Lists …

So, here on the blog, I have a number of lists.  I have a list of books I have a list of DVDsI have a list of video games.  These three lists are indeed lists that I use to keep track of what I want to read or watch or play.  I also have an older list to track the list of video games that I want to try to finish at some point, and to track my progress on that.  And it’s that list that spawned this post.

I had already been musing that I hadn’t been updating the lists very much, and then remembered that June had come and gone and I hadn’t done my annual post tracking my progress on finishing games.  But then I wondered if I had made any progress at all and if it was worth bothering.  So I looked.  And last year I had finished 34 games.  This year?  35 games.  So, not all that much progress was made … and that’s assuming that the list is actually up to date with games that I’ve played and finished.  Given that at this point all I seem to be doing is adding games that I buy new and finish and that none of the games actually on it are ones that I’m really considering making a push to finish, the list doesn’t really seem important anymore.  It doesn’t really seem to be doing anything, except maybe provide a place for me to keep track of what I actually finish so I can refer to it later.

And the same issue is only multiplied with the other lists.  All of these lists originally existed as a way for me to keep track of what I wanted to do and to order them so that I knew what I was going to do next.  However, what I’ve been doing with that lately is creating stacks in various places, which provides the reminder, the ordering, and also, of course, lets me actually grab the next thing that I want to do from the stack when it’s time to move on from that.  So the lists don’t add anything to that, and so essentially end up being extra work that isn’t that important to me anymore.  Tracking everything I’ve watched or read or played is interesting, but I also generally remember that and I don’t really read them enough to get a sense of accomplishment from doing that.

Right now, the only list — and sort of list — that I still think has use for me is a list like the one for the Classic Game Console Games, where what I’ve done is go through all the available games and write down which ones I want to play at some point.  I intend to do that for the arcade game console thing that I picked up recently.  But why these are useful is because it isn’t easy to see at a glance what I want to do, and in general would have to boot up and scroll through all the options to even get a list to consider.  For the other things, they’re all in bookcases and on shelves and the like so I can see what things I haven’t done and which things I want to do and then make a smaller stack somewhere of the ones that I want to do in the near future (followers of the blog will know that that works really well for books and DVDs and not so well for video games).  So for me, personally, the stacks work better for me to keep track of what I want to do in the near future, and it is trivial for me to assemble those stacks from the physical objects whenever I need to build a new stack of things to do.  So they don’t provide any useful information for me anymore, or even a useful place to keep information to keep track of things.  And it doesn’t seem like any of my readers use them either to keep track of what I’m doing, even out of mild interest.  So they aren’t much use to me, and not much use to my readers, so then it doesn’t seem like they’re really of any use at all.

So the long and the short of it is that while I don’t think that I’ll delete the pages, I don’t think I’ll be updating them much anymore either.  I might update the List of Games to Finish one if I feel motivated, but I won’t be posting every year how much progress I’ve made unless I’ve made great strides or think it will be cool (or need a quick post for a day).  The list pages, then, will track things that I need to keep track of, but not what I’m doing or planning to do on a short-term basis, and any list page that tracks what I’m doing or planning to do will probably not get updated.

As a final note, Shamus Young at his site runs every so often a This Week I Played feature, which in typical Shamus fashion does not run every week, where he says what he’s been playing and asks the readers to add comments saying what they’ve been playing, which I’ve been adding to.  If I can’t remember what I’ve been doing over those months, I don’t check my lists.  I go back through the “Video Games” category and note what I’ve been talking about, and then insert stuff from my memory.  Just another example of how those lists aren’t actually useful anymore.

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