Friday, February 09, 2007

Re: Gamerwhoring

Ok, first of all, regardless of what slam I decided to come back at you with you would have criticized it, so I decided, "why waste the effort?" I got across the point that your insult was, in fact, false and that was all I wanted to achieve. I would imagine that you of all people would understand and respect this kind of pragmatic laziness. Anyway, on to the business at hand...

First, I actually like achievements. I can't really explain why but for some reason seeing that little 'achievement unlocked' flash across my screen actually has some level of satisfaction, and I know I'm not alone in this. It's what motivates us to play through Gears of War multiple times, to try to go through a level of Lego Star Wars II without losing a life, or to see if you can manage to get through a level of Splinter Cell: Double Agent without being seen. It's the challenges that gamers have always been giving themselves for their favorite games, but now it has been given form and function.

Next, I like the concept of the rewards program. I don't think it is likely to make anyone more of an achievement whore than they already are (though it might convince to go finish King Kong which is about 8 hours long and a cool 1000), and it actually gives the Gamerscore some value even if it is rather small (I mean the Level 1 and Level 2 prize packages are like $5-$7). Before this, Gamerscore was just some limited measure of status that no one really cared about. Now, it has some purpose, I'm actually surprised it took this long to get here. I always thought that things like cool gamer pics should be tied to your Gamerscore: you want to be Master Chief, rack up 10,000 points and you earn it. Having to pay for gamer pics is completely ridiculous anyway, but that's an argument for another day...

In the end, I don't think that the Reward program will change the way most people play, but I do think it will encourage gamers to play their 360 a little more often and maybe aim at some of the more difficult achievements just a little more aggressively. I think that's exactly what Microsoft was going for, and with that I think they'll be very successful. This is another move in the right direction for XBox Live and another innovation that Sony would do well to downright copy.

No comments: