Shameless Gaming: Week Three

As you may be aware, July is Shameless Gaming month here at Kotaku. Since there seems to be a dearth of new, interesting releases we're inviting you to join us as we attempt to make our own personal pile of shame a more manageable heap. I will be documenting my progress here, every Tuesday, but think of this as a place to discuss your own progress...

"I don't have time to play games," says my faceless, nameless, collective, mostly imaginary nemesis. Tone derisory. "I have a life."

As I dot through a list of people I hate, I can totally imagine 20 terrible examples of humanity saying these exact words - and it makes me want to spoon out their eyeballs with an ice-cream scoop. In high school I seem to remember a number of 'too cool for school' (even though they were in school) folks saying this and it would constantly wind me up into a fiery fury that would quell a thousand suns.

But even the largest pools of verbal diarrhea have a sliver of truth hiding within - you just have to go wrist deep, Trainspotting style, to find it.

Because, sadly, these folks have a point - sometimes life gets in the way of video games.

Shameless Gaming was an utter bust for me last weekend. Despite the fact that my wife was gone for the weekend, it just seemed like an endless series of obligatory commitments conspired to drag me away from video games and sweet, sweet progression. Birthday parties, engagement parties, family, even work - it all coagulated into this lumpy Akira-esque, sentient mush of blergh which resulted in me logging precisely zero minutes of gaming over my weekend.

Yep. Life gets in the way of video games. Tragic.

It has suddenly occurred to me that, if I want to truly make a dent in my pile of shame I'll have to properly set aside time for gaming and stick to that schedule - but for gaming, which is supposed to the prime example of a leisure activity one does in their spare time, it feels a bit strange. But it seems as though that's what I must do.

But there are other issues - procrastination. Writing and talking about video games as a job can drain any enthusiasm you have for gaming in your spare time - particularly when it comes to a number of games you passed on for good reason to begin with. I'm enjoying Bulletstorm, but I'm also enjoying the book I'm trying to finish at the moment, and Mad Men Season 4. I'm also really enjoying reading through Slam Dunk, and I want to go exercise. I have so many choices when it comes to entertainment and sometimes that means that gaming slides down the priority list.

It's crazy. To watch myself procrastinate the hobby I've always been most passionate about in my life. To feel the enthusiasm drain from my stomach as I find yet another reason to not play video games.

Sometime life just gets in the way of gaming.


Comments

    I often wonder about gamIng writers burning out like this. I love teaching and working with kids but when it gets to the weekend I need to distance myself to remain enthusiastic. I definitely see that could happen in any proffesion

    Somehow, I've been too busy playing games lately to actually write about them for more Shameless Gaming stuff. So that's probably a good thing.

    Really, it just comes down to deciding that playing games is a better use of my time than sitting around on Reddit or whatever else I do to kill the time.

    In terms of progress, I finished the Starcraft 2 campaign on the weekend and am up to the final chapter of Trauma Center: Second Opinion. I also finished the first chapter of Alice: Madness Returns, which I'm enjoying but feels very unpolished.

    Trauma Center can be a very frustrating game. I actually recorded myself playing the last mission of chapter 5 (Death Awaits Us All, the final mission of the original game) so there will be a video of that up later this week for everyone's pleasure. You could almost consider it a good point of reference of when to put a game aside and play something else.

    There is a lot of swearing in that recording. A lot.

      To elaborate on that better use of time thing, yesterday afternoon I was waiting for Breaking Bad to ...err...appear on my computer... It was going to take about 45min, so instead of just sitting there twiddling my thumbs, I went and played Alice.

      Amazing what you can do when you change your mind from thinking that half an hour to 45min is not enough time to really get any gaming done to thinking "well, it's a more fun way to kill that time, even if I don't make mountains of progress."

        Breaking Bad is one of the best things ever. I'm trying to hold off for some of season 4 to build up so I can enjoy it in a binge.

          I can't wait. Having to wait so long between seasons 3 and 4 was bad enough, now that I've seen S04E01 there's no way I can wait more than a week for the next one.

