Why do gamers feel like they need to be "rewarded" to play games with Achievements?

zamardii

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Okay, so my buddy and I graduated highschool in 2005 and every other Sunday we hold a small LAN. Since we are both busy with work, bills, girlfriends, and wives etc... I bring my gaming rig to his house and we drink beers and hang out for a few short hours and play games, and just bullshit around. But one thing this past weekend really made me think...

Both of us have a HUGE backlog of games we have yet to play so we try to both run through a campaign together taking turns after save points, or checkpoints, or loading ares... whatever ; so we played through FEAR 2 this time because we had both bought FEAR 3 on PC since it was like $3.06 on some deal online and we haven't yet played FEAR 2 so we thought we should probably play through 2 before 3.

So anyway, to make a long story short (or to make a short story long) after we beat FEAR 2 I thought i'd fire up FEAR 3 to just check it out quick since I haven't seen it yet. As the game was starting up, I instantly felt that this was different somehow. The very simplified layout (press enter to start), the overly simplified graphics adjustments even under advanced...

Anyway, the killer for me was when I started playing. Seemingly everything I did there was some sort of pop-up achievement or at least a countdown to one.

"22 of 33 item found,"

"Mercenary!"

"Headshot Bonus"

"Gun Found! 2 out of 10. Bonus!"

What the fuck is going on here? I haven't even played the game for 5 minutes, and I have had over half a dozen pop-ups fly on my screen for just... basically... playing the damn gamn. Achievements are nothing new to me... there have been some 360 games which were just way over the top with awarding you for everything that you did, but this just made me mad to see this. I felt like I was a "special" kid getting high-fived everytime I tied my shoe laces correctly (no offense). Like getting rewarded for shit you are doing anyway, or should be doing anyway. It's ridiculous in my opinion. To me, if developers want this stuff in their games then it should stay on consoles at the very least. Being rewarded for playing, was actually going out of your way and jumping around everywhere in a environment to find a hidden area, or "Easter Egg." Not being rewarded for just playing the damn game. I swear I have played a 360 game which rewarded me for just starting a new game.

I feel like the gaming industry is turning the current young gamers into a bunch of slack-jawed retards (no offense) who just want to get to the action with no critical thinking AT ALL or rewarding people for doing NOTHING special. I don't know if this is because of this "everybody's a winner" generation or what, but I really felt like a idiot playing the game simply because of this reason. Even playing Unit 13 on my Playstation Vita sometimes make me feel this way because you go for high points to level up your character and those points are given for more headshots, or disarming bombs, killing nobody... I feel like it is highly unnecessary. When you play games like that, it takes you out of the game and you focus more on achievements and points than actually playing the game because there is a story, or challenge.

I can see this being used in some games to add challenge in areas there may usually not be, but to over-do it like this so you have some sort of bragging right is silly in the PC world. Most kids playing consoles... not PCs, and for that reason they should stay on consoles. Then again, maybe it's just me. 2005 was a year after Doom 3 and the year the 360 released which more-or-less started making achievements social with Xbox Live. So maybe I am just too old now to appreciate this new phenomenon... I don't know.

I am curious to hear console users and PC users' opinions about this because I don't think it could just be me. I'm not pissed or anything, I just feel that the feeling I used to get with playing games has all but vanished because of the extreme mainstreaming of the gaming experience with this sort of crap being brought over to PC (Origin just announced it will be adding Achievements cross-platform including PC and Mac) as well which to me can taint a otherwise fun experience.
 
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Damar

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Dan_D

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I know for some people like me who are completionists, it definitely keeps us playing longer. You want me playing longer? Give me more to do.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Because games have become so bad, that noone enjoys the game for the game itself anymore.

Instead they enjoy the game only as a task they can perform so they can show off to all their friends how amazing they are at playing it.

So instead of focusing on the awesomeness of the likes of Deus Ex (2001), game developers can make a boring repetitive game, and throw in some tokens when hitting various levels so people can show off to their friends, and then call it a day.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Short answer, to keep you playing longer.

