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Our First Achievements - Looking Back At Our Gamerscore Addictions

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Posted October 20, 2010 - By Stephen Johnson









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Our First Achievements Ever

Something about autumn has everyone here at G4 in a contemplative mood. The end of another summer and the prospect of the cold days of winter ahead have us looking backwards, taking stock of where we've come from and which choices led us to our current lives. In other words: We thought it would be enlightening to go back in time and reminisce over the first 360 achievements we earned. (We're not doing PS3 trophies because no one cares about them.)

Our First Achievements Ever

Donell Tucker -- Technical Wizard -- Grand Theft Auto 4

When you think about the first time for anything, you remember how nervous you were. You hear from your friends how good it feels when you do it for the first time, and that you can’t get enough of it. Of course, I’m talking about unlocking an achievement for the first time on Xbox Live. My first time was magical. 

It was July, 6 2009 and I finally got my Xbox 360 with Grand Theft Auto 4. I was ready to sit back and dive right into the sandbox world. My first achievement was called “Off The Boat” where all you had to do was complete the first mission. When I heard the pop up noise and saw that achievement on my screen I felt this sensation in my mind that said "I finally did it!" One year later and 20,000 G money obtained, I don’t have the same sensation as before. I still like unlocking great achievements because it encourages me to play certain games a little bit longer, but like people say, it’s never as good as the first time.

Our First Achievements Ever

Nikole Zivalich-- Suburban Gangsta -- ???

I've gone through a few gamer tags, as well as a few Xbox 360s. It's hard to say what my very first achievement was since I don't have my first account anymore. My current gamertag’s first achievement was "Piñata Name Caller". I got 20 gamer points for naming a piñata. If I remember correctly it was a Wurmple I named Wurmy. There were no extra points for creativity.

I've always really liked achievements. Sorry, trophies just don't do it for me. I made it a New Year's Resolution for '09 to get a gamerscore of 10,000. A winner was me, and I currently have a score of 15,000+. I will play through a game twice to get every achievement I can. I don't think that's a bad thing. I'm getting as much out of the game I paid for as I can.

I'm not sure why people hate on achievement whoring. Why not get rewarded for killing an enemy with a toilet in Half-life 2? It adds another element to the game and you can prove you accomplished something. Plus you get to use the gravity gun to carry around a toilet and bash someone's skull in with it. Everybody wins.

Our First Achievements Ever

Moye Ishimoto -- Future Crank -- Halo 3

My first achievement was the "Used Car Salesman" on Halo 3, which according to Xbox Live, is when you destroy a vehicle that has three enemies in it during a ranked playlist or campaign. This was back in 2007 and I don’t remember anything about it, even when it happened. I do know it was my first Halo game and I had no idea what I was doing. So this was probably a fluke, like maybe a good friend took the controller away from me while I was peeing in the bathroom or it was a weird bug in the game that allowed people who suck at video games to somehow actually “achieve” something. Or maybe Bungie just felt really sorry for me?

However, this Achievement still means a lot to me because studies have shown that the number of Achievements directly correlates to one’s level of self esteem, which therefore determines one’s personal success and wealth. That means I’ll take what I can get. Even if it’s worth only 5 gamer points and making up psychological studies to prove my point.

Our First Achievements Ever

Dana Vinson -- Editrixie -- Halo 3

The first achievement I ever earned was "Landfall." It’s in honor of completing the first mission of the Campaign in Halo 3. Before I bought my 360, I hadn’t owned a console since the NES, mostly because I was poor and partly because I was too busy braiding my hair, or whatever else it is that girls do in their late teens.  When Halo 3 was released in 2007, Steve Johnson decided that it was time I came into the 21st century (and that he needed people to play with), so he made it his mission to make sure I bought a 360. I was hesitant, but Johnson can be pretty persuasive, especially when he’s calling you every hour to see if you’ve done his bidding. I caved and bought the console with a copy of Halo 3. Immediately, I went home, hooked it up, and proceeded to get lit up every time I tried to do anything.

Because I had little experience with the dual stick controls, I spent most of Halo 3 spinning around in a circle with my gun pointed to the sky. Occasionally, I would manage to run (while my gun was still pointed at the sky) and throw a grenade at myself. I don’t remember much about earning that achievement, or my Halo 3 experience in general, except that it was short and I spent most of it at the bottom of a pond waiting to respawn. Regardless, this achievement is pretty special to me, because it was hard-earned. I can only imagine the number of hours it took me to slog through the first campaign, make the decision to never play Halo 3 again, download Uno, and turn my 360 into a very expensive deck of cards. It wasn’t until a few months later when I picked up Portal, that I finally learned how to successfully use the controller and I haven’t spent anytime spinning around in a circle looking at the sky since. I still, occasionally, blow myself up though. That’s just good clean fun.

Our First Achievements Ever

Brian Phan -- Intern!! -- Call of Duty 2

The first time I received an achievement ("Completed Basic" in Call of Duty 2), frankly I was confused. Why is my TV screen flashing the Xbox 360 guide button? Are my controller batteries already dying? Is this a new way to say a save file has been saved? What the heck is an achievement? Why should I care about virtual points that I can't cash in for anything?

