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Achievements: By the Numbers

Achievements are an interesting gaming phenomenon.

Prior to the current generation of gaming, gamers still had achievements. Beating a game could be considered an achievement. Whipping your friends in Mario Kart or Street Fighter might also have been an achievement. For you RPG gamers, experiencing the story and becoming immersed in a strange world could be considered an achievement. If you frequented an arcade at any point in your life, having the high score on an arcade machine would surely be worthy of some achievement points.

However, for one reason or another, quantifiable achievements have become this huge thing. Just about every game coming out for the 360 and PS3 has a method of tracking your in-game accomplishments. Even some indie games are adopting achievements. (For the record: I realize that PS3�s are called trophies, but for the sake of this post I�m just going to use the generic term).

Achievements have become so big, that World of Warcraft adopted its own Achievement system in game. The even crazier part is that prior to the Cataclysm expansion, there was someone who had 100% completed the achievements in WoW. In case you don�t know anything about WoW: imagine the negative stereotype surrounding the average WoW gamer. Now multiply that nerdy dedication by about 1000% and you�ll get a ballpark idea of how much dedication this gamer had towards 100% completion of the WoW achievements. At the time, that meant he got 986/986 achievements.

Get it? Like that DBZ meme? #SoDamnClever

Personally, I really enjoy when my Steam games utilize Games for Windows Live. It is not because the service is stellar (though it has gotten better), but because the achievements I earn in game go towards my Xbox Live account�s overall GamerScore. When I get an achievement in a PC game with Steam, I am basically indifferent because there isn�t a quantifiable number that shows my efforts across all of my Steam games that I can work towards growing. For example: I just got Deus Ex for free thanks to a friend of mine. I want to work towards the Pacifist achievement on Steam, but knowing that my efforts won�t be validated by an overall score is making me want to essentially say �screw it!� and start shooting people up.

Achievements have been a very controversial topic since they were introduced. They drive some people to continue playing a game long after they "beat" it, while others are indifferent towards the whole concept. How do you feel about the above scenarios and achievements in general?

Love always,

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About radiopoolsone of us since 9:43 PM on 09.04.2010

24, Cincinnati OH. Graduated college in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology but no idea what I want to do with it. I am extremely friendly and love meeting new people of all backgrounds. Being a sociologist will do that to you.

My earliest memories of life are playing the original Zelda game on NES.

I enjoy writing blogs about video games. I've written a few blogs here on Destructoid, and would love to eventually become a somewhat professional journalist in the video game industry.

My dream job, like most of you I assume, would be working in some facet of the games industry. That, or working at a beer brewery like Dogfish Head, Stone or Sam Adams.

I am a beer geek. My top 3 are Dogfish Head 60Minute IPA, Stone Ruination IPA and Heavy Seas Hop3 IPA (I adore IPA's if you couldn't tell).

I play electric guitar and bass when I'm not doing work/video game related things. I play a Gibson Faded Flying V (2004ish) and a Squier Classic Vibe 60's Jazz Bass through a Peavey Classic 30 amp.

Oh, and I go by "radiopools" basically everywhere, so look me up if you need me.
Xbox LIVE:radiopools
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