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The Game Effect Editorial

Five Signs You Have A Severe Gamerscore Addiction

Seek immediate treatment if your boosting session lasts more than four hours...

By Nate Gillick on 3/2/2012

Friday Fives is a new weekly feature we're starting, to bring some regular features to the site. Look forward to something new and different each week from our staff!

Gamerscore: It’s that number that sums up all your accomplishments across the games you’ve played, and for many, it could be represented as an indication of your prowess as a gamer. For some, achievements form a meaningless number, but for the point-hunting elite, achievements are breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The quest for ever more points can cause people to do some rather stupid things, as seen below.

Now, more educated gamers may think they know the signs ofsomeone too into achievements – playing easy children’s games, trading kills inonline games (a practice known as boosting), deciding which games to play basedon the ease of their achievements… While those are correct answers, the rabbit hole goes much, much deeper. If you or a loved one displays the gaming behaviors listed below, it’s time to seek a professional counselor for therapy. Full disclosure: This author has done four of these five... and is not currently seeking treatment.


Boosting Childrens' games at inappropriate hours

The extreme achievement hunter may party with others oftheir kind to trade achievements atinsane times, like 2am on a Saturday morning. Sitting alone in a dark living room, makingsure everyone plays Viva Pinata: Party Animals as Hudson Horstachio for anachievement is enough to make one re-examine some of their life decisions. It gets worse when discussing the intricacies who plays as male or female pinatas, and who needs to lose to whom and when to result in the minimum number of games... Three beers into the proceedings, the game actually starts to become fun, andthen some random guy shows up and completely owns the boosters. Perhaps that one guy who showed up to actually play the game is more disturbing than three adult men sipping beers and making inappropriate animal jokes while boosting achievements, but I digress...


Doing it from behind… for cash and prizes

This is another boosting-related sign of Gamerscore trauma, brought to us by the terrible shooter Soldier of Fortune: Payback. The quality of its multiplayer brought back memories of the Playstation 2 era... and not it a good way. For those with boosting experience, SOF is nothing remarkable, save for two achievements, named "Do It From Behind," and "Cash and Prizes." The first requires players to stab 50 enemies in the back with a knife, while the other, and I'm quoting the achievement description here, requires players to "kill 75 enemies by shooting them in the groin in any multiplayer mode."

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Nut shots. Soldier of Fortune wants its players to be deliberatelyshooting each other in the testicles. I think something about these tasks, andtheir names, brings out the junior high sense of humor in a lot of guys, so beready to endure an hour or more of gay jokes and adolescent giggling every timesomeone scores a nut shot. Party chatting with friends you've had for years,and hearing them degenerate into their pizza-faced teen years is humbling, and not worth the resulting Gamerscore. It also requires you to explain what you really meant when you said you spent four hours doing your friends from behind... Awkward!

Playing Hannah Montana the game… and filming proof you did it.

In the Gamerscore community, My Horse and Me 2 and Hannah Montana are commonly considered the Marks of Shame for your gamertag, showing you really will do anything for achievements. I've had friends appear offline while playing it to try to hide the fact, and load up a bunch of different games once finished to bury the game as deep in their game history as possible... as if burying the shame will make it go away. This idiot, however, seems to be having way too much fun playing the game, and filmed proof he did. Bravo sir, nobody will ever take you seriously as a gamer ever again...

Getting achievements while getting achievements

Pulling this off requires knowledge of which games make this possible... or you have four hands. Some games make it easy to get achievements without physically doing anything. In Unreal Tournament III, for example, it's possible to fill up a room with bots and let the game run itself in order to rack up achievements for total number of matches played - no participation needed. This leaves you free to go after achievements on your Windows Phone 7, or play a Games for Windows Live title on your computer, as long as the Xbox isn't connected to the internet. Who doesn't like multitasking?

Wrath of the xBot

The xBot straddles the line between genius and insanity, and represents the ultimate expression of doing anything for the sake of Gamerscore. David Harr designed this special contraption to earn achievements in Perfect Dark Zero without having to slog through 2,000 multiplayer matches. xBot presses start to begin an online bot match, then hits B to quit at the end and find another, which makes it possible to rack up 40 games in an hour.

As he mentions in the video, this contraption took 10 hours to design and build. That's dedication! Considering there are dozens of games where all 1000 achievement points could be earned in 10 hours or less, it wasn't the most enriching use of his time, but creativity is its own reward, right? Now, if he could design a controller that made Seriously 3.0 in Gears of War 3 easier, that'd be a big seller!

There you have it folks, five signs you have a severe Gamerscore addiction. I'm sure there are plenty more too. What are some of the craziest things you've ever done while hunting for achievements or trophies?
Have something to say about this article? Let us know about it!
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USER COMMENTS
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Elleyena on March 21, 2012
I like getting achievements! So much so that I join sites that have achievement systems, like this one :P Are we ever getting another Play On Words?



As for craziest things done...not really done anything too crazy. I like getting them, and I will try to do so, but I haven't tried boosting really.


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OSMenace on March 05, 2012
Question: what's the cover picture of on the main screen??Good article by the way, I'm looking forward to more Friday Fives!
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Merfyz on March 04, 2012
I do none of these, and am no where near to being a gamer score whore. The only time i want to get full achievements is when its one of my top 5 games. I usually end up never maxing out my score even when i want to for example skyrim & mass effect. I did however have full gamer score for halo 3 until they came out with more achievements...I do enjoy playing and getting achievements, but i don't do anything to out of my way unless its easy.  
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ArchAngel777 on March 03, 2012
well im a game addict >.> haha
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quantifier on March 02, 2012
I enjoyed reading this article. But in the first page you mention that you have done 4 out of 5...and my guess is you don't have a robot.
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