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The real reason most people don't finish video games

There may be no better time in video games than right now. We have a wealth of decades-old classics playable on modern systems. We have more recent hits available at the cheapest of prices. We're nearing the tail end of a generation that brought us multiple critically acclaimed masterpieces, and will soon journey into a new one that promises to make our games even prettier and even faster.

All that, and most of us can't seem to reach the end credits in the titles we play. Why is that?

There may not be one single answer for why we're so noncommittal with our gaming time. But there are a few explanations that make some sense.

FOMO

FOMO is "the fear of missing out," and it's a very real thing when your chief hobby is video games. You'll hear about the next Call of Duty or the new Assassin's Creed, and you'll suddenly feel compelled to experience it right along with everyone else. Sometimes there is a good reason for this: spoilers are everywhere.

The problem, though, is that games are coming out constantly. Sometimes you'll have to leave one behind because another comes out a week later. Sometimes two or three huge games release on the same date. You can't possibly expect to play them all and keep up. But you fear what you'll be missing out on. So multiple games are left unfinished.

Lack of time

Do you sometimes wish you were a kid, with extended vacations and snow days and all the time in the world to play video games? If you're a bit older now, you likely deal with those wretched things called responsibilities. They consist of work, chores, event obligations, and a smattering of other time-suckers that take precious hours away from your gaming habit.

It's no wonder you might have trouble finishing games — you always have to leave them to go do something else.

That isn't going to change, especially with many games requiring more and more of a time investment. What you have to decide is whether you're okay leaving things incomplete to experience more, or whether you'd rather devote more time to fewer titles so you can actually them wrap up.

Waning interest

Have you ever considered that maybe you're just not as into video games as you used to be? Or perhaps you need a break? A hobby isn't necessarily a full-throttle passion meant to consume your every waking moment. Sometimes you need a breather to try new things.

Maybe your inability to finish games isn't about your desire to play as many as possible, or your belief that other matters are more pressing. Maybe video games have given you everything they can for the moment, and you'll be better served entertaining yourself in some other fashion. It doesn't mean you have to leave your games behind forever — it just means you can go do something else, give yourself a chance to miss them, and perhaps appreciate them more when you return.