Friday, May 30, 2008

Achievement Addiction

When it comes to picking out a new game I will usually read a few previews, check out the media releases and wait for what the collective reviews say. Even then it often takes a demo to convince me to shell out upwards of a weeks worth of gas for electronic entertainment. Not until recent years did another factor play in to this decision making process. Well two to be exact. I purchased a large TV with in the last year and I like to collect things. In this case it is collecting and comparing achievement points on my Xbox 360.

Every game available on the 360 has points that are awarded for completing specified task with in them. Most games give out some points by just completing them, but the rest you will have to work for. Complete all of the side quest, beat the game without dieing, frag "x" number of players online and so on. The points don't mean anything, you can't send them in the mail to get a limited addition G.I. Joe or anything. They exist as an incentive to play more of the game with the presumption that you care about them. Caring about them means you care about your friends scores or what outwards appearance your score presents to friends.

Knowing they are meaningless hasn't dissuaded me from trying to acquire them though. I recently bought the newly released Penny Arcade Adventures (pictured above) on the 360 versus the PC because I can play on 50 inches with bad eyes and I can up my gamer score. The game plays great on both platforms (I tried demos on both), but the extra push came from achievements. I don't see any harm in the system to users, but it is a huge win for Microsoft. If gamers are forgoing PC and PS3 equivalent software for the chance to collect monopoly money, then they are locking in users to their hardware. Remind me why someone would buy COD4 or GTA4 for the PS3 again? Well...besides RRODs.

Site Watch
Open Library is a project to collect and document every book ever published. Ambitious as that sounds they already have 13.4 million titles documented and 234,000 titles scanned and available for download.

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Books Read

Recently Finished:

The Wise Man's Fear
Dynasty of Evil
100 Bullets Vol. 07: Samurai
Batman: Batman and Son
100 Bullets Vol. 06: Six Feet Under the Gun
100 Bullets Vol. 05: The Counterfifth Detective
100 Bullets Vol. 04: A Foregone Tomorrow
100 Bullets Vol. 03: Hang Up on the Hang Low
100 Bullets Vol. 02: Split Second Chance
30 Days of Night
100 Bullets Vol. 01: First Shot, Last Call
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
Uzumaki, Volume 1
Runaways vol. 1: Pride and Joy
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite
Batman: Hush, Vol. 2
Atomic Robo Vol. 4: Other Strangeness