You are my hero. Just for stopping by this awesome website and clicking on this little excerpt; you have given this human being the ability to do something I have only dreamed of–making you my hero. Thank you for helping me and allowing me to share with you some of the feelings I have on one of my favorite topics, video games.

Recently, I did my first video game podcast (first podcast of any sort actually), and I sent it out to my friends and family to give it a listen. My only request was that they share with me what I did wrong and how I could fix it. The biggest thing I heard was about my comments towards achievements and how I should explain to people, why I love achievement hunting so much. So let’s dive into it, shall we?

I spent my first few years playing the Xbox 360 without internet, games other than sports games, or friends. Every so often, this pop would happen and would show on the bottom of the screen a quick phrase that said something like “Rush for 200 yards: Successfully rush for 200 yards or more 100G” then the block would dissipate, and I would go back to my game. From March of 2005 to July of 2008 I had no idea what this was for. But every so often it would happen in the middle of my games. Later on that summer while hanging out with a friend, he asked if I wanted to play online. I looked at him puzzled, online? I don’t have a computer. How can I do that? When they say “a picture is worth a thousand words” the puzzled expression on my face must have done just that as he began to explain the simple process of connecting to the internet, downloading these so-called updates, and playing against real people.

This was my rebirth into gaming. I started to play more games that were focused on multiplayer. Gears of War, Call of Duty, etc. Then during my student teaching I discovered that gaming was something almost every kid did. Many of my students would share grand stories of their achievements (see what I did there) in gaming. This led me to playing more games that they played. Hunting down those they mentioned and smashing through them so I could return to school and talk to students that normally I wouldn’t have connected with. Being a sports guy leaves me out of some circles in our schools. The music and arts, skateboarding, and card kids (Pokémon, Magic, etc.) to name a few were all groups I couldn’t reach before; but now, I could jump in and hold a conversation with these students and help them grow. There’s something about being able to connect with every kid and really dive into their likes and dislikes that gives you the ability to really communicate. To find out how they need help in closing the achievement gap (yup did it again), allowing them to dominate school, and graduate with the prospect of going to college with a goal in mind.

After three years of this, I became an Xbox enthusiast. I bought every game I thought my students would enjoy, and I began the process of becoming a well-rounded gamer. Fast forward to 2013. I spent my summer in Orlando, FL, and realized that the thing my kids were the most shocked by was my gamer score. I received more comments on that then I did anything else. Thus, I became an achievement hunter. This score gave credibility to me as a gamer to my students. It showed them that I did, in fact, do the things they have done. We have conquered dragons, thrown season records of TD passes, led Master Chief to victory, and slayed multiple rounds of Zombie hordes. This score shed light on the things we did and allowed me to have those crucial conversations with groups of kids that gave trust which also helped me to inspire them to push for their dreams.

Now I must admit, I also achievement hunt for myself. I love to compete and that competitiveness lives in my gaming. I will chase after an achievement as a way to say I beat this group of devs.  I achieved what you thought only a select few of us would. This competitiveness also stretches to going against friends but that has changed due to a great group of friends. Now I would rather beat a game with them instead of playing against them.

If you ever need help hunting down achievement’s, please head to the forum and post a tip. Our staff and community would love to help you in your quest for Gamer-score glory. Thank you so much for your time, and I hope this helped you understand why I love to play some video games.