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Trophy Hunter Primer: Trophy Hunting Benefits

28 February 2013

Welcome to PSU.com's hit series on the world of Trophy hunting. Join our hosts Skip Williams and Max Platinum as they give you the inside scoop on how to achieve success as a Trophy hunter and take your game to the next level. From trying to beat your friends, to going to the top of the world rankings, they bring you the in-depth analysis found nowhere else.

Disclaimer: All likenesses used are for parody and/or satirical purposes.

Skip: Another week, another episode of Skip and Max’s Prime Time Gaming live in the Tokyo Dome, here in Tokyo, Japan. This show is all about Trophy hunting but not every viewer is a Trophy hunter, or fans of the show have fellow gamer friends who have no interest in Trophies as well. Tonight we discuss the benefits for Trophy hunting for the gamer and for the industry. As always I’m your host with the most, Skip Williams with the doctor of trophinomics Max Platinum. Max, how are you this week?

Max: Oh, you know, the same as usual Skip.

Skip: Drunk off energy drinks?

Max: I made a new creation mixing Monster with Ambassa. It’s like a party in my mouth and everyone was invited.

Skip: What’s Ambassa? I’ve never heard of it?

Max: It’s some kind of South Korean version of cream soda that Coca-Cola made. Asia gets all the good stuff.

Skip: Max, you are the greatest Trophy gamer in the world, with numerous records, titles, and endorsements. I even hear you signed a copy of NBA2K13 for Michael Jordan. But not every PlayStation gamer is a Trophy hunter. Why do you think that is?

Max: Hardwork, Skip, simply hard work. This is not meant as a degrading or disparaging comment in the slightest. It is just a simple fact that Trophy hunting is like any kind of physical or mental sport, from baseball to chess. There are the people who play for fun, casually, tossing a ball and hitting it with friends in the park to relax and enjoy the summer breeze. Then there are people who have a love for the game that drives them to work harder than casual fans, making them sacrifice time, hobbies and relationships for that golden prize. It is simply the difference between the casual and the professional, with levels in-between.

Skip: So every gamer who Trophy hunts is working harder at playing video games than those who just play the game and turn it off once it’s beaten?

Max: Essentially yes. Obviously the hunter is having fun hunting for Trophies or else they would not be doing it, unless they are an addict which is an entirely different topic. If you play Cross Edge with a guide to make sure every event is triggered in order to get the true ending compared to playing the game and just going through the motions to get any ending, it is obvious the run through with the guide is harder and requires more effort. Add a Trophy into the mix and now you are doing all the work for the Trophy in addition to the true ending.

Skip: Using your example Max, couldn’t that person be wanting the true ending and just got the Trophy by proxy?

Max: You are right; some Trophies in games are tied to events like that which a gamer would want anyways. But then look at their Trophy list and if they have other Trophies doing more trivial things that have no meaning or consequence, then it becomes even more obvious the hunter is working way harder than the casual gamer.

Skip: If this is becoming like a workout, why go through with it? I just want to sit back, enjoy the game, and not have to worry about useless trivial pursuits.

Max: Even though Trophies can be hard work they also prolong the life of the game. That is the first major benefit of them. They offer an incentive, an extrinsic motivation to something already fun. Dragon Age: Origins has a Trophy for seeing all four endings. The hunter beats it once but doesn’t really like the game. What motivation is there to go back and reply the game instead of leaving it on the shelf to gather dust for a century? How about a shiny Trophy?

Skip: Are gamers really going to go through mundane and trivial tasks just to get a Trophy?

Max: The Trophy whore, Skip, the Trophy whore. Need I say more?

Skip: With some Trophy hunters buying games simply for the Trophies, are trophies becoming an extra marketing gimmick for companies to help sell a few more copies?

Max: Undoubtedly so, Skip. A triple A game will always sell great and a F- game will stink up the bargain bins, but games that had zero secondary value now have a slight increase in value. Sports games are the bane of the secondary market. With a new title out every year every previous title loses almost all value. Why play NHL 99 when NHL 2000 or NHL 13 is out? With Trophies, suddenly those sports games that litter bargain bins and used game shelves now get picked up more often. Trophy hunters and whores might not get the platinum due to server issues but they have cheap access to a fun game with a lot of easy Trophies.

