Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Achieving the Metagame

Last night I crossed 5,000 Gamerscore, working my way through the amazing Xbox 360 game, Bioshock. This reminds me of the Xbox Rewards program I wrote about back in February.

The challenge was to get 1,500 points in 2 months, in exchange for various prizes. I had a lot of fun working for that goal - I finished it a couple weeks early, and eventually got my free stuff (a download of Contra, and some other minor bits). Here's my digital proof:


However, somewhere along the way, something was lost in the games themselves - I went too far towards focusing on achievements, and less on enjoying the games.

It's not all bad, I did spend some time on some of the games I probably wouldn't have otherwise, but at the end of the goal, I sort of burned out for awhile, and mostly stopped playing with the 360. (This is the point where my Xbox started getting mad at me, according to its blog.) It took quite a few months before I started again, but now I try to keep a better balance between achievements (which I still think are awesome), and just kicking back and having fun.

I've got more thoughts on this, which I hope I'll have time to write about in this blog, but I wonder if I'm the only one who "burned out" on the challenge - I haven't seen any new updates to the rewards program since that first challenge. Or maybe they were disappointed by the negative feedback that came in as a result of the rewards site being frequently inaccessible during the launch period, as they received much higher traffic than anticipated.

If there is a new challenge, will I try to participate? You bet - but this time I'll try to keep a closer eye on how I'm playing the metagame.

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