Are we living in the Age of Backlogs? Or is it just me?
The thought is prompted by the latest round of tempting Steam sales. It’s hard to resist buying more stuff, yet most of the stuff I found so irresistible in previous sales has remained unplayed, either entirely or in large part. And not because it’s not good or I wouldn’t like to get into it, but because of the vast mismatch between the amount of media readily available to us these days and the amount of time available to partake of it.
I’m not talking only about games here, because one of the chief reasons that games have gone unplayed is that I’ve been spending a good deal of my R&R time on catching up with TV boxsets and reading books. And I have large backlogs of those too.
Captain’s Backlog, Stardate 2014.0627
Games that I’ve played a fair amount, but not as much as I would have liked lately:
Games that I’ve played some, and would like to play a lot more if time permitted include:
- The Secret World
- Civilization V
- Hero Academy
- Star Trek Online
Games that I haven’t tried yet which sound tempting if time allowed include:
- Guild Wars 2
I can’t bring myself to go look at the games that I’ve actually bought via sales and Humble Bundles and have not played at all or possibly even downloaded yet. There are a fair few of those too.
And nor will I mention the umpteen games I’ve dabbled in that are lower down the priority list than the ones above. SWTOR, Rift and such would be on there.
Is it part of the backlog if you’ve started watching it? Or if it’s a rewatch in the first place? Or if it is airing now and you are more or less up to date with it? I’ll leave such question to the lawyers and philosophers, and just look at what is stacked up waiting to be watched…
- Star Trek – The Next Generation – I started a rewatch of the series, but am not actively watching it at the moment, because if I did. where would I fit everything else in?
- Star Trek – Deep Space Nine – I’m currently watching it. This was partly a rewatch as I’ve seen some of it before, but it looks like while I saw most of Season 1 before, I may not have ever seen much of Season 2 or later seasons. DS9 is something I’ve been wanting to catch up with for a long time, so it’s at the top of the backlog queue right now.
Elementary – I am still half way or so through Season 1. Liking it a lot, and would want to see all of it, time allowing.
Game of Thrones – I’ve watched a few episodes of Season 1, but I’m reading the books now. Probably won’t watch any more til I’m caught up with all the books, and then I’ll come back.
True Detective – Not started watching it yet.
The Wire – There’s a rewatch going on in a community I’m part of, and I’d like join in, but I don’t think I can fit it in. (Have seen it all before).
Fargo – I think I’m only one episode behind! Yay!
The Good Wife – I am somewhere in the current season. I may even be up to date now? Confused, but not too far behind!
The Bridge – Seen one episode, plan to watch it all at some point.
The very concept of a books backlog may be verging on the ridiculous in my case. If I were to count the amount of unread books that I have at hand, both physical and in ebook form, and consider the rate at which I have actually been getting through them, it’s quite possible I already have enough to keep me going for the rest of my lifetime.
So whatever I mention here is the tip of the icebeg really. Mainly books that I have acquired fairly recently, or titles or series that I have started in the not too distant past and not yet finished. Or in other words, mainly things that are actually loaded on my Kindle and Kindle apps.
- A Song of Ice and Fire, aka Game of Thrones. I’m in the third book, A Storm of Swords. Unless the standard drops off I will likely read all of them over the summer.
King’s Gambit – Hard to describe… it’s part autobiography, part an investigation into the culture and psychology of chess. Asks questions pertinent to all games and sports about whether the thing brings out the worst in people that play it.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2013 – a selection of short stories by various authors. Frankly it is a stretch to categorize most of them as mysteries per se, but good short crime fiction, often by well known authors. I read the odd story now and then.
Samurai – A History – A history of Japan, esp the Samurai, most of all their encounter with the modern world and ultimate demise. The era portrayed (not with too much of an eye to accuracy) in the movie The Last Samurai. Fascinating for fantasy readers because of its exploration of feudal societies, warrior codes and the like. I am slowly working through this. It is readable and enjoyable, but “put-down-able”, so gets displaced in the queue by the likes of Game of Thrones.
The Last Ringbearer – This is a highly-rated fanfic novel that tells the story of The Lord of the Rings from the perspective of Mordor. The idea being LOTR was one-sided propaganda or the victor’s mythology, and this is the other side’s story. Yet to start it.
Aid on the Edge of Chaos – Should be fascinating as it’s about the intersection of some things that I’m very interested in. Not started it yet. It’s the kind of book I feel needs attention and thought, so I wanted to read it when I have the energy to really concentrate, but that feeling has delayed me even starting.
Quantum – Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality – Maybe this should be demoted from “the backlog” to the category of “books I probably won’t get around to really”. It is a topic of interest to me, and was a very cheap offer on Amazon one day. But I’ve read somewhat similar books before, watched TV shows on such matters etc, so what I’ve read so far in this one has seemed like going over stuff I already heard about.
That will do for now, there are plenty more I could mention.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
In the last few years as we’ve entered the era of iPads, Kindles, Netflix, Chromecast, Steam sales, Humble Bundles etc, we have gotten easy access to vast libraries of games and media. On the one hand it’s wonderful to have it all, on the other it puts quite a strain on our time, our wallets and our self-discipline.
Maybe other people are further down the line in learning how to live in this new world. Personally I’m just now recognizing that there is something here that might need to be figured out.
I might need different habits and different ways of thinking about things than I had just a few years ago, when the amount of great and tempting stuff that crossed my path could easily be fitted into my life, with plenty of room to spare.