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Steam Zero

If you’re a bit of a gamer and have a bit of loose change, you’ll probably have the tendency to acquire Steam games during sales.

This will invariably lead to you having a pretty big Steam game portfolio over time. According to steamcalculator.com, my account is worth about 2000 USD right now. That’s the current prices for the games, which is way more than what I put into the games — after all, I bought most of them during sale actions.

On the other hand, I’ve also put quite a few hours of my time into Steam games, and even with minimum wage I’d probably get a couple thousand more. Hell, I’ve played Fallout: New Vegas for “only” 70 hours, and that’s actually not pretty much.

The thing is that you’ll invariably build up a backlog. Even with the mixed «blessing» of rather short single player portions of games these days, you’ll have a hell of a time catching up with each game that you bought, especially if you want to milk them for their money’s worth.

Which is pretty interesting, since in the end, you could spend up spending more money for the fun of having variety than the professed goal of getting the most worth out of single games.

And what actually happens is that you’ll probably end up not playing some games at all.

There’s a multitude of reasons for it. For example, you might just not have the time to actually play a game. More commonly, though, you will probably not have time to pursue a game. You might play it for a bit, but then you’ll start inevitably filing it under “have to play this more during downtime”.

Except you’ll never use that downtime for that game, since there’s probably something else that actually tickles your current fancy. Often enough, there’s no real chance to get bored “enough” for you to go back to your gaming backlog except if you make a conscious effort.

So the backlog grows, and grows, and grows.

In my case, there’s still some Humble Bundle games that are lying around, which isn’t that much of a loss since I mainly bought it for the other games.

But then, there’s quite a lot more: The King’s Bounty series, probably about at least 100 hours of gaming. Cthulhu saves the world, a charming little adventure. The Penumbra and Amnesia games, supposedly very great. The very cute Braid. Darksiders. Anomaly: Warzone Earth. Atom Zombie Smasher. Frozen Synapse. Far Cry 2. Machinarium. Magicka. Indigo Prophecy. Osmos. Nation Red. Recettear. Saira. SpaceChem. Trine.

All very good games and I don’t feel bad for having bought them. (As opposed to Dead Rising 2. Blech.)

There’s just no way I’ll have the kind of casual downtime that allows me to click off with one of these for half an hour. I’d rather hit up Borderlands and finish up some DLC, for example.

Thus, in conclusion, I have to liken this to something internet nerds everywhere have a certain connection with. There’s other things which you sometimes really need to get around to, but never seem to be able to finish.

Two dreaded words: “inbox zero”.

That time when you actually manage to have zero unread mails — or rather, zero mails that still need your attention, if you don’t use read state to indicate that.

Using that nomenclature, it seems I’ll never be able to one day post a status update containing the simple words “Steam zero”.

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