At the time of writing, I have collected 3494 trophies, 20 of which are the coveted level of ‘Platinum’. I’m about to start working on my 21st and as I have wondered many times throughout the my life, I once again find myself thinking “why do I do this?”.
Nobody sees my trophies. It’s not like I get sent an actual trophy to display at my house. That would be cool. Imagine the size of my trophy cabinet! I’d settle for an actual trophy every time I got a platinum trophy, I suppose one for every trophy is a bit excessive.
Not only do people not see them, I don’t think any one actually cares that I have them. It’s just a badge to show how much time I’ve wasted and what a massive nerd I am. If anything, I should be ashamed!
As most of you who play PlayStation know (or if you track achievements on your Xbox) a lot of the trophies come naturally through just playing the game. They are the best kind of trophies. I don’t have to think, waste endless amounts of time exploring, look up guides, farm a checkpoint over and over…all I have to do is play the game.
They used to be the only kind of trophies I had. Ones I would get from just playing a game. I didn’t care for them much, they were just there. I would never bother to look up a trophy list or a guide. I played games because they were fun and I enjoyed it. Trophy hunting never interested me at all.
It changed a few years ago. I could look up the exact date of when, but my PlayStation is taking a well earned nap. So is my daughter. Me next, me next! I was playing Sleeping Dogs for the billionth time. It is one of my all time favourite games and if you haven’t played it, I can highly recommend it.
Anyway, I was discussing with my partner how great the game was and how much I adored it. I wanted to find a way to show how much I loved it. I wanted people to know how great I thought it was. And then I had the idea of looking at its trophy list. I’m not sure what sparked the thought, maybe one popped on the screen. The important thing is, I had the thought.
I checked the trophy list and not surprisingly, I had already collected most of them. I just a handful left to get. So, I got to work on it. A few hours (or days, I honestly can’t recall) I got my first platinum trophy. It was a good feeling and I felt it let the publishers know how much I appreciated the game. I didn’t think about my next platinum, I was content to just have the one. I thought I would save it for really special games, like Sleeping Dogs.
I can’t remember when that mindset changed or even what my next platinum was. In fact, I’m going to try and list all 20, just from my memory. I bet I won’t remember them all. In no particular order, here they are :
|Watchdogs 2||Sleeping Dogs||Ghost of Tsushima||Uncharted 2|
|Uncharted 3||Uncharted 4||Evil Within 2||Until Dawn|
|Moving Out||Lara Croft Go||COD : Modern Warfare||Spider-Man|
|Uncharted||Horizon Zero Dawn|
|The Last of Us 2|
Some of them, like the Uncharted series or Sleeping Dogs, I am proud of. I loved the games and played them over and over. I wanted to get the platinum and for the most part I enjoyed getting it. Others, like Until Dawn or Watchdogs 2, I got them because I could. Sure, I enjoyed the games, but they were never the top of my list. Most shamefully of all though are the games like Lara Croft Go. I purchased them because they were cheap and a very easy platinum. I took no joy in getting the trophy or playing the game, but it was another platinum for my collection. And, evidently, some of them I don’t even remember at all. I was truly addicted.
Up until very recently, it was still amongst one of the first things I would do when I purchasing a new game. I’d hit up the trophy list and look at how easy or hard it was to get the platinum. If I had nothing else to do, I would go back and look at an old game and see if I could get the platinum for that.
I talked to a friend who is also a heavy gamer, but he didn’t understand it. “If you aren’t having fun, what’s the point?” he would say. He was, of course, right, but it wasn’t so simple. It was an unhealthy obsession and I needed to prove (to absolutely nobody) that I was good at video games.
Of course I am good at them! I’ve been playing since I was 4. That’s a lot of practice. I get better at them all the time. Each year I notice how much faster I am, how much my accuracy has improved etc etc. Games that used to be impossibly hard are now easy to me. I’m getting better. I know I’m good at games. Everyone who knows me knows that I am good at games. Why do I need this tiny virtual trophy that I can’t show to anyone to prove it? Is it an insecurity? Probably. Am I just crazy? Yes, yes I am.
It’s not all bad though. Sometimes I enjoy the chase. I have so much fun with a game and when it’s all over, I still want to play it. So I’ll go and finish it 100%. If I’m still having fun and want to continue playing, I’ll go after the platinum. It gives life to a game long after I’d normally be done with it. It definitely gets me my money’s worth.
Fortunately, I have started to ease off on the obsessive collecting. I hope to ease off a little bit more still. After all, I do play video games just for fun. If fun is no longer fun, then what’s the point in having fun? I may as well go back to working in retail. No offense if that’s your thing, you do you.
Anyway, the point is do what makes you happy. Life is too short for anything else. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking of lately. You have nothing to prove to anyone and neither do I. If you want to play video games, then play them. If you want to collect every achievement, then do it. If you want to become an astronaut and explore the furthest regions of space, then do it. But do it because it’s fun and do it for you. You have nothing to prove to anybody. Just be nice to others and enjoy yourselves.