Confessions of a Gamerscore Whore

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ad∑dic∑tion Ėnoun the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

My name is Dark Reyule, and I am an achievement addict. I’m not sure when it happened… well, OK I know exactly when it happened. According to chart on my 360voice.com blog it started around 2/20/07, around the time Xbox had their first little boost your gamerscore contest for crappy prizes. My addiction, seemingly dormant before, came out in full force then and has manifested itself into something I cannot control.

On that faithful day in February I boasted a gamerscore of 9033, in just 2 months it shot up to 13711 and now, less than 4 months later, I have a score of 22031. Is this something to be proud of? Well, I’m not sure.

When I first got my 360 I was a gamer who liked to play games. I played to complete them, for the challenge and entertainment. I saw the gamerscore as nothing more than a side quest and really gave it no mind at all. I even went as far as scorning those who simply played games just to boost their score, not seeing the point of the gamerscore at all.

Then came that Old Spice contest. For whatever reason a switch went off inside of me where I no longer saw the gamerscore as meaningless, but instead the games I played were just games inside a larger one, the game of the gamerscore. I began finding myself venturing to sites like achieve360points.com to find out how to gain my newly desired badges of gaming and to discover the upcoming achievements in games yet to be released.

I started renting games that I wouldn’t give the time of day just a few months before because the gamerpoints were so easy to get. Hell, I rented Fantastic Four for God’s sake and Fight Night Round 3!!! I used to be the biggest videogame sports nut there was, desiring to complete season after season with my stock of created players I’ve used since the early 90’s. It is astonishing how quickly I abandoned those guys this time around just to see that lovely 5 second pop-up across my screen…

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    Top 5 Most Proud of Achievements:
    1. Air Defense – The Outfit – First ever Achievement
    2. Available Officer 250 – Dynasty Warriors 5:Empires – Final Achievement to get my first 1000/1000
    3. All Stages Cleared (Normal) – Earth Defense Force 2017 – This game wasn’t the hardest, but it was an accomplishment nonetheless.
    4. Shotty – Shadowrun – Killing 100 players with a shotgun online is never easy.
    5. Into the Dark – The Darkness – Another game completion merit.

When you think about it, the implementation of the achievement really is a genius stroke on the part of Gates & Co. It implores you, well implores those who give into it’s temptation, to play games you otherwise wouldn’t and in turn keeps you playing your 360 in stead of other things, say your PC or PS3. Sony’s Phil Harrison recently told Game Informer Magazine that the PS3 would have their own achievement setup called “trophies”.

(an excerpt from said interview)

GI: At GDC, you introduced the Home setup with your Hall of Fame and trophies, yet most of the developers Iíve spoken with donít know anything about it and havenít gotten the software, or donít have the know how to implement them into their games. It seemed to escape everything at this press conference, and even the first-party developers that Iíve spoken with say, most likely they arenít going to be able to get them into their games this year. Whatís going on with that?

Harrison: Weíve built Home on top of the core libraries of the PlayStation Network platform. The trophy functionality is going into PlayStation Network libraries in the next revision, which will be in August.

GI: So, will we see first-party games this year with trophies in them?

Harrison: I hope so. I mean, this is a long-term plan. Yes it would be great to have all games enabled with trophies this holiday season, but weíll see that roll out as quickly as we can, but we want to get it right and make sure that itís a fun and rewarding mechanism for everyone.

With Sony following suit it does appear that achievements, after all, do have some credence to them, but will it last? I can tell you this, after 20 years of gaming I do appraoch games differently now and I do give some titles a second glance whereas I wouldn’t in the past. I see this as a double-edged sword. Part of me likes the freshness of obtaining developer determined in-game goals, while another part of me fears I may become bored with a game once I’ve obtained them.

    Top 3 Least Proud of Achievements:
    1. Superhero – Fantastic Four – To think I beat this game once was bad enough, but to do it twice is just embarrassing.
    2. Multiplay Uber Geek – Farcry Insticts Predator – Awarded after playing 80 hours, ’nuff said.
    3. Any from Texas Hold ‘Em – I learned how to play Hold ‘Em from this game, oof!.

It remains to be seen if, to me, achievements help prolong my gaming experience or shorten it but one thing is for certain, the achievment is here and here to stay. In addition to 360voice.com and achieve360points.com there is also mygamercard.net and my360stats.com. These sites usually have a respectable amount of members and traffic further proving the power of the achievement.

The true question is how will it affect you as a gamer. For me the infection took a while, for others it was instant, yet some still remain immune to the Sirens of the 360 but it is only a matter of time, your sickness will surface, the desire for that pop-up will come out, and you will become addicted…

Comments

  1. I don’t know what my proudest achievement would be. I’ll let you know once I get some more from Geometry Wars.

    They have definitely changed the way I game, though. No doubt about that.

  2. my most prized achievement is rainbow six legend beat rs vegas on realistic this is mine because it gave me 1000/1000 in rainbow six vegas.
    Gt.whowantspizza51

  3. Dark Reyule says:

    Well I have hit 1000 total achievements! Unfortunately the 1000th overall achievement was in Meet The Robinsons… ugh, hours I can never get back!

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