Getting 100% in anything is something that requires skill, effort and dedication. A test? You have to study hard to gain that score. Getting something to run at 100% efficiency? You have to tune, adjust and work hard to make it run at that sort of level.
There’s a great sense of satisfaction when you see those numbers appear and the same is true in video games. But what drives you to even get that number? Is it the same reasons? Or is it for something more like bragging rights?
To be honest, there’s only been a few games where I’ve gone out of my way to gain 100% completion and I’ve had varying reasons.
One of them that wasn’t purely for my own satisfaction was Red Dead Redemption. There’s a lot to do in the game and myself and my cousin started the game around the same time, finished it around the same time and then both challenged each other to the race for 100%. We were neck and neck for ages, right up until the last few percent. I was confident that I had it in the bag. I would go home and immediately start playing when I got home from work, he would go home to his kids and look after them until they would go to bed. I had a good few hours on him, but then I hit a snag. I had to find and kill two cougars with a knife, but I couldn’t find the damn things! It took me forever, but it took him all of 15 minutes! He took the lead and within a few hours he sent me a photo with his victory. My bragging rights had vanished, I’d lost, but then I could focus on gaining it in my own time, eventually conquering the feat and being satisfied with my own personal victory.
Some of the best games that I’ve completed 100% have always had a varying amount of things to do, helping break boredom and keeping you going, like the aforemented Red Dead Redemption. Some though, don’t do a lot to break the boredom.
There’s been a lot of times though where I’ve gone full steam into finishing a game completely but just lost drive, because I’ve immersed myself for so long in the world that it no longer feels enticing to continue. I’m currently having this problem with New Super Mario Bros U, where I haven’t touched it in 3 weeks because I was spending so much time with it, and needed to change my focus to other games just to break the monotony of it all.
I think achievements can help keep that drive going though, if you’re aiming for 100%. Goals that pop up while you’re in the midst of gaining 100% help feel like you’re progressing and slowly realising your goal. As much as I dislike achievements, there are benefits to it all. Just seeing that pop up and that chime play can help keep you motivated.
But what about the rest of you? Is there a reason why you keep playing to achieve perfection? Is it that self satisfaction? Is it the bragging rights or something else? What’s the best and worst games that you’ve gone for? Sound off in the comments below! Share your experiences!