Diagnosing Completion Anxiety Disorder

Some of you may remember, way back in my blurb introducing myself to Kotaku, I mentioned I'm bad about not finishing games. I wasn't kidding. I have completed an embarrassingly low number of games, and I always though this made me a bit of a freak amongst my fellow gamers. But according to an opinion piece by Leigh Alexander of Gamesetwatch and Gamasutra, I may not be quite the abnormality I thought I was. She argues that gamers on the whole are completing fewer games now than they did in the past. There's a whole host of reasons she suggests as to why this is happening: Too long? Not engaging enough? Too challenging? No time to finish? Alexander's reason I identify with most with is inability to part with the experience. When you put hours and hours into character development, quests, and skill honing, it's hard to break away from that experience with the conclusion of a game.

So what's your reason for not finishing games? Or do you complete everything you start?

Opinion: On 'Completion Anxiety Disorder' [Gamasutra][Pic]


    I've always completed games I've started. And when I say started, i mean played for a few hours and start to get into it -- not games i've played for a few minutes and realised it was shithouse. So I've been pretty good.... Up until now... the game? Assassin's Creed. That was THE most monotonous game I've ever played. I'm not sure if it's just me getting older and having less time, and a shorter attention span, but man, was that repetitive. I got about half-way through and thought to myself, yeah, I've gotten this far, might was well finish it. A few days later after playing for a bit, i placed my controller on the table and said no, I can't do it.

    But there's probably one other thing I should mention. Something I feel very ashamed of, and somewhat embarrassed to admit. I almost didn't finish Twilight Princess. I played about 60 or so hours, had about an hour or so left, and just stopped playing. My excuse was that other stuff got in the way and then forgot about it. After a few months I thought about playing it but wasn't too compelled, as it's kinda hard getting back into a game like Zelda and remembering the story and where you were up to and all that stuff. Anyway, fast forward a year later, I fired up the Wii, got my Twilight Princess on, and finished the bastard. It was a good day i tell you. A good day for all involved.

    So maybe in a year, Assassin's. Or maybe not... Seriously, that game lacked fun.

    I have an almost obsessive need to complet most games I play.

    I frequently race through an RPG (best example was FFVII) skipping as many side-quests as I can (I totally ignored Vincent and Yuffie), just so I complete it. Then I'll play through it again, at a much more leisurely pace, and actually experience the world.

    I think it's because I initially play for the story, and I find it hard to think "[apocalyptic event] will happen unless i defeat [bad-guy] as soon as possible.... Think I'll run around a forest for a bit, see if there's anyone who needs a hand"

    Haha, I was just talking about not finishing games today. I have the same thing. Among the games i amazingly haven't finished:

    Final Fantasy (all)
    StarCraft (I'm not kidding)
    Warcraft (all) (again, not kidding)

    And I call myself a gamer.. Don't worry, I have a list of new and old games to get... most of those are on there!

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