Kinect Keeps You Moving

Actively Earning Achievements


Kinect keeps you movingApparently there is a difference between being an Achievement Whore (AW) and a Gamerscore Whore (GW). According to the Internet (a trusted source for any type of information) an Achievement Whore’s primary goal is to obtain all of the achievements / trophies for a game, even if those achievements provide a minimal or no gamerscore. By contrast, a Gamerscore Whore’s primary goal is to accumulate as many points as possible, regardless of the number of games it takes to reach that total. For the GW, the time-benefit tradeoff is considered, and games with “easy” achievements are part of the deal.

According to this logic, I am a Gamerscore Whore. The underlying reasons for playing most games with a secondary (sometimes primary) goal of accumulating (G) is outside the scope of this post. Let’s just say that I’ve played some games a bit too long, beyond actual enjoyment, and others I should never have played at all. I’m not ashamed of it it all, but in the end it really means nothing. You could argue that nothing you do in a video game amounts to anything, maybe not until Kinect (see also Wii and Move… maybe).

After a week with Kinect, I still find myself playing Kinect Adventures. Not because its a stellar title with a great story arc, rather primarily because there are some easy achievements out there in a game that I essentially got for free. I’m also off my couch and moving around. If any game were epic misery, I wouldn’t play it, even for an easy 1000G. Truth be told, it is fun, with achievements that only require your continued participation. Probably equally as enjoyable with a family as it would be at a nerdy party. In my experiences, I’m working up a sweat, playing in about 2 hour sessions — that’s more time than I can stay interested at the gym.

Sure, the workout isn’t as intensive as going outside and running for an hour or two, but it is gratifying. Whether you play for a high score, completion, or achievements, it’s those little things that activate the little pleasure centers in your brain, send you into a flow state, and keep you having fun. It’s the same logic behind online weight loss communities — milestones and stat tracking. With games that require you to be active, it doesn’t matter if the achievements easy, so much as that there’s IRL benefit to you obtaining them. Considering the alternative, sitting on my butt and snacking, I’ll chalk this one up as win for my Gamerscore, and my health. Here’s to earning (G) and losing lbs.

Scott

Hi, I’m one of the founders of Nerd Appropriate and the Rated NA podcast. I like good and bad sci-fi films and tv, pho, and the retrofuture. I am primarily an Xbox gamer, but also do some PC and Wii U gaming as well. By day, I am a research scientist, mostly in topics related to human-computer interaction and user experience. Before all this, fellow NA co-founder Matt and I played music together in various bands. I also used to make "comedy" videos for my high school morning news program before there was a place to post them online. Favorite Star Wars character? Admiral Ackbar. Best Bond era? Timothy Dalton (Craig a close second). Game of all time? Maybe System Shock 2. Thanks for being a part of this labor of nerdy love with us.
  • How do you have the Kinect set up? I’m thinking about getting one but don’t have the shelf space and the TV mount won’t work with my set up.

  • I had the Kinect in front of the TV, but something I read suggested that the center speaker channel might interfere with voice commands. The mount currently available is compatible with my television, so it’s clamped up top for the time being. They also sell something that looks like a speaker stand for the kinect to place it in front of the television.