Why do we need trophies and achievements?
With the shutdown of the PSN, and recent [revival] of it as well, it seemed to be like a good time to go back an earn some trophies without any sort of feeling of competition. After going back and finishing Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit last weekend, and battling my way through Dead Space 2 early this week, I’ve come to realize the nice feeling I get whenever a trophy or achievement pops up on screen. But what are they really there for? The gamerpoints you get don’t actually go toward any physical gifts or prizes, and the digital ones like avatar clothes or pictures aren’t too exciting, and trophies offer even less. So what’s the point? Social status?
Do your friends ask you how many trophies you have? What’s your gamerscore? A word of advice, don’t bring it up on a first date…or ever.
Personally, I couldn’t care less about how many gamerpoints I have over any of my XBL friends (probably because I’m on the lower end of the list), or how many trophies I have in comparison to the few PSN people I know. Sure, it’s cool to look and say “ha, ha bitches, I have X number of platinums,”or “suck on that SkizzleFresh, I got all 1000 points in that game” and what not, but it’s definitely more of a social thing than any real status or reward. Some players make it their job to get every single achievement or trophy in every single game (no really, that is their job, see: [Achievement Hunter]). For me, it was not really about that, I just played to have fun and pick up whatever I can along the way.
Maybe it’s because when this whole gaming thing started for me there weren’t trophies or achievements, rather you got your initials at the top of some list. For those players who have stuck with Nintendo there is no achievement system. The Big N has been asked about this for awhile, but they’ve done their best to avoid incorporating them probably to not follow, that and they don’t really prescribe to “hardcore” gaming.
Does being a hardcore gamer mean you need to hunt down every trophy and every achievement? There are plenty of gamers out there that might consider themselves hardcore while they confine themselves to Halo or Call of Duty, but that would mean that they keep playing games where they already have all of the achievements. While still there are other hardcore gamers that play a wide variety of games and have a higher gamerscore or a ton more trophies. But lets not get into the hardcore gaming question here.
Admittedly I don’t really answer the questions here, since it seems to depend upon your personal preference. I don’t need trophies or achievements, but they do provide some sense of satisfaction, heck even just the sound of the achievement or trophy popping up on screen is satisfying (I’m thinking of a future Pavlov’s Dog experiment). So, how do you play? Do you play for trophies or achievements? Or do you play just for the hell of it? Sound off in the comments below.