The Platinum Trophy -- The Best Invention Since Achievements Themself.

That mentality doesn't make sense to me. The foundations of progress are built upon improvement - taking an idea and making it better. The best most recent example is PlayStation Move. The Wii has proved itself a solid but under-utilised control mechanism, so it pains me to see an improved iteration of that - with some solid games in the pipeline - completely disregarded. It's simply unnecessary to reinvent the boat with every product. A similar release that was given the "me too" label was trophies. To be fair, yes, that was a bit more cut and dry. It was a reaction to Microsoft's excellent achievements meta-game. But in my opinion, in a similar fashion to the PlayStation Move, it improves on what's come before it.

Achievements are an arbitrary number. When you boil it down, they mean absolutely nothing. The same applies to Steam points and OpenFeint. Allow me to introduce two fictional characters to explain my point of view. Readers, meet Bob and Janice.

Bob is the type of gamer who's only able to buy one game a month, but plays the absolute hell out of that game for an extended period. Janice, on the other hand, buys three games a month, and spreads her playtime of the multiple titles across the time-span. Their XBOX 360 Gamerscores are vastly different — Bob has roughly 5,000 points, while Janice has 10,000. They both spend the same amount of time playing games, but Janice is rewarded more than Bob, even though Bob is more of  a completionist.

Let's transpose the same fictional characters onto the PlayStation 3. Their purchasing habits remain exactly the same, but let's note the difference in the platform meta-game. Bob has 500 trophies - 350 bronze, 100 silver, 40 gold and 10 platinum. Janice has 1000 trophies - 875 bronze, 100 silver, 25 gold, 0 platinum. They are both ranked Level 6. The key difference between the gamerscore example and the trophy example is just how much we can assume about the type of player. Just by looking at Bob's trophy card, we know more about the type of player he is. Likewise, we can assume the same about Janice. But the key in the gamerscore example was, that while their buying habits were different, they both spent the same amount of time playing games. Yet, the favour was heavily skewed in Janice's direction. With trophies, despite Bob having 500 less than Janice, both are at the same Trophy Level.

Trophies are a clever system which go beyond the arbitrary number game of other achievements in their class. It's proof once again that you can take a familiar idea and improve upon it. It's not derogatory - it's progression. If you're always building on good ideas, you're always heading in the right direction, and while it's nice to be ahead of the curve sometimes — you don't always need to be.

“Twiggy” is an anonymous PushSquare columnist who has been spotted in three major cities across the globe. It’s rumoured he’s on the run from the British monarchy who accused him of treason.