Admitting My Achievement Shame - GIDan Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Admitting My Achievement Shame

I've never been ashamed of my achievement score, despite the hundreds of hours I've spent performing arbitrary tasks and playing terrible games to inflate it. I spent far too much time making Spider-Man swing around a pole long enough to get the "Mega Web Swinger" achievement. I've played through entire games based on kid's movies like Monsters vs. Aliens or Ice Age. Once I started working here at Game Informer, I dug up old sports titles and easy achievement fodder like TMNT or Night at the Museum II and played them far longer than I should.

However shameful these games were at times, the achievements were always genuine. I never employed any method of trickery or cheating to skirt around the necessary task. However, my perfect record is tarnished by what I did last week, and my score may require an asterisk from this point on. Granted, it's only a drop in the bucket compared to my overall score, but 1,500 points out of nearly 90,000 are now essentially falsified.

I learned not long ago that I can download games on Steam and earn achievement points from them, as long as they're branded "Games for Windows Live." Being the achievement whore I am, I started playing the PC versions of games like Bioshock 2 and Street Fighter IV. I don't have a gaming computer, so they didn't run great, but I was still able to get a few achievements from them.

Then I saw that Fallout 3 was on the GFWL list. I absolutely love that game, and spent 80+ hours playing through the 360 version and its five expansion packs. I did a quick Google search to make sure Fallout 3 would allow me to get Live achievements, and I stumbled upon an interesting forum thread. It stated that you could simply type in command lines in the game to unlock every achievement. This thread was over a year old, and I thought "Surely that doesn't still work." I tried it, and...it did.

So now I still have my ludicrous achievement score, but there is a pesky 1,500 points that I didn't earn. I wish I could take them back so the score would be 100% accurate (readers of a previous post of mine should know my obsession with statistical accuracy), but it looks like they're there to stay. I've never once cheated in a multiplayer game or even cheated for achievements prior to this Fallout 3 thing, but there's no getting around the fact that I didn't earn those points.

I've thought about it, and I think I'm done with playing games solely for achievements. I don't think I'll be playing through any NCAA games from 2007 or crappy movie-based games anymore, and I'm resigning my quest to beat Jeff Cork's gamerscore by E3. I'll probably still spend time going for achievements in games that I genuinely enjoy, but I'm done with the time-wasting "achievements for achievements sake" stuff. Rather, I'll be taking the Joe Juba approach by only spending extra time on games that I want to keep playing after I finish them.

My score won't be going up anytime soon, as the "commission" here at Game Informer (a group that seems to be consisting of Reiner and Jeff Cork) has decided that I am banned from checking games out from the vault for 50 days. But maybe my stupid move turns out to be for the best if it gets me off my achievement obsession. I'll be wasting less time on crappy games, and more time focusing on the AAA titles and my personal favorites. If you ever see me on XBL playing something like Jumper or Avatar, feel free to call me on my BS.

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