Monday, July 7, 2014

Taking the Dive

Everyone that knows me knows that I love to play video games. People who know my gaming habits a bit better know that I enjoy getting achievements on the Xbox platforms. And those that are really in my gaming circles know that I keep track (almost religiously) of the percentage of achievements I actually gain, out of how many are possible in the games I play. I typically hang around 60% (have recently bumped to 65%), due to some achievements being out of my reach (finishing games on Insane difficulties, getting to an extremely high level cap in multiplayer modes that I will never enjoy playing, etc).

I know, I know. A lot of people tell me, "they're just arbitrary goals in a game, why bother with achievements?" For me, paying attention to achievements, and more over, to the percentage, helps me get more out of the games. If I just play them until I finish the campaign, I finish the games too quickly, and miss out on a lot of things the developers put into them. So keeping track of achievements, and trying to keep my percentage complete high, is important to me for those reasons.

Also, as anyone who's ever indulged in a Steam sale knows, sometimes we buy games when they're cheap because we want to play them eventually, and then they just sit there unplayed. Sometimes for years. Many times, due to more new, fun games coming out, we never get around to playing the games we bought. Seems like a waste of some really good, fun times that we wanted, but will never have.

That's where this weekend comes in. Years ago, a member on, a site I use to track my achievements and percentages had a great idea. We all love to keep our completion percentage high, and we all end up with a lot of backlogged games. How do we fix that? Absolutely annihilate our completion percentage by getting a single achievement in every game of our backlog. That will force those of us that care about these things to play those games in order to get our completion percentage back to where we started. In short, you force yourself to play the games you've been neglecting by forcing them onto your profile.

This idea from this member has now become a yearly event, called a Bean Dive (the user's name was beanpotter, so they used his name for the event). This weekend began the 5th annual Bean Dive.

Since I got my first Xbox 360 about 7 years ago, my backlog of games has been building. Nacho got me The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for my birthday in 2007, and I had never played it. I've purchased games (and their sequels) based on amazing reviews, but never got around to them. Microsoft has given away free games that I just haven't had time to play (not all of which are ones I would play to begin with, but a handful of them are ones I would have bought cheap, anyway). In all, in 7 years I have amassed 30 games that I wanted to, but haven't had the time/motivation to play. So I decided this year's Bean Dive was as good a time as any to force them on myself.

When this weekend started, I had a 65% completion percentage. I spent around 8 hours getting a single achievement in all 30 of these games, and ended the weekend at 52%. No turning back now. If I want that 60+% completion back, I'm going to have to finally play these games I've neglected through the years. And like I said, it's not going to be the chore of, "I have to recover the percentage because arbitrary numbers!" It's that I finally get to play the games I've been wanting to play. Finally.