Best of 2015: 309 Reasons To Be Confused: Accolade Attachment

First Published: Nov 11, 2015
Voted For By: Ric
Reason(s) For Vote:
“Digital personas and names are ever more important in today’s society, and abandoning one is an incredibly hard thing to do (hence why I’ve stuck with “Ricass” for so long, despite it being an incredibly stupid name). Chris’ article does a lovely job explaining the unexplainable feelings that we get for these stupid little things.” – Ric

309reasons1Much like the majority of gamers in full-time jobs, with families, or access to Steam, I have quite a significant backlog of games stretching from the odd purchase on Valve’s aforementioned blackhole of games, to Chrono Trigger via my Nintendo Wii‘sVirtual Console. This isn’t an article about a backlog though, those are a dime a dozen. This is an article about wasting precious game time in pursuit of something far less important. If that wasn’t bad enough, I can’t even give you a reason why. Let’s take it from the top.

Last year, for Christmas, my incredible girlfriend bought me PlayStation 4 and some games. It sat untouched for a month or two because, frankly, I didn’t have the time to get to grips with it properly. Sure, I’d set it up and got it all going but I didn’t really get a chance to play on it. When I did, I had fifty pounds worth of PlayStation vouchers to spend, new games to try and generally just wanted to dive in feet first. I created an account, purchased the excellent PlayStation Plus and got on with it, job done. March turned into April, April to May and so forth and it wasn’t until around the end of July that I realised what a complete moron I had been. In my haste to get set up I’d completely ignored the fact that I previously had a PlayStation account with my PlayStation 3. Let’s quickly recap a few facts about my years on the PlayStation 3, none of which are particularly remarkable or outstanding.


Fact one: the PlayStation 3 was the last console to enter my home and only arrived thanks to my father getting a free one via a mobile phone contract. It came with Ratchet and Clank (no idea which one, never bothered finishing it) and generally it was the most shunned of my consoles, given my childhood affiliation with Nintendo and the Xbox 360 that was presented to me on my twenty-first birthday. However, at some point, I realised that not only did the PlayStation 3 have some pretty good games, but some of them were outright system sellers. The whole Uncharted series is gold (even if the third one felt a bit hollow), the Resistance and Infamous series are both excellent in their own right and, of course, you’ve got Metal Gear Solid and all of its crazy, day-long cut-scene antics. Finally, the icing on this sexy gaming cake is The Last of Us, a game so perfect that I’ve bought it twice just to revel in its excellence.

309reasons3Fact two: I give less of a shit about trophies than I do achievement scores and Steam achievements. I love the fact that you get a little *plink* and boom someone has rewarded you for killing an enemy a hundred times, or that you may have chosen a pre-set conversation path in a game but, ultimately, they don’t mean jack shit. People who whore trophies and achievements, who get the platinums and max out games, these people (apart from being a good advert for a social experiment), have the right to say that their trophies and gamerscores mean something because they’re specifically grinding out whatever they have to do to improve that statistic. For the average gamer – me, you, that guy behind you – none of them mean anything and bragging about them is akin to dropping your trousers or unstrapping your bra and bragging about what you’re packing. It’s merely a permanent acknowledgement that you did something and hopefully most of you can mimic this behaviour by creating something I like to call memories.

Fact three: I recently sold my Xbox 360 after a long and dedicated innings as a solid console that faithfully played my games and movies for many a year, like a reliable dog that bought in my slippers and only occasionally keeled over and died. I had to get it fixed twice, I played loads of games on it, including but not restricted to the whole Gears of War series, the whole Mass Effect series, hidden gems like Enslaved and the surprisingly average Prototype. I finally sold it because, for the most part, I’d actually done everything I wanted to do on it. Finding room to set it up and get it going in my new home was a pain, there weren’t that many games I wanted to pursue on it, and with the introduction of my PlayStation 4 I made the decision to put it up for sale. While my Xbox account and my gamerscore still remain, with the death (thank god) of Games For Windows Live, there is little I can do to add to them. That account is, for all intents and purposes, dead, unless I pick up an Xbox One and there is little chance of that. The death of that account despite seven years of input does not bother me in the slightest.


Right, fact time over with, here we are in the present day and I now have two accounts – one for my current, newer PlayStation and one for my older one. This isn’t a problem in itself – the old one has zero downloads, no unfinished games and generally nothing of note attached to it. Except trophies. Three-hundred and nine trophies, to be exact. None of them are platinum trophies and I think they are mostly bronzes or silver, with maybe about twenty gold ones. As previously discussed, I have never bothered with maxing games; my Xbox 360 account is littered with unfinished titles as is my Steam one, so the fact that there are three-hundred and nine trophies there doesn’t mean anything to me… and yet… I’m having a niggling, irritating problem. The problem is basically that should I continue to throw myself into my new account the old one will eventually cease to be. Those three-hundred and nine trophies will become even more meaningless than my old Microsoft account. I can’t really rationalise this in my head, which makes it all the more frustrating. I don’t max games, I don’t trophy hunt, I doubt anyone even checks other people’s scores and shit, so why the hell do I care what happens to it?

309reasons5I don’t know but I knew it was a niggling pain that wasn’t going to subside. Furthermore, Sony don’t merge PlayStation accounts (something to do with licensing issues, which I can kinda get) so if I abandon my new account, in the effort of continuing with my old one, I kinda have to erase a few months of work across a few games. Thanks to some research, and tweaking with the console, I’ve set it up that my old account can benefit from the PlayStation Plus access from my new account but still, when that newer account’s subscription runs out I won’t be renewing it. I’ll be letting it fade into the darkness of the internet, its trophies re-earned, its free games played. I shall continue on my old account because…

Well I don’t really have a reason. I literally cannot think of any rational reason why I am attached to this account, why I can’t stomach the thought of it disappearing into obscurity. Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown attached to it, in a weird way. Those trophies will always be a reflection of the games I played in a time where I’m rushing to get through what I can and not really having a chance to stop and smell the roses. Without those trophies all I have is a bunch of save files and a very dusty PlayStation 3. Carrying on that account holds no sway, no benefit and ultimately no change to my day-to-day life or gaming but, for whatever reason, I’m much happier not abandoning that account to the murkiness of time. It’s not often that gaming presents us with an emotion we don’t understand, so even if it wasn’t directly related to one game or a series of games I’ll chalk it up to just another unique experience made possible through this quirky hobby of mine.

Either that or I’ve finally gone wibble.

Last five articles by Chris


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