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What are your thoughts on trophies/achievements?

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Recently, I’ve found myself returning to some games that I’ve already beaten in order to try and obtain the platinum trophy on PS4. I never used to think twice about trophies/achievements in games, but after frequently seeing phrases like “I loved <insert game here> so I got the platinum” in reddit threads, I decided to start trying to go for trophies myself.

I’ve been “trophy hunting” for a little over a month now, and I’m torn on how I feel about it.

On the one hand, it definitely lets me get more mileage out of a game for which I’ve only beaten the main story. There’s sometimes far more content than what’s on the main path, even for short linear single player games. I’ve also beaten some games on the hardest (or at least higher than normal) difficulty settings in order to get a trophy, and I actually enjoyed doing so (at least for most games I played). In this sense, getting all trophies for a game really helps me to feel a sense of getting my money’s worth.

On the other hand, I’ve noticed some bad habits forming since starting. The worst of which is the fact that I’ve now started reading “trophy roadmaps” for each new game I get in order to not miss any trophies on my first playthrough. Before now, I always went into every game as blind as possible, and I do think this is the best way to play most games. But now I’ve always got trophies in the back of my mind, so I’m approaching games with the mindset of being as efficient as possible.

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Another problem is that now whenever I play a game that doesn’t have trophies (such as Nintendo Switch games) I almost feel as if I’m wasting my time without having a goal to work towards. So I guess I’m beginning to condition myself to associate playing games with obtaining trophies, rather than with just enjoying the game for what it is.

Finally, I’ve also had to resort to using walkthroughs to find collectibles or secrets. This one in particular makes me feel stupid, as I spend ages just ticking items off an in game checklist with no challenge or enjoyment whatsoever. I often finish these sessions thinking “why did I do that?” only to end up doing it again for the next game.

I’m beginning to think my brain may be susceptible to the negative effects of these external rewards, and perhaps I’m better off disabling the notifications and pretending they don’t exist. Like I said though, I’m torn because I can’t deny I did get more life out of some existing games.

I’m curious to hear what everyone here thinks about trophies and achievements. Does anyone have a similar experience to mine?


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