A Simple Question: “Finishing” Games

Games today aren’t like games from years past. Back in the day, you either had a game that played forever, and your goal was a high score, or you played to the completion of the game, with a defined beginning and end following a single character.  Today, games have multiplayer options, co-op missions, achievement points, difficulty levels, multiple characters to play as, and multiple choices to make in the game that can change the outcome (and have you miss portions of the game as a result). When thinking about the games I’ve beaten over the last few months, I realized that counting a game like Fallout: New Vegas in that list is probably silly, not just because I hadn’t beaten it, but because even once I do, I will only have played through as one character type, and there are a whole slew of other ways to play the game.  Did I really finish it if I always helped the Ghouls launch their spaceship? What happens if I sabotage it? Have I beaten Call of Duty: Black Ops if I’ve completed the single player campaign, but haven’t reached max prestige?  It brought me to this week’s question:

What do you consider to be the largest deciding factor for you in deciding if you have “finished” a game?

(You may need to refresh the page to see the poll)


There’s a lot of options here, and I’m sure I didn’t hit on all the factors, but I wanted to pick out the ones that can be measured (sure, you can say you’ve finished a game when you’ve had your fill of it, regardless of actually beating it, but that’s not really finishing it, that just means you’re done).  And yes, I don’t account for high score games here, mainly because I didn’t want to list 100 different options.  I did put an Other option in for the first time, so if you select that, please drop a comment below that explains what that is, as I’d like to know what you think, if it’s different from what’s listed.  If your decision is just between multiple answers, choose the one factor you think is the most important for you, and feel free to elaborate below, but avoid Other.

And finally, my response: as much as I want to say it’s max achievement points or beating the game on the hardest difficulty level (that used to be my measure), I think now-a-days just beating the game once, regardless of multiplayer progress, is enough for me to consider the game finished.  I can come back and play the game more, do some multiplayer, pick another character, etc., but I wouldn’t consider the game in my backlog anymore.  Lord knows I have enough games in there already.

A Simple Question (ASQ) is a weekly segment for Platform Nation. Each week on Monday, I’ll ask a question on Twitter at #PNASQ. Give a response and let the world know what you think; there is no right or wrong answer here. If you have a suggestion for a question, hit me up on twitter @vttym.

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