I've lost count of the number of times people have said to me that I "must play" a particular game. BioShock Infinite is apparently the latest in this long list of games I "have" to play, a list that is getting rapidly out of control.
I know a lot of people playing Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army right now and apparently I "need" to pick up a copy so I can join in, despite telling them at least five times I'm not interested. I've been told Planetside 2 is the multiplayer FPS for PC gamers and that I "must" give it a try. Apparently Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 are the "definitive" reasons to own a Wii. Guess what? I own a Wii and I haven't played either.
I didn't complete Grand Theft Auto IV or the original Gears of War. I have Halo 4 and Shadow of the Colossus sitting half-completed in my collection. I've clocked up less than an hour on The Witcher, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Mirror's Edge.
Getting back to the BioShock franchise, I probably played about 25% of BioShock and exactly 0% of BioShock 2.
Are you judging me? It's easy to see why you might. As a 'games journalist', many of the people I talk to are surprised by just how few of the so-called 'classic' games I've played to completion. "How can you not have played Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? I thought you wrote about games for a living!".
Well yeah, and thats half of the problem. Like most writers for small-to-medium sized sites, or most freelancers, I have to hold down a day job to survive - so that's 35 hours of my week gone right there. Then take into account that I review games, so at any one time I've probably got a game or two on the go that I didn't necessarily choose. Add a whole bunch of time for article-writing (like this) onto that. Plus, I take my job seriously, so I spend a lot of time researching and browsing, making sure I'm on top of the latest comings and goings in the industry and up to date with releases, news and reviews. There's more stuff involved in the job too, but I'm sure you don't want a full description.
I know, cry me a river and break out the world's smallest violin. I'm not claiming that I've got it bad, I love my job! It's just an example of where my time goes. The point I'm trying to make is that every single person out there has responsibilities that eat away at their free time and everyone has a finite amount of time they can spend playing the games they want to play.
It's just a shame there are so many great games to play.
I'm a big RPG and Grand Strategy fan, and these games come with a price. That price is time. Right now, every free gaming moment I get I've been putting into Skyrim. I'm just over the 100-hour mark and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface. I'm half-way down so many different quest lines I don't even know where to go next. I'm also feeling the need to delve into a Total War campaign, although I haven't decided which one. There's another 25-or-so gaming hours gone.
On top of that I've got Tomb Raider sitting in the box, still wrapped in plastic. Wouldn't mind giving that a go when I get the chance, but I keep getting distracted with other games that crop up. Truth is, there are a whole bunch of discs on that shelf that haven't made it anywhere near a console since they found their way into my collection.
BioShock Infinite just isn't on my radar. I'm not doubting that it's good. Hell, from what I hear I'm sure that it's amazing. I just don't have time to play it and all the other games, also amazing-looking, that I want to play. I didn't get far into the first and never played the second, so I have no investment in the franchise.
It's up to the individual gamer to make the choice as to where their time should go and people know their own minds. Fair enough, BioShock Infinite may be the best game you have ever played, but that doesn't mean it'll be the best game they will have ever played.
Like most gamers, I know my own tastes and I'm capable of making my own mind up about what I want to spend my time playing. It's ok to offer a suggestion, or to give an opinion, but I'm not taking orders from anyone about what to play. Well, except my Editor-in-Chief.
I've read the reviews and the articles, I've seen the metacritic score, I've watched the gameplay videos and I've made my mind up. It looks brilliant, I hope you all enjoy it, but I'm going to have to give it a miss I'm afraid - I'm backed up with games right now.
I'm not going to play BioShock Infinite. I'm going to play some Skyrim.