Lindsey feels an instant rush when she hears the beloved chime when a new achievement unlocks. My sister Lumpwad and I both brag about the constant growth our "Xbox penises" in direct correlation to our gamerscore. So I was less than thrilled when I opened one of the latest Game Informer magazines and read an article denouncing achievements.
The article was written by Editor-in-Chief Andy. He described starting a whole new account and how liberating it was. While that sentiment may be justifiable, his following arguments blew me away. He talked about how achievements shouldn't be in a game at all. That they are a superficial way of keeping score and most people boost or cheat to get achievements. There was definitely an implication in the article that if you go out of your way for an achievement, that you are basically an idiot and playing for the wrong reasons.
I completely disagree with this logic. Since the beginning of games, video or otherwise, people have wanted to achieve a score, level, or other established definition of accomplishment. While a lot of games are driven by stories, others thrive on score. How big is your kill streak ? What level did you reach ? How quickly did you finish the race ? All of these are what make the game fun and competitive. Without the concept of reaching a number, what would the point of playing online multiplayer be other than just blindly shooting ? His argument is akin to saying that Basketball players shouldn't care about counting baskets, they should just make shots over and over.
The Xbox gamerscore is a way for people to keep track of their games. They can show off what they accomplish or have completely finished. Its just like any other game, you get an unexplainable thrill from reaching a number. Of course we all acknowledge that the number is without actual value. We know it doesn't make us a better person or provide us with money or other goods. But it makes us happy and that is all that matters. After all, who doesn't love having bragging rights ?
So Andy McNamara, get off your soap box. You are not better than us for not caring about achievements. You have not reached a zen like state, you are not cooler than us, and you are not more of a "true gamer" than the rest of the gaming community. You are just some guy with a pen that feels the need to bitch and feel superior. Welcome to my world.