I was catching up on a couple of posts via the Blaugust reel when I came across a post on Byx's Lock and Bolt blog about to-do lists in gaming. She remarked on re-discovering a gaming notebook that contained many of her WoW notes and goals which had been lost by time. Naturally, we all will generally have some goal in mind should you decide to play a certain title long-term, but do you actually write them down?
I find MMO titles much easier to put together certain goals which you'd like to accomplish. This genre of gaming usually adopts a large set of systems in place in order to cater to a large group of players, and seemingly overwhelm users with a crap-ton of stuff to keep us entertained and playing that specific title. While other games do have their own ways to keep us playing, MMOs seem to pick and choose various elements from other genres, and ball them together with a fresh roll of duct tape.
That being said, most of my goal-forming with LOTRO has been associated with an annual episode of the LOTRO Academy podcast in which Branick, Pineleaf, Mysteri, and Draculetta discuss how/if their goals from the prior year had been met, and explain goals which they'd like to accomplish for the following year (listen to the 2014 episode of this here). Listeners can then post their goals in the comment section below. It's nothing necessary, but it is kinda fun to see what others come up with, and how close they were to reaching their prior goals. At least it certainly reflects on your gaming habits, and what kind of time you can devote toward reaching those goals.
Outside of MMOs, I used to do a decent amount of note-taking when it came to Diablo 2. This mostly came in the form of the online play via Battle.net, and while it was not heavy on the goal-making, did include a lot of items I had on mule characters (switching toons too often/quickly would sometimes kick you off the server). If there was a particular boss I was farming, I would sometimes write down the loot for each run. I can remember in particular doing a fairly large project where I would continually grind the Countess in Act 1, and take note of the rune(s) that dropped. I suppose these aren't really good examples of a to-do list, but I would often relay the noted data on a forum, so I guess it was more of a to-post list. Still, notetaking is notetaking.
At my current stage of casual gaming, I am not really doing any to-do lists on a physical notebook space (nor really on a virtual one). With technology these days, it feels just as easy to open up Notepad or something and jot any tasks down, but as someone who occasionally goes on a jaunt of writing, I can still appreciate a good notebook by your side. I think in-game goal tracking has also improved as we get more intuitive UIs introduced into games (or are introduced through game mods), next to much simpler systems in the past (some of which may necessitated the need for an out-of-game journal to keep track of stuff).
As gamers, we pick up that goal-oriented trait through our gameplay. Some virtual worlds are designed to make those finish lines very linear, while others (ie open-word games) are much more loosey-goosey and allow for flexible strategies to reach those goals. Either way, we become rather apt at identifying the situation, and address as such with our gamer tact. Whether you are there for the journey or its conclusion, we all seem to have some goal in mind. Hopefully a big part of that is just having fun with the experience.
Check out Byx's blog, Lock and Bolt!