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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's Not a Backlog, It's a Deadline

There is one word that is so overused in plenty of gamers' vocabulary: backlog. Every single time I see or hear this, usually on a YouTube video or some random ramblings in a gaming forum, I cringe. This is probably because I don't see myself getting buried by the games that I own since my perception of having them has nothing to do with how quickly I could "finish" them all but it's all about having access to them whenever I want. However, the more accurate notion involving time restraint when it comes to gaming that I think people have been confusing with this exaggeratedly celebrated concept of "backlogging" is something called "deadline". Now bear in mind that this particular phenomenon is more prominent in console gaming though it could definitely be applied to gaming on the Personal Computer. I will explain the latter first because it is simpler to understand - I don't live forever so I should attempt to play as much as my PC games as I could before I pass way, thus my PC games do have a deadline.

Potentially playable throughout my lifetime.

Things are different for the consoles however because my own personal demise is not the only factor that requires consideration but the mortality of the consoles themselves, especially the more recently released consoles that don't have a good track record whatsoever when it comes to durability. Since console makers do not like the idea of backwards compatibility anymore, there is a tremendous chance that I will not be able to play your old console games anymore if the hardware needed to play them have completely perished from existence. Sure, I am sure that by then I could probably find one at ridiculous price being sold by a private seller someone on the Internet but you know it's going to be a pain to deal with that if the time indeed comes. This is something that I don't have to worry about with my PC games, at least for a much longer time - perhaps even my entire lifetime - before the software compatibility situation may get a bit weird because who knows what the future may bring. As long as I have a PC of some sort, my games will always be accessible for play. Thus, console games do have a deadline when it comes to my access to them and since console makers just love to jump ship before their consoles can be fully untapped, time is definitely running short on the console side of my gaming existence and this does require a bit of commitment and planning. Do I call that a backlog situation? No. It's a deadline situation that requires a careful degree of handling. As for those out there who like to use "backlog" to describe going back to the games you still want to play, please consider only using that term when you are sitting on the toilet for more than half an hour...

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