Tom Endo has a nice essay up over the Escapist on the issue of finishing games (or not finishing games, as the case may be). "What other medium," he queries, "allows us to be so blithely indifferent to its consumption?". I certainly have a somewhat appalling stack of partially finished games, some of which have been languishing for years. Do games in their current format simply not fit comfortably into the flow of many people's lives?:
It's the difficulty of the transition out of the arcade and into the living room that is revealing itself in people's malaise towards videogame completion. As games move farther away from being money-making amusements and closer to full-fledged pieces of entertainment, developers must take into consideration the ever growing demands videogames place upon a player's concentration. The heart of the matter is that many videogames are no longer simply a contest of skill. They ask a player to follow a storyline, take in large amounts of visual information and respond to that information with a combination of problem solving and hand-eye coordination in order to move the story forward. Even 8 to 10 hours of this, once considered a paltry sum of time to spend with a game, can sap a player's motivation.
Interesting points to ponder, and while I'm sure that lengthy epics can indeed be very off-putting to some, I'm not at all convinced getting rid of my lengthy narrative epic will improve my ability to finish a game. Still, there seems to be little doubt that many aspects of design and how games are put together are changing — but will it put a dent in your 'to do' list of games?
To Do: Finish Any Game [The Escapist]