Home / Diary of an Achievement Point-Addicted Xbox 360 Gamer

Diary of an Achievement Point-Addicted Xbox 360 Gamer

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Dec. 13th: Finally tracked down an Xbox 360. $400 and a single game later, I’m happy. While playing NHL 2K6, I earn my first “Achievement Point.” Turns out by performing certain tasks in the game, I earn points for my Xbox 360 profile.

Dec. 14th: While the previous days experience was unique, I continue playing NHL 2K6 as I wait for some rented games to arrive. I earn two more of these “Achievements.” Per my investigation into this matter, I discover these points do not serve a purpose. They simply show up when you view your profile. You can’t do anything with them.

Dec. 15th: King Kong arrives from the rental place. After beating each level, I earn 100 points towards my profile. I immediately call a friend to boast. Then I learn the grim news:

“Dude, I have 3,560 points. I beat Perfect Dark SIX times, I’ve played for 74 hours, and I have 10,000 headshots online.”

Damn it. I tried to lie my way out it by saying I had 3,561 points, but that didn’t go over. He’s a smart one, and I’m not a good liar. There’s only one solution – find a new friend or buy more games.

Dec. 16th: I walk into a game store. I look around for a few minutes and kidnap a customer. After quieting him down (he was a screamer) and removing the garbage bag from his head, I show him my profile page proudly showcasing my 1,050 points. He responds:

“That’s all? You kidnapped me to show me a measly 1,000 points? I’ve played Condemned for 135 hours. I have more than that just from the demo at the store. You suck”

So, there’s my new goal. I need to get Condemned and steal the kiosk from the store on George’s recommendation. I think his name was George. Could have been Earl. Then again, that’s not the important thing here.

Dec. 17th: Got Condemned. I almost had the kiosk too, but my screwdriver wouldn’t undo the bolts on the floor. It’s hard to do that while avoiding the nightstick of a cop at the same time. Anyway, the hours upon hours of grisly violence have potentially turned me into a stark raving mad lunatic, but I’ve got points. Many, many points. I call up friend #1 (George/Earl’s restraining order prevented me from calling him again) to compare sizes… err, scores. His was still bigger.

Dec. 18th: There’s only a few days left before Christmas, and all I want is the highest possible score. The problem is people have a head start on me. Apparently, waiting outside Best Buy for 46 hours on launch day unlocked extra achievements. Well, at least that’s what a message board post told me.

There’s only one way to put this on even ground: Slap Microsoft with a multi-billion dollar lawsuit because their systems are defective and they know it. Mine may work and it’s well within the warranty stage, but this is for the people. That, and a full system recall would solve my problem.

Dec. 28th: It’s been 10 long days since I filed the lawsuit. A judge threw it out even after going for the “Xbox 360 made me kidnap someone” angle. Jack Thompson will apparently be taking that case in a civil court with me. He told me he’s the best, and why couldn’t he be trusted?

Jan. 4th: Games have come and gone. The ones that failed to arrive via rental I had to buy. There was no choice. Let’s face it; it’s only a matter of time before other people have every launch title on their shelves. From there, they’ll soon have every Achievement Point. That can’t happen. I broke the 2,000-point marker the other day, but I realized some games only have Achievements if you play online. I need an Xbox Live Kit… now.

Jan. 5th: I’m online, and I realize how dire this situation is. I’m ranked so low in worldwide stats, Microsoft doesn’t even acknowledge me as a user. I learn of the Xbox Live Arcade where I can play more games for Achievement Points. Better yet, these are games I’ve owned before! Let’s face it. $24.99 for Joust is a hell of a deal so I can play it on my 360 instead of free on my PC. Better yet, by knocking that frickin’ bird off the pedestal, I can earn more points. That’s what really matters here.

Jan. 8th: I probably should have gone to work these past few weeks (at least once). I got the call today saying I have an extended weekend. I thought that was nice of them. My boss didn’t seem to understand the situation at hand and how important it was to impress people like “IAteYoMomma” and “I Hate Xbox,” online people I’ll never meet, but seem like fine, upstanding chaps. They’re my peers, and in order to become a member of their ranks, I need to play more Dead or Alive 4 for Achievement Points.

Jan. 10th: That Jack Thompson guy called today to tell me when my court date was. I asked if I would get any Achievement Points if we won the case and he had no idea what I was talking about. I now understand why people consider this guy crazy. He actually lives just to live, not to earn Achievement Points. What a nut! On a side note, I broke 5,000 points when I made it to hour 200 in Tiger Woods PGA Tour. The game is terrible, but the points are generous. That’s all that mattered.

Jan. 12th: I was called an Xbox fanboy today. That couldn’t be true. I decided to try a different system, and popped a game into my PS2. I played for three hours, but to my dismay, didn’t earn a single Achievement Point. Nope, not even one. Who can actually play games on a system that doesn’t offer Achievement Points? Some people will waste money and time on anything. Oh, I bought four more Live Arcade games today too. I heard their Points are quick and easy to earn. I need more money though. Time to cash in the 401k.

Jan. 20th: I haven’t had time to write lately. NBA Live glitched and didn’t give me my Achievement for 3,000 three-pointers by a single player in a season. I threw the controller which ricocheted off the wall and hit me in the head. I endured 16 stitches at the hospital and didn’t get any Points for it. What’s wrong with these people?

Jan. 30th: The day after the hospital incident, some fine gentlemen knocked at my door. They told me if I put on a white jacket, they’d get me some Achievement Points. They promised me over 2,000 of them if I behaved, so I have. I haven’t had a single outburst yet in my spacious room. They let me out of this cell once in a while to look out of a window, and that’s when I can write on this computer. I haven’t seen the points yet, but I’m sure they’ll add them soon, won’t they?

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • This story has been chosen as an Editors’ Pick of the Week. You now have the grave yet giddy honor of selecting a story for next week’s best of column if you like (time frame 2/1 – 2/7). Simply leave the title, URL, and a brief description of why you dig it on this week’s post (link above).


  • The addictive power of arbitrary point systems has been demonstrated time and time again. A few years back I tried to harness this power for the good of some friends of mine who were struggling to keep a small business afloat. One of the owners looked over the intricate system of intangible rewards I had designed to help him keep his customers hooked, then said to me (a direct quote here): “This isn’t going to do anything.”

    Less than six months later, that business folded.

  • I also know your pain, it was just the other day that I fixed a problem at work only to be told “err what are Achievement points, it is not in your contract” I loved it

  • Richard

    I have just loaded this website and i realize that it may have taken a while, i mean it is only two years after your diary entrys but boy was it worth it! finally somebody who knows how i feel, take for example earlier, after my recent driving ban and my car being impounded, I decided to take the bus to work this morning, this didn’t seem to impress the driver if though i got a 7 hit combo on him! (no achievements, i knew i should have gone for 8) the journey was particularly irritating as the bus doesn’t seem to have any NOS. I worked without it I did pick up a 27 person killing spree and made it through the church on only two wheels. any ideas on why my achievements didn’t unlock? I have a while before i can retry this, around 30 years or so i’m told, so any hints will prove very useful to me.

  • brett1598

    add me if u have call of duty 5