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Achievements

in down is the new up

Kim Rom asks:

Can anybody explain this to me? It’s one aspect of game design I just simply do not understand. I understand why a developer would implement it (the audience seems to like it), what I don’t understand is why any audience would give a damn.

I just read a Steam forum comment (I know, I should know better) by someone expressing dissatisfaction with having played a game, and completed it, without getting any achievements.

And that made me realize, that I just don’t – at all – understand the desire to get achievements.

Would the concept of achievements work for other forms of entertainment or services? Like a drama icon on facebook, a bad taste in reality tv achievement on Hulu, or a bargain hunter icon on Amazon?

What am I missing, why does this matter?

Ok.

First, LOL you’re so old.

But seriously; I find they add a bit of extra humor, when done right. They can have the effect of a well-timed punchline that you don’t see coming.

Above and beyond that, I don’t get them much either. Then again I usually play games to get enjoyment out of the mechanics of the game itself, not jumping through hoops.

For some, I’d imagine, a large list of achievements probably hits certain personality types square in the completionist cortex. I also know that many systems of achievements allow you to hook them into social media profiles, so it continuously tickles the ‘LOOK AT ME’ impulse that so many people seem to indulge.

In general, I find the whole ‘gamification’ movement to be a load of sugary extrinsic bullshit. But that’s just me, I guess.