The Backlog and a Game Catalog


It’s officially summer, a time I often use for catching up on various projects. And this, my friends, leads me to my gaming catalog. **Cue horror music.

For awhile now, I have wanted to create a comprehensive list of the video games I own. Video games have quickly become my main hobby in recent years, apart from writing. I haven’t collected many things apart from games and books, and even though most of the games I own are digital, I feel unorganized not having a list in one place of said items.

Confession time…I am embarrassed by the size of my Steam library. I know it isn’t the worst thing in the world, but my rate of game completion is abysmal. And there Steam is more than willing to announce just how many games I own. Wah.

Inevitably, my need for order took over that shame, and, after looking into various means for creating a game catalog, I decided that a standard table in Word would work best for the time being. It isn’t anything fancy (in fact, it’s kind of ugly), but I like having the option to manipulate the list and categories as time goes on.

list example.png

As you can see from the carefully selected screenshot above, my catalog is fairly straightforward, incomplete, and mostly populated with PC games. In total, I’ve added 333 games to the list. 240 of those games reside on Steam (I used to be a sucker for those summer sales…). I still have to hunt down some games for the GameCube, Game Boy, and DS though. Those additions will bring another 20-30 games to the list easily.

From making this catalog I’ve come to a few conclusions: I used to buy games on a whim way too often, I heavily favored gaming on my PC even when I purchased my first two consoles, and my start rate is more terrible than my completion rate.

Next, I’ll need to figure out just how many of those 333 games I’ve actually even started…

What I can say is that I am a lot more frugal in my late twenties with both the money I spend on gaming and the amount of time spent with this hobby. Will I ever clear that backlog? Probably not. But writing about games and getting my PC back in working order has encouraged me to play a lot more of those Steam games.

Out of curiosity, do you keep a catalog of games owned? If you do, what do you prioritize in that catalog in terms of categories?

32 thoughts on “The Backlog and a Game Catalog

  1. I think renaming my backlog to my “collection” was the best thing I ever did. Once it became like a to-do list and resembling a lists of tasks, ie. like my job, I realized I wasn’t playing them for the right reasons. Think of it this way – playing a backlog game to ‘get it out of my backlog’ is essentially justifying spending $8 years ago, since odds are, if you bought it during a big Steam sale, it was probably more or less that much! At the end of the day, $8 probably didn’t make me broke, so I don’t have a problem with it. They’re there if I need them.

    Anyway, if you still want to tackle all of those games, low-hanging fruit is always the best bet. I see from your screenshot two Penumbra games which were all _awesome_ and only took about 6 hours each. Those are the ones to knock off the list first, short and sweet ones! πŸ™‚ Good luck!

    1. I like your outlook! And you’re right, focusing on the shorter games is one way to make quick progress. It’s not so much that I want to complete every single game in my collection but that I feel bad that they’re sitting untouched. I’ll need to get over that. πŸ™‚

  2. “Out of curiosity, do you keep a catalog of games owned?”

    If by “catalog” you mean lots of piles, full draws and an overflowing digital library on my PS4 then yes, yes I do!

    But if you mean “catalog” in its more traditional sense, then, like….. not so much!

      1. I have the Wii U, Xbox One and the PS4 hooked up at the moment, but I play more often on the PS4, all other things being equal.

        PC Gaming’s not really a thing for me – for a few reasons, but mostly because it might very well bankrupt me given my lack of self-control and whatnot!

  3. Great post! Personally, I do not keep a catalog of games, but I definitely want to compile a list of games I own or have played. There’s been so many video games in my life that I want to list every game that I have ever played. May take a while to complete lol.

    -Luna πŸ™‚

    1. It definitely took me a while to log all of those games. I probably could have spent that time on other things…Let’s call it productive avoidance. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Yes, yes, yes! I need to catalog my games, both to tell what I’m playing and just to keep track of what I have played and beaten. I love to list these things for my own sake. It especially helps when I’m trying to think of recommendations for others too or if I’m trying to think of what unfinished game I’m in the mood for. I use the site Backloggery to keep track of this stuff, but I know there are other sites for it too. What I like about it is that I can categorize them into platforms (always useful), as well as unfinished, beaten, and completed (100%) which helps me tremendously.

    1. It is nice to see how such a collection stacks up in terms of unfinished, beaten, etc. I’m not sure why, but having a list makes me feel like I have a handle on things.

      Thanks for commenting!

      1. I do this for most aspects in my life, haha! I have lists of anime I’ve seen, DVDs I own, and board games I’ve played. It’s the former teacher in me, haha.

  5. Yea I made a list that I publish here from time to time with my progress. Without it is have no way of tracking how disciplined I am completing those games. It’s tough, but I’ve made sure to not buy any games on a whim. I’m only buying a game now if know I’ll put everything else on holds and not so until I beat that game. I like pairing a big game with small game for some variety.

    1. I’ve gotten a lot better with my game purchases if only because I have less time now to play them. I like the idea of mixing up games as well.

  6. I don’t have a catalogue of games I own in Excel format…yet, but now you’ve given me the idea lol. Right now I keep track of my games through Grouvee, a website where you can track your backlog and whatnot. It’s very useful, but I wish there was an app. You can indicate which games you own and add shelves as you wish.

    I don’t own any Steam games yet, as I just recently got a Steam account and haven’t bought anything, but I own enough physical and digital games to keep me busy for quite a long time.

      1. I know of a few but don’t personally know anyone who uses them, so I can’t offer a recommendation. There is CLZ Games – Video Game Collection and Video Games Database. I found them on the App Store, but I’m not sure if they’re available on Android.

      2. Darn…

        I have a friend who might be more in the know in regards to apps. I’ll try to remember to ask tomorrow.

      3. If you knew how to make apps you’d make a decent amount of money! I’d be okay paying $0.99 or even $2.99 for something like that. I just don’t like when they try to reel you in.

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