Achievements that Actually Matter in Real Life!

I figure if you read this blog you either owe me a lot of money and are trying to get out of paying me back, or you enjoy playing video games. I’d say “Hopefully you’re in the second category,” but honestly it’d be kind of nice if more people owed me money. But for the sake of the topic, we’ll pretend that you ARE indeed in the 2nd category and you play video games. What kind of games do you like? Classic games? New games? Games that you can get for 6 bucks at GameStop? Those are my favorites, because they remind me gently that while the most awesome games get awesomer and awesomer as time goes on, people will never stop making really bad games. Gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. But honestly, how do I have so much cash to blow on awful 6-dollar games? The answer lies in one simple word: Achievements.

I imagine at this point, my readers grab their heads and go “WHOA, MIND BLOWN.” But you have no idea what I’m talking about. So allow me to elaborate: GameStop, the more-or-less undisputed king of selling lots of video games, has this thing called PowerUp Rewards. Basically, you accumulate points through a variety of means that allow you to buy gift-cards, apparel, warranties and protection for your games, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Check it out here, and if there’s a GameStop in your area, definitely sign up. You honestly won’t regret it, even if you only buy one game a year from there.

As opposed to PowerDown rewards…?

So what of it? You trade in games, you buy games, you do all that crap for points… which you spend on more crap? Well, in essence, yes! But! What about achievements? Kongregate, when you sign up for it, allows you to link your account with your GameStop rewards account, and when you earn certain achievements… you get PowerUp rewards points. Now, having said that, it’s going to take you a looooong time to accumulate enough points to really do anything. I’ve been at it for quite some time and I only have 6000 points. What can you get with 6000 points? A $5 gift card, an Assassin’s Creed poster… a couple other things. But folks, that’s like 5 bucks of video game stuff I no longer have to pay for! I have not traded in a single game, nor have I gotten points in ANY OTHER WAY except by playing flash games. Free stuff is amazing, especially when you get it just for gaming.

So what does this mean? Well, I’ve talked before about the rewards we get for getting achievements, right? They’re purely for reputation purposes, showing people you have more points than they do. They make games more fun because you try harder to get achievements than you would normally. But real, tangible rewards? Even if they’re small, the idea that playing games and accomplishing tasks could net you an actual profit is mind-boggling. I think that this trend, however, is only going to continue. You will find more and more companies will give you store credit or access to apparel when you get achievements in their games. And why not? It’s good because it makes you play the game a whole bunch, and it’s good for business as well. GameStop and Kongregate teamed up to revolutionize the way we think of achievements.

But it also means something more than getting something for nothing. Although I’ve always been a proponent of  flash gaming as an awesome source of entertainment, it has always had a stigma that it’s somehow less than “real” video games on consoles or handheld devices. The two worlds are totally separate. With the exception of EA2D making their promotional game for Dragon Age, the constituents of the flash gaming community have never really felt any pressure to become console gamers, and vice versa. Different sets of rules govern the creation of each type of game, and different types of people play each type of game. And yet… here we are, with a business that strictly deals in the big-league games, teaming up with Kongregate,  the gargantuan mogul of flash games. What gives? The two worlds of gaming are beginning to be a little more connected. Now we can be anti-social and alone in life TOGETHER! Thank heavens. I have a feeling it will only be moreso as time goes on. One can capitalize on the other, and they work better together than they do apart.

So there you have it. You earn achievements, you get real life stuff! I wish they had something on there that was edible, because then I could definitively refute the statement, “There’s no such thing as free lunch.” Hah! Balderdash, I say! You play several hundred hours of games over the space of a few years, and it can be yours! And by “it,” I mean something that is completely and totally unrelated to food in any way (unless of course you buy Cooking Mama. Good investment!). And the final awesome thing about this awesomely awesome awesomeness: there’s an Android app that can help you get those points as well! Also, I used awesome as an adverb, adjective, and noun in immediate consecutive order. Now THAT makes you grab your head and say it: MIND BLOWN.

~Another Gamer

P.S. Here’s the daily flash game for today. Start things off right and get yourself some points!

You’re the little dude on the left, whose job is to take the souls who have escaped from hell and drag them, kicking and screaming, back to eternal torture. Enjoy! This is one of the best in the series.

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About Isaac Smith

I write about music, technology, video games, and probably many other subjects that don't bear mentioning here. Either way, most of it's worth reading, and you may even enjoy yourself!

Posted on May 11, 2012, in Flash Games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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