Holding Back

Back when my blog was at 1UP, I talked about World in Conflict. I was in the beta for the game and it struck me as something that was worth playing when it finally shipped. Today at Amazon, you can order it for $18. That’s a great price, and I had the game in my basket all ready to check out when I stopped dead in my tracks.

Who am I kidding, really? When will I have time to play it?!

It was like a bolt from the heavens. I clicked away from the page and only went back just now to get the link for this post. I’m sure World in Conflict is a game I would enjoy playing. I might even find it to be among my favorites, but seriously, I don’t have time for it. I’ve got at least fifty games here in the house that I’ve either played once or twice or never played at all. Many are still in their shrinkwrap. (That’s a new tactic I’ve used, BTW. I don’t open them so they have more resale value later if I never get to them.) So why do I need to throw World in Conflict on the pile with them?

The answer is, I don’t.

I find it astonishing how many games I buy, and how many that I know other people buy and end up doing the same thing with them. The likelihood of us ever getting to them is next to nil. Even if I retired today, I doubt I’d ever run out of games to play between now and whenever I leave the earth. At 36, how many years do I really have left? Half my life? Hopefully that’s the case, but even so, I will never run out of games.

This is blasphemy to the games industry. They want us to keep on buying and buying. Guys like me are the reason three consoles are viable right now. Without the Dave Longs of the world, it’s likely that the 360 and PS3 would be a lot further behind the Wii. In an article I wrote for CGM a few years ago, I noted that the 3DO was ahead of its time. Not necessarily because of the hardware, but rather because this hardcore group of people who buy any new electronic games gadget regardless of utility and price didn’t yet exist. Clearly those people supported the PS3 launch in droves, and subsequently got bored of Resistance a month later and wondered where more games were?

The same goes for the phenomenon of the Game of the Month on 360. It drives sales of one game, usually something very hardcore targeted, on that system each month. It’s rare to see something linger other than the occasional first-person shooter like Call of Duty 4. Everyone’s shilling for that new game via their Friends’ list, too. All your buddies see you playing Ikaruga, so you have to go download that one, too! After all, it’s only 800 Microsoft Points and it came out yesterday.

Peer pressure is a bitch, and before the Internet it was confined to your tight knit circle of geek friends. Now we’re all connected to each other and the geek talk flows like water across messageboards the world over. So when someone finds a good deal on another game everyone says is “pretty cool”, you can’t be left out!

I’ve often used the excuse of “research” for buying a title like this. Usually I do find them useful later on. But this time I’m saying “NO!” because I seriously cannot play it. I just rented Mass Effect the other night for heaven’s sake! Of course…. World in Conflict probably wouldn’t arrive until after I took that back… hmmmm…



One Response to Holding Back

  1. Ken Wootton says:

    Dave, I did the same thing minus actually getting it into my Amazon cart. I’ve been peering at WiC for a while from the sidelines waiting for a price drop. Now that it happened, I find myself a bit buried in games. The good news is that it is unlikely to go up in price. The bad news is I’m going to buy it soon. I’ll never resist the urge forever.

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