Why Achievements / Trophies Are Useless, And Potentially Dangerous

An eGamer journalist talks about achievements and their value... or lack thereof.

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rainslacker2063d ago

I'll summarize this so you won't have to read this extremely long post.

He says achievements aren't real because only the person receiving them gets any kind of good feeling from it.

He says they're dangerous because your wasting your time for short term validation, putting more effort into a task just for that validation.

This article is poorly edited, rambles on more than I do, and when he finally does get to the point his reasons are subjective and completely different from what he said before. It also makes some of the most ridiculous analogies to try and prove he's right, ie "self-mustardization" ;, and Climbing Everest is an achievement, getting a trophy is not.

Volcre2062d ago

Sounds like you're a little bit sensitive about the idea that Achievements might be meaningless. The point put across was that they're basically a time-sink that gives very little back

rainslacker2062d ago

I could care less really. I like getting them in games I enjoy just because it gives me a different way to play them.

On topic: Yes that was the point. However the general argument he was making was that a person isn't capable of deciding what value an achievement/trophy actually means to them as an individual.

He says "if gaming is simply a hobby to you, then it’s not going to enrich you in any other way than simply being better at games."

That's simply not true. It's a hobby to probably 99.99% of the people on here, and it enriches us more than just becoming better at games.

An achievement(definition kind, not xbox kind) isn't there to enrich someone else, it's there as a way for a person to enrich their own life. If they get something out of it, then there is nothing wrong with that, and the only real shame would be if they listened to other people about how what they were doing was insignificant and meaningless.

Volcre2062d ago

He actually said that if gaming is a hobby then "achievement hunting" is not going to enrich you. He was basically saying that its bad for you being an achievement whore. Just like its bad for you to smoke. Sure you might get something out of smoking a box a day but there is something wrong with that.

Septic2062d ago

I don't really care for Achievements at all but I don't mind their inclusion in a game- I don't see how they adversely affect a gameplay experience unless you yourself allow them to affect you.

rainslacker2062d ago

So, since gaming is a hobby, when someone goes achievement hunting by doing something silly like...oh, I dunno...playing a game, the act of playing that game isn't going to enrich them in any way? Going through the trouble to try to platinum a game because they enjoy playing games shouldn't give them any kind of validation?

I won't deny that some people take it to the extreme, but that doesn't mean that they are useless. Although with that I will concede that they could be potentially dangerous.

Also your smoking analogy doesn't really fit. I smoke about a pack a day, and while it gives me something, it isn't something that I or likely anyone else consider an achievement.

FredEffinChopin2062d ago

Sounds like you're a bit sensitive about the fact that some people have a good time chasing achievements.

That old gag. The original armchair psychologists would be proud that their oldest tradition is still alive and well in some form.

Anyway, nobody is going to read this and go:

"Wait.... So you mean I don't get anything at the end of this? No prize? What have I been doing all these years?!?!?"

We all know exactly what trophies are, and the fact that they don't translate to much currency-wise, or look impressive on your resume. The value is there for those who perceive it; the people who enjoy earning them and comparing them with others who also enjoy it.

admiralvic2062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

Achievement / Trophy hunting is a double edge sword, but neither side really justifies a stance in either direction. On one hand you have a way to get you to play / do more and it gets people to unlock things they might not have otherwise. A prime example of this is Catherine, since Axis Mundi added a new cutscene at the start and special ending for beating the thing. Another would be Borderlands 1/2, since they basically just ask you to try everything out and explore the world. These are things people might have just watched a video / heard of, but never wasted the time to see. However on the bad side, you have people buying games like Megamind for the score. These are bad, though they're fooling their self into thinking the score is all that matters. Most people just ignore those tasks and figure out what task they find impressive, like platinuming Lost Planet 2 or I guess Demon / Dark Souls.

In the end, I see it as a way to get your moneys worth. Like if there is a task for beating the game a certain way, then I might try it to see how that would go. Without the trophy / achievement, I don't see myself trying to beat Dead Space with just a plasma cutter or no kills / no alerts in Deus EX. With this being said, there are problems with them, though the responsibility falls on the developer / whomever decided to make them. Too many tasks require things that ruin the experience or cause the experience to be ruined. For instance a 10 win streak in Street Fighter, since this exists, people try to be as cheap as possible to win. Cheap fighters annoy not so skilled fighters and everyone is disappointed. The same goes for a lot of online tasks, since they change the way certain people try to play the game. I've lost countless games because someone was using only a pistol for a task or trying to prevent 30 captures or something like that.

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OhMyGandhi2062d ago

Good summary.
I feel that if he thinks achievements are pointless because "the one person receiving them gets the good feeling" from the them, that's not why they are in place.

It's a universal method of tracking stats for people.
It's seeing what they've played and what's they've done, and patting them on the back for their skill.
Not enamoring them with gold stars and a Macy day parade.

when I complete an achievement, I am usually unaware of it, and continue on playing.

Like you said rainslacker, his reasons are entirely subjective, though he certainly likes to state them as fact.

Highlife2062d ago

I don't care for achievements doesn't bother me that they are there either. Don't think they enrich the game either. Searching all over for hidden items is not adding to the game. Rather taking away from the game.

KosmoCrisis2062d ago

The problem with your take on hidden items taking away from the game is the fact that the developers hid those items and likely intended to do so with or without trophies/achievements; therefor they are designed to add to the game.

There are plenty of gamers that don't like side quests or treasure hunts or collectathons, they just want to play the story. Would be like reading a great book, then the last page asks you to count all the appearances of the word "the" in chapter 4. Find them all and you get a happy feeling(?).

I'm understanding that there are a few ways each of us understands how trophies/achievements add to the experience the game provides:

- Refines gamer's focus on the "entire" experience as designed by the developers
- Provides a means to communicate (read "brag") to your peers about your gaming prowess
- Extend the replay value of a particular game (especially with the online component) so as to prevent used trade ins to retailers and reduce the used games turnaround

Did I miss anything?

Highlife2061d ago

There are plenty of games that hide items that have nothing to do with the game. They are just there for the acheivment or trophy. Rather they focus on other things than that.

Bigpappy2063d ago

Then just ignore them. I happen to like having them pop up when I reach a mile stone.

shivvy242062d ago

I play the games the way i want to ! i dont care bout trophies ! :)

Tody_ZA2062d ago

Sounds like a good plan :P

jambola2062d ago

so he doesnt like them so there useless
there fun to get and that's all that matters
what about people who would completely finish games before achievments/trophies is there a problem with that too?

Volcre2062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

Nope that's a great way to play games. Just for fun. Doing it for the Gamerscore is pointless.

MattyG2062d ago

Not entirely. If the achievements are for things like collectibles or neat little easter eggs, then they are fun as well. What's NOT fun is playing a game you otherwise wouldn't just for easy gamerscore.

jambola2062d ago

it's not pointless if the person doing it finds it fun
it's nice competition too

FunAndGun2062d ago

OK, so playing games for fun is acceptable, but chasing trophies for fun is wrong?

You know, some could say playing any type of video game is a waste of time. It only matters that the person is enjoying themselves.

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