Wired: What is the deal with achievements?—asked in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice, of course. (Kids, ask your parents.)
Remember when the goal of a video game was, well, to beat the game? Rescue the princess, piece together the Triforce, kill the big alien monster, defeat all the other fighters. Or maybe, as in the case of Tetris, postpone your inevitable defeat as long as possible and rack up a high score. When you were at the arcade (again, kids, ask your parents) feeding quarters into the machine and you got the chance to put in your initials, the only indicator of your success was a number: your score. It didn’t say how few quarters you used, or how many power-ups you got along the way, or if you found all the secret zones.