I'm planning to get some of the older xbox games that are on sale. My holidays will be well spent, not with the newest games (well, maybe some halo4..) , but with those awesome and welldesingned games that can now be bought for a mere percentage of the full price. I also hope to trade with some friends. After all, christmas is about sharing also, isn't it?
It's not always possible to plan ahead to what bargains I will find. Frankly it's quite impossible. I won't to buff up my gaming experience to the max with games connected to facebook. Which games have such connection? Some games are currently connected to some facebook apps, but which ones and how to find them? Ubisoft has its tool for easing this, but I wonder if others have such central apps.
"I Achieve therefore I exist" says the modern Xbox-gamer. So say we all.
Worthwhile it may be, but the achievements are still considered "extra" or "surficial". Do they belong in a game? Well since Microsoft implemented them, everybody else is having them also. They approve your effort and display your enthusiasm. They feel good and show you're really THAT good.
Some of them are impossible because a) they require hoards of sheer dumb luck and b) they're glitched or BOTH. I have some of the a-type in Halo 3 multiplayer still dangling and laughing at me. They would have been super-easy to get when that game was new but now my level is higher and I don't get a bunch of noobs to triple kill with a laser in a row. I could boost it with friends but I would feel dirty afterwards. That really wasn't how it was meant to be achieved. Gamerscore-hoarders abusing glitches sometimes make multiplayer miserable for the real people. Kinda reminds me of that neighbour kid who always wanted to break grand lego constructions "cause your daddy can fix". He grew out to be the Joker in the Dark Knight movie.
At best the Achievements are exactly like that nice fuzzy feeling in the morning when you have rested a full night after a hard days work. Achievement is the invigorator. Good pacing makes the soft rain of achievements all that good. And talk about rain of achievements, how about the playstyle-oriented achieving? While it is rewarding that YOU have been selected out of all players because you play Oblivion with hoarding-style and REWARDED for it (No, Oblivion hasn't heard of such 'cheevos). It gets old really fast because there's a prompt realization that to get a shot at the S-RANK ("Sure, Racking Achievements is my Night Kibble") you have to play all those styles you don't enjoy playing. Playing for the Lord Achievement is hard work and work isn't always fun.
Lately a few online shooters have taken the achieving a bit further and introduced another achieving cue to consider. I was hooked on the Halo: Reach "credits" for a while. I'm a General now and there weren't an achievement for me to gain for a while. What was the purpose then? My own set goal in the ever trancending hierarchy. It goes on without saying that this is not really so new a feature in games. Think of the Sims' career building or Tetris high score or all those C64 games that had no clear goals (or graphics for that matter). Gamer is given a direct punctual reward for this "work" of playing. We all want to see how far the rabbit hole goes until there's nothing left of the hole. We just sit in dark and contemplate on the inner emptiness that was never really gone -now where was I- This paradigm is all too well implied in the old saying about fire, "[Achievement] is a good servant but a bad master".
Is there such thing as non-achievement gaming anymore? Bottom line is that Oblivion is still a game I can cope with even though the achievements are not so well played as with more recent games (yes, I play with Skyrim soundtrack in the background while I'm waiting for the whole game drop to my mailbox). I still play c64 games on emulators occasionally (and listen to SID-music on kohina.net -Internet radio). I just want to see it all and there's yet so much to see. Achieving was the very thing "playing games through" is based on! I have played Legend of Zelda through (first run AND game+, even though that wasn't a meme back then) on the NES and I was good at it. If that game came out today, I would've had achievements to show it. But I won't play Xbox 360 -version of King Kong because of the 'cheevos because it isn't worth my time and there's nothing there i'd want to experience. So the Non-achieving is the high standard of a true game, playing like a child, to experience something, because experience is the true achievement.
A theology student finds it interesting when somebody tries to make a biblical game. I for one crave for a Warhammer-type strategy set with the ark of the covenant as superweapon while struggling in David's shoes to make it all work in Israels favor. While I'm aware of the many failures the Book has faced in the licence game front I'm quite thrilled when anybody takes a shot at it. Bible hasn't had many successful, realistic or even remotely properly done games in the past. Who could perform such a feat? Who could succeed where others have failed? Enter my favorite people (after the Jews), the Japanese. Japanese mindset of weirdness combined with apocalyptic materials and remarkable freedom from biblical strictness can be full of Win. There are no real limits of interpretation and the material is unknown to the great masses. I give it a go-go, this can work in our favor. The heavier exegesis is not necessary on such non-canonical works, as nobody really cares what the text really says. I can almost see the time when all theology students have to play Xbox games to pass their exams'n stuff. Games are interpretations of our culture and bible should be an inherit part of that. This kind of work should be supported by any christian realising the future possibilities of the gaming industry.
PS. I have seen a video about the sermon against the pokemon and I think that guy needs to do his homework before returning to the pulpit. That was political agenda with a touch of hermeneutical suicide.