Achievements... I love'em and I hate'em. For the most part they are as useless as your appendix... until it explodes and tries to kill you that is!
Anybody but me remember the good old days of the local arcade? I do and I had the high scores on T.M.N.T. the Arcade Game, Contra, Mortal Kombat NBA Jam and Road Blasters (until they closed the arcade for good one day that is). How does that relate to achievements you may ask? Well remember how you would enter your initials when you got one of he top 10 high scores? My initials (which I always entered as FUQ) were at the top and people that frequented that arcade knew it was me. Still wondering the correlation between the two? Well it was a reminder to people of what and who they had to beat to gain notoriety in the arcade scene. This is basically what the number under your Gamertag reflects these days. Pretty much just bragging rights.
No matter how much I try to ignore'em tho, I just can't resist peeping them out the first time I boot up a new game. Curiosity I suppose. Achievements run the gamut of difficulties from being either way too easy (that even your dog can do it) to so freakin' frustrating and impossible that they're way out of the average gamers league (you want me to kill how many people online in Gears of War, Cliffy B?). Not that every single one should be able to be obtained without some work I guess, but that shows people how hardcore you are about this stuff. There should be a standard about some of them though. You should get some points for each difficulty you beat a game on (seriously BC Rearmed, only Superhard nets you a couple points?) and they should unlock all the difficulties below it as well (who wants to beat a game on megawussy after they just whupped its ass on überhardcore mode?). I'd like to see some more of the creative ones as well (HalfLife 2's "Two Points" for making a basket with the gravity gun) cuz it rewards you for just screwing around in a game which adds a little spice to the mix. But that one also brings up a little sumthin that irks my anal retentiveness. I hate it when my gamerscore doesn't end in multiples of 5. It eats away at my brain and will continue to do so till I net another 3 to 7 points, so stop messing with my head already! Some of them should just die of gonorrhea and rot in hell! I'm talking to YOU COD4 Mile High Club achievement! 980 points on that game and they couldn't just make the last 20 a little bit easier. Just give me 2 more seconds, damn you Infinity Ward!
I think that these achievements really tell a lot about a person as a gamer. They show off the brutal things you have accomplished like finally whuppin Halo 3 on Legendary (and now people don't just have to take your word for it) and the crazy time consuming things you have done like ridding Liberty City of its "flying rat" problem (and thats a pretty tuff job, even with a map of the birds). Of course some people's gamerscores get a little bloated when they start achievement whoring and they want to play stuff like Barbie Horse adventure just to add another grand under their name (at least stick to the less incriminating games like Madden '06 if you wanna make yourself look credible buddy). Its all good to want a high score, but you got to draw a line somewhere people! At least wait till you have kids so you have someone to shift the shame to. Stick to something the guys around the water cooler aren't going to ridicule you the rest of your life for. So go ahead and pick up that copy of Deadliest Catch and set sail on that quest for crabs and achievements (no sense in your mom being the only one to achieve that one), but be warned! You'll never be able to wash the stink of that game off of your online persona for all of eternity and everyone will know what a loser you are for whoring yourself out to it! I'm just going to stick to the games I want to play (and won't be embarrassed about) and keep my achievements coming the honest gamer way since I know deep in the recesses of my brain that that number doesn't mean that much in the real world. Its really just showing what i've achieved.