Gaming Achievements: An Addiction

Just last night and a few minutes ago (actually I still have that tab open) I was checking out the list of Badges that players can obtain in The Sims 3.  As I haven’t played The Sims 3 as extensively as I intended to, I only have a measly 27 out of more than 350 – the exact no. I do not know as it is only reflected in game, not the website (fail, EA!).  Save for 1 time-based badge (Salt Water Fish Monger) that is no longer obtainable, I do have a really loooOOooong way to go should I wish for a ‘satisfying score’ prior to the release of The Sims 4… that is a week later.  That is a very short time in my world!

Achievements, trophies, badges, objectives… a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Achievement unlocked

THEY are the reason why I spent hours and hours grinding stuff that I don’t need to, in the World of Warcraft [armory link].  According to WoWProgress, I am ranked no. 402 overall on Barthilas (no. 42 based on class). Considering my 11mth (official) hiatus from the game, not too shabby eh?

Ok, I swear I’m not bragging here. Seriously, I’m not idiotic enough (c’mon, gimme some credit here!) to be conceited about a measly 15k+ achievement pts when the hardcore players at the top of the ladder have over 21k.  I mentioned the above to illustrate a point.

I’m an Achievement Addict. 

I am obsessed with attaining listed goals, ticking off items on a list and comparing them with fellow players – especially vs those whom I am acquainted with… and I clearly am not the only one, considering that most games/platforms have something similar (think PlayStation Network trophies, iOS Game Center, Steam Achievements… etc.).  Not gonna be going into the psychology or philosophy behind it here… but the way I see it, the only reason why would such stuff be integrated into a game is cos it is a proven method to ‘encourage’ players to spend more time on it, right?

Why then, since I am an addict, do I not have a higher score on WoW or D3 or GameCenter?  Well… cos I’m too easily distracted.  My attention span wanes and I tend to flit from one objective to another, one game to another – yes, kinda like a rolling stone that gathers no moss LOL ~

At times I can’t help thinking… is my obsession with attaining achievements, killing the joy of gaming in the 1st place?  Am I spending way more time than I honestly want to on a game, just cos I feel obliged to do it – to attain those epeen points?  Have gaming became just a grind?  These questions once again surfaced upon reading the Kotaku articles, “How I Broke My Addiction To Achievements” and “Achievements Have Ruined How I Play Games”.

Back in those days before such achievements were prevalent, I’d spend hours & hours on a game simply cos I loved the game, and cos I can.  Now?  I’m honestly not too sure.  I mean… did I really enjoy those hours doing repeated runs of Dire Maul to obtain those (stupid) librams to increase my reputation with the Shen’dralar (I was working on The Insane title prior to the removal of the requirement – it became a Feat of Strength, hah!)?  Did I relish walking in countless circles around BRD to pick thousands of lockboxes to turn them to the Ravenholdt?  Thinking back, I did have better things to do (i.e. I could have completed another game in that time)… but I didn’t do them.

All because I was fkn addicted.

While I have “toned down” pretty much since I left Azeroth, it’s clear from my above-mentioned… interest… in The Sims 3 badges, that I am not over the addiction.  I probably will NEVER be truly free from those chains, especially if I’m gonna step into the world of PSN trophies (was just checking out the D3 trophies last week LOL), and I’m expecting to once again take flight in the skies of Stormwind in September.  The next question is… is it really a bad thing, being addicted to such?

I mean… I DO have a 35 Before 35 gamified list that I’m working on for real life bragging rights after all.  Whatever gives me more motivation right?

Now to draft a realistic plan of The Sims 3 Badges to attain before the game gets pushed to my Retired List.

😀

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