Longer answer, to keep you playing MUCH longer. ;)
For most games (obviously not the DLC and subscription models) they really don't care how long you play it, as long as you buy it to begin with.

If they ever plan on releasing another game, their only real motivation is making a game that isn't bad enough that you swear off the studio for life.
 

CreganTur

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I miss achievements when they used to be for doing something random or hidden within a game. Closest I've seen recently was Skyrim and the achievement to get your bounty up to a certain level in all the holds, or Just Cause 2 for getting to the highest point in the map- they were fun because it was something random you could do just for laughs and just to say you've done it.
 

MrCrispy

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Zarathustra[H];1039037999 said:
For most games (obviously not the DLC and subscription models) they really don't care how long you play it, as long as you buy it to begin with.

If they ever plan on releasing another game, their only real motivation is making a game that isn't bad enough that you swear off the studio for life.
It goes beyond that. They want you to buy the game, leave you unsatisfied with it (the game mechanics, ending, story etc), hype the hell out of the next one, get you hooked on the 100 sequels to follow, rinse and repeat.
 

Curious_George

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Maybe it's because I grew up gaming in a generation before achievements, but they mean very little to me. I mostly use them as a way to gauge how much of a game I've completed or missed. But the actual achievement hunting I see some gamers doing today seems like insanity to me (I'm talking dudes playing shitty games or doing tasks they don't enjoy just for achievements).
 

zamardii

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Funny P.S. to this very point, the number one thing that baffles European game developers is how much Americans have problems with failure. The guy here says that American students don't fail, but rather are "challenged." Which to me is a perfect way to illustrate how this cycle continues today... if a kid is playing sports and loses he/she still gets a trophy, if somebody loses in a game there is no feeling of failure when you are constantly getting achievements and points for just playing the game. Remember how pissed off you were when you got far in Contra only to die at the boss and having to redo the entire level? And when you did beat it, you got to the title screen and you cheered and bragged about it later? Not enough there days... you have to be able to share it online with everybody else because otherwise if you just told somebody they wouldn't believe you. So, how do you appease the American gamer? Don't let them lose.



http://www.joystiq.com/2012/08/14/don-daglow-on-how-failure-is-a-tough-sell-for-american-gamers/
 

wonderfield

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I've always played for "achievements", even back before there was such a thing.

Play through The Shores of Hell in Doom without taking damage
Play through Thief: The Dark Project without being seen (ghosting)
Play Skyrim without using fast travel
Play CS:S using only a pistol

Achievements, and achievement tracking, just legitimize the little challenges I've always set for myself whenever I want a fresh way to play games I've already played through.
 

jiminator

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eh, I don't mind "completing" some games. others like just cause - way too much shit in that game. other things that require searching - like various things in prototype - screw that. But for "goodies" like diamonds in farcry 2, yeah. I did most of those (although I printed up a map to keep from going insane).
 

Tudz

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It's pretty basic psychology that most people (if not all to some extent) are goal driven. Putting in achievements gives people a reason to keep playing even after they've finished a game or gives them a reason to extend the enjoyment of an already enjoyable game or keeps them striving for the next unlock.

It doesn't magically turn a shit game good, but if it's a game you already enjoy it can definitely extend the enjoyment. The game I've spent the most hours in is probably COD4, and a part of that was due to the unlocks and achievements. I spent a lot of time getting headshots to get the various golden guns.

It's just the way people are wired up, we like to be given a piece of cheese at the end of the maze to motivate us.

I don't think there's any shit games where achievements have kept me playing, but there's certainly a few good games which I've enjoyed where achievements have kept me enjoying the game longer.
 

ValeX

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I genuinely despise achievements of almost all sorts. The only one I ever cared about was the kingslayer title in wow because I tought it seemed epic and challenging and super cool. When I played god of war 3 I recall feeling really annoyed with the names of the achievements popping up on my screen every 10 minutes - it was as if they were actually mocking and belittling their very own game...it legitimately ruined the immersion factor many times for me to see shit like "nice tan," "Are you horny to win?" just ridiculous crap...

