? It’s a tiny external incentive, but it’s not like your Steam backlog is getting any smaller. Gamifying the act of playing video games you already own – that’s where we’re at.

Steam Spring Cleaning Event 2019

Projects (one and done)

  • Nostalgia: Play a game you’ve played more than 2 hours of, but haven’t played in a while.
  • Can’t Wait: Play a game you purchased within the last 6 months.
  • Trusted Friend: Play a game recommended by a friend.
  • Blast from the Past: Play the first game you added to your Steam account. If you completed this task last year, play the second game on your Steam account.
  • Tag Contributor: Play a game you’ve applied an existing tag to or created a new tag for.

Daily Tasks (recurring)

  • Clear the Backlog: Own a game that you haven’t even played yet? Give it a try and increase your badge’s level.
  • Spin Cycle: Can’t decide what to play? Let us help you out! We’ll pick some random games in your library that you can play to upgrade your badge.
  • Speed Clean: Several games are available to play for free during the whole event! We’ve picked a couple for you to try today.

You don’t have to think too hard about what games might apply to these challenges. Once you’re logged into Steam, the Spring Cleaning page automatically shows you which of your Steam games are applicable for each project and daily task. For instance, to earn “Blast from the Past,” I’d need to go play Half-Life 2; it was the very first game on my Steam account (because of course it was.)

I like where the Spring Cleaning Event is coming from. I really do. If you can’t be bothered, though, it’s not a complete waste of time. Steam is running a free weekend for a handful of games – Dead by Daylight, Endless Space 2, Grim Dawn, Don’t Starve Together, Black Desert Online, Left 4 Dead 2, and Assetto Corsa – until May 28 at 10:00am Pacific. That’s also when the backlog event ends.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.