The Steam Personal Challenge

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: Play the Steam games that you buy! 

Ah, yes. Summer is here, and that means the Steam sales are blazing (or smoldering, depending on your viewpoint) yet again. I’ve seen a number of posts out there by various bloggers who are reflecting on the whole Steam sale system, how it encourages people to impulse buy and purchase way more games than they’d ever play.

It’s been a topic on my mind for a while, so this is as good a time as any to talk about it.

My Steam History

Comic Source: Dorkly

I was slow to adopt Steam. I created my Steam account in February 2009. I didn’t do anything with it until May 2010 (based on my account records), and that was only because they were giving away Portal for free. I still haven’t played Portal (I know… I know…), and after installing the client and looking around, I uninstalled and didn’t mess with Steam again for two more years. That’s when I purchased Skyrim, and the game suggested I link it to my Steam account. So I did.

I also didn’t play Skyrim a whole lot (I know… I know…), but that was the first game that I linked with Steam. My first actual Steam purchases (or maybe they were bundle purchases that I activated on Steam) were The Path and Limbo – both of which I completed (yay!). I can see where I took part of my first Steam summer sale in 2012, where I picked up a modest number of games.

It wasn’t until 2013 that my Steam account started to get out of control, however.

What took me so long to get around to using Steam? I simply didn’t trust the platform at the time. Here I was, a gamer who always bought the box (and has kept 99% of boxes bought). The idea of buying digital copies of games, stored on some server somewhere else, without a physical copy made me nervous at first.

I mean, what if something happens to Steam? What happens to our games?

This is still a valid question, however, as Steam picked up in popularity and more people used it, I eventually accepted it as something safe. Once I did, I was doomed to an ever inflating games list, just like many people have.

My Steam Stats

This post over at Herding Cats introduced me to the Steam Calculator. I plunked in my details and was pretty dismayed by what I saw.

First of all, in my defense, I know I didn’t spend over $1,000 on those games. I’m sure that it calculates based on full price, and doesn’t take into account that I bought many for very cheap in bundles or during Steam sales.

Second of all, I have no excuse for the number of games I haven’t played. None. Some games may have been part of bundles where I really just wanted one game, but activated all the rest on my account anyway. But, still. That’s pretty bad.

So, I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to challenge myself to play what I purchased! 

My Steam Challenge

I actually thought about this back during the Steam winter sale last year, when I realized that I was buying way more than I was playing. I started a similar challenge, which led me to completing Alan Wake, which was just a random game I picked off my list to start with. But then, I got caught up with Starbound, and totally forgot about the challenge as I sunk more hours into that than I have most MMOs I’ve ever played. XD

So, here I am, back to challenging myself to try out games that I’ve bought.

My Personal Steam Challenge Guidelines

  • Choose one single-player game to concentrate on at a time.
  • Play that game a minimum of 1 hour. Anything less isn’t really giving a game it’s due.
  • Really try to get into the game before dismissing it. Make a true effort… don’t just play it and say “done” to check it off a list. This is supposed to be a discovery experience!
  • If it’s still fun after the first hour or so, keep playing it until it’s complete, or until you’ve had your fill of the game. There’s no reason to push yourself to complete a game once you’ve reached that point, especially not when there’s so many to choose from.
  • There’s no time limit on how long you can spend with a game, but do be aware there are other games waiting their turn.
  • If the game has no end (strategy, sandbox, etc.), and you really love it, it’s okay to pick up a second game to play while still playing the first on the side. Just don’t get too distracted (like I did with Starbound).
  • Come back and blog about it! There’s sure to be something to write about. 🙂

My Steam Summer Sale

No Steam article would be complete without discussing what I’ve splurged on this year. So far, most of them have been deals on my Wishlist items — games I wanted but held out on until I saw them on sale. Most of them have been under $5, with the exception of Banished (but I really wanted it, and started playing it last night).

Other Thoughts on Steam Sales

Here’s some other blog posts about the Steam sale and what people like, dislike or just meh about.

What about you? Do you need to undertake your own Steam challenge?

Let’s see how far I get with this! 🙂