Do Trophies Warp The Mentality Of Completion
Heya guys, I'm back with another quick little subject I've been putting a little thought into most recently. Just for some background story this all started about a month back, a friend of mine was talking to me about Super Meat Boy, the game which he was currently playing at that point in time. Seeing I had the platinum trophy for it, he asked me for a lot of advice and tips before eventually reaching that barrier where he broke and said "There is no way I can complete this". I didn't want to see him give up so easily when he was so determined, so I reassured him, told him he can do whatever he wants if he puts his mind to it, but, in his responses regarding the difficulty it was made clear to me that he was associating 'completion' as 'platinum'. To be clear, he is not a trophy hunter and he has zero intention in going for platinum trophies, this was just a game he wanted to identify as 'completed'. My response was simply to explain to him that he doesn't need to do that if he doesn't want to, the game doesn't track it and it's not inherently part of the games completion, if you want to know what completion in Super Meat Boy looks like, this is it:
That's right, it's not a platinum, half of those trophies are optional extra self made challenges. Were the game to have a 'hardcore' option in the menus to enable no death runs, then it would be considered a requirement for full completion (such as games like Wolfenstein/Doom, which have it as a difficulty setting). Motivated by this revelation he continued to push through... And... He achieved that Golden God earlier this week (proud of you buddy!), while there's plenty of trophy hunters who may claim he never completed the game and to 'finish it', I can safely say he has finished it.
But it got me thinking, you see, and this doesn't just work one way either and I see this mentality all over trophy websites. Over the years I've seem wider disconnect between in game completion and the act of having all the trophies. While I listed Super Meat Boy as a great example of a game in which you can complete it long before the platinum trophy, where the trophy list is just an extended challenge and inspiration for things to do post-completion, there's also the other side of the issue... Incomplete games slowly but steadily over time being recognised as 'completed' by, well, not even just trophy hunters actually, but anyone, simply because they have the platinum trophy. As I mentioned before with Doom/Wolfenstein including the challenge officially as content in their difficulty selection, Doom does NOT tie a trophy to this, this means, potentially, a large majority of Dooms platinum trophy achievers may have never actually completed the game and all its content, or even touched a higher difficulty, yet they may still continue to believe that this is a game they've completed and may even label themselves as completionist, they may have even been a completionist prior to the existence of achievements.
(Bare in mind I'm specifically talking about completion, and not self identified trophy hunters who admit they're obviously just in it for the trophies, if a game like Teslagrad for example can be platinumed without even seeing the final section of the game, those type of people will naturally just leave it there.)
Completionists on the other hand, or anyone who says they want to complete a game and are not motivated by trophies still tend to regularly mark their completion progress by trophies in the game.
Trophies have been around about 10 years, I don't know when the first list came to be exactly, my first time seeing them was in a PlayStation Home space and I didn't even know what they meant at the time either. Anyway, point is, along with achievements that predate trophies, they've had time to really integrate into gaming and some younger gamers have grown up with them having always existed in their memory that they've almost grown to become THE symbol of completion and game progress, while not completely accurate, this is something that's had time to become long established and cemented into gaming consciousness.
Does anyone have anything they could add onto this topic:
- Do you think trophies/achievements have warped what 'completion' means?
- Have you ever personally felt you've mislabelled a completion yourself?
- What do you define 'completion' to be?
- Does the term 'completion' even matter at all today?
- Should we even care what people identify as 'complete' & 'incomplete'?
Posted by Harris59
on 27 July 18 at 23:57
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