I did not understand the appeal of earning achievements until I started playing more games on the Xbox 360 and earning more and more achievements. In the early days of the Xbox 360 it seemed like everything you did earned you an achievement. Turn on the game, there you go, there's an achievement. I think these early, cheap, and easy rewards became like a crack addiction. The more I played games the more achievements I wanted. Hence, the term "achievement whore".

Now a days, I get a little twinkle in my eye and a smirk on my face whenever I hear that Xbox 360 chime when I unlock an achievement. I acknowledge the achievement being there, but I don't have the addiction I did when I first started playing on my Xbox 360. Today, I could deal with not having achievements in my life, but it would be a bitter sweet kind of existence after knowing the joys of achievement unlocking. 

Our First Achievements Ever

Eric Eckstein -- Dr. Who Fan -- Hexic HD

Looking back, my first achievement seems to be for Hexic HD with "Star Gazer" back on 12/30/2006. I know, I wish it was for something 'cooler' but clearly, I didn't have anything at the time. In an alternate universe, my first achievement is "Seriously 2.0" from Gears of War 2, which would probably be impossible to obtain first, but that's the way my alternate universe works. Also, Eric Stoltz is Marty McFly in that universe too and he's amazing.

Our First Achievements Ever

Jake Gaskill -- Miscreant -- Kameo: Elements of Power

My first Xbox 360 Achievement was worth 20G, and it was “Found Pummel Weed” from Rare’s colorful and quite enjoyable launch title Kameo: Elements of Power, and it was unlocked on March 5, 2006. I don’t remember seeing and hearing that first plink-plonk as my very first Achievement popped up on screen, nor did I have any idea just how (literally) game changing those seemingly benign Gs would become. There are occasions where I’ll go out of my way to unlock a particular achievement, but I’m far from an Achievement whore; I’m more of an Achievement tease.

My favorite Achievements are the ones you get for doing something totally random, like killing an enemy with a toilet in Half-Life 2, but for the most part, they kind of depress me more than fill me any sense of satisfaction because there will always be dozens in every game that I simply will never get, and, honestly, who wants to be constantly reminded of their inadequacies all the time? Plink-plonk! 30G - Sad Face: Bring what was supposed to be a lighthearted and celebratory post to a super depressing and pessimistic end.

Our First Achievements Ever

Chris Monfette -- Ghost Hunter-- Gun

My first achievement was incidental, at best, largely because it was earned out of pure curiosity and random game-playing than the excitement of a well chosen launch title. At the time, I was working for a company called Edelman doing PR for Microsoft during the premiere of the Xbox 360. When the console finally arrived in stores, I already had a handful of the initial launch games – Kameo, Gun, Quake, King Kong, etc. – so I purchased a console and prepared to enter the next generation of gaming without any real fanfare or excitement. It was an unimpressive line-up, after all. Simply by the look of it, and also the sheer lack of any real hardcore games, I intended to fire up Kameo, but in the midst of being distracted by some ongoing conversation, I’d opened up and popped in a copy of Gun purely by mistake. I figured, “What the hell! A game’s a game, and I want to see this thing in action.” I started playing and earned my first achievement, “The Hunt," about as quickly as I realized that the game sucked. So whenever I’m asked this question, I usually just lie and say that my first achievement was finding Pummel Weed in Kameo, a game I actually played to completion. 32, 140 points later and I’m still addicted…

Our First Achievements Ever

Kevin Kelly -- Plays Board Games -- Call of Duty 2

My first Xbox 360 achievement was completing basic training in Call of Duty 2. You know, it’s that difficult achievement that you basically get for picking up the controller and starting the game. Amazing! At the time, when it popped up, I remember thinking it was just a way of keeping track of what you’d done in the game. Little did I know that it would be contributing to a score that people would obsess over. I’m not sure if I’ve ever cared that much about my achievements or my game score, but I do like comparing my gamertag to friends and thinking “HA! I totally pwned their ass in Halo: Reach.” But then there are the moments where I’m secretly ashamed that I haven’t picked up all the achievements in Outpost Kaloki X. WHY DO THEY TAUNT ME. And seriously, that “Achievement Unlock” sound both thrills me and haunts me.

Our First Achievements Ever

Stephen Johnson -- Charming Gadabout-- Prey

The first achievement I unlocked was "Last Call" in Prey. Basically, I completed the first level. I had no way of knowing it then, but that achievement was the beginning of my slow descent to addiction. Sure, when the initial "plink plonk" sounded, I didn't care. I was too busy looking for radios that played Art Bell's show. Besides, I regarded gamerscores as meaningless numbers that measured a person's loserdom. I'd make jokes like, "You know, real life has a gamerscore too. It's called 'money.'"  But now, four years later, I work to increase the entirely arbirtary number. I work hard, too. I set sports sims up to play themselves. I play kids games for a quick fix. Intellectually, I know that it's a ridiculous pursuit, but the heart has reasons that reason knows not, and so I am drawn and trapped by my achievements.

I'd seek treatment, but I'm a little worried about how the hardcore junkies at my local NA meeting would react to my story of G-addiction.

(You, too can share the story of your first achievement. Go to Xbox.com, sign in, and look at youre games played. They should be listed chronologically. Find the oldest, and tell us about it!)

Our First Achievements - Looking Back At Our Gamerscore Addictions
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