Why Are Video Games So Hard to Complete?

Leigh Alexander in her Aberrant Gamer column has posted an article about "Completion Anxiety Disorder." Mainly she's explaining how she has a significant number of games that she hasn't completed, and possibly never will, and tries to explore why these games remain incomplete months or years later. She questions if it's because games are bigger and more complex now, we don't have time for long games, our attention spans have gotten shorter, or maybe that some games just aren't good enough to be worth the time investment.

I can certainly relate to this article. I would guess that a large percentage of my games, possibly more than half, have yet to be completed. Most of my games are ones I'm proud to own, and think of as quality titles. I think the most common reason I put games aside is because something newer and shinier comes along. Or maybe it's not that a game isn't good, but after a week or two of playing the same thing every day, I just want to play something different. And then it takes a long time to get back to that original game. I feel like this completion syndrome is somewhat unique to games. As Leigh points out, how often do you watch only part of a movie? Or listen to part of a CD? Books are probably more likely to be left unfinished, but I still think games are worse than books in this regard. After all, games often take a dozen or more hours to complete. It's easy to get distracted.

Do you, the readers, have much of an unfinished game collection? If so, why have you not completed these games? I'd be very interested to hear some other opinions.

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