Disposable Gaming

After Zoey chatted about game completion I signed up for TrueAchievements, as you do when a writer who you enjoy reading recommends something. Something genuinely shocked me upon doing so, namely that my completion rate is under 50% for games. 48.2% to be precise about it.

This is not entirely pleasant for two reasons. Firstly, wayyyyy back in January when I was reasonably new to the staff side of the site I set myself a task. I had been dipping my toe into games too often and had fallen into the trap of trying games but settling on playing Fifa endlessly. To stop this I said that by years end I would climb one place in the Ready-Up staff leaderboard for achievement score, which you can see to your left. Even if I got pegged back or if a new member arrived ahead of me, by succeeding it’d have meant that I had played games in a deeper manner and in turn would be getting more out of my hobby. It worked, I played Burnout Paradise more than I would have and pushed myself on the music games…hell I now even sing a bit and to top it all off I have a meaty achievement score pushing 50k. Not bad at all, yet still overall my games are only half done.

This leads onto the second point nicely. Reflecting on the past year of me improving my approach to gaming led me to reflect on the decade which is about to end soon. For me the naughties (which I shudder using as a term) were my formative years, where I moved from a child through teens to the socially reclusive man who writes today. I got to thinking, what would the me of 2000 have thought of me getting so little out my games.

As a child games are very different beasts due to finances. You can maybe only afford a new game once every 3-6 months, if that? Even then it’d have been budget and ill informed, so not the best of experiences awaited the young gamer. Yet we all were in love with this hobby, so we squeezed every inch of gaming out of that game. When I got Shenmue I completed it 11 times, actually completed my capsule collection and even got all the bloody Saturn games. When I got Tunnel B1 for the Saturn (an abomination of a game) I completed it on each difficulty level, which given the poor controls was an absolute feat. Hell I even played Theme Park without the cheats such was my lust for any game to play with a new experience. It even led to inventing new ways of playing. Such as par Mario (set a jump amount for the level, every jump under gains points and every jump over loses points) which brought the 6 year old me HOURS of frustrating fun.

Now we have achievements which guide that extra curricular gameplay, Live play to give endless new experiences and DLC to augment single player. I have cash to buy the best new games, people to play them with and people to talk about them with on this very site. Yet I don’t play them to death – perhaps because it’s all now so easy. Before, games were so precious that I had to work for it because it’s all I had. Now? It’s too easy. If I get bored I download an XBLA title, game on demand or fire up Steam. I still have fun and I love this industry, but part of me wonders if the magic isn’t gone now I’m a little older and that little boy (who once played R-Type for two days straight with one hand) is long since departed.







6 responses to “Disposable Gaming”

  1. Kat avatar


    Good read as ever x

  2. Duncan avatar


    *weeps a little bit*


  3. Kat avatar

    *completely breaks down*

    Hold me Dunk

  4. Markatansky avatar

    To be honest I think games are gettin easier which might lead to people beating them earlier and then playing them less. To this day, I’ve gone back time and again to Super Star Wars (http://retrouprising.com FTW) and still can’t get any further ahead than I could when I was in 2nd year of high school. Easier games aren’t necessarily a bad thing though.

  5. MarkuzR avatar

    Dood, will be REALLY sad coming on to Ready Up and not reading your articles. I always really looked forward to them. Sad day.

  6. MrCuddleswick avatar


    Good stuff John. Made me think of my exhaustive childhood gaming. Memorising every level completely.

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