I’ve noticed something.
There is a lot of stuff out there.
On the page 2018 in video gaming, from famously reliable resource Wikipedia, over 430 games are listed as having been released in that year. That’s a fair amount, but that’s only considering major titles.
Steam Spy reports that there were 9329 games released on Valve’s storefront. Most of them will have been absolute tripe, but still, that’s a lot of games, too many, some might say.
Moving on, IMDb lists 12,381(!) movies under 2018 releases. Only a fraction of those are really worth counting, but just a slither of that number is more than I could possibly watch. Even if we cut the list down to the 365 most watchable movies of that haunted selection, I would struggle to get through it. A movie a day is manageable, but only at the sacrifice of other pursuits. Consider all the shows, books, music, podcasts, and goddamn YouTube videos that came out in 2018, and how many you missed.
Now think of every classic movie, book, television show, album, and video game you’ve never experienced. Where is the time for them? Is there time to look back when new content is coming thick and fast all over our barely blinking faces?
I’ve struggled to make my way through the various must-watch and have-to-read lists that I’ve composed for myself over the years, and this is the concept behind what I intend to be a weekly entry on Some Words On…
On Classically Lacking I will fill up and refresh the gaps in my classic repertoire. On a rotational basis I intend to tackle a classic a week: one game, one book, one film, repeat.
What defines something as a classic? Thankfully countless people before me have answered that question and uncle Google has delivered plentiful resources my way.
For my classic book selection, I will be using Penguin’s 100 Must-Read Classic Books.
For movies, my watch list comes from a combination of Empires Top 100 Greatest Movies, plus (since Empire unabashedly skews towards post-Star Wars blockbusters) Google’s helpful top banner list of older classics you get when you pop ‘classic movies’ in the search bar.
The classic game list is harder to define. For instance, Pong is an important technological feat, undoubtedly a ‘classic’ game, but what could I possibly say about it? Many classic games fall into this rudimentary category as the art form is relatively young. As such, many of the supposed ‘greatest games of all time’ are a little too modern to fall into the true classic category that I am looking for. IGN’s Top 100 Video Games is a good starting point, but I am implementing a 10 year rule: nothing released after 2009 makes it here. Overwatch may indeed be the 51st greatest game of all time, but I’m not willing to call it a classic yet, and there’s no discussion to be had over whether anyone should return to play it because people are very much still playing it.
In writing about these classics I intend to decide if they are really worth returning to in the face of the constant stream of media that runs our way in 2019. The sheer amount of stuff that we have to choose from is outrageous, but there is admittedly a lot of quality out there. Separating the wheat from the chaff takes a little effort, but it is mostly worth it. I intend to find out what already baked loafs are…
I’m leaving this bread metaphor behind.
I just want to know which classics are still worth our time in the age of infinite content, and which are best left for the students and historians of the medium.
My first Classically Lacking will go up shortly after this.