Are You A Video Game Completionist?

Do you explore for every Riddler trophy in Batman Arkham City? Do you try to achieve every trophy/achievement in your favorite game? Do you get the feeling to “100%” a LEGO game? If you’ve answered yes to any or all of these questions, you’re a video game completionist and that’s a-okay. I’m one of them too.

While I’ve fully completed just a few games, I’m in the same league of people who collect every feather in Assassin’s Creed III or get gold guns in a Call of Duty game. But the real question is, why do we feel the need to fully complete a video game?

Some people claim “it’s just a game” or “you’re spending too much time playing (insert game title here).” To those people I say, while you have a minute point, we feel a game isn’t finished until we’ve attained every trophy or achievement, collected every side item, leveled up custom characters as much as possible in an RPG and do every side mission possible whether or not it makes us enemies with the NCR or not.

So to the above mentioned question, why? Well, according to one theory, there may be an answer. If you know the basics of psychology, then you’d know about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a theory based on the five basic needs of human life, and one of those is esteem. Esteem is categorized by five major traits, and the one I want to focus on is achievement.

Whenever you earn an achievement or trophy in a game, it gives you a level of dopamine in the brain that acts as a center of the brain’s want and need for happiness and/or sense of completion. So, whenever you find that hard to see collectible or tough trophy/achievement, you get a level of high in the brain that triggers success and happiness, it’s like a high in the brain that you want to strive for if you’re a gamer.

While I don’t claim to be a psychological genius, I do claim I’ve had these levels of high that video games give you. I’m part of the kind of gamers that dedicate their time to fully completing a game, not just the base completion of a COD game, but more like finishing the game on the hardest difficulty, or for those who grew up in the days of Contra, they try to beat the game with the only three lives you’re given and not use the infamous “up, up, down, down, left, right left, right, B, A, Start” cheat code.

I’ve at least given you my opinion on this, but what are your thoughts?