If you haven’t heard of it before, the Stack of Shame is that pile of games you’ve acquired, these days often on Steam and frequently through Steam’s many notorious sales, that you’ve never completed, perhaps never played, or even worse, never installed. Since mine is ever increasing in size to the point that I think it may start absorbing the power of the games I choose not to buy in order to sustain its ridiculous growth, I figured it would be good to share some of the high profilers on my own personal Stack of Shame!
I am looking purely at Steam purchases, as generally when I buy a physical copy of a game it’s because I intend on playing it right then and right there. I also don’t add my non-Steam games to Steam for tracking, so they won’t be present.
TOP GAMES I NEED TO PLAY ON MY STACK OF SHAME:
1. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood & Assassin’s Creed II
2. Batman: Arkham Asylum & Batman: Arkham City
3. Bioshock 2
4. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
5. Crysis 2
7. Divinity Original Sin
8. Fallout: New Vegas
10. Sleeping Dogs
11. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
13. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
14. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
These are all games I’ve never installed, with the exception of Dishonored and Divinity Original Sin, which I installed but only played briefly. All of these are games I’d love to play and complete!
Now, for the collection I’m actually ashamed of. The games I don’t remember buying, or don’t know why I bought, or in some cases have never even heard of…
THE REALLY SHAMEFUL GAMES ON MY STACK OF SHAME:
1. Blade Symphony
4. Evochron Mercenery
5. The Path
I don’t remember buying any of those games. Worse still, I’m not really sure I’ve even heard of The Path. How does this even happen?! I’m going to make it my goal this year to complete at least a few of the games on my SoS. What games have you bought but never installed or played?
What is a “Season Pass”? According to Wikipedia, a Season Pass is “a ticket allowing admission to an attraction multiple times during a certain period (a “season”), often a year or the duration of a sports or performance season,” or, in the world of gaming, “a special purchase available for certain video games, which typically allows the owner access to some or all future DLC for the game for a one-time fee.”
I’m here to say that I think using the term “Season Pass” to refer to DLC content for a video game makes no sense. How do the two ideas above link to one another in any way? The only thing I’ve been able to come up with is that occasionally a video game’s Season Pass will allow players access to all DLC released during a period of time, however here are the problems with that idea:
» There is no such thing as a “Season” unless we are talking about esports/competitive gaming, which DLCs are generally not a part of.
» A Season Pass in sports allows “admission to an attraction multiple times during a certain period”, implying that admission is limited, which it isn’t when a gamer purchases a “Season Pass” for video game DLCs.
» From time to time, a Season Pass will allow players access to all future DLC, in which case it’s not really a Season Pass any more, is it?
Most importantly, perhaps, it’s not very representative of the gaming community as a whole. The vast majority of gamers are outside the US — purely because it’s only one region out of many — and Season Passes are something that exist primarily in the US and aren’t very well known in other regions. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t cater to American gamers, but wouldn’t it make more sense to make these “Passes” more relevant to the global community, rather than just to an arguably small subset of that community? I honestly had to look up what the heck a Season Pass was, and was under the impression that it was going to allow me access to certain content for a limited period of time based on the confusing name. Either way, it didn’t sound appealing, and unsurprisingly I haven’t bothered buying a Season Pass yet.
So, unpopular opinion time: Season Pass is a stupid title for DLCs. Let’s come up with something better, please.
Valve recently announced the new Steam Tags, a system that allows gamers to tag their games or search for games by tags. Supposedly, it’s an impressive new way to find what you’re looking for, and to be fair its recommendations so far have been pretty good. For me, I’ve been recommended Indie, Sandbox, Platformer, RPG and Action, which to some extent is pretty accurate (though I don’t feel I’m much of a Platformer, they can be pretty cute and fun!)
It’s a pretty simple system; when you view the game in the store, there’ll be some tags that have already been applied to it visible on the right-hand side. You can expand upon these tags, or add your own, as well as agreeing with tags that gamers have already assigned to that particular game.
Some people have come out and condemned gamers for “trolling” by applying what they deem stupid tags to certain game titles, but I honestly don’t see this as a particularly bad thing. I think gamers should have the right to tag things how they see fit, within reason. If you can’t encourage a gamer to write a full review, at least getting them to assign a single word or short phrase to a game they loved or hated has the potential to be incredibly helpful to gamers looking for new games to play, or trying to decide what to avoid entirely.
And frankly? I find some of the “troll” tags funny. Here are some of my favourites I’ve found with a bit of browsing:
No prizes for guessing which game “walking simulator” brings to mind (psst, it’s DayZ, though I always called it Running Simulator). Does Steam Tags have the potential to be abused? Of course it does. But sometimes you just have to let the community run off and do its thing, and see what falls out of the tree when they’re done.