An Alternative to Achievements

It was cool to begin with.

It was cool to begin with.

For the past decade the Vidya achievement conversation has gone on something like this:

Oh, well, the developers like chevos for some reason, so let’s humor them. Oh well, the fans like chevos for some reason, so let’s humor them.

I was in the Destiny beta before achievements and grinding manifested into a chore. For that moment you could hear the rumble of ye olde gaming culture under the hood. The community was once again ecstatic to share the game’s weaknesses and their imaginations ran wild. The competition came later. Clandestine discoveries are enjoyable and the heart of creativity, my very favorite part of any game.

It is no secret that the millennial validation treatment debases the masterpieces. The achievements unlocked at their best, do nothing at all. At their worst, they influence player behavior. Halo classic has been given the millennial validation treatment and almost no one cares because now you have this generation of gamers who have mastered it long before big green grew up into a cultural icon. In this way, achievements are yet another testament to the culture-wide lack of regard for the discipline of game design. Let the trophy kids have their consoles; anything impressive will come from desktop gaming anyways.

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