Thursday, August 18, 2011

Too Busy Gaming To Game?

It’s been quiet around here lately.

I’m not really sure what’s been going on, whether it’s starting a new job and attempting to have more of a social life or a lack of games that have really been compelling me to dedicate more than a few hours to them, I just haven’t really been in the mood to play lately.

Which is why this article on why most players don’t finish games is rather perfectly timed.

Turns out, I’m not the only gamer who feels this way. In fact, it would appear that upwards of 90% of players who start a game never see the end of it. Considering how long some games are I suppose that’s not really a surprise but what I did find a little shocking is that it’s not always the quality of the title that stops people from playing. For example, “Red Dead Redemption” which was named “Game of the Year” by dozens of reviewers (including myself) only had about 10% of the people who started it complete the final mission.

The article goes on to list three main as to why gamers are having a tough time getting the digital credits to roll: other electronic distractions, a plethora of games to choose from, and a desire for more multiplayer.

The first two really stood out to me. For example, I remember playing Fallout: New Vegas and while the game would be loading I would be on my phone checking Facebook or Twitter; it was like I couldn’t not be actively doing something. Hell, as I type this I’ve got the Netflix streaming in the background. It’s as if we’ve gotten so accustomed to multitasking that we don’t know how to just focus on one thing anymore.

The second point I also found to be true (which is somewhat ironic considering I haven’t played a console game in a while) but it reminded me of how “Red Dead Redemption” and “Alan Wake” were released on the same day and how in the next few months Dead Island, Skyrim, and Arkham City are all coming out. Not to mention Tomb Raider, Silent Hill: Downpour, and Bioshock: Infinite will follow next year. With so many games to choose from, how can we possibly find time (not to mention money) for all of them?

Finally, there’s the issue of multiplayer and while at first I disregarded it since I’m generally a single-player gal I soon remembered that the last time I played a game it was a round of Left 4 Dead 2 with a friend and before that it was a replay of Resident Evil 5, again with a friend.

So what do you all think? Do you have a hard time finishing games? If so, why? Did this article ring true or are they missing the mark?


  1. I'm not an avid gamer but I am a thorough one! I tend to buy games and only play one until it's done before I move onto the next one (which is why I didn't even touch my copy of RDR for a few months until I had completed Assassins Creed 2 and Brotherhood to the best of my abilities (AC2 at 100% thank you VERY much. Ha!))

    Also when I'm playing a game i tend to focus on little else. I am completely glued to the screen.

  2. I don't finish games that often anymore either, but I think it has less to do with free time and more with a diminishing sense of obligation. I used to finish them because it just felt like I should, but the more games I finished, the more I realized that not a lot of them really end on a strong note (probably thanks to rushed development timelines).

    I think GTA IV sealed it for me. After a truly painful afternoon of retrying the final mission at least 10 times (seriously, would it kill them to put more checkpoints in there? I actually had to-twice!-drive across town to replenish my ammo, because it didn't come back when I died), I beat the game, and then I had to wonder why I'd put myself through all that frustration for an ending that wasn't really very satisfying.

    So when I found myself getting bored with Red Dead Redemption, I remembered my GTA experience and just put the game away. Haven't gone back to it since, and yet even when I read about people liking the ending I don't feel any desire to see it. If I don't truly enjoy the game from start to finish, it's unlikely that the ending is going to be satisfying enough to justify all the effort.