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System Center Data Protecton Manager (DPM) and Essentials (SCE) dude ... as well as Husband, Father, Gamer, Geek, Scout leader, Christ follower and Microsoft marketeer

My son has a higher gamer score than yours!

My son has a higher gamer score than yours!

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OK, serious gamers ... he hasn't beaten yours.  But he does have a 1440 ... and he's six.

It is amazing to me how Achievement Points have affected gaming in my family.  Here are a couple of examples:Star Wars LEGO II for Xbox 360

We already owned Star Wars LEGO II for Xbox ... having played the first one all of the way through, we got the second one on its release.  They're both great games, by the way, whether you are a kid, a kid at heart, or just an unapologetic Star Wars fan. 

But then, we bought it again for Xbox360 because of the achievement points.

 

Cars for Xbox 360We received Cars for GameCube as a gift ... but we bought it again for Xbox360 ... for the achievement points. 

If you are going to spend time in something, you may as well get the extra credit/rewards -- and the better graphics, yada, yada.

I mention those two games because those are where the majority of his points have come from, so far.  He doesn't like to play those titles on our other consoles, because he knows that he won't get points for them.  Heck, we ended up getting a second Xbox360 for my kids, so that I didn't have to keep sharing mine.

 

When we first started playing Fuzion Frenzy II, I thought it was cute when he won a trophy or two at 50 points each.  And the points he got from Viva Pinata came every once in a while.Cars for Xbox 360

But I've tried some of the Cars race tracks and tasks that he has already achieved, and I haven't beat them yet.   And at 50-75 points per track victory, he's up to 750 out of 1000 (12 of 15 achievements).  He'll eventually beat that entire game.

Not long ago, I was explaining that in Star Wars Lego II, there are certain things to do for each of the story levels - find the canisters, finish the gold bar, find the red brick, etc. (if you play, you'll understand).  I also told him that he would get achievement points if he went through an entire level without getting killed. 

Parental note on "killed" - They're LEGO's, so they just fall apart and come back together.  I'm not letting him play Gears of War or anything. 

Star Wars LEGO II for Xbox 360This afternoon, he came into my office with a big grin ... he has now gone through two of the levels "undefeated" (20 points each).  He has to slow down a little and get healthy, but he knows how and is playing the game as well any adult.  Frankly, it encourages him to be more patient and methodical, and since he is already more exploratory, he's finding more of those secret corners and locations, so he'll likely beat more of the game than I will.

 

Here's my point ... As a dad who has invested a good amount of money in the video games, I must say that I'm pleased that the points actually help my kids understand when they have "finished" the game.  Instead of just playing some of the levels and getting bored, or even just going through the entire story line and saying "done".  The achievements help them see that there is more to each game -- and frankly, they play it more thoroughly before looking for their next challenge -- and that means that we get more of our money's worth out of each title.

I would rather pay $40 for a game that they will likely play for 50 hours -- than save $10 for a game that they may play for 15-20.  Above the improved graphics and other enhancements, the points encourage a thoroughness and ROI that more than justifies the incremental spend between the Xbox360 version and one of the other platforms' versions.

It also got me thinking ... when all of his friends inevitably get Xbox360's or other Live platforms or PC's ... and they are comparing gamer scores, he's going to look amazing. 

And his daddy will be so proud.

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