Gamertags: “Zone and Score” Any Value?

This is a repost from my 1UP page as I thought it applied to my Live identity.

Gamertags: Anyone who makes use of Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live, XBox 360, or XBox Live has one.  Ostensibly, they exist like a forum user id; to differentiate one person from another, the rest is just extra features.  Take Gamerscore… it’s a measure of achievements; a tangible number (theoretically) associated with and useful for measuring a player’s particular talent at any given game.  Or is it?  I have 130 points on Halo 3 and a perusal of my service record ( ) will attest that I’ve played a fair amount of Halo 3 and while not a world class player, I’ve done my share of killing of players who are ostensibly better than I am (if you measure such things by gamerscore).  Often while playing multiplayer Halo 3, I find myself confronted with voices beginning to enter puberty with the most irritating multiplayer question:  “Does anyone want to help me get an achievement?”  I’m quite certain it happens in other games as well, but I find myself responding with: “NO! EARN IT, LIKE I DID!”  Somehow, a large cross-section of the gamer population has lost the concept of personal pride in an accomplishment.

a·chieve·ment [ uh cheev -m uh nt ]



something accomplished, esp. by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed: his remarkable achievements in art.



act of achieving; attainment or accomplishment: the achievement of one’s object.



Heraldry . the full display of the armorial bearings of an individual or corporation.

[Origin: 1425–75; late ME < MF achevement conclusion. See achieve, -ment]


—Synonyms 1. Achievement, exploit, feat are terms for a noteworthy act. Achievement connotes final accomplishment of something noteworthy, after much effort and often in spite of obstacles and discouragements: a scientific achievement. Exploit connotes boldness, bravery, and usually ingenuity: the famous exploit of an aviator. Feat connotes the performance of something difficult, generally demanding skill and strength: a feat of horsemanship. 2. fulfillment, realization. Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Somehow, these young gamers think that, “Everyone line up and I’ll run by and kill you all with a sword for the Steppin’ Razor achievement” is equal to the value of earning it by being good enough to get the kills in normal gameplay.  I have personally missed getting that achievement on at least five occassions and I don’t feel that I should be ashamed to admit it.  I’ve gotten triple kills before, just not yet managed to get one with a sword.  I’ll get it eventually… which brings me to zones.

Many of these same pubescent players put themselves in the Pro and Underground categories… apparently some people believe that those two things mean “swear a lot and talk trash, and then say ‘F-you’ and drop when they start losing.”  I’ve even been in matches (it’s particularly bad in Lone Wolves) where a guy will come in the lobby talk tons of trash about he’s so great and everyone else sucks and he’s a pro.  Then he’ll be the first one killed and immediate drop from the match. 

I’m a Recreational zone player; I have kids and do my best to support my family so I don’t have time to sit and play for 15 hours a day the way that some people do.  Before a lot of things started sucking up my additional play time recently, I was ranked 630th overall on the 360 version of Medal of Honor: Airborne.  Does it really mean anything? Not really, but it was something I accomplished, playing a lot less than many of the people I played with and for me at least; I think that counts for something.  People look at gamerscore and zone and make a judgement about the player sitting on the other side of the screen; I say don’t… Judging a book by it’s cover is a mistake, and so is judging a player by gamertag.


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