Looking back at it, I’m not so sure that was time well spent.
I know there are plenty of gamers out there that put absolutely no stock in Microsoft’s reward system (or in any of the many copycats that followed in the years since its introduction), but I happen to like earning them. There is something about the little dopamine hit every time that ding sounded.
Was, actually. It was fun. When I started last February, it was supposed to be for a month. Maybe two. Before I knew it, I wouldn’t stop forcing myself to get another one each day until I finished out the year. Game time wasn’t about enjoying myself anymore; it was more like a job. Instead of smiling when the alert popped up, I would sigh “finally” under my breath and immediately save and quit in fear of popping a second one in the same session. This behavior ruined story-heavy games like The Walking Dead and caused me to spend more time with mobile games on my Windows Phone.
Even though I know how much this is messing with my favorite pastime, after meeting that year-long goal last night I started heavily considering going for another year.
So, this is it. I’m going to bed tonight without getting another achievement. Once I break this hobby-wrecking habit, I’ll be able to actually resume having fun with my games and those achievements will finally have meaning again.
Wait… wasn’t 2012 a leap year?