What’s Your Gamerscore?
The sound provides elation and relief. Achievement Unlocked blinks on my screen like a beacon of light calling to me in the dark. I take a moment to obsessively check my newly earned achievement and my freshly upgraded score. I take a moment to relish in my reward before moving on to my next objective.
Gaming has long had milestones or rewards. Remember the days of beating an arcade or NES game in one life? Some of my greatest gaming moments pre-Xbox 360 are having my initials on the Tekken 3 machine at the old arcade I worked at for 17 of the 23 characters for best times; one of which came in at about 11 seconds. I still remember the days of Street Fighter Alpha 2 and fighting and beating Shin Akuma.
Aside from my personal experiences, think about the days of finding all 120 stars in Super Mario 64 or completing every facet of Final Fantasy VII which is on its way to PC complete with achievements. All of these milestones were things we talked about back in the day as gamers but had no way of showing them off. That’s ancient history as I can now power through games and proudly display my accomplishments to the world.
What’s your preference?
Xbox 360 has Gamerscore, PlayStation 3 has trophy levels, Steam has achievements, and even a few great games within the last year feature achievements like Xenoblade Chronicles and Diablo III. But my true love lies within my Gamerscore. I’ve been working on it since about 2008.
I am an addict of many types, but my gaming obsessive-compulsivity is the most prevalent, and safest of my habits. The first thing I do before I start a new game is check the achievements and assess the overall difficulty. Don’t get me wrong, I play games for fun too. I play easy games. I play hard games. I play short games, long games, games that suck, but most of all; I play games to boost my geek badge of honor.
I set gaming goals for myself and put myself on a rough timeline. 50%. That’s the minimum goal. 100% completion (1000/1000 for Xbox 360 games pre-DLC) is the ultimate goal. I get as close as I can get within reason when factoring in real life; a full-time job, part-time college student working towards a Bachelor’s degree, part-time gaming journalist, a family man who is soon to be a new (again) dad. What I can’t do alone, I have a whole community like me to back me up.
Moderation is the key.
I’ve learned as I’ve gotten a little older and a little wiser to balance the juggling act called real life. I could no longer afford to spend every waking moment gaming, avoiding real life, like I had in the past. My gaming tendencies changed even more drastically when I launched Addicted-Gamers. I was strictly an Xbox 360 gamer working on my Gamerscore. I opened myself up to different systems and genre of gaming in order to best present myself as a knowledgeable, well-rounded gamer and journalist. I did enjoy it immensely because I got to try games I would never have given a second glance. Unfortunately, priorities changed and what gaming I have been able to do in recent weeks has been focused on inflating my Gamerscore ego again.
So I’m back to achievement hoarding and I am back to bring you a unique perspective that I have wanted to represent Addicted-Gamers when it launched just a year ago; a perspective on a phenomenon that Microsoft didn’t invent, but has capitalized on to create a newer specific type of gamer.
I’m Mike and I’m addicted to achievements.