I’m Not Done Yet : The Art of Not Finishing Games

I have to let you in on a little secret. Come close, a little closer. Good. Now, I have to confess, I hardly finish video games. No really, I spend hours and hours playing video games, and yet, I have a hard time finishing them.


Many moons ago, when I was younger, I had gotten a loan of a Playstation and played my very first RPG, Final Fantasy IX. I had sunk so many hours into that game, that it boggles the mind. I then returned to play a classic of the same series, Final Fantasy VII. I played through it, cried, and laughed, but I didn’t finish it.
I know, I speak blasphemy. I played through Final Fantasy VII yet never finished it. I had a friend look at where I was in the game, and they saw I was about to go down in the crater. I was on my way to the last boss. They told me to go and finish it. Yet…I never did. I must say I chalked it up to the fear at the time that I could not get back out of the crater just in case I had screwed up the game. Yes, I do know how the game ends, but I just never actually finished it myself.
It kind of went from there. I played through Zelda’s Twilight Princess, yet never finished it. I played through most of The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, also never to finish it. (But I blame that on the fact my ex deleted my file.) I played through Dragon Age, Fable II, Oblivion, Fallout 3 and yet never seen how any of these main quests end.
Don’t get me wrong, I have finished a number of games myself, Portal, Call of Duty 4 + MW2, Pokemon, the Gears of War franchise, but it appears that sometimes I just can’t finish a game.

The ultimate question that I must contend with is, why? Why do I pick up such amazing games, yet never actually finish them?

Could it be the fact that my lifestyle no longer fits the massive amounts of hours that are required to play and finish these wonderful works of art? I looked at the games that I love, versus the games that I finish. The games that I finish have relatively short game length. A couple hours, not the standard forty hours that are needed to play through a game which has so much story and so much depth. I work a six hour day of work, and then I come home to do prep work for the next day. I then correct and maybe even eat if the time allows. I do not find that I have a lot of time for myself in the evenings, let alone enough time to sit down and play a few hours.
I feel that when I play a game such as an RPG I wish to have as many hours as I can to at least feel like I accomplish something of worth or value. I do still game, but I play games where I can pick up and put down. I play League of Legends at least once a week, with a few games twenty or forty minutes in length. I play rounds, which span about ten minutes, of Call of Duty multiplayer just to get the frustrations out. I play Facebook games such as The Sims Social, to enjoy a little stress free fun, or to play a joke on PreppyKim’s sim. When I played these other types of games, I was in a completely different place in my life. I was in high school, or University were the only obligation was to myself, and my marks. Now I work, and complete Master Courses, and volunteer my time. I game when I can.
Or could it be that I don’t want these games to have an end? I have fallen in love with the characters, places and stories that I don’t want to know how it ends? Or if I have created a character of my own within these worlds, I do not want to know what happens to those characters that I have created bonds with. Maybe I want to live eternal within my perfect bubble of happiness.
Whatever the reason is, I know that with the infinite backlog of games that I have, I must stop. I must finish games, see them to the end, no matter the reason or outcome.
 

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