First of all, let me share with you an AWESOME bit of news. As part of upcoming changes to the management structure with Wal-mart, everyone will be shifting departments we're over, and that includes me. I got shifted away from Hardlines areas (Toys, sporting goods, hardware, automotive) to be hand-picked to be our ELECTRONICS ASSISTANT MANAGER. I now get to work with a fantastic HDTV wall and game case on a daily basis. Naturally, it's my favorite area of the store, I've spoken with many of the people who work there already, and I'm really looking forward to it.
The major thought for this post is all the "Gamerscore retirements" I've heard about over the last several months. Hayden, Hammer, Fro... I'm quite certain the list is longer, and includes individuals with less gargantuan gamerscores, but they're the first three I remember. What promps this? For everyone it is different. I think Hammer felt pressured to stay high in the rankings and wanted to get away from that. Fro didn't see any point to it any more (based on his most recent blog post). After you've walked away from a hobby (I won't call it obsession LOL) that has eaten up so much time and money, are there regrets? Does the gamerscore itch go away? What comes next?
When the hobby becomes a second job is where the burnout and retirement seems to happen. Feeling compelled to be near the top of a leaderboard, that you must always whip through one game to get started on the next, keep a near-perfect completion percentage, or any number of things could possibly cause people to think it's no longer worth doing. Frankly, I'm actually surprised I haven't heard about MORE retirements. Players get burned out on MMOs wike World of Warcraft all the time, and that has a strong community aspect that keeps players into the game at a level the (relatively) solitary affair of achievement whoring can't match. Sure, there are forums and game discussions, and score leagues and challenges, but the level of interaction isn't even close. So, I would have anticipated more 100k+ gamers in particular calling it quits. Maybe they have and I'm just not hearing it.
One thing I can tell you for sure is that the only way I'll retire from gamerscore is if the system is discontinued. I've never had any desire for a perfect completion percentage (though I'd still like 75%), I don't care if I'm the world's best, or in the first 30 to cross whatever multiple of 100k club (seems like after 30-50, that clique thinks "everyone's done it"). I simply want to play games, even the crappy ones from time to time, and get all the points I can. I'm in no hurry about it. Being the first to complete a game means nothing to me. While looking at leaderboards can be fun, keeping up with the joneses something I care about. Day in and day out, I'll keep plugging away at the pace that feels fun, and will allow me to still have a life. (Life > GS) There will be no "Retiring" messages from me.
I don't wanna stop.