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Submitted by Tody_ZA 1231d ago | opinion piece

Why Achievements / Trophies Are Useless, And Potentially Dangerous

An eGamer journalist talks about achievements and their value... or lack thereof. (Culture, PS3, Xbox 360)

rainslacker  +   1231d 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.
Volcre  +   1231d 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
rainslacker  +   1231d 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.
Volcre  +   1231d 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.
Septic  +   1231d 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.
rainslacker  +   1231d 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.
FredEffinChopin  +   1231d 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.
admiralvic  +   1231d 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.
#1.1.6 (Edited 1231d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report
RustedMan  +   1231d 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.
Highlife  +   1231d 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.
KosmoCrisis  +   1231d 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?
Highlife  +   1230d 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.
Bigpappy  +   1231d ago
Then just ignore them. I happen to like having them pop up when I reach a mile stone.
PS3ROCKS  +   1231d ago
I see
shivvy24  +   1231d ago
I play the games the way i want to ! i dont care bout trophies ! :)
Tody_ZA  +   1231d ago
Sounds like a good plan :P
jambola  +   1231d 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?
Volcre  +   1231d ago
Nope that's a great way to play games. Just for fun. Doing it for the Gamerscore is pointless.
#5.1 (Edited 1231d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
MattyG  +   1231d 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.
jambola  +   1231d ago
it's not pointless if the person doing it finds it fun
it's nice competition too
FunAndGun  +   1231d 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.
RmanX1000  +   1231d ago
I dont think theyre essential but they make a good check list for what's in the game!
MattyG  +   1231d ago
I dont think theyre meant to be flaunted in public as massive achievements, they're just to increase replay value. That said, some people do have an issue with getting addicted to things like this, but they are the minority. Trophies/achievements are there for fun and replay value, not as a serious means of validation.
Fishy Fingers  +   1231d ago
If they can add some longevity or you enjoy the challenge they offer, great, enjoy them. Personally I'm not that interested, they're not used as a measure of skill or how "good" you are as a gamer. More your willingness to grind at specific tasks in many cases or a indication of how many games played.

Personally, I consider a high score more of an achievement than your gamerscore.

But each to there own, your meant to be gaming out of enjoyment first and foremost, but where you find that enjoyment is your prerogative.
iamnsuperman  +   1231d ago
I play the game without looking at the trophies then I go back and try and get the trophies. They are there to try and extend the games life. Now I do wish they would make them more than just complete chapeter 1/chapter 2. I would rather have a trophy for jump 1000 times, crawl for the enitre level, not be detected (you know unusual/ones that are not a requirment to complete the game but nice to do)
Summons75  +   1231d ago
Remember the days when developers use to put tons and tons of secrets in the game they made and it was always rewarding and feel good to find them and possibly brag to your friends that you got something they didn't? Yeah I do too, unfortunately children today will never experience that because trophies take those away or tell them where to find them.

That's why I don't like trophies, they tell you how what to do and where to go and give you nothing for following the directions.
Lvl_up_gamer  +   1231d ago
I don't agree with this.

He says Trophies and Achievements are meaningless...yet then goes on to say that the only person who gets them or unlocks them get any kind of how is that meaningless?

He just stated what the overall meaning of Trophies and Achievements are to a gamer. I am not an Achievement whore but last night while playing Borderlands 2 with my brother, I unlocked a couple of Achievements without meaning too and the feeling that I got was of surprise and satisfaction. It was short lived sure.....but the reaction I received was a positive one which assisted in me enjoying the game just that much more.

Developers like the idea of them because it can prolong the re-playability in a game. How many times have we gamers gone back into a game just to get that one trophy or achievement? I played through Dead Space at least 10 times until I unlocked all the achievements.

Just a couple weeks ago I was online with my buddy and we went down our whole list of games and how many achievements we had unlocked for each game. It was just a fun conversation regarding gaming all centered around achievements.

I whole heartily disagree with this narrow minded view the author has about trophy's and achievements. I think they add to the over all gaming experience one can have while playing or just talking to your buddies comparing.
nihonlight  +   1231d ago
I don't trophy hunt. I play for entertainment.
I know there are people who love trophies but seems most trophy hunters just play to plat. I met a person who platinum L.A. noir in a few hours.
There's no way he could have possibility enjoyed the game. He was just after bragging rights.
#12 (Edited 1231d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
FCOLitsjustagame  +   1231d ago
I am not a trophy hunter as such but I do 'just play to play' because I think playing is fun. Sometimes I will try to get an achievement just because it's there and it’s fun to try to get. If someone thinks its fun to have "bragging rights" then more power to them. Who is anyone else to judge?

I think achievements were a great addition. I play the game like I always did but now I have a reason to go back and play it more.

I tend to be goal driven so in the past I would tend to lose interest in a game after defeating the main mission. After all, there was "nothing left to do". Even if I found it to be a really fun game I felt like I was "wasting time" going back to play it again (which in itself is silly since all of gaming is "wasting time"). However, with achievements I now feel it’s not such a waste to try to play the game on the harder settings, or to try to find certain things, or to try out a new play-style that I would not have before. If it becomes "not fun" I stop playing it, but more often than not I have been pleasantly surprised. The "harder" difficulties were fun and not aggravating and the different play styles showed me different ways to play and, yes, made me a better player in the long run.