I wouldn't mind if they added achievments for people that like them, but I couldnt turn them off and they actively worsened my experience.
 

jonneymendoza

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I know for some people like me who are completionists, it definitely keeps us playing longer. You want me playing longer? Give me more to do.
it doesnt for me. what keeps me playing longer is more things to do and most achievements are pathetic like kill 200 enemies in level one OMFG achievemen :rolleyes:

not a fan of it. never have im afraid
 

DeathPrincess

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There are some games which do it well and some which do it badly. The "kill 100,000 people" and "headshot 5 times" are examples of bad use of achievements. But in some games they can give a kind of structure and introduce certain challenges to make you view the same material in different ways ("finish game on impossible using only melee", etc etc.) problem is most games seem to do the lazy first way instead of thinking what they can do with this.
 

Shalafi

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What's funny is that there are two sides to achievements in video games.

Achievements and "achievements".

Achievements are ones based on merit, usually something that ranges from something moderately difficult to do, to ridiculously hard to do. These are usually fun challenges, a game within the game.

Then there is . . . .

"Achievements" which are like the "Everyone gets a trophy just for showing up" idea, where you get an "Achievement Unlocked" for just sitting and watching the intro screen, or where you get an "Achievement" just for completing the level, which didn't pose any real challenge for you, and so on and so forth on things of that nature.

I like achievements, but don't really pay any attention to "achievements", if that makes sense.
 

MavericK

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I don't really care for achievements. If I even end up paying attention to them at all, they just make me want to grind kills/headshots/whatever to get the achievement, which generally doesn't end up being fun. 95% of the time I don't care about them at all, though. Would much rather have better replay value.
 

Tudz

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I don't really care for achievements. If I even end up paying attention to them at all, they just make me want to grind kills/headshots/whatever to get the achievement, which generally doesn't end up being fun. 95% of the time I don't care about them at all, though. Would much rather have better replay value.
Of course if you have bad OCD achievements are a terrible idea. :p
 

cl-scott

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I would say there is also an element of bragging rights to achievements. Who here hasn't once bragged about being able to do something or another that our friends can't do?

It goes beyond that. They want you to buy the game, leave you unsatisfied with it (the game mechanics, ending, story etc), hype the hell out of the next one, get you hooked on the 100 sequels to follow, rinse and repeat.
That's funny, since I just finished Borderlands over the weekend. Every review of the game said that when you get to the vault it's a major letdown... And frankly they were underselling how much of a letdown it would be.
 

Tudz

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I would say there is also an element of bragging rights to achievements. Who here hasn't once bragged about being able to do something or another that our friends can't do?
When it comes to video games, only ever sarcastically :p
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I would say there is also an element of bragging rights to achievements. Who here hasn't once bragged about being able to do something or another that our friends can't do?
I would, but I don't like being a douche :p

Bragging, smack talk, showing off or anything else like that has no place in gaming or in knife in general, unless you are a douche - of course.
 

polonyc2

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I rarely ever go out of my way to get 'achievements'...sometimes if they are within the realm of my regular game I will attempt to get one but I'm not into killing myself to reach a certain artificial achievement
 

USF-Nealio

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I appreciate achievements from the standpoint that it motivates me to do things I generally wouldn't do. At the same time, I don't find it necessary to earn every achievement in a game, and I refuse to complete an achievement if it's not enjoyable.
 

Magnus

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It's for the short attention span crowd. If something doesn't sparkle/explode/shazaam every thirty seconds, they get bored.
 

