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Eden’s Achievements: What’s the Point?

Posted on May 13th, 2015

When I was reading the proof for Videogames for Humans, there was one point I understood, but wanted to elaborate on: why certain things in Eden that seem like common decency earn Achievements and why other things simply are Achievements at all. In a nutshell, it goes back to What’s in a Name?, Eden’s spiritual predecessor.

What’s in a Name? was a game/story about biphobia–and how being bisexual can sometimes leave you feeling like a person without a country. It contained a single Achievement. An Achievement that, if you earn it, will probably leave you feeling depressed and uncomfortable instead of accomplished. In other words, I was playing with the idea of Achievements and what people expect from them.

Eden is exactly the thematic opposite of What’s in a Name? As such, I found it fitting to include several achievements, all of which would probably make the player smile when they got them. “Bi the Way” is an achievement as a direct nod to What’s in a Name? and how far removed Eden is from its mindset: in Eden, bisexuality is celebrated (and often an advantage if you want a certain ending) instead of a mark of shame.

As for why some Achievements come just from being a decent person, the main reason is… it’s fun. And, again, I like playing with the idea of Achievements. If other games dole out Achievements for killing entire populations or running over hookers, why can’t this one offer them for treating a potential romantic partner with decency and respect?

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