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Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:36 pm
by JetFred
You can skip to the list below if you want.

We often talk about how play time and our approach to gaming have changed as we age our way through life. In my case it has been childhood-->college-->married with no kid-->small kid-->older kid-->empty nest.

I've been trying very hard to reorganize my games differently, so that I'll play them differently, so that I'll buy them differently. I've been buying games in a pattern for years that was to make up for not having time to play them, and that turns into spending more time sorting them than playing them, which makes the money something of a waste. I've known it was stupid all along, but I get neurotic pleasure out of sorting, so it was all reinforced enough to continue. For those of you who know my habits and wonder about my finances, I spend less than you probably imagine and this introspection was prompted by paying off all my debt, not by hitting bottom on a money problem. I'm just trying to adult. I'm 45 and it still sucks.

I'd be crazy to say I'll slow down buying games to just what I play. That may never happen. But this summer I've had a little time to think about it.

Today's list -- I've identified the following ways I play games, and I've tried leaving fewer than 40 games installed so I can easily sort them into these categories. Realize that I do not play multiplayer-only games, and play practically nothing but PC games now.

To finish: single-player action games, puzzle and story-based platformers, more conventional puzzle games, and various subgenres of short or experimental adventure games
To catch up: so many core adventure game series and new entries because this is my longest-running main genre
To progress: this is particularly for the long-running series of hard, deep action-rpg hybrids like Deus Ex, Thief / System Shock / Bioshock, and Arx Fatalis / Dishonored
To exhaust: arcade, racing, and other subgenres where you die and start over, particularly the gamebook-style games
The long haul: the role playing games that I always pretend I'm going to catch up and finish but never will, especially old-school stories like Planescape Torment
The indefinite: games that aren't made to finish, like Euro Truck, Pinball FX3, and a whole bunch of 4x turn-based strategy

This way I can see that I have too many games installed in one of these categories and really don't need another one, even at $10, until I make some headway.

Thoughts?

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:57 pm
by YellowKing
I did something similar awhile back but it was a little simpler than your breakdown.

I went with:

Games I Want to Keep - This was reserved for games that I may have not finished, but I enjoyed playing from time to time. Those open-ended games like Truck Simulator you mentioned also went in this bucket.

Games I Want to Finish - This was for games I genuinely felt like I had the interest level to beat and wanted to try to complete

Games I Want to Try - This was the bucket for a lot of games I had gotten in bundles or Steam sales that I wanted to just give a fair shake with no real expectations either way. After trying a game in this bucket, the plan was to immediately put it in the "Keep, Finish, or Not Interested" folder.

Games I'm Not Interested In - This was for games realistically I was never going to play and had no interest in. These games got dumped into an Archive folder.

There's really no right or wrong - I think any method of breaking things down into smaller chunks is a great way to make progress.

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:40 pm
by Skinypupy
My installed games typically fall into one of three categories:

- The one MMO I spend 90% of my gaming time with (FF XIV) and a couple others that I mess around with once or twice a year (ESO and GW2). These are the only three games that haven't left my system in years.
- The half-dozen or so games that I bought on sale with really good intentions of digging into...that I will spend between 2-5 hours with before getting bored and/or frustrated.
- The games I picked up for free somewhere along the line (Epic Store, Twitch Prime, Humble Bundle) that I have a little bit of interest in, but will probably never get around to playing until I uninstall them 6 months from now.

Pretty much the same thing on my consoles, with Diablo 3 being my "never uninstall" game, then a ton of other stuff that I may or may not get around to.

I think I just need to quit buying games entirely. :oops:

(Side note: I'm mostly just jealous that you're an empty-nester at 45. I turn 45 in less than a month, and still have 6 year old twins and a 10 year old at home.)

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:44 pm
by Isgrimnur
Skinypupy wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:40 pm
(Side note: I'm mostly just jealous that you're an empty-nester at 45. I turn 45 in less than a month, and still have 6 year old twins and a 10 year old at home.)
Now think back and determine if you were ready for a kid at age 26 or younger.

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:18 pm
by coopasonic
My flow is pretty simple:

Plate
-> Finished
-> Not Interested
-> Evergreen
-> Early Access -> Finished or -> Not Interested

Most Humble games and freebies from wherever go from plate to Not Interested with a quickness. Most everything else goes to Finished at the appropriate time. A few sit on the plate approximately forever.

Evergreen is games like XCOM2 and KSP that I reinstall and play through a couple times a year. OK, it's really just those two.

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:34 pm
by JetFred
Isgrimnur wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:44 pm
Skinypupy wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:40 pm
(Side note: I'm mostly just jealous that you're an empty-nester at 45. I turn 45 in less than a month, and still have 6 year old twins and a 10 year old at home.)
Now think back and determine if you were ready for a kid at age 26 or younger.
Yep, 25. And no, so we never had another one. I thank God and my wife that I didn't ruin this one before he hit double digits.

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:37 am
by raydude
Isgrimnur wrote:
Skinypupy wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:40 pm
(Side note: I'm mostly just jealous that you're an empty-nester at 45. I turn 45 in less than a month, and still have 6 year old twins and a 10 year old at home.)
Now think back and determine if you were ready for a kid at age 26 or younger.

If it makes you feel better I turn 48 in two weeks and I have an 11 and 7 year old.

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:04 pm
by hitbyambulance
i treat everything like a coin-op arcade or pinball machine. i have no real compelling interest in completing most games (and a good quantity of ones i play aren't 'finishable' anyways). stories are for books and cinema and theatre and whatnot, and games are to exercise play mechanics - that's what i find important above all else.

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:30 pm
by JetFred
hitbyambulance wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:04 pm
i treat everything like a coin-op arcade or pinball machine. i have no real compelling interest in completing most games (and a good quantity of ones i play aren't 'finishable' anyways). stories are for books and cinema and theatre and whatnot, and games are to exercise play mechanics - that's what i find important above all else.
That was my attitude towards accumulating indie games until I realized it was completely stopping me from ever finishing a story-based game anymore. And like I said, adventure plots are still my most-loved thing.

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:43 am
by Kasey Chang
My categories are:


* To experience -- a lot of games I just want to play through once. Some of these, I could have just saved my money and watch the cinematics on Youtube :)

* To complete (until bored or frustrated) -- for games I understand the mechanics of, or can master quickly, I'd want to finish, until I run into a bug or got bored or otherwise don't want to play any more (maybe hit a difficulty plateau)

* To try until recategorize -- sounds cool, but how does it really play?

* To leave in backlog -- may never get to it as I keep finding cooler games to try

Re: Categories of games according to how you approach playing them

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:45 pm
by JetFred
Thank you for reminding me that I'd already posted this, because seriously I was minutes away from starting yet another thread of hyper-analysis that would have been completely redundant.