LeninGHOLA

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Zarathustra[H];1039038625 said:
I would, but I don't like being a douche :p

Bragging, smack talk, showing off or anything else like that has no place in gaming or in knife in general, unless you are a douche - of course.
You do realize you're bragging about "not being a douche", right?
 

polonyc2

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Zarathustra[H];1039038625 said:
Bragging, smack talk, showing off or anything else like that has no place in gaming or in knife in general, unless you are a douche - of course.
knife in general?...dark thoughts? :eek:
 

Breath_of_the_Dying

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I like achievements based off of skill and intelligence, not off of time.

Achievements I liked were like the SC2 single player campaign achievements. Stuff like one shot, fifty kills or clearing a level without losing units were really fun

Achievements I ignore are the ones in SC2 that you have to win 1000 times with each race. Yes skill gets you there faster (in theory), but its more of a grind than anything else.

Unfortunately, the majority of achievements fall in the latter category, meaning developers are sucking at creating good or creative challenges.
 

Flogger23m

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I have no idea. They kill immersion for games, take up space on the screen, and I never look at them. It would be nice if they gave us an option to disable them. I don't look at them before playing and I don't look at them after playing either.
 

rudy

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Short answer, to keep you playing longer.

Longer answer, to keep you playing MUCH longer. ;)

Good article here on how modern games, (esp MMO's) use the whole Skinner Box method to keep you playing far past a time when you'd normally say, "fuck this" and move on.

http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html

I dont mind them myself, but I dont go out of my way for them either. If they happen, neat, if not, no loss to me.
This is a good article, I especially like the ZT online chinese MMO. The guys says someone beat a woman at opening over 1000 boxes online but he failed to mention someone probably did not do that, rather a bot or farm probably did it.

The main problem with video game value of items is that in the end they can replicate any item as much as they want so unlike gold or diamonds, the items in a video game have no practical value, and they have no limit on inflation.

Anyhow there have always been humans who are addicted to gambling, they are just less fit individuals, then there are people who know to keep things in check or just avoid such games. The real problem though is not that games have designed addictive behavior it is that customers have rewarded those choices.
 

Skripka

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I miss achievements when they used to be for doing something random or hidden within a game. Closest I've seen recently was Skyrim and the achievement to get your bounty up to a certain level in all the holds, or Just Cause 2 for getting to the highest point in the map- they were fun because it was something random you could do just for laughs and just to say you've done it.
I laughed at that Sky rim achievement...they call it Master Criminal, which ironically you get by getting caught stealing or killing. Seriously, isn't a master criminal someone who never gets caught-not someone who gets caught in the act everywhere he goes?
 

Udgnim

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I don't give a shit about achievements but it's an easy addition to extend gameplay for people that do like getting achievements
 

Blkout

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Agreed, achievements are stupid, but some people just love to brag to others about what they've accomplished compared to their buddies and that's why they exist.
 

TheToE!

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I remember consoles making this popular. I think they do it to distract players from the shitty graphics and overused gimmicks. They want players to shift focus to "Cool achievement!" instead of "This game fucking sucks".
 

termite

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I dislike achievements in general. I get the ones where it is completing some obscure thing, but the ones where you get an achievement for playing the game are retarded, and just cheapen the experience; I'm talking about "You completed main story line quest #1" achievements, well no shit, I'm playing the game of course I completed the first quest.
 

Skripka

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I dislike achievements in general. I get the ones where it is completing some obscure thing, but the ones where you get an achievement for playing the game are retarded, and just cheapen the experience; I'm talking about "You completed main story line quest #1" achievements, well no shit, I'm playing the game of course I completed the first quest.
The achievements in Portal 1 were mostly real achievements that took effort to do. Most games on Steam these days throw you an achievement every time you do a quest. The last Lord of the Rings game had a decent plot and pretty good graphics, yet Warner Bros insisted on an achievement for every little thing.
 

D4rkn3ss

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i fucking HATE fucking achievements, its fucking retarded to say the least like "omg you managed to press w on the keyboard! ACHIEVEMENT!" or "jesus fucking christ youre a fucking genius and managed to press right click while running! ACHIEVEMENT"... i fucking hate it.
 
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