      I've gotten the best rank on all the operations, it just requires a bit of patience and luck. I spent a ton of time just going through and acing the operations for the scores.

      Good luck with New Blood, that's a step up in difficulty from Second Opinion.

        I've done the same for the DS version and so far I really dislike the Wii version in comparison.

        The difference between a stylus (well, two in my case) and a WiiMote is so stark that I can't really bring myself to try and master the missions again.

        Probably not going to bother with New Blood. Trauma Center is a series that works best on the DS, at least for me.

    I promised myself I would finish Shadows of the Damned over the weekend then get cracking on Arkham Asylum and Crysis 2. This... did not occur. I blame my ongoing illness which prevented me from investing much if any time at all in video gamesthis last two weeks.

    Feeling better last night (after leaving work early to wait over an hour to see a doctor, then having to trapise around the Western suburbs for a further 90 minutes to visit the chemist, the supermarket and McDonald's), I put a couple of hours into Shadows of the Damned, determined to finish it ASAP as my wife has now finished it three times and earned a full 1000 gamerscore off it.

    As I left for work this morning she was working on her 4th playthrough of SotD - no achievements to gain, no reason but the pure enjoyment of playing the game. It's been a long time since a game has earned that kind of longevity from either of us.

    Tonight, I will bring Garcia Hotspur's road movie to an end! Then tomorrow: Arkham Asylum!

    Just got back into oblivion, after a 6 month hiatus, now im only one achievement away from 100% (Which is by no way completing the game 100%)
    Then i think i'll focus on Dragon Age, or Fallout: NV.

    I bought more games in the steam sale and have now started playing games that I have already completed (running through Zelda Twilight Princess in anticipation of Skyward Sword)

    It's like I don't even want that pile of shame to go down. I even have a little mini pile next to the television in some sort of vain effort to encourage me to get through them, but it sits there untouched.

    I've only just gotten back into gaming after a very long hiatus. Well, I was playing WoW at this time but that's more of a soul destroyer haha. I've been trying to get through The Witcher, I've been playing for at least a month but I'm only halfway through Chpt. 2. I find it's like chocolate, I can only have a little bit at a time.

    Overall for Shameless Gaming I've been doing miserably. I haven't finished a single game but I've bought one each week (Bioshock, Oblivion and Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe)I'm starting to think a month just isn't it enough. Maybe what I need is more of a re-education? Having only played WoW in the past few years, with the odd GTA rampage imbetween, I am so far behind in all the great games that's been released. And I want to play them. All of them. So I might be extending my shameless gaming til October or November, at which time I will throw away any semblance of a social life for Arkham City, Revelations and Skyrim.

    My pile grows ever larger while I focus on WoW leveling.

    Once my subs out I've got to get back and finish LA Noire, Valkyria Chronicles and NBA 2k11 playoffs. Not to mention various other PC games I have on the back burner

    I'm pretty excited. Having almost completed my pile of shame (finished crysis: warhead on the weekend) I thought I was done for the month, but then I found a gem.

    I bought it on eBay for my SNES a couple of years ago, displayed it's pristine condition with pride on my shelf but never played it.

    Zelda: A link to the past.

    I kid you not, it's the last thing on my pile of shame and I've never played it before. I connected the SNES up to the little tele in my bedroom (it doesn't work on the big one) and started last night. It's just so great.

      I am jelly of you playing my favourite game of all time for the first time.

        Ha I thought the same thing when you said that you hadn't played Half Life 2 a while ago. I would love to play that again for the first time, not sure if it would hold up as well as Zelda though.

          I am part way through each of them for the first time. Great games.

          Whilst I haven't committed to shamless gaming this month (due to having three weeks overseas) if I get through bioshock I'll be happy.

    Finally finished Batman AA. Decided to move on to Assassin's Creed 1, just got to Damascus, so not very far in when the weight of family gatherings bared its head. It was my sister's 21st this weekend so there were many family visits, nights out for dinner etc, so little progress was made.

