Not too long ago, in Burnout?, we looked at some possible causes as to why people don’t always finish games they actually enjoy. Now Leigh Alexander has come up with an explanation of her own.

She calls it “Completion Anxiety Disorder”. Simply put, it means that people don’t want the game to end. That they like it enough, have put in so much time on it, that the idea of finishing the game makes them stop playing (naturally, we’re talking solo games here, not MP).

Hmmm. That’s certainly an interesting speculation. It’s not quite the same as the “Burnout” we discussed earlier; that was more about not getting far into the game in the first place.

For myself, I’m not so sure. Of course, we’ve all felt that little touch of “downer” when a fun game was over. But is that “touch” really enough to keep some gamers from going on to completion? Does it make things any better to put aside a game one really enjoys?

I’ve never done that. Any game I stop playing before the end is one that I consider unworthy of my time and attention. Everything else gets finished. And while I may know I’ll feel sad when it’s over, and that playing it again (possibly many times) won’t be the same as the “first look”, that’s certainly never held me back from going on with a game.

But that’s me. Other players may, perhaps, feel anxiety that the “fun experience” is about to end, and thus stave off the inevitable by just putting the game aside. People do stranger things in real life.

What do you think? Has Leigh made a case for this “disorder”, or is she off track here?

Failure to Complete Games on gamasutra