Trophy Very Much Locked


The current generation of video games has seen the birth of, "achievements" (or "trophies" for the PS3 owners), which essentially boil down to an on screen pat on the head for doing what gamers have been doing for years, playing video games. By completing certain objectives, the player receives a small amount of points which add up over the course of time, increasing your pool of "achievement points" and garnering bragging rights over people who have less points then you. aside from said bragging rights, there are absolutely no repercussions or rewards in regards to players who do (or don't) go out of their way to amass said points. They are simply points, like the points
earned in the Atari days, are worthless outside of the self gratification they provide players. Whenever you complete a game, and the ending credits begin to roll, seeing a tiny indicator appear, telling you that you've beaten the game, and earned the corresponding achievement for doing so, provides a small boost to the already earned sense of accomplishment. "congratulations for beating the game. here are some points!" says the gaming console, which after years of mercilessly taunting us with game over screens after one hit, is now suddenly complementing our gaming prowess. destroy five enemies with a single grenade? you've earned yourself some points my friend, and the proof of your skill will be stamped for all the world to see. But ah, therein lies the rub, as the world doesn't actually care, and after the thrill of seeing yet another, "achievement unlocked" disappears after a few seconds, the sincere notion of wasting time of your life begins to take hold very suddenly/sternly/forcefully/not-fucking-around-ily.

Being a proud "trophy whore" meant that I would not stop in my tireless chase for more
trophies/achievements in order to rank up my holding in the global rank of PS3 owners. Forget homework, my time was spent studying how to get all of the trophies a game had to offer in the shortest and fastest amount of time, in order to make way for the next game, and the next, and so on. Having acquired free video game rentals from the now deceased Hollywood Video, meant trolling the local stores for games whose reputation for easy trophies, far outweighed whether or not the game was any fun and worth playing (which is usually the case). Renting Trivial Pursuit one evening, and yes that means a $60 game which uses a blu-ray disc and high definition graphics to allow players the ability to play TRIVIAL-FUCKING-PURSUIT for as long as they like, I went home and popped it into my PS3. Having already done the research, this game had been estimated at being around 6 hours to platinum. Achieving a Platinum trophy meant that you had earned all of the "points" possible and, received a "platinum" award for that game, indicating its utter completeness by none other than you. Of course the word platinum implies some degree of rarity and value, whereas the award in question is still none other than a 5 second pat on the head. So I began playing Trivial Pursuit, and playing as each of the four players, trophies began to steadily roll in every few minutes. Now this might sound as though I had mastered the vast amount of knowledge someone might need in order to successfully answer that breadth of questions. But no, after each question was asked, I would cheat and pause the game, look up the answer on the Internet, and return to the game with the proper reply, "earning" trophies in a neat and orderly fashion. This has to be the exact definition of trivial, and if it's not, well then I guess I don't understand the word all that well. Then a few hours later, the platinum trophy popped, and that was it. Returning to the video store that very night I pulled into a parking space, unbuckled my safety belt, and became suddenly overwhelmed with ennui.

Why on Earth was I wasting all of my time getting all of these trophies? My global rank had just reached the 2000's (2015 with that game's platinum), and when stopping to consider the roughly 30 million PlayStation 3's that have been sold, that had to put me in the top tier of "point earners" in the world. Yet going through the list of shitty games that I've suffered through in order to earn these meaningless points had left me feeling empty. At least this didn't occur to me until very recently, while questing for more "trophies" by playing PS3 games I would never play otherwise, were it not for the bastard trophies alluring me to waste even more time in their pursuit. The short lived buzz of seeing another "trophy" pop up in the top right corner of the screen had gone from hobby, to addiction. Growing up steeped in video games, and video game culture (yes video games have a culture all their own) meant that I would play them for fun like everyone else did. Then my love for gaming led me to have friends with similar passion for playing video games, and we would all compete to see how many "ultimate files" we could earn. During the "memory card" era of PlayStation and Nintendo64, we would all share games and play them to full 100% completion and brag to each other as to which among us had the most of these files on their memory cards. There was no reward compelling us to do so, it was born out of love and competition. Playing games were fun, but the advent of achievements and trophies had turned once unplayable games into worthy investments of time. Having wasted enough time, I've determined to stop playing for platinum, and begin playing for fun again.

Tonight I began playing Ratchet and Clank:Tools of Destruction, one of the launch titles for the PS3, and a franchise which I love. Having never played it due to lack of trophies didn't stop me from beating Assassin's Creed four times, why shouldn't I play this? Here is my PS3 ranking as of this writing.
The rank displayed here is for the PS3 Trophy Leader boards, and it is out of over 23,000 registered users.

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