Tell Us Dammit: Games You've Pretended You Finished

The other day I read this fascinating story on The Guardian's website. Apparently over 60% of people have pretended to have read at least one classic novel in conversation. I wondered to myself: do people do this with video games?

I don't know if I've ever done that, but I think I may have been tempted to lie about finishing certain video games. Because there are a bunch of games we've all supposed to have played but haven't.

For example, I could definitely imagine someone lying about finishing, say, Shadow of the Colossus or Ico. Maybe they lied about finishing Dark Souls. I think as games become more ubiquitous in mainstream culture we're definitely going to see a rise in people lying about having played certain games.

What do you think those games will be.

Oh, and for your reference, here are top ten books we lie about having read...

1 1984 by George Orwell (26%)

2 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (19%)

3 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (18%)

4 The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (15%)

5 A Passage to India by EM Forster (12%)

6 Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (11%)

7 To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (10%)

8 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (8%)

9 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (8%)

10 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (5%)


    I find my problem isnt lying about finishing games - its remembering what happens in a game I've finished

    If you were to ask me what happens during The Last Of Us, i'd probably only be able to recall about 20-30% of it... I find that to be more of a problem

      Yeah me too, I think it's because I play too many in quick succession and they tend to fudge a bit.

      I remember every bit of TLOU, unforgettable game for me :)

        Yup..... After I finished TLOU, I didn't touch another game for at least a week [maybe played some TLOU mp]. Whenever I thought about a game, I would just start to go over the story again and what it all meant to me.....
        Did the same with RDR...

      I kind of have this problem with Mass Effect 2, I know I played it a lot, I remember key parts of the story, the defense of the pylon while the robot aliens are landing around you, the part where you go to that lab out in the desert on the scaffold looking stuff but I can't for the life of me remember the ending, therefore can't remember if I "have" completed it or not.

      Yes, well said dansdans.

      A helpful tip I employ after I finish a particularly enjoyable game is to go back and read an IGN walkthrough or peruse the game's wikia pages. Good way of reliving and also remembering.

    As I said in response to your tweet the other day... Super Mario Bros.

    Finished every other Mario platformer since, but I just can't do it, and it's easier to pretend that I have done it. Nobody will ever know!

    Oh wait.


    I didn't lie about finishing Battletoads.

    To me that just seems weird though. I can't make myself pretend I did something, because I feel like I can't fake my way through carrying the lie and will just get caught out in the end.

      I haven't finished Battletoads, but I haven't really had a chance to play it properly either, having not owned a NES.

      I can say I finished the SNES version however - Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. While not as hard as the original game (so I've heard), it was still damn tough. In fact I can go even better than that, I finished it without losing a single life.

      Last edited 12/09/13 11:33 am

        I found Battlemaniacs harder than Battletoads. Both in that I couldn't get very far in it, but also that I just didn't like it as much and didn't really want to continue trying :P Kinda wish I got it as a kid, dunno if that would've helped at all but maybe.

          The speeder bike level was the biggest bitch in that game. Once you were through that, the rest of it wasn't *too* difficult.

      ain't nobody EVER finished battletoads... and if you did you're a filthy liar!!! :P

    The hurts....gahhhhhhh:

    Zelda: OoT


      Finish Him!
      I havent finished skyrim but spent a whole heap of time on it >.>

        I only had OoT growing up when I had an N64. I don't have a 3DS, but I am tempted to get one simply to clock this game.

        I've never "finished" a single Elder Scrolls game, despite having pumped easily 100+ into each. I get sidetracked too easily! The same goes for Fallout 3 and New Vegas. :(

      It's ok, I've never finished it either, even the 3DS version that sits on my shelf taunting me. I've never lied about finishing it though.

      My problem is not lying about finishing games, it's actually playing a game to completion to start with. I find that I'll get half way through a game, then I'll buy a new game and push the other one to the side to play the new one.

        I was doing that a long time ago.

        I then looked at my pile of half finished games one day and though "that's it, enough is enough", and set myself a rule: Don't start a new game until you have finished the one you are currently playing. It doesn't matter if a new game comes out that you want to play...don't play that new and shiny game until you have finished the one you are currently on.

        And that's been working for a long time now. I've finished just about every game I've started.

        Haha thats exactly the same as me. Im well known in my household for never finishing games but when I do you know it must've been good! Latest games I completed were borderlands 2 which I can't get enough of and tomb raider and uncharted 3. The last of us ive only played 2 hrs of but it didn't catch me. I know I should give it another chance because everyone raves about it. The fact there was no jump just made it feel like an inferior game to uncharted..

