The joy and misery of the search for video game awards

Easter eggs like this can be a lot of fun, but many of them are so mysterious that you’ll never find them in normal play. I played hitman 2 To death and never realizing that you can summon Kraken on the Sapienza map.

Gamification and competitions

Leaderboards and the pursuit of the highest score have always been a part of games, but trophies and achievements as we know them today began with Microsoft’s Gamerscore system for Xbox 360 in 2005. This extended to Games for Windows in 2007, the same year Valve added achievements to Steam. The following year, Sony jumped on board with the PlayStation Trophies, and a few years later Apple and Google added achievements to their mobile gaming services. Nintendo is the only major gaming platform that doesn’t have an achievement system.

Prizes often prolong the life of the game, encouraging players to look beyond the main story, but ultimately they are arbitrary challenges to bragging rights. And bounty hunters can get lost in pursuit of them. Best known for his PlayStation Network handle, Karim’s reign has been the world leader in collecting on and off PlayStation Awards for a few years now. According to him, he had 105,828 trophies at the last count PSN profilesThe most popular unofficial leaderboard.

“I spend about 10 to 15 hours a day playing and unlocking prizes,” Karim says. “Say about 90 hours a week or so.”

While there are players with a higher total title count, Karim’s progress has been largely dependent on platinum trophies (he has 3,188 at the time of writing). To score the Platinum Cup, you must unlock all the other prizes in the game. Awards are given different degrees based on the level of difficulty: it’s 15 points for bronze, 30 silver, 90 gold, and 300 platinum points (upgraded from 180 points by Sony last year).

Sony does not maintain an official leaderboard, and there is some debate in the award-hunting community over who should be the best. PSN Cup LeadersFor example, it lists Roughdawg4 (who prefers not to share his real name) as the current leader with 110,631 awards and 3,360 platinum awards. He looks for prizes for 20 to 40 hours a week.

Roughdawg4 says, “I got so caught up in my PS3 days. I’ve always been a complete player so earning trophies and doing everything you can in a game came naturally to me.” He removed himself from PSN profiles after a disagreement with the owner. “Personally, I think he made some unethical decisions about how to run the site,” he says, before making some allegations about Careem hacking some awards.

When reading through the forums for bounty hunting sites, these types of complaints are common. People are accused of hacking prizes or working as part of a team under one account, but these claims are hard to prove.

endless grinding

Just as with many highly desirable awards, the vast majority don’t have much thought of them.

Webb says, “It’s all about unrealistic goals, on both ends of the scale. Any achievement or award that only appears when you start a game is a waste of oxygen. Then there are the achievements that you get from dying a certain number of times – how is that fun or an achievement?”

There are also nearly impossible achievements, such as completing a game multiple times, reaching first place in the world rankings, or reaching an unattainable level within the game.

“We want players to feel accomplished when completing challenging rewards, so we try to avoid repetitive or tedious tasks, because the only thing players feel after completing those tasks is a sense of relief,” Timmins says. “Creating a difficult but attractive trophy is not easy.”

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