GamerScore Whores - A Bore, A Chore, Something You Abhor?

   08/04/2007 at 12:10       Richard Horne       8 COMMENTS.
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The pursuit of achievement points is considered by many to be a pointless exercise in willy waving, yet somehow, for all its relative insignificance, seeing the words "Achievement unlocked" at the bottom of my screen still always brings a smile to my face and feels like a mini victory.

But taking that to the extreme, earning over 100,000 gamerscore points for want of a better word is one hell of a mammoth achievement. And this week that score was broken for the first time by a mysterious gamer we know only as Stallion83, who very kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to AllAboutTheGames.net to discuss his own achievements and his opinions on all things gamerscore.

AATG - Welcome Stallion83, tell us a bit about yourself, as I'm sure there's more to you than the stereotypical, hardcore, nerd and now is your chance to dispel that myth.

Stallion83 - My name is Raymond. I'm from Tennessee. I live with my wonderful girlfriend that also likes to game, so my gaming habbits do not cause much conflict between us. I like to work out on a regular basis to stay fit. I like playing sports, basketball and tennis mostly. I work part time in construction and I would like to get into the games industry in some form.

AATG - Reaching a gamerscore of 100,000 must have taken a lot of time, a lot of work and a hell of a lot of dedication. How long have you been striving to reach that score, how many hours a day have you put into it on average and the ultimate question is of course, do you have a life outside of your Xbox 360?

Stallion83 - A lot of work and dedication is right. I bought my 360 on day one, but it wasnt till about late December that I got addicted to unlocking the things. I roughly put in 25 hours a week. Of course the number can get higher, especially when a game I really enjoy hits. My girlfriend takes up most of my other spare time. We do the usual couple things. You know, go to the movies and have a nice dinner.

AATG - Have you actively dedicated yourself to reaching such a high gamerscore or are you seriously going to tell me that you earned that gamerscore just by playing games as you would normally?

Stallion83 - To be honest, I play titles both ways. If you play strickly for achievements all the time, that will get boring. A little fun, then some achievement hunting is how I like to do it. It is a lot easier when a game is good, that is when achievement hunting gets extremely fun.

AATG - I've read that your gamerscore was earned completely legitimately and was obtained without using gamesaves or any other underhand methods. Can you explain how people are exploiting gamesaves or other such methods to increase their scores as that's not something I've come across?

Stallion83 - I dont know all the fine little details about gamesaving. What I do know is, the "gamesavers" will take someone else's saved game, download it to their HDD, then be at a point in the game right before the achievement unlocks. Usual suspects are people who have taken the full 1000 points from Rumble Roses in a day or in a few weeks. From what I have heard, it takes like 300 hours to do that game the right way.

Another method is account recovery. That's when a person lets someone recover their gamertag for the sole puprose of getting achievement points. Usually they will pay Microsoft Marketplace points to the people that will get them the achievements they desire.

AATG - I notice that you managed to earn the "Seriously" Achievement on Gears of War (earn 10,000 kills), are there any other achievements that you've obtained that you're equally proud of that would test the mettle of most gamers? For instance the "Committed" achievement in GRAW1 (play multiplayer for 8 hours straight) or the Survive 1,000,000 on Geo Wars (which incidentally I myself have earned!).

Stallion83 - Astropop's GAMMA survivor, which is: Reach the 9-minute mark in Survival mode. That was fun, yet challengeing to get. 1,000 rounds survived in perfect dark zero, which took forever. Gun on insane was a good challenge also.

AATG - And to reverse that question, are there are any achievements you've earned and games you've played which you're perhaps not so proud of? I'm thinking along the lines of some of the Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 achievements, or the Unlock all mini games in Fusion Frenzy 2 achievement.

Stallion83 - Rumble Roses and Pimp My Ride. Both are terrible games. I am happy to report, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is not on my gamertag.

AATG - For me personally, Crackdown's achievements are among the most fun I've had in gaming in recent times. Take for instance trying to do a double front flip in the Agency SUV. Which achievements have you had the most fun in trying to unlock?

Stallion83 - I totally agree with you about crackdown, every achievement was a blast to get. "Seriously..." In gears of war was also very fun. "Zombie Genocider", which is killing 53,594 zombies, was good stuff.

AATG - I've noticed people selling their 360 hard drives with gamertag and ridiculous gamerscores for huge sums of money on eBay, have you ever been tempted to follow the same path and have you received any crazy offers from people?

Stallion83 - Never been tempted to do such things and I haven't received any crazy offers either, but if Bill Gates wanted my gamertag for a cool million, its all his!

AATG - You must have played almost every single game released on the 360, games which I know from experience do not come cheaply. I suspect you're either in a very highly paid job with a lot of disposable income or use a lot of videogame rentals. Would you ever admit to playing a game you have zero interest in if only to unlock the achievements?

Stallion83 - I buy the ones I really want. The rest I will rent. Yes, I admit to that, I have played quite a few just for the points.

AATG - Can you recommend any games to the potential gamerscore whore, other than everyone's favourite King Kong, which are the easiest to extract achievement points from very quickly?

Stallion83 - King Kong is sooo last year. TMNT is the new hotness, its every gamerscorewhores wet dream.

AATG - What has the response been like from other gamers when you play online? I imagine you receive a lot of congratulations but on the other hand I can also imagine that you're a potential target for a lot of grief. You must be inundated with friends requested daily right?

Stallion83 - I am a dead helpless animal in the middle of the road, so of course they are going to prey on me. By that I mean, there are no consequences to face when talking about someone over the interent. I have a sense of humor, so it doesn't bother me.

As far as my XBL messages have been going, most have been positive, there's only been a few hate messages sent directly to me. On the friends list side, I wish I could accept them all, but I can't.

AATG - Do you play any consoles other than the 360 or are you truly hooked on achievements points to the point that if they're not there, you don't bother?

Stallion83 - I have all the last gen consoles, but I do not game on them anymore. The other next gen consoles have nothing for me just yet. If I do eventually get a Wii or PS3, I will buy the multiplatform games on 360, just for the achievements.

AATG - Have you received any acknowledgements or commendations from Microsoft or any other gaming organisations for your accomplishments?

Stallion83 - Not from Microsoft. I did an interview with www.xbox360achievements.org and was mentioned on www.oxm.co.uk. Some various other sites have inquired about doing interviews.

AATG - What are your thoughts on websites like levelmy360.com who gamers can pay to unlock achievements for them?

Stallion83 - If people want to spend money to act like they are good at games, then that is their choice. Self accomplishment is what the achievement system is all about and I wouldn't call that self accomplishment.

AATG - Finally, which games are you looking forward to adding to your tally in the near future?

Stallion83 - Forza 2, Mass Effect, Halo 3, GTA4, and Too Human.

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