I pulled this quote from the main page of PennyArcade.com, an online comic strip about video gaming. Personally, I think PVPOnline.com is a better series, because they develop characters and storylines, but PennyArcade does tend to focus more on games. Anyways, this guy nails something that I experience perfectly. He's referring to the just released Xbox360/PC game Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, a game that is so nonlinear you can play for years without actual doing anything to further the story.
"The almost unlimited functionality definitely activates some hoarding response in my brain, so that if I don't pick up every dusty scapula with a shred of flesh still clinging I get terribly agitated. I stood in a cold dungeon for almost ten minutes before I could build up the strength to discard some rat meat. That isn't their fault, of course. You don't lose points for increasing player freedom to psychologically devastating levels. I was not aware that OCD was something you could "catch," but I'm beginning to think that I've got a bad case."
I suffer from this too I guess. It's crippling. I have maybe 4 or 5 games just sitting around that I bought up to six years ago that I CAN NOT PLAY. It's insane. I have to hoard every little last thing I find until I can either sell it for money or trade it in for something better (referring to in-game here).
I've been working on getting through Dungeon Siege since fall 04...I'm maybe 25-30 hours into...and while the game isn't known for its story (solely lacking), it's still a fun little game to just play. But it's literally taking me forever because I have to accumulate everything and explore every last nook and cranny in the dang game!
Then there is Baldur's Gate. I bought this game way back in Fall '01. I've tried to start playing it multiple times. But it's just so dang complex and HUGE that I can't get anywhere. The fear of missing something or doing something wrong or not getting the best experience is agravating. And it's a game I desperately want to play and beat because everyone tells me it has one of the best storylines you will ever find in a videogame!
And don't even get me started on those Grand Theft Auto games...