    Um... what? Why would you do that? Why would you need to do that? To keep your friends? To look cool in front of the popular gamers? I really don't see the point.

    I actually finish pretty much every game I start. If I were to work out how many games I've finished in just this generation and list them here, you'd probably think I was lying.

    Interesting enough, while I haven't read ANY of those books (shame on me for not at least reading LOTR, I know), my wife is a huge reader and HAS read the majority of them.

      Interestingly, the only one on that list I *haven't* read is LotR...... I fell asleep through the first two movies and never bothered with the third. Never had any interest in picking up the books either.

    I tend not to feel like I need to lie about finishing a game. I'll talk about the bits I know, but once the conversation moves into unplayed territory I'll just go "I never finished it". I think the more pertinent question is though, what do you classify as having "finished" a game in order to not be lying?

    My most recent was probably Metro: Last Light... I'd almost finished it until a game-breaking bug with my gas mask and I couldn't get past it so I just read what happened in the end and pretended I had finished it. Hey at least I was ~95% through it!

    I actually finally got around to reading Great Expectations the other day - wasn't nearly as good as what I thought it was going to be.

    I'm more proud of the number of games I've bought and haven't even started!

    BTW, I've finished reading Great Expectations, but it wasn't all that I'd hoped for...........


      are you here all night?

      Beat you to the punch ;)

        Yes, you have indeed ninja'd me! Obviously, your comment had not made it's way through the interwebs when I posted.

    People know me too well.. they know I don't finish games.. :) It's a habit of mine.. so when I actually say I've finished one, they know I am not lying because it happens so rarely :)

    The list of games I've actually finished would be rather small though I still can't think of any other than Mass Effect 1 and GTA: Vice City.. and by "finished", I don't mean 100% completion where you go back and collect all the collectibles etc. I simply mean finished the main story.

    Oh yes, I did finish Sleeping Dogs.. that was a stellar game..

    Last edited 12/09/13 11:34 am

    My taste in games has always been pretty different to my friends, so as far as games go, this has never really been a problem.

    Movies and tv references on the other hand.... even if i have seen them it doesnt mean ill remember them. My recall can be so slow.

    The slow nod, awkward smile and 'ha ha ah... yeah' has dragged me through quite a few movie conversations.

    I started Ico last night actually :)
    the only game I can think of that I may have pretended to finish was Pheonix Wright Ace Attorney. I finished the 4 cases that were on the original release, but I never did the 5th case that was made specifically for the DS release. That counts as finishing the game though, right? I mean, that extra case was never on the old version. :S

      yes that counts, but you really should get a hold of that last case, it is really quite good.

    I know plenty of people who lie about finishing games, especially 'hip' ones like SotC... I always call them on it.

    I had a long think about this after you posted it on Twitter and while I do not think I have ever actively made false claims to have finished a game, I think there are some games I've played that I have let it be implied I played all of, when perhaps I did not. for instance, I have never finished any Super Mario game on a home console (i.e.: Super Mario Bros on the NES, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, etc.) though I have finished Super Wario Land on the Gameboy and New Super Mario Bros on the DS. I can see how if I told someone that I've *played* SMB on the NES they might assume I mean beyond the first few levels.

    I think one time I did brag to that I had finished Alex Kidd in Miracle World when in truth I had died in the final castle. I then beat the game the next day, so it was only a short-term lie.

    Then the day after that I found out about continue mode. :(


    I've been living a lie!

    Just kidding... it's a great game and everyone should play it!

    I don't see why anyone would lie about finishing a game though. Seems better to just say you haven't played it, or you did and didn't finish it.

    I don't think the same applies for games, with books, there are several in that list where I just watched the movie instead. I remember english class in High school we had to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" for a book report, but found the book so boring, so just watched the movie instead :)

      Some people watch Let's Play videos on youtube or read a strategy guide/walkthrough and pretend they finished it.

      Maybe a better question for games would be "which game did you use cheats to finish but never admitted it?"

      Like, I don't think I've ever played Doom or Doom 2 without cheats on. Maybe I tried once. I think I might have even finished the boss of the first chapter, on the second easiest difficulty. But most of the time especially as a kid I just typed IDDQD and went nuts.

      We did four of the novels listed back in High School, although we were only ever asked to actually read about half of Pride & Prejudice, plus I also did a book report of sorts on LotR.

      I don't think I know of anybody who falsely claimed to finish a game, although I can think of games (eg. Dark Souls) which might tempt some people. There are some games I tell people I've finished although they were finished on "easy" or equivalent, which some people may regard as inaccurate.

      Here's an embarrassing revelation: While I have played almost all of the FInal Fantasy games, the only ones I have actually finished are XIII and XIII-2. (Though I didn't do the replaying that XIII-2 requires for a "good ending".)

