A few years ago I started keeping track of my media consumption. I’m not sure why, but considering I research mass media, it only seemed natural that I should look upon my own media consumption habits.
How I keep track of my media has fluctuated over the years, but currently, I track every non-fiction and fiction book I read to completion, every graphic novel and comic book I read, every television season I finish, every movie I watch, and every video game I complete.
The list, though, is not perfect. I don’t keep track of television that I just watch here and there; only series that I intentionally watch from start to finish. So even though my list doesn’t include The Big Bang Theory, for instance, I doubtlessly watched many seasons this year on rerun.
I keep track of every video game I play from start to finish, but some games are never finished (and some can’t be finished, like Minecraft). I also don’t keep track of the time I spend watching other people play games, like my roommates.
And let’s not even get started on calculating how much time I spend on the computer and the Internet, whether for work, school, or pleasure.
The Completion List of 2013
- Nonfiction books: 13
- Textbooks: 2
- Graphic Novels: 3
- Comic Books: 6
- Video Games: 29
- TV Seasons: 24
- Movies: 42
- Total Media: 119
Interestingly, I completed no fiction books last year. In previous years, I read a lot more fiction AND non-fiction (in 2012 I read 7 fiction and 37 non-fiction; in 2011 I read 14 fiction and 29 non-fiction).
The six individual comic books comes from Free Comic Book Day.
I really stepped up my game playing this year. I replayed a lot of classic games, like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Donkey Kong 64, Star Fox 64, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and Donkey Kong Country.
Last year I only completed 12 video games.
The Best and Worst of 2013
When it comes to television, I find a few shows that work and stick with them. I watched four seasons of X-Files, which I’ve never seen before. It’s a pretty good show, though a little long at times (I’m not even halfway through yet).
Avatar: The Last Airbender is easily my favorite show ever: I watched that series twice in 2013 (I’ve probably watched it 6 times total). I also watched the sequel, the Legend of Korra, seasons 1 and 2.
Cowboy Bebop is also on perpetual rotation; I usually watch it every summer at least, though I’m itching to watch it again. Bebop used to be my favorite show until Airbender topped it.
Notable video games include: Ocarina of Time, Tomb Raider (2013), The Walking Dead, Final Fantasy XIII (third playthrough), Portal 1 and 2, and Kingdom Hearts II.
I usually don’t play bad video games, but there were some games I never finished. Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 is one. I liked it as a kid but never completed it (I always got stuck on one particular boss toward the end). I tried playing it again, thinking I could finish it as an adult. I got halfway through and just got bored.
I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan and decided to replay FFXII for the PS2. I remember thinking the game was decent when it came out, and enough time had passed that I forgot the details of the story. I got about 20 hours into that game before calling it quiets. The story, cutscenes, dialogue, and characters are just so bad that I couldn’t stand it (and I’m not talking about the graphics, either; aged graphics from the PS2 era don’t bother me the way they bother some people).
Now that I think of it, I tried replaying Final Fantasy X-2 last summer but only got about 10 hours in.
When it comes to movies, it seems like I mostly watched bad movies or so-so movies last year. Movies I could do without seeing again: Star Trek: Generations, Watchmen, Quantum of Solace, Django Unchained, Jackie Brown, Fargo, Hellraiser, Hot Rod, and The Sword in the Stone.
I’m not sure what I accomplish by keeping track of my media consumption. Like I said in the beginning, the list isn’t perfect and leaves out a lot. And I have no idea how my consumption relates to others’ consumption. Watching 42 movies in the year seems like a lot, but that’s less than one a week. Watching 24 television seasons also seems like a lot, but then again, shows count seasons differently: they can range anywhere from 6-26 episodes depending on the show (and most of the shows I watch are half hour in nature, not an hour like live-action dramas).
I just find it interesting to keep track of this stuff. Looking over this list, I don’t have any goals or “improvements” to make in 2014, except maybe watch fewer bad movies.