Captain Eric’s Cheat Codes for Life

Captain Eric Regan offers advice on playing games that don't have Achievements, writing for GameCola, and more.

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Captain Eric Regan offers GameCola readers advice on their videogame-related dilemmas.

Dear Captain Eric,

I think I have a problem.

I used to pride myself as a retro gamer. I used to pick up old NES and SNES games at yard sales all the time, and I used to frequent the local gaming cons, looking for great deals on older titles.

I don’t do that anymore, and you want to know why? Because now, the only games I can play are Xbox 360 games, because they give me “Achievement Points” for playing them. I feel good about myself when I earn Achievement Points, as though I’ve actually accomplished something. If a game doesn’t have Achievement Points, then it just feels like a waste of time for me to be playing it, because it feels like I haven’t “achieved” anything.

And that’s not the worst of it. It’s actually at the point now where I’ll look up a game’s possible Achievements beforehand, to see if I think I’ll be able to attain them—if I don’t think I can, then I just won’t play that game, because it clearly would be a waste of my time.

achievementHow can I convince myself that playing games without Achievement Points can be worthwhile, too?



Eric: Well Over-Achiever, it seems there is little hope for you. You seem to be in the business of labeling yourself and seeking out things you want based on these labels. Calling yourself a “retro gamer” and looking for “retro” titles only helped you on your way to becoming an Achievement whore!

Have you ever even played anything because you wanted to? Or do you just play games that make you look cool and make others like you? You are a very sad person! There is no getting around that.

The only thing that I might possibly be able to recommend to you is this. Well, first delete your MySpace and Facebook pages, because you most definitely have those. Then you need to print out one of those sheets of Achievements you so love to look up. Then what I need you to do is to hold that up to your face, and smash it repeatedly into your forehead with a hammer. Maybe, just maybe, then, and only then, will you be able to see the true uselessness of your Achievements, and then the healing can begin.

Dear Captain Eric,

I wanted to become a staff writer for GameCola, but when I e-mailed the Editor-in-Chief my writing samples and asked about joining, he said that I “wasn’t really” what they were “looking for.”

Now I want to kill myself. Should I?

writer– On the Ledge and Waiting to Jump

Eric: OTLWTJ, the problem you have is a very common one, in fact. You see, the GameCola is an amazingly popular Web site! It has to reject BILLIONS of potential writers daily!

Now, I can tell that you already know that the sugarcoated letter was really telling you that your writing is atrocious and makes all those who read want to rip their eyes out because never seeing again would be preferable to the chance they might read your scrawling again. However, there is still hope! Suicide is never the answer.

What you need to do is learn from your mistakes and get better. Write more and more and more! And most definitely send everything you ever write or think about writing to the editor here at GC. Make sure he knows that you still have working fingers. Even if you feel that you aren’t improving at all, you should still send them off to Mr. Franzen. Even if you think you are getting worse and start to hate the mere idea of writing another word, work through it! Send that epic to PF! Persistence is always the path to success. Always!!

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About the Contributor

From 2004 to 2012

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