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Better than Life

February 28, 2010 16:26:25.922

Dare Obasanjo makes some great points about why we get on "achievement treadmills", and asks some great questions about them:

What it really boils down to is that I traded one set of achievement treadmills (i.e. blogging and contributing to an Open Source project) for another more explicit set (i.e. playing Modern Warfare 2). Now we can go back to Alex Payne s tweet and find out where I disagree. From the perspective of Infinity Ward (creators of MW2) is it a bad thing for their business that they ve created a game that has sucked me into almost 300 hours of play time? On the other hand, is it a good thing for me as a fully functioning member of society to have cut down my contributions to an Open Source project and the blogosphere to play a video game? Finally, is it better for me as a person to have traded achievement treadmills where I have little control over the achievements (i.e. number of blog subscribers, number of people who download a desktop RSS reader, etc) for one where I have complete control of the achievements as long as I dedicate the time?

While MW2 didn't suck me in that much (I played it, finished it, and am pretty much done), Dragon Age is a whole other kettle of fish - and I've certainly racked up a stupendous amount of time playing it. Some of it really is the satisfaction of unlocking various achievements (the game has multiple paths you can take through it, including character interactions). I'm sure that I've spent less time on, say, my Facebook interface (and BottomFeeder) as a result. Is that bad? So long as it's not interfering with my actual work and personal life, I'm not sure :)

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posted by James Robertson

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