July is Shameless Gaming month at Kotaku - your chance to play through all those games accumulating on your pile of shame. Since it's almost the weekend, and it's time to get focused, we asked Trjn, the creator of Shameless Gaming, to share some of his tips.
The first week of Shameless Gaming month is over. Some of us have made progress, others not so much. That’s okay, it happens. There are pesky things, like reality, that might get in the way of progress.
If you are really intent on making a dent in your pile of shame, having some sort of method to your madness may be helpful. Blindly going forth and gaming can be fun, it just doesn’t always work.
Probably the greatest way to get through your pile of shame is to give yourself incentives. If there is a television show you want to watch instead of gaming, deny yourself the privilege until you have reached the next chapter. Whatever you’re using as an excuse to procrastinate could be instead used as a reward.
Many of us have a reasonably formidable pile of shame. That means that there will be games in your pile of shame that belong there for a very good reason, such as being so terrible that they don’t deserve to be finished. These can be ignored in favour of the other, less horrifically bad, games.
After all, why should you focus on a game that you despise when there is something that you might potentially love sitting right next to it? It doesn’t make much sense to put time towards something you hate. Not unless you’re as stubborn as I am, then it makes perfect sense (at the time).
Odds are there isn’t just one game worthy of your attention. Most of us will have several games to try and choose from, all of them perfectly valid choices.
Learning to juggle multiple games can definitely work in your favour. There are times in almost every game where things start to drag, where the game simply becomes less fun. In the past, that may have been reason to abandon a game, adding it to your pile of shame. If you’re constantly switching between several games, you can tag out a game that is frustrating you for one that is not. Then when that game starts to frustrate you, tag the first game back in.
I’ve been alternating between Darksiders, Trauma Center: Second Opinion and Starcraft 2 over the last week Once the difficulty and imprecise controls of Trauma Center frustrate me, I switch to Darksiders. After I grow weary of the dark gritty dark darkness of Darksiders, Starcraft 2 comes in to provide reinforcement. Then when I become fed up with my incompetence at Starcraft 2, Trauma Center comes back to save the day. It’s a beautiful cycle.
Another strategy that I’ve employed so far, to what could be considered success, is to try and marathon through a game. Simply sitting down, shutting up and beating that thing in one go.
When done as a solo venture, this works much in the same way that piercing your ear with a thumbtack works. The job gets done but it’s messy and there are far better ways to do it.
Aside from the obvious drawbacks that come with sitting by yourself for hours on end, those frustrating moments that all games have are amplified by the fact that you’re committed to not going anywhere until you are done.
If you insist on marathoning a game, try to wrangle a friend into it.
Unlike the solo attempt, co-operative marathons are one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of going through. Everything that makes a solo gaming marathon go poorly doesn’t seem to be as bad when you’ve got a good co-op partner by your side. It could have something to do with the power of friendship or some other nonsense.
There is also the possibility of things going completely haywire and a great friendship will be ruined. If that happens, I take no responsibility for daring to suggest that you try a co-op gaming marathon.
Playing with friends isn’t just limited to co-operative marathons. Singing the praises or venting your frustrations about a game you’ve been playing is rather enjoyable but often requires someone who has also played that game. This experience can be somewhat engineered by making an effort to play the same game (or games) as others.
Taking a look through the piles of shame that people have listed so far, there are a few titles that I saw mentioned with alarming frequency. They were: Infamous, Bioshock, Darksiders and Batman: Arkham Asylum. This knowledge may help you optimise potential venting and/or praising.
If these methods can’t motivate you, why not a simpler motivation? Having one less game in your pile of shame. That is what we’re striving to do, reduce our pile of shame. Maybe these methods will help you do that, maybe you’ve got your own little tricks.
However you approach this month, try to enjoy yourself. This doesn’t have to be a chore.