Achievement Hunting: Is it Really Worth it?

As an Xbox gamer I think it's only fair that I share this. Xbox is known to give you these little things called achievements which you unlock when you complete certain things within games. We've had this introduced to us ever since the 360 came out, and now the Xbox One too. You could unlock an achievement for killing 10 enemies with a certain weapon for example and you get gamer points for it. Those points are added to your total amount on your Live profile. But how does it affect you? It doesn't really do much for you in a way.



But many gamers probably do not realize this because they take achievements very seriously. These people are known as Achievement Hunters and they make up probably 98% of the gamer community for every game out there. I am pretty much the remaining 2%. I have never understood why so many gamers take getting achievements so seriously. Most of the time, I don't even try to get them, I just play, and if I get them I'm like: "Oh sweet, another achievement." I only actually go for achievements if I want to test myself or get one just for the hell of it. But in reality I don't really care if I don't end up getting all the achievements in a game, or it takes me longer than most people to get all of them. If I wanted to beat Halo on Legendary solo I would probably get two achievements worth a lot but, in reality I would never go for that until I felt like my skills at the game were good enough to get me through without too many moments of frustration.

The truth is that gamer points on your profile seem to be the source of why achievement hunters exist. They have this belief that if you collect them all in a game then something happens to you. But what's that? I don't see anything special happening, do you get exclusive items, does everyone bow to you? Gamer points awarded by achievements don't really do anything for you, they are mainly just for display. And when it's displayed most people automatically think: "Wow this guy might be really good, he's got all the achievements in Halo 4!" I hope this community does not view people who do not hunt for achievements as lesser gamers or not "true" gamers. At one point I was addicted to Halo Reach for a whole year. Not because I wanted achievements but because I wanted to get my rank up to unlock all the Elite armor, because the Elite armor was badass. So I played nonstop whenever I had the chance. Now, if achievements unlocked me something within the game like new weapons, armor, etc. Then I'd be interested especially if one of them was something I really wanted.

Sometimes I can't talk with other gamers in the Xbox community without feeling like they will look at me as less of a committed gamer. I prefer to let my skills develop at my own pace, because I do not spend every moment of my down time gaming. There will be times when I get hooked onto a certain game and play it almost daily when I can for 2-3 hours, whether the game is new, or I just feel like playing it. But I don't want to tell people that I'm not an achievement hunter. I don't know anyone else who isn't one like me. As a Halo fan, I got into the series based on the story, not to collect achievements. I think that many Halo fans want to beat the game on Legendary (the highest difficulty) because of the amount of achievements they will be given for it. Not just the ones for Legendary but also for Normal and Heroic if they went straight to Legendary. Something tells me inside that some of these players only beat it on Legendary for the achievements and not to improve their skills. So once they started they probably had lots of times when they died a lot in a certain part of a mission, and felt like breaking the controller. I joined the Halo Waypoint forum and made a few friends there. But I'm almost ashamed to tell them that I have not made it to Legendary and when my brother and I went to pre-order the Master Chief Collection coming out in T- 8 days that same thing happened. My brother started talking with the cashier about how he beat every game on Legendary and I was standing right next to him completely silent, especially when the cashier said that he had done the same. As I stood there I kept thinking, what should I say? I don't want to tell them I'm not there yet, they may think I'm not as serious about gaming as I am, I'm not a "true" gamer, or my skills are next to zero. But I'm no newbie with these games. I started playing them in my teen years. That is, if their definition of "true" gamers is someone who wants to collect all the achievements and beat the games on the highest difficulty. Hence, a high gamer score on your Xbox Live profile to brag about to everyone. Which again, I consider pointless, it doesn't give you anything except the opportunity to boast about it, and I am certainly no boaster about my score and my skills.

And I personally do not like how 343 Industries has to publicly display my service record on the Internet. I don't mind it showing my Commendation progress but not how many times I died and what my online matchmaking skill rank is but that's a whole different story. Bungie also did that too.

My point is that I do not have any desire to collect such things in a video game if I do not see their potential use and if collecting these things does not give me anything in a game that I can use like new weapons, armor, abilities, etc. So it personally seems kind of stupid that people collect something to brag about online. I collected Pokemon cards and their use to me was a nice collection to look at because I love Pokemon. But gamer points I can't really do anything with them. So there's no point.

-Emily

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