achievement points!

So you may have heard, if you play 360 games, you can unlock these things called achievements. And they're awesome...sort of.

I tend to thing anything that gives you more playtime from games a good thing. There are many games that I definitely would not have given a second look to if it wasn't for achievements that I found interesting and challenging. Mirror's edge for example was a game that gave me a very short play through. But the extra achievements for speed runs and time trials gave me an experience that had they not been there, would never have happened. I feel a greater attachment to the game after I've completed more achievements. That's good from a publisher point of view, now I have more attachment to the series and am more likely to buy DLC for that game. In this way, they're an investment for publishers. alt text

Some go a step above just a few additions to your gamer score and give you little trinkets like gamer pictures to encourage you to play. My room mates and I just recently finished the vidmaster achievements on halo 3 odst to unlock the recon armor. That for me was a fun thing to work for and gave a sense of accomplishment when I finished. Granted it took two and a half hours to get the last one, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend. alt text

But, maybe they're not all so awesome. Some achievements have definitely felt more like chores than fun. And who really cares if the number next to your gamertag is high or not? One of my good friends is a fantastic gamer and often plays better than myself, but his score is vastly lower than mine. Not to mention, some achievement whores have to sink many hours into some really time consuming, stupid challenges. Example, in Gear of War 2, there is one called Seriously 2.0. The goal here? Kill 100,000 enemies. That's ridiculous and way too time consuming. At least I think so. And what do these conquests give you? An empty award that gives you nothing but bragging rights. Maybe it makes feel accepted by other gamers? I'm not sure, there is a psychology behind it to be sure, and I'm sure more has been written about it. What do you think? Waste of time? Or worthwhile venture?

P.S. Same argument for trophies on PS3

8 years, 5 months ago
170 6

4 replies (reply)


Well, in the end it's just like any accomplishment in real life. You may feel proud that you climbed a mountain, sailed a boat solo, or completed a nature hike, but other people just might not care. In the end you ought to do something because you want to.

8 years, 5 months ago
924 1 9

Heres a sweet little link on the psychology behind achievement points.

The Psychology of Achievements

  1. Social Acceptance: Getting that pat on the back. Gamer score = popularity contest

  2. The sense of "wealth": Have the most, have the best

  3. Completionism: Getting the most out of the game, and OCD.

8 years, 5 months ago
4171 1 5 11

Trophies and achievements aren't new. It is all a meta-score for every game you played. Imagine you totaled your old arcade scores together... there you go.

They help to get people playing your game, and they are a great way to extent gameplay, but they aren't really as addictive as it is proclaimed. People who are already hooked on gaming never really form that intrinsic state of purpose or accomplishment that would otherwise be provided and lead to a more productive lifestyle. The extrinsic reward of completing a game for a platinum trophy, however, fulfills that sense of worth.

8 years, 5 months ago
6097 3 4 10

Achievements are cool, but there is an achievement in Tales of Vesperia that you get after the main character gets stabbed and pushed off a 100 story building. He lives but I don't see why it is a good thing that the main character nearly died.

8 years, 3 months ago
3210 2 2 9

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Oct. 2, 2009


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