Yesterday I finished The Witcher 3, it was a great game. Probably my second favorite RPG of this year. But this story isn't about The Witcher, this story is about what happened after it was done.
As soon as the credits started rolling, I put down the controller, walked over to the shelf and pulled out a small red notebook. The book isn't very special in itself, the only notable thing is that I inherited it from my grandmother. What makes it special is what's inside it(very strange for a book, I know).
In the book there are a series of lists. Every list represents a year, and in these lists are every game I finished that year. This years list just grew to 10. That is 10 finished games of 2015. That might not seem like a big number to the most of you, and it probably isn't, but I'm pretty happy with it non-the-less.
It all started in February of 2013. I was browsing an [anonymous image board] and came across a thread about finishing games. The OP had written down a list of 32 games he/she had finished in 2013. “32 games in two months, that's pretty hardcore. I probably can't do 32 in a year” I thought. After rolling it around my head for some time, I figured I was going to give it a go. Who knows, maybe I CAN finish 32 games in a year. So I dug out the notebook and set to work.
As a small matter of fact, I did finish my 2013 goal. The list ended at 38 games that year, with the last one, Muramasa Rebirth, being finished on the 30th of December.
For this to work, I needed some clear rules for when I game is finished. A lot of people have different views on the matter, and I'm no exception. Sometimes a game is finished when all the content is exhausted, sometimes it's finished when you get “100%” status on you save and sometimes it's finished when the credits roll. I decided that for the purposes of the list, a game is finished when the main-story is complete and the credits roll. That does not mean that I stop playing as soon as the credits roll, it just means that it is then that I can put the game in as “done”. This did however make it difficult for me, since one of my favorite genres of games is 4X-strategy games. It's really difficult to tell when one is done with a 4X-game. Since there really isn't a “main story” and the credits do not roll at the end of the game. So, I had to pretty much cut a large portion of my favorite games out from the list.
Midway through 2013 I implemented a new rule into the list as well. That rule was for “notable achievements”. I wanted to put to memory specific things I had done in games, like finishing Diablo 3 in Hardcore mode or going for prestige in Call of Duty. These are marked into the list, but for me, do not count towards the total score. They're more there for the fun of it.
Where it stands now
I've stuck with this for two years now, and it's really fun. I don't do it for bragging rights, I do it because I like to have a collection for myself and for my memory. It's almost like a journal for my games. See, whenever I open the book and browse through the lists, I'm instantly brought back to those moments when I put something down. It helps me remember the good times I've had with those games, it helps me remember good titles that might not have stuck inside my head and it helps me get motivated.
This might be a bit early to tell, but it can also be used as a small guide to my own health. Whenever I haven't been feeling good, there has been a gap in the list, and whenever I've been feeling particularly well, the list has grown fast.
I'd recommend having a list. It's fun and it's a nice way to sort your accomplishments. I would however tell you to be relaxed with it. I'm a moderately obsessive person, and at times, the list have made me feel stressed out. I've felt like I needed to put something down, just because its a project I'm working on. At those times, I've made myself NOT play games. Because I want this to be my hobby, not my obsession. All in all though, writing down the games that I finish is a net positive for me.