Skip: Like you said, sports games are fun for sports fans. You can’t tell me that Hannah Montana will be on someone’s Christmas list unless they are a teenage girl.

Max: Games of the Hannah Montana variety might not be in the top 99% of games a hunter wants to play but if they go into a game store, need something new to play and see it for $5 in a bargain bin there is a better chance it will be purchased. Not a guarantee, just a better chance. Before Trophies there would have been zero chance of anyone outside of the targeted demographic buying it.

Skip: Are you admitting on live international television you have gone into a gaming store and bought Hannah Montana for $5?

Max: Well, at the time it was $4.99, you know tax and stuff. But yeah, and Terminator and Kung Fu Panda and Call of Duty…

Skip: Wait, when did Call of Duty become a bargain bin game?

Max: Since it has become as reproductive as a sports title. It’s spawned off so many sequels and off-shoots it doesn’t take an imagination to figure out where its appearance fees are going to. I’d hate to be paying that child support.

Skip: Speaking of child support, how are your payments these days?

Max: I don’t have kids, Skip.

Skip: Oh, then why do you send off cheques every month?

Max: Girlfriends aren’t cheap these days, with the cost of make-up going up.

Skip: Wait, what, girlfriends? As in plural?

Max: That is usually what an 's' at the end of a word indicates. Don’t you have six girlfriends?

Skip: No, just one. We are not living in Thailand, Max.

Max: Try it some time. I don’t have to cook or clean or wash the clothes. I just leave a list on the table and they do it while I’m at work.

Skip: Those are maids, Max, not girlfriends, maids.

Max: That’s just what they are acting as this week. They are all actors. Next week the theme is cops and robbers.

Skip: Max…no, nevermind. I’m just glad I don’t have to deal with the new director’s assistant.

Max: The who? We have a director? When did this show get a director?

Skip: Getting back on topic, aren't all those sales used sales? How will that benefit the industry with all the developers complaining about not getting enough of the pie?

Max: Other than going on a diet, it shows what we all know and that is if something is cheap enough people will actually buy it even if they can get it for free. New indie developers can attempt to garner more interest in their games by filling cheap, quick games with Trophies for the Trophy whores to salivate over. A lot of them will spend $5 on a game if it means an easy platinum. Let us be honest, if a grown man or woman will spend any money on Ben 10 to get a platinum, they will spend $5 on anything for a platinum.

Skip: Moving on, let us field a question from our ace reporter in the audience, Stan Daman. Stan, take it away.

Stan: Thanks guys, I’m with Debra from Dartmouth. What question do you have for Skip and Max today?

Debra: I want to know how Trophies benefit girl gamers.

Stan: Tough question guys.

Max: Girl gamers? Those exist? I thought that was a myth like the Lochness Monster and no sex in the champagne room.

Skip: This is a serious question, Max. This is a section of the gaming population that feels isolated and segregated from the rest.

Max: Just because they need a manzier and have long hair does not make fat guys women. Besides, the flatulence is enough to make it obvious.

Skip: Ex-nay on the women jokes-ay.

Max: We are on NGN, Skip. It’s like HBO except Japanese, enough said.

Rebekka: Cut, cut, cut! Cut the cameras, go to a commercial.

Skip: Seriously, Max, if we get censored it is your fault.

Max: Why would we get censored?

Rebekka: Because you are a pig and we’ve been constantly losing our female demographic.

Max: What is a female demographic?

Rebekka: Skip, end the show and both of you are on suspension until further notice.

Max: Hey, I’ve never been suspended in my career.

Skip: What about yesterday when you played whack-a-mole with real moles?

Max: They were going to invade the studio. I thought people would be appreciative like in Plants vs. Zombies.

Skip: Well fans and viewers, it looks like that is all for tonight. Join us next week when Max gets a muzzle and we delve into the realm of the female demographic. Please don’t let us get sued. For Max Platinum, I’m Skip Williams saying good night and good gaming, live from the Tokyo Dome.

Max: But seriously Skip, what is a female demographic? Is it like the girls who watch Uncharted 2 and think it’s a movie?

Skip: Sometimes Max, I wonder if you don’t have some kind of metal poisoning.

Missed an episode of the program? Check out the back issues to get up to speed. Have a comment about the series? You can reach the author here or at Dane.Smith@psu.com

 


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