Coming Clean (Part 1)

So – four weeks after my previous post, I’ve finally built up the courage to put another post out into the wild. And this one… well, it’s a bit tough to write. Tough to own up to.

See, over the many years that I’ve (occasionally) written on this blog, I must have posted a link to The List – my entire gaming life – hundreds of times. I’ve made constant references to the burning desire I have to whittle The List down; I’ve set myself Resolution goals (mostly unmet) targeting List reduction. But, deep down inside, I knew it was a little bit of a lie.

See, I’ve been playing these video game thingies at home since 1983, when I first got my C64. I’ve got a squillion (well… at least a hundred) original games for the C64 that don’t exist on any List. In fact, it’s somewhat curious that those games never triggered off an OCD tick with me… I definitely can’t explain that.

And, once I started going to Uni and bought myself a fancy Mac (a Macintosh IIvx, the shortest-lived model of the Macintosh ever, rocking System 7.1), there were a few pretty games on that, too. Again, none of those games exist on any List, and – in another inexplicable OCD-defying move – I sold most of them some years later (I’ve still got the IIvx, though. It’s a beast).

But finally – and most significantly – is my Windows-based collection of games.

It all started out innocently enough: the Quake series was the thing I really followed (though I never really cared for the multiplayer-focus of Quake III), but – as I quickly churned through generations of hardware subsidised by “work” – I started acquiring a stack of pack-in games, usually through new video cards. And, quite frankly, there’s some absolute belters in that lot: Thief II. Soldier of Fortune. I even got Deus Ex as a freebie…

Deus Ex! One of the greatest games ever created! Free! (Guilt has caused me to purchase it multiple times since, however ;)

And then came Steam. I was committed to consoles by the time Steam hatched, but I inadvertently created an account to hook up to Wolfire Games‘ first Humble Bundle – which I only invested in to support the idea of getting those games a wider audience through bundling. (Don’t get me started on the AAA Bundles nowadays… can anyone say “devaluation”?)

So I had a Steam account. An Amnesia Fortnight here, another indie Humble Bundle there, the IndieVision Bundle that contained a bunch of game-related movies I wanted…

Suddenly, I had a bit of a Steam backlog. That wasn’t mentioned on The List.

For a while I pretended that it wasn’t really there… that none of those games really mattered. Sometimes I would fire one up out of curiosity and just tinker, not really compelled to engage. And that always made me feel a little disingenuous: I wasn’t giving the game the best opportunity.

In my other life, where I’ll willingly throw money at artists to sit in their shows, I do a bit of pop-psychology on myself before the show starts: I’ll take a moment to repeat to myself, over and over, that this could be the best show I’ve ever seen. Sure, that’s rarely realistic, but I think it’s important to get in the best frame of mind possible before engaging with a piece of art.

And yet, in the world of gaming – which I strongly do believe is art – I was giving short shrift to potentially great games because of their platform. And because I didn’t want the number associated with that platform to dilute The List.

You know what? No more.

It’s time to come clean. Here’s a dump of the PC games I know I’ve got, though I’m sure my archives will deliver more in time:

  • Quake
  • Quake II
  • Quake 3
  • Soldier of Fortune
  • Deus Ex
  • Thief II
  • MDK 2
  • Starship Titanic
  • Grim Fandango
  • Full Throttle
  • Astro Tripper
  • Gridrunner Revolution
  • Space Giraffe
  • Aquaria
  • Gish
  • Lugaru
  • Penumbra: Overture
  • Samorost 2
  • World of Goo
  • Portal
  • Psychonauts
  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  • Bastion
  • Braid
  • Lone Survivor
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Dear Esther
  • The Longest Journey
  • Dreamfall
  • Thirty Flights of Loving
  • Air Forte
  • Atom Zombie Smasher
  • Flotilla
  • Gone Home
  • Fez
  • Broken Age
  • A Virus Named TOM
  • Serious Sam 2
  • Serious Sam 3: BFE
  • Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter
  • Serious Sam Classic: The Second Encounter
  • Serious Sam Classics: Revolution
  • Serious Sam Double D XXL
  • Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
  • Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter
  • Serious Sam: The Random Encounter
  • Cryptic Sea
  • SoundSelf

The List now stands at 110 remaining games. And as for the C64 and (scarce) Mac games… well, they may require some serious research. And meditation.

Finally: see the title of this post? See the bit that says “Part 1”? That’s foreboding, that is. More to come!

7 thoughts on “Coming Clean (Part 1)”

  1. You’re crazy, but in a good way. ;-)
    What’s your plan for the remainder of the year when it comes to the list?

  2. Well… unlike previous years, I don’t have any Resolutions for this year – I was in Seoul K-Popping over the New Year, and (quite honestly) didn’t even think to make any Gaming Resolutions. I did, however, nominate ten not-current-gen games to complete this year – Dyad, Fez, Katamari Damacy, Electroplankton, Zelda: Skyward Sword, PDZ (again), Halo 2, Super Monkey Ball, Ballistic, Tempest 2000 – of which I’ve successfully tackled two; the rest are probably out of reach :}

    I suspect that The List will grow before it shrinks much, if only because Bayonetta 2 is out next month… but here’s hoping that I manage to knock some titles off before year’s end ;)

  3. I’ve got a spare copy of Electroplankton here Pete if you’re interested heh. The quite hard to find US version. At least if you do remember those C64 games, they should be all to hand via Gamebase64…

  4. Mayhem! Hello matey :)

    Thanks very much for the Electroplankton offer, but I’ve got a Japanese version (with the pretty blue headphones) and all the individual Plankton on the 3DS… I remember sourcing a copy of the US version for my nephew a few years back, and it was a bit of a bugger to find (actually, I should see if the occasionally-ungrateful bugger still has it). As for the C64 stuff… well, I’ve still got all my originals. Back in my 6510 hacking days, I even made clean cracks of all of them, and archived all my old floppies around 2000. Haven’t converted all my old tapes to TAPs yet, though… there’s another little project ;)

  5. Thanks Paul! (I know that my Steam backlog is but a fraction of others – I have friends with four figure Steam backlogs!)

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