Experiences With Achievements

Because all of your experiences happen from your perspective, it is common to generalize and assume that others’ experiences are more or less like yours. Over time one learns that this is often not the case, from different life circumstances to different preferences to different brain configurations and chemistry. This last is the subject of one of the most interesting discussions on the internet, where some people have well known but uncommon mental experiences (synesthesia, photographic memory) and others explain their realizations that either they have experiences most people do not or (the topic of the original post) they lack experiences everyone else has, like a sense of smell. “Wait, people don’t just mean that metaphorically?”

At one point, the topics wanders to video game achievements. Commenter Doug S covers a lot of ground:

I don’t know exactly why I feel compelled to earn Achievements or Trophies when playing video games, or want to see my characters level up, or things like that, even if I don’t actually enjoy the process of doing it. Must be that “wanting” vs “liking” distinction.

Sometimes I wonder why I should bother getting every little thing in a game. This frequently leads me to wondering why I’m playing the game at all, or playing any game, or choosing to do anything at all rather than nothing. Then I suffer from depression symptoms. Having come to the conclusion that questioning these impulses reliably leads to depression symptoms, I’ve stopped doing it.

Others report similar senses of differences between compelling gameplay and enjoyable gameplay, which is somewhat of a recurring theme around here.

: Zubon

2 thoughts on “Experiences With Achievements”

  1. If ‘get every little thing’ means simply ticking off challenges or high scores for achievement’s sake, then yes.

    But in games where ‘get every little thing’ means exploring every corner of the map and completing every quest, usually, no. I am driven to do it mainly to experience every drop of what the writers and designers came up with – and sometimes for roleplay too.

  2. This whole compulsion versus enjoyment thing is basically the existentialism debate : video game edition, isn’t it?

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