    Is recommending a game you've never played the same thing? I have a habit of doing that all the time.

    Oh, a similar kind of thing - I've been around to a whole lot of things in a (pretty sweet, if I do say so myself) Manny Calavera costume I built. I've never finished the game though, I can hardly even remember most of what I played.

    Total fraud.

      Yeah, I have a Demon's Souls tattoo and have never finished the game. Anyone who doesn't know exactly what that game means to me might consider that fraudulent.

    Have 26% of people not read 1984, or is that just what the media wants us to believe? DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUN!

    Don't think I ever have... I don't see the point. I'm not ashamed of not finishing a game, I've got no reason to hide that. Similarly, I don't understand why people would say they've read 1984 or Brave New World when they haven't. I'll freely admit that Jane Eyre bored the bejeesus out of me, and consequently, was extremely glad that I didn't have to finish it for a high school English assignment, as enough people complained across multiple classes that half of us were allowed to change to Brave New World.

      Brave New World isn't *that* much better......

      Don't get me wrong, it's one of my favourite books of all time, and I absolutely LOVED reading it.... but goodness it is one heck of a boring book when you are reading it.

      EDIT: I guess this sounds totally insane, maybe it is. But I guess with me it was a case of, the sentences and paragraphs themselves were horribly boring and bland. But you get to the end of a chapter and think about what you read and on a whole it was simply fantastic. But that's the whole point of Emergence right? The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

      EDIT2: Oh yeah... ummm.... vidyah games and stuff......... I don't know if I've lied about finishing video games..... though I do have games I consider my favourites even though I have never actually finished one. Sonic the Hedgehog 2, for example. My favourite game on my Mega Drive. I play it at least once a month. Never actually beaten the Death Egg Zone :-(

      Last edited 12/09/13 12:48 pm

        Depends on your tastes, I suppose. I was in the middle of reading the Dune saga at the time, and reading BNW kickstarted a huge obsession with reading old sci-fi parables. If I'd not read BNW, I'd never have gone on to Orwell, Asimov or Clarke... Most of those, taken piecemeal, are extremely dull to read. Taken as a whole, though, make them worth the minor effort.

        Note that I probably only read the first third of Jane Eyre, so it may have improved later in the story. I had the same problem with Austen's Emma (which I wasn't so lucky as to be able to avoid) - maybe it's the setting, but it just seemed entirely... "beige". Maybe it was just the historical feel of it - I've never been interested in history, surely it's more important to know the "what" and "why", less to the "when"? Although stuff like Dumas and Wilde (Dorian Grey, at least, and Earnest's "Would you be in any way offended if I said that you seem to me to be the visible personification of absolute perfection?", which I maintain is the epitome of eloquent sesquipedalian pickup lines :P) are pretty good reads... *shrugs* Maybe it was just the strict, unerring formality of their speech...

    I have read 9/10 of those books.

    Hence why I have never finished a vidya game.

      You should have skipped a couple. Especially if one of the ones you finished was War And Peace. I've read 6.5 of those books and managed to finish loads of games. :P

        Yep, I did read War and Peace. I was joking about not finishing video games :p

        But yes, I should probably play more games

          Yeah, I knew you were joking, I was trying to joke about playing games instead of reading War And Peace. Apparently we both suck at making jokes. :P

      I only read Catcher in the Rye because I was forced to in high school.

      I finished the first third of Lord of the Rings, i.e.: Fellowship of the Ring. I really thought I was going to make it after pushing past Tom Bombadil for the first time, but then my enthusiasm waned.

      I've never even tried to read any of the others. I might pick up 1984 because it seems like the only one that might interest me, but I don't think I can be bothered.

        First time I tried reading Lord Of The Rings trilogy I was too young and found it a chore but when I went back in my late twenties I breezed through it and loved it.

    I didn't finish I Am Alive, because the part on the boat kept freaking me out and the game was generally claustrophobic and stressful. I did enjoy it a bit, but it was truly survival horror, which is not one of my favourite genres.

    Any Final Fantasy except X (I actually finished that one)
    Any Mario except 64 and Galaxy
    Chrono Trigger.
    SotC and ICO until the HD remakes
    LoZ OoT until I got it on 3DS
    Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, I get too caught up in the metagame and never bother finishing.
    Probably others from the SNES days that I only got a cursory glance at playing never time to finish, JRPGs especially.

    My problem is I very rarely beat the end boss of a game... By then most of the story twist and turns are over, there is nothing left to be experienced gameplay wise and alot are annoyingly hard/cheap. I cant seem to bring myself to bother :(

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