achievements and pseudo-achievements

I don't think there's anything really essentially inferior about achievements in videogames versus those in meatspace. There are differences, for a bunch of reasons, but I don't think any of those differences make something about game achievements less valid than other achievements. Some of those differences include:

  • In video games, most achievements have clear, measurable conditions
  • In video games, folks can enter into it knowing for sure that their goal is accomplishable
  • In fact, those goals have almost always been specifically calibrated to put them within reach of the people pursuing them
  • A well-designed game regularly pays off with small acknowledgements of meaningful accomplishments, and lets you know you're on track for the big goal

I'm grateful for video game achievements, for the way they give me opportunities to re-enforce my notion of self-worth, at least in the sense of being able to stave off a solipsistic fear that I am incapable of moving from point A, my current location, to point B, literally any other state.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm going to bed playing Terraria on my phone tonight, like I have for the last three nights, and it's because I am busy and stressed and my distorted self-concept makes it difficult for me to identify and appreciate the ambiguous realities of my meatspace accomplishments.