Achievements in Video Games

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Video games belong in a unique sector of entertainment. Not only do you experience a story and actively engage with it, but you also challenge yourself by pursuing objectives and goals. However, these goals have begun to change through the advent of “achievements”. An” achievement” is a specific goal the producers of the game create for you to complete. A great example of an achievement is the folowing: “Earn 100 kills in the single player campaign”. If you complete this challenge, you earn points. On the Xbox 360, you earn what is called Gamerscore (points) and on the PS3, you earn trophies (they both act as the reward for the completed challenge). This type of reward system is a fresh and exciting feel in the gaming world. Gamers love to be challenged. The more challenges, the better. The more varied challenges, the better. All of these goals are integral into the gaming experience in today’s world. But, these achievements and trophies have morphed the goals of the games we play. Think back to the Sega Genesis/Super NES days. You

Everybody HATES this man.

No points are needed for reward in Punch-Out! Winning is reward enough.

blow on your cartrigage and pop in Battletoads. Here’s where the difference in goals comes into play. In Battletoads, there is not an achievement for killing 100 enemies. Quite the contrary.  One goal is present in Battletoads: survive. Battletoads is one of the hardest games I have ever played. When I begin to think back on the older systems and games, these games were leaps and bounds harder than today’s gaming fare. This is due, in part, to the altering of goals in the game. If you create a game in which your only objective is to beat the levels and, subsequently, the game, then your game is probably going to have players slamming their controllers down in frustration. If you create a game in which there are fifty different achievements you can work for, and fifty varying goals in the game, the player is going to achieve some of those during their play of the game. When we add achievements, we want the player to complete some of these achievements. They’re not easy, but can be achieved over time and with some skill. Go back and relive some of your favorite video games from consoles past. Experience what it’s like without achievements, and try to survive. Good luck.