Back in 2012, I took the first step and admitted I had a problem.
I couldn’t be in denial any longer: My video game backlog had grown out of control. Thanks to Steam sales and Craigslist thrifting, I had amassed more games than I’d ever be able to finish. Rather than feel a sense of joy when I eyeballed my collection, I felt a sense of dread. When would I ever have the time to check out these games, let alone finish them? And did I really deserve to buy more?
Thankfully, one fateful day, a chance web browsing session led me to a solution. Entitled The Backloggery, it offered an easy way to track and manage your game library online. Better yet, it encouraged playing already-owned titles with badges, stat calculation, and more. It even had built-in social networking functionality, allowing you to share game progress updates with friends and browse other users’ collections.
After signing up and adding my game collection, I was hooked. I knew The Backloggery had the potential to transform how I played and thought about games — and I was right. Soon enough, I was digging dusty, neglected game titles out of my closet and pledging myself to beat them. I began thinking twice before buying new titles, even if they were heavily discounted. And I became fixated with the strangely satisfying metagame of beating down my backlog, one title at a time.
Nine years later, The Backloggery continues to save me unfathomable amounts of money and time by motivating me to stay in touch with my collection. The site has even led me to devise new game-purchasing rules for myself: Namely, only buying one new title for every three titles beaten.
Fastidiously tracking one’s game collection and self-policing game purchasing might sound obsessive and restrictive to some. But over the years, managing my game collection via The Backloggery has made gaming more enjoyable than ever. I enjoy setting new challenges for myself or simply reviewing my stats to see how many games I beat in a particular year. And it’s no small wonder: The Backloggery succeeds at “gamifying” the hobby, turning the often daunting notion of game library management into a thrilling metagame.
In the nine years since I created my account, The Backloggery hasn’t changed much. But the site’s developer plans to launch a new version soon. So if you’re underwhelmed by the current site’s web 2.0 design, know that changes are on the horizon. Hopefully, they’ll motivate even more gamers to take charge of their backlogs and sign up for what I believe is one of the most ingenious (and underrated!) contributions to gaming.
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