    Oh man, i'm going to need all your advice Sir Serrels.. I have a pile of shame that extends to a dozen odd games on Steam i haven't even downloaded yet. Then, I randomly go and buy an xbox so i can play the Halo series. I haven't even touched FFXIII or much God of War 3, let alone GT5.
    I need a holiday so i can get to work on these games!

    I made a small dent on my pile by finishing Alice: The Madness Returns and starting Uncharted yesterday night.

    3hrs in, I'm just completely blown away by Uncharted and I can finally see why this is GOTY material.

    If it weren't for shameless gaming month, I wouldn't have touched it and who knows when I would do.

    For me, this Shameless Gaming month could not have come at a better time. I am currently transitioning between jobs and I am waiting on my commencement date. So I have plenty of time to kill, time that I never had when I was working at my old job. Still I find that I need to ration out my gaming sessions with these games because as has said before, there is a reason these games ended up in your pile of shame.

    I am currently making my way through Just Cause 2 and have come to the realization that this game is massive. The completionist in me won't rest until everything has been achieved so I'm in it for the long haul. The problem is, I am finding it hard to care about this game due to the thin narrative and the over the top nonsense. It is a fun game but I get tired of it quickly so to keep things fresh I play a mission or two then do something else, rinse and repeat.

    I made level cap on Rift and that's it, I don't have time for anything else since I'm grinding PvP gear. Curse my addictive personality.

    Working in a game store.. i can certainly feel your pain Mark. With us having the abilty to play any game we want (sometimes without having to pay) the list just never ends. After talking, selling and thinking about games 5-6 days a week at work sometimes its the last thing i want to do when i get home.

    But it also inspires me too :) Im playing GTA IV atm... now i did finish it 3 years ago in one big binge (over 3 days) i find myself enjoying it now taking it slow and with the complete edition its now unedited for Australia for the first time.

    But i really need to finish Duke im seriously right at the end... i just need to push myself over the next couple of days or it will become one of the many that remained unifished.

    Well, I almost finished Fallout New Vegas, but the damned game crashed when I killed the final boss... Oh well, maybe tonight...

    I'm concentrating on finishing Mafia II, and I'm enjoying it quite a lot.

    Am also slowly working my way through the co-op missions of Splinter Cell Conviction with a mate, is taking some considerable time to do so.. many, many deaths and restarts.

    I decided to just work on my PS3 pile of shame.. as Steam has built up the PC one to dizzying heights.. Shameless Gaming Year required there I think!

    So far so good, I've finished Infamous and Fallout NV.. and i'm nearly done with DNF.. and that's it for the PS3!

    Haven't. Even. Finished. One. Game.

    I blame the Steam sale. Bought about 15-20 games when that was on.

      So I guess that means you're participating in Shameful Gaming Month? :p

    started graw2 co-op - after about 14 deaths in a row - I am now playing red dead redemption. This weekend is assigned to my greatest shame - the built in Alex Kidd game on SMS. I have never finished it, yet my girlfriend and cousin did.

    Hat-tip purely for your imaginative shoehorning of 'a thousand suns' into this article :D

    I got sidetracked from my pineapple and started playing old games again.

    I bought Just Cause 2 for the PS3 last week which has taken a fair bit of my gaming time but I also downloaded Team Fortress 2 which is a blast.

    I've bought 4 360 games in the past fortnight, plus borderlands on PC, but at least I finished metroid other m on Saturday, so I made some progress.

    The horrible thing is I want to play through it again rather than start or finish anything else.

    Yeah... Never enough time.

    Even with a wife who supports my habit/hobby, it's still hard to find the time, what with work, chores, feeding the strangers tied up in my basement, etc.

    TBH, I'm thinking I'll be lucky to finish the main quest i

    I finished Portal out of the Orange Box, does 1 from 5 titles count?
    Problem is it distracted me from Mass Effect 3 into Portal 2 - Both are FAB!

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