Is being a better player pointless? Sure, I won’t make money or really save the world playing games but it’s a hell of a lot better than just sitting around watching TV or going out and getting into stupid trouble (more NFL players need to game).
nihonlight  +   1231d ago
I can agree with that. I just was giving an example of a person who ONLY played to plat and put up comments like"platted this or platted day one'
Seemed more like bragging than enjoying.
Like speed reading a novel just to say "read it"
#12.1.1 (Edited 1231d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
claud3  +   1231d ago
I hate achievements/trophies. I see no point for them

As for them being dangerous, thats a lot of crap
MoreRPG  +   1231d ago
I only platinum games I like (got 5). I think trophies/achievements are great if you have fun getting them but for the most part they are just bragging rights.
#14 (Edited 1231d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ziggurcat  +   1231d ago
in some ways, trophies/achievements add replay value to the game - which is what (i assume) devs kind of want to happen when they release a title - so i don't see how and/or why they're "useless" or "dangerous".

and besides, i'd much rather devs include a lot of think-outside-of-the-box trophies/achievements than tack on a mediocre MP mode.
claud3  +   1231d ago
They are pointless. I prefer to prove what I have done, a number does not prove what i have done.. with a few pictures in a list does not prove my true achievements. Instant replay should have been introduced into every game. So you can show your achievements. Just a number is no proof
FunAndGun  +   1231d ago
actually a trophy does exactly prove what you have done in gaming.

They are not pointless. some could say gaming in general is pointless.

I think trophies are a GREAT way to see what type of gamer people are. Every time I get a friend request I always check their trophy list/level. You can see what genre of games they like, how dedicated that person is to completing games, how much time they spend gaming, how 'hardcore' the person plays. Basically it is a blueprint of their current gaming history.

for you they might be pointless, but I think it is good for the gaming community.
ninjabake  +   1231d ago
I personally don't care for achievements/trophies. I feel like they'd serve a better purpose if they give you something for completing said achievement.

For example, on Xbox you may get an item for your avatar for doing something within the game (like Halo, Gears and crackdown) other than that its nothing more than bragging rights. I don't have too many friends that game and care about their score so they don't brag about having a higher score so to me its just there to be there. I don't mind them at all and I feel like they could give you better rewards if implemented properly but I'm sort of indifferent about them. I don't do trophy hunting or anything like that, I'd rather play the game and play how I wish to play.

I think super smash bros. Brawl and NFL 2k5's "the crib" implemented their own version of achievements in a very fun and addictive way and they put the achievements right there in the game to show you what you have accomplished. That's how I would want achievements done but that's just me, everyone has their own style of playing and own interests.
Urbz7870  +   1231d ago
Funny how he includes that he has 13 platinum trophies on his old account.
urwifeminder  +   1231d ago
I like the uplay achieves by ubisoft you unlock content buy spending points its pretty cool wallpapers extra levels skins etc.
MrChow666  +   1231d ago
I agree with the article, my gamerscore is not something Im proud of, quite the reverse in fact
DivineAssault  +   1231d ago
He must be a Nintendo fan trying to reason with himself for wii u not having em..
Enigma_2099  +   1231d ago
I dunno about the dangerous part, but as far as I'm concerned, you're 2/3 right.
JustInTlME  +   1231d ago
I think this whole article is just terribly flawed.

Like a few of you have posted all its basically saying is, "gamers are stupid, how can anyone get enjoyment from games and achievements?"

Who cares what he thinks. If people (you) have fun thats all that matters.

I know I enjoyed getting all of Skyrim's achievements. And yes....I have a job, I go to school full time, and I am happily married...So don't try and call me out on having no life. I do what makes me happy, and if people did more of that instead of bashing people, they would be happy in turn.
NeoTribe  +   1231d ago
Achievments promote replayability and an objective u can work twords. It also presuades people to play and/or buy games they wouldn't have even tried in the first place.
Summons75  +   1231d ago
NO it dosen't! People don't replay Ocarina of Time for achievements, they do it for the enjoyment of the game. Same with Every classic or fun game before this generation. They ALL had replayability, it's up to the developer to promote replayability by making the game fun and memorable not a check list of things to do half of which you would do by following the main plot. If you honestly think they "promote replayability" then you clearly did not play a game before this generation of gaming.

It also dosen't promote people to buy outside their comfort zone. Do you really think the people who bought Hanna Montana actually played and enjoyed it, NO they just wanted the points to look like they have a bigger score than they should.

People who are trophy hunters have no appreciation for the game or the hard work that was done on it. Sure if you truely enjoyed a game go for the 100% but at least people who love the game spend countless hours doing things not on the achievement list and exploring the game for themselves and not because a list told them to.
Gekko  +   1231d ago
I'm not much of a trophy or achievements collector but I do feel like they add a lot of replay value towards certain games. Although, that shouldn't be a persons sole reason for overlooking games that don't have them like Valkyria Chronicles.

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