The Oath

[Text in brackets is commentary on the Oath, and should not be interpreted as part of it.]

On the 24th of August, 2014, I, Carl Muckenhoupt, herewith pledge to adhere to the following policies:

I. Definitions
“The stack” is the set of computer and console games that I own on physical media, but have not completed to my satisfaction. “The trophy case” is the set of games that I own on physical media and have completed.

[Added 8 March 2015: “physical media” clause in definition of “trophy case”.]

II. Blogging
On any day when I play a game that is in the stack, I will write at least one blog post about the game or my experiences in playing it, unless I play the game from start to finish in that day, in which case I will write a blog post summarizing the entire experience within a week. I may also, at my option, blog about games not in the stack.

[After some experience, I have decided to interpret “on any day when I play a game” as “within 24 hours of every session”]

III. Completion
Games will be moved from the stack to the trophy case when I complete them. Completing a game means winning it if it is the sort of game that can be won, or satisfying myself that I have seen all that it has to offer if it is not the sort of game that can be won. Completion of other goals, such as unlockables, collectibles, secrets, or bonus levels, is not required. If a game has multiple difficulty levels, beating it at any difficulty level will count.

IV. Limiting Game Purchases
Whenever I move a game to the trophy case, I will add $10 US to my Steam wallet after blogging about it to my satisfaction. I will not add any other money to my Steam wallet until there are no games left on the Stack. [Yes, this leaves me free to buy as many games off Steam as I want, but in practice, I know that Steam is my primary platform, and probably will remain so for as long as it takes to deplete the Stack. If this changes, I may alter this clause.]

[Amended 8 March 2015: removed “from the stack” from first sentence, and added blogging clause. Games that I acquire on physical media after completing them now produce the same reward, provided I post.]

[The original Oath was taken on the first of January, 2007, and rescinded five years later. The new version differs from it in two ways: only games on physical media count as on the Stack, and instead of limiting my game purchases with abstract “points”, I use Steam to keep score.]

10 Comments so far

  1. Dalia HIerro on 21 Feb 2007

    Carl, you are CRAZY but in that very good way. I am most excited about your blog and the fact that you have an oath to go with it. I wish I could award you extra points but that would defeat the purpose…

  2. » The Stack on 25 Sep 2008

    […] dem (logisk nok). Etter litt rådslagning med min bedre halvdel fant jeg ut at jeg skulle bruke denne modellen for å faktisk bli ferdig med spillene mine. For de av dere som heller leser enn å […]

  3. Richard Terrell (KirbyKid on 24 Jan 2009

    Your Oath is very interesting and somewhat inspiring.

    It would be better if many games enthusiasts took a similar oath instead of burning through all the popular titles and then complaining how there aren’t enough games coming out.

  4. The Evaluation and The Oath « Let's play oldies! on 31 Jul 2010

    […] aka Baf’s guide to the IF archive maintainer, aka a Hero. Anyway. He has a system he calls The Oath. It basically comes down to: I will complete all games I have, I will blog about my experiences and […]

  5. What Is This Thing Made of Paper and Glue? on 15 Jan 2011

    […] suggested reading a handful from the list, then reading something off-list, á la The Stack‘s point […]

  6. Anne on 30 Jan 2011

    Re my post in your main blog – you will be delighted to know that Myst Online: Uru Live is free, so downloading it will cost you zero points!
    And, yes, it is back……

  7. Lisa on 7 Jun 2012

    Is there anywhere a simple title list of what’s currently in the Stack and the Trophy Case?

  8. Carl Muckenhoupt on 22 Jun 2012

    I’ve been meaning for some time to put something about this on the main pages, but I’m on Backloggery.

  9. Erik Hermansen on 16 Sep 2020

    I appreciate the Oath, and I have my own as well. These things are silly, and yet deadly serious, as the machinery that keeps us from drifting away from the art we wanted to create. Much thanks for your writings, Carl. I’ve returned many times to read and even re-read.

  10. Xogón on 16 Jan 2023

    So, how’s the stack going? I’m missing the updates about your gaming!

Leave a reply