Want to Clear Your Game Backlog? Try a KonMari Approach!

It’s finally that magical time when you decide to tackle a new game that’s been sitting in your video game backlog . The problem is, which one will you attempt to conquer? You take a look at your digital library and it’s filled with countless unplayed games you bought over time through Steam sales or general hype. Perhaps you look at your physical library and it’s just shelves of plastic cases, maybe even still sealed, from a kickass Black Friday deal or other sales you’ve encountered. The clutter of games waiting to be played is daunting, leaving you unable to choose a game to play. So what do you do?

Marie Kondo KonMari cleaning cluttered video games

Whether it be choosing a game to play from a massive backlog or just decluttering your games library in general, might I suggest a certain tidying method made recently popular by an organizing master? If you are not familiar, Marie Kondo is an organising consultant and author from Japan, best known for her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, published back in 2011. Marie has done numerous talks on the craft of tidying up and the effect on the human psyche, and has been recently put under the public eye with her latest project, a Netflix show entitled Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. She developed a system called the KonMari Method that has been changing lives worldwide and can be used for our own purposes too! Now first off, you may be asking…

What is the KonMari Method?

The KonMari method is a set of principles to keep in mind when tidying up. The six basic rules to the method is as follows:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
  3. Finish discarding first
  4. Tidy by category, not by location
  5. Follow the right order
  6. Ask your if it sparks joy

Do note that the KonMari method primarily focuses on physical, tangible items that you can put away or organize. Not all these rules may make sense in terms of clearing a backlog of games, but we can take a few of these and look at it with a slightly different perspective!

Clean Up Your Physical Library!

When it comes to cleaning up your gaming space, the KonMari method is pretty straightforward. The importance of an organized gaming space should be obvious; you want to be able to find and play your games quickly and easily and not complicate or stress out over just getting started. However, you may have an abundance of game discs cluttering your shelf, and will eventually have to come to the decision to clear up space for either more games or other gaming accessories you may buy. With that in mind, let’s gather all the physical games you may own, put them in a pile, pick up each game one by one, and keep these questions in mind when organizing:

  1. Are you COMMITTED to cleaning up your games library? Are you willing to throw away or sell games you no longer care for?
  2. How do video games fit into your life? Do you play often? Is is more of a casual setting? Do you like looking at and admiring your game collection? This will help determine how many games you are willing to keep.
  3. Is this a game you have already finished? Are you ready to move on and put away those completed games?
  4. What kind of game is it? Is it an action game? Maybe a puzzle or strategy game? Take note of genres to sort your collection so that you know where to look if you’re in the mood for something specific.
  5. But perhaps most importantly, ask yourself the question “Does this game spark joy in me?” When you pick up a game and look at it, does it give an immediate, uplifting feeling? Does it jolt you up in excitement? If so, that is a game to keep. Does the game make you feel sad, overwhelmed, or a feeling akin to depression? Then that is a game you want to toss out.

Use the KonMari Method to Pick a Game from the Backlog

Now to the meat of the matter: how DO you apply the KonMari Method to playing through your backlog of games when it is designed to help tidy up physical objects around you? My approach on this is actually quite simple: the basic principles do not necessarily have to just apply to physical objects! Be it physical or digital spaces, cluttered environments can lead to cluttered minds, which can lead right to indecision or complacency.

For example, let’s say you have committed yourself to tidying up your backlog of games by completing a game or two that you’ve never played or just stopped playing for whatever reason. Let’s go through the practice again with a slightly tweaked look at the KonMari method. First, open up Steam or gather your discs and cartridges and ask yourself:

  1. Have you really committed yourself to playing a new game?
  2. What kind of game are you in the mood for? Are you looking for something fast-paced? Maybe something casual? How do you want it to fit in your life? Do you want your next game to be just something to relax with after a long day of work? Or something to really challenge your mind and/or dexterity?
  3. Have you completed any other games that you have already committed to?
  4. What type of game are you in the mood for? Looking to play a shooter? Maybe an action-RPG? Or maybe just chill with a sim game?
  5. As always, when taking a look at each game, does it spark joy? When you look at the game, be it on Steam or as physical disc in front of you, does it bring any positive emotion, or perhaps an uplifting jolt? Why did you buy this game in the first place?

Keep It Up, For the Long Run

The KonMari method is a very simple approach, but it may be tough to enact immediately and can be especially daunting when dealing with a particularly large library of games. It may also be an obvious set of principles, but it can be easily overlooked with our increasingly busy lives. However, if we start thinking about the KonMari method in everything we do, it will gradually become easier to make decisions, and you will be surrounded with the games you’ve truly enjoyed. Follow this method and you’ll soon enjoy going through your backlog!

I’ve been a victim of many Steam sales and Humble bundles over the years, and didn’t really think about how to approach going through my backlog until recently. With the KonMari method, I’m now on the road to a bigger “Completed” folder than that terrifyingly large “Unplayed” one. And don’t forget that the KonMari method can be applied to many other areas of our lives as well, so give it a shot for your games library and see what “magic” it can give to the rest of your living space too!

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