Microtransactions: Sony’s Achievements

February 27th, 2009

reign-over-me

Achievements or Trophies?

I find it interesting how Microsoft appear to have won the linguistic war of words that describe those thingys you get when you complete fixed goals in games and get rewarded for it, you know those ummm….achievements. As a writer this nuance between trophies and achievements both confuses and discomforts me. Inclusion/disclusion of “trophies” in text has the connotation of 1) attempting to be equally considerate of both platform 2) trying to undermine the audience with subtle PS3 undertones in the writing. Both of these I don’t want to do, I just wish to write generally about this new swish feature and the seemingly best way to do that is by using the world “achievement”.

Obviously the off-shoot victory of word by Microsoft was unintentionally won but won in what must be a satisfying way. They have marked a significant part of territory with the achievement mantra.

Reign Over Me

My brother hired out the 2007 movie Reign Over Me staring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. In the movie the main character, suffering from post traumatic stress of some kind plays Shadow of the Colossus. The game actually shows up several times in the movie and becomes a pretty important set piece used to develop the two main character’s relationship. The interesting thing about this piece of product placement is that Columbia Pictures (owned by Sony Pictures) distributed the film.

KemSmyth Enterprises

I posted this on Twitter a while ago, but figured it was worth bringing here too. Take a look at this website and tell me what is so suspicious about it.

  • Honestly I think it is Sony’s fault for taking so long to add Trophies and even longer for making them mandatory. I think that’s the only reason everyone refers to one’s accomplishments as Achievements as a general term. Microsoft were lucky to have a year (or more? I forget now) to establish the whole Achievements thing as well and the fact that it was compulsory from the get-go is something that I think was a key point in the success of them now. I agree that it’s annoying trying to refer to them, though. I’ve had the 360 longer so I’m more of an Achievement person than I am a Trophy one though the more I play my relatively new PS3, the more I see myself going for Trophies as well – with an underlying point remaining consistent across both consoles: I pursue them because I like to have things completed and they are, to me, an extension of a game’s criteria these days.

    As for Shadow of the Colossus appearing in the movie, I find that highly interesting given that the game is arguably still only a cult hit and not known by many of the mainstream gamers out there. I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t comment on it but I can appreciate the fact that it has appeared; any exposure of that game can only be a good thing as far as I am concerned.