Some games don’t have a lot of replay value. A lot of gamers feel that once a game is beaten, you’re done with it. I find this true with some games, but not others. I still play Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and while you wouldn’t think it, I’ve enjoyed going through Ghostbusters: The Video Game just as much the fifth time as much as I did the first time. Even so, there are a lot of games that can easily be beaten over a weekend, leading to only a rental.
To combat this, Microsoft came up with the idea of achievements. Each game would have certain tasks that got you a certain amount of points. You didn’t have to do them, but it added another element to the game. Games usually have a total of a thousand points available to gain from completing every task.
Some people take the points for what they are, just a fun element that adds to the game’s enjoyment. Others take it too far and seem to think that gamer scores are serious business.
It’s an odd balance you need to create, a low gamer score isn’t impressive, but if your gamerscore is too high, than people see it as sad. We came across one player who’s gamerscore was over 100,000 and my roommate’s pitied him more than felt proud. His profile insisted that he was employed full-time and had a life, but they were skeptical. It’s possible, though unlikely. I mean, if you have enough expendable income and buy games that you want, sooner or later, those points are going to pile up over the course of several years, but it’s hard to imagine. I know, that’s a gamer stereotype that I don’t want to reinforce, but at the same time a gamer score of over 100,000 is hard to ignore.
The points don’t even really matter. It would be pretty cool if you got that amount of microsoft points each year or something as a bonus, but alas the gamerscore is a status symbol that doesn’t reap much in the way of rewards.
However, I’m glad that they’re there. It is fun to go through a game again and try to shoot for various goals. You also get a quick burst of pride everytime that little oval pops up to tell you that an achievement has been unlocked and your gamerscore has increased x number of points.
The PS3 has suffered quite a bit because a lot of the games are also available on the Xbox 360. As such, people figure they’ll just get the Xbox 360 version for the achievements. Oddly enough, Sony has a similar network with trophies that act in a similar capacity. For some reason, gamers aren’t as hardcore about trophies as they are Xbox Live gamerpoints.
It’s important to take gamer points for what they are. They don’t really mean anything,yes it adds an element of fun and gamers like trying to see how high they can get, but it’s not such a big deal that you need to freak out over it. It doesn’t really give you much in the way of bragging rights either, though admittedly, some of those achievements are difficult to get so there is some wiggle room there.