I am a Video Game Dabbler

A collage of a dozen games I played over a period of four weeks

Over the last few months, I’ve come to accept that I am a video game dabbler. I love gaming but I’ll jump around and play different games over the course of a week, which ultimately leads to me not finishing anything. While I’ve been trying to finish stuff for my “Looking Back” series, I am having a hard time focusing my attention on one particular game. Instead, I’ll play one for a bit, jump to something else, then continue bouncing around.

A screenshot from an early portion of Chrono Trigger.
Chrono Trigger, one of my all-time favorite games and I’m playing it on an iPhone (don’t judge!)

I never really thought about it until recently. I’m pretty certain most people are guilty of this too. You’ll spend a few hours with one thing then jump to something else. Yes, there are dedicated gamers. Those people who will stick with a game, regardless of how long or short it is until they finish it. 

On the flip side, there are those situations where you start something, it doesn’t click with you and you move on. 

But that’s not the problem I’m facing. For example, I was playing and quite enjoying Judgment but on an episode of the Giant Beastcast Podcast, one of the hosts, Abby Russell, mentioned that she was playing Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. I remember starting it a while back but never got through it. So, I went back and started exploring London once again. 

I have a page on my blog where I share the games I’m playing enough for the moment to share. Unless I can, I don’t really go into too much detail on how much I’ve played of a particular game, but the ones I feature definitely were played enough to warrant a mention. If you look there, I almost always have a handful of games there, and the list changes regularly.

I am a Video Game Dabbler
Winding World, available through Apple Arcade

Curious to see just how many games I play, I decided to keep track of them. So, for a period of four weeks, any game I actually played, I made a note of it. Regardless of the length, if I played a game I recorded it. I wanted to see how much of a dabbler I was, in case I was overthinking it.

Week 1


Sunday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  • Judgment

Monday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Judgment

Tuesday

  • Animal Crossing

Wednesday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Forza Street
  • Gears Tactics

Thursday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  • Forza Street
  • Gears Tactics

Friday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Forza Street
  • Gears 5
  • Judgment

Saturday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Forza Street

Week 2


Sunday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Skate 3
  • Tetris Effect

Monday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Tetris Effect

Tuesday

  • 2048 (Mobile Game)
  • Animal Crossing
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Tetris Effect

Wednesday

  • 2048
  • Animal Crossing
  • Minecraft Dungeons

Thursday

  • 2048
  • Animal Crossing
  • Minecraft Dungeons

Friday

  • 2048
  • Animal Crossing
  • Chrono Trigger (Mobile version)
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Threes

Saturday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Judgment
  • Lego Builders
  • Threes

Week 3


Sunday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Threes
  • Various DayLife

Monday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Threes
  • Patty Pursuit

Tuesday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Threes
  • Tetris Effect

Wednesday

  • 2048
  • Animal Crossing
  • Judgment
  • Untitled Goose Game

Thursday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Judgment
  • Pokemon Home
  • Pokemon Sword

Friday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Clubhouse Games (Demo)
  • Pokemon Sword
  • Threes

Saturday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Pokemon Sword

Week 4


Sunday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Pokemon Sword
  • Threes
  • Winding Worlds

Monday

  • 2048
  • Animal Crossing
  • Donut County

Tuesday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Dragon Quest XI (Demo)
  • Judgment

Wednesday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Dragon Quest XI (Demo)
  • Threes

Thursday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Gears 5
  • Judgment

Friday

  • Animal Crossing
  • Threes
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind

Saturday

  • Threes
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Judgment
I am a Video Game Dabbler
Technically, I was playing Gears 5 for work-related reasons but I still tracked it

My Findings

After four weeks, I ended up playing a total of 24 different games, which felt like a lot. Of those, half of them I played on multiple days while the other half were only played once.

