Evaluating Your Mad Gamer Skills

In the feature article Ringing Your Bell -- Taking Credit for your Gaming Prowess (5 August 2011, Gaming Update) we explored the many ways that gamers can take credit for their accomplishments in gaming using these cards, from very simple examples that list Gamer Score, display the Reputation Stars, and icons for the last five games that you have played, to more complex cards that provide more details including the specific numbers for both your Xbox and the PS3 ID's.

Many gamers consider having a Gamer Card as part of their signature in online posts to be a fashion statement, which is why they routinely change their card, often daily, depending upon the game they are presently playing or other aspects of the card design.

The implication is that when other game services advance their own versions -- such as Steam and Nintendo -- we will see cards that carry all of the information for a gamer, being a portable report card allowing other gamers to assess their relative skills and compare them to yours; but for now we must be satisfied with Achievements / Game Scores and Trophy Counts.

Assessment Using Gamer Score and Achievements
Depending upon who you ask, the Game Score and Achievements that belong to any given gamer are commonly thought of as either a basic means for determining how much gaming that gamer does, or represent a window into the process of evaluating their skill as a gamer.

While it is true that the score and tally alone are rarely sufficient data by which to quantify the actual skill level of a gamer, they are a very good starting point that, if you as a gamer are knowledgeable in the process by which certain key Achievements are unlocked, can be an incredibly valuable tool in assessing the actual skill levels of a gamer.

Let's take a real-world example -- and for this example we will use my friend, whose Gamer Tag is AngeVictoire -- and we will pretend that we know nothing about her or her skills as a gamer, and are thus forced to use only the publicly available information such as that we can obtain from her Gamer Tag records in order to evaluate her. What she does for a living does not matter, what her other hobbies are is of no concern, the school she attends, the company she works for, or the fact that she makes income from her hobby in designing and crafting jewelry is also inconsequential.

The fact that she is a stone-cold fox who looks like she could easily be a fashion model also plays no role in this evaluation -- but if you did know that about her would it shape your presumptions about her relative potential skills as a gamer? Believe it or not according to recent research conducted at UCLA and New York City College male gamers between the ages of 16 and 25 have a habit of automatically discounting gamer skill potential when they learn that a Gamer Tag belongs to a girl, and severely deducting assumed skill level if they learn that the girl is younger than 14 or older than 25. If the girl is attractive to overly-attractive, male gamers routinely presume that they have no game skills at all...

The name Victoire is of French origin and its literal meaning is "to conquer" or "victory" which makes it a particularly attractive and appropriate choice as part of a pseudonym and Gamer Tag -- what if it also happens to be one of her middle names? Will that make a difference? Will it mean less or be less boastful if she did not choose the name herself?

-- Just the Numbers of AngeVictoire --
A quick examination of her Gamer Tag reveals that she has been a Gold Member on LIVE for at least 3-years, she has the full five-stars for reputation (which means that at some point in those three years she was active as an online gamer, playing against other gamers online long enough to gain the final two points and did nothing that would detract points). She is from France, and her current Gamer Score is 40,860 -- which for a 3-year veteran gamer is actually rather high... The average Gamer Score for 3-Year Vets generally works out to be around 33,000 points, and is thought to represent an average of between 14 and 17 games, of which only a handful are likely to include the gamer having unlocked all of the Achievements and Gamer Score in them.
Posted: 24th Jan 2012 by CMBF
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