I am the type of player that likes to master a game and squeeze every ounce of gameplay out of it before I move on to the next one. In other words, I am a completionist. I want to do everything and see it all. This is perfectly fine for regular games. It became a problem when I started playing MMOGs.
An MMORPG like WoW has multiple classes, professions, and gameplay types (PvE vs PvP). With my gaming background, that meant I wanted every class at the maximum level, all professions maxed, all raids completed, and a good PvP ranking. I never made it to this goal, but I did get pretty far, to the detriment of other games.
A fun multiplayer game might take me three months to master. Maybe six months if it had a lot of depth, not top of the rankings but reaching my peak ability. WoW would take 5 years to “complete”, and only if I could play it nonstop, no time for work or other duties. Over the years other types of games have started getting a lot of these MMOG conventions.
All the new shooter games, for example Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3, require you to unlock weapons, attachments, and other gear for multiplayer. Strategy games like League of Legends and Age of Empires Online have heroes/units to unlock and other various gameplay options. The only way to try out all the options is to put in serious time.
Games in general just take a lot more time than before, and I have not even mentioned the DLC. If you want to get all the items, play every class/race, see all the maps, and try every gameplay mode, you have to buy the DLC. With these time consuming MMO elements, I just did not have the time to be a completionist. Then with DLC, I did not have the money to be a completionist.
This was a hard hard lesson to learn. I always thought I would be able to play all the games I wanted and experience everything. I learned that even if I put all my time into one game, I still might not see and do everything in the game. This lesson has helped me become immune to addictive games and buying DLC.
I have learned I will never have every hero in League of Legends, because they will keep adding heroes faster than I can unlock them. I have learned I can never master World of Warcraft, because there will always be another expansion. It is very rare that I buy DLC. When I do buy it, I always wait for a sale of 50% off or so.
These statements may seem gloomy, but it has really given me an appreciation for what I have. I do not feel like I have to unlock everything in Gears of War 3. I do not feel like I have to buy all the DLC a game has. I still have a ton of fun with what I have. This does not just apply to games though.
I will never see all the amazing natural wonders on the planet. I will never learn everything there is to learn. I will never do everything I would like to do. It has helped me greatly to not be materialistic. I see that it is hopeless to try to keep up with all the latest games, let alone everything else in the world. The money I save can go to a good cause as well. Specialize in a few interests you love, ignore everything else, and be proud of them.