The Games I played multiple times

  • Animal Crossing – 28 days
  • Judgment – 9 days
  • Threes – 8 days
  • 2048 – 6 days
  • Forza Street – 4 days
  • Minecraft Dungeons – 4 days
  • Pokemon Sword – 4 days
  • Tetris Effect – 3 days
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – 2 days
  • Dragon Quest XI (Demo) – 2 days
  • Gears 5 – 2 days
  • Gears Tactics – 2 days

The Games I only played once

  • Chrono Trigger
  • Clubhouse Games (Demo)
  • Donut County
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Lego Builders
  • Patty Pursuit
  • Pokemon Home
  • Skate 3
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind
  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Various DayLife
  • Winding Worlds

Looking at the games I played on multiple days, Animal Crossing was played every day. I didn’t track the length of time I spent with each game but I would say most Animal Crossing sessions were about 15-30 minutes in length. The next most played game, Judgment, probably had the most time spent on it. When I was playing Judgment, my sessions would range between 1-3 hours. Even with hours logged, at the time of this post I was nearing the last quarter of the game.

I am a Video Game Dabbler
I was hoping Forza Street wouldn’t be a typical free-to-play mobile game, I was wrong.

Mobile games also got a lot of attention. In the case of 2048 and Threes, these are titles I enjoy playing while doing cardio. So, If I’m biking or on the elliptical, I was playing either game. Mobile games were the most common ‘dabble’ games, with five of them being played once. I suspected this would be the case as there were a few more mobile games on Apple Arcade (or mobile in general) that I wanted to try but couldn’t find the time.

I also included demos in my game playing because I felt it still mattered. For Dragon Quest XI on the Nintendo Switch, the demo is pretty long. I was about 3 hours into that game and I still hadn’t reached the conclusion of it. Pokemon Home isn’t quite a game but an application but I counted it here because it required me to use it in order to unlock some Pokemon that I could use for Pokemon Sword.

Gears 5 and Gears Tactics have work-related reasons for playing them, but I still wanted to note them in my playing because I did spend a fair bit of time with both. I am not credited in either game but I do like both and hope I can get around to finishing Tactics in the near future.

In general, my time spent gaming was varied, but I didn’t play a lot on my Xbox One. Although Gears 5 and Minecraft Dungeons are available on the Xbox One, I played both games on my PC. Skate 3 and Untitled Goose Game were the only ones I played there (I got Skate 3 as a member of EA Access and UGG is available through Xbox Game Pass, which I also subscribe to). Gears Tactics is the only PC-only game I played, while everything else that wasn’t a mobile game was either played on my PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch.

I am a Video Game Dabbler
Went through an odd Pokemon craving during this. I wanted to buy some hard copies of the older generations but they are way too expensive.

With regards to the games I only played once, there were many reasons for this. In the case of games like Lego Builders, Patty Pursuit, and Untitled Goose Game, I just wasn’t that interested in them to continue playing a second day. Although I only played them on one day, both Various Daylife and Winding Worlds were games I went back to after the tracking was over. I doubt I’ll play Various Daylife again but I’d like to finish Winding Worlds as it doesn’t feel that long and I like its tilting gameplay mechanic.

I managed to finish Donut County and The Last of Us: Left Behind in one evening, so there was no reason to play them a second day. Gran Turismo Sport, Chrono Trigger, and Skate 3 are special cases. For all three, I was playing them before I started tracking so they would have been played more if the days were different. Then, with the demo for Clubhouse Games, I got my fix and may eventually buy it if it ever goes on sale.

Conclusion

Considering I played 24 different games over the course of 28 days, I would safely assume I am a video game dabbler. If I had played more mobile games during this run, the number would be greater. However, if I removed the eight mobile-played games and Pokemon Home, 15 console/pc games in 28 days are also pretty indicative of my varied playing trends.

I also had the opportunity to play a lot of different games and ended up writing about a few of them (check out my Looking Back pieces on Judgment, Tetris Effect, Donut County, and The Last of Us: Left Behind; also, please read my review of Minecraft Dungeons).

I am a Video Game Dabbler
GT Sport is actually a game I’ve gone back to quite a bit before and after I did my tracking. Still, such a beautiful looking game

It will be interesting to see if this is a regular thing or just a sign of the times. I may consider trying this again in a month or two so I can compare. With so many games in my library and plenty of time available to spend playing them, the numbers should be similar.