Pointless Video Game Score

I’m not talking about music here. I’m talking about the often bland numerical value, commonly titled “SCORE”. Score used to be an indicator of one’s gaming prowess, back in the days where the only “cheats” you had were your friends from down the block who beat the game, and the internet was in its infancy.

https://i2.wp.com/1.bp.blogspot.com/_cl1osZ70E78/StVG_G2B-XI/AAAAAAAABa4/u5Tegtwc38Q/s400/High_Score.jpgToday, however, score is now all but arbitrary. Sure, some games will outright tell you the score that you’ve got, but normally one’s progress is not measured by that number. It’s measured by their rank, their level, their achievements (unlocked). Prowess is measured on hours played, on playthroughs, on number of hats.  Score just sits there, tallied by the game, but never used.

So what’s the point? Well, some people have made a career out of trying to get the best score and overload a retro game with that value into producing a “kill screen” – an area of the game where code collides or is interrupted by the score value into producing unexpected results. Likewise, arcade machines use score, but only on a basic level. All you usually see is a big fat 1 emblazoned with the initials DIK next to it.

So, what to do? Score is pretty much useless – yes, yes your precious Gamerscore shows how much effort you put into unlocking achievements. But, that score does what, exactly? Nada.

I see two solutions – remove the mechanism entirely, or give some incentive to get a high score. Yes, you may argue getting the score and bragging is incentive enough, but I don’t agree. We can certainly be more creative about this, can’t we?

Les Pointless Video Game Score Die

Photo Credits: Here


3 responses to “Pointless Video Game Score

  1. If you have the highest score in a video game, and followed by that are your other scores, you sir, have failed.

  2. Thanks for the photo credit, I agree that in most modern games score is pointless, but in the 80’s where games went on forever, getting harder and faster with each level (like Galaga and Ms. Pac Man) score means alot. Look at the big hubbub with Donkey Kong, there are only 22 stages to score the higest possible score before you are killed:


    There are current games where score means alot and is fun to try and beat, Space Invaders Extreme is a great example!

    • It’s heartening to know that some games still exist where score can even play a bit part. For example, Super Mario Galaxy 2 has some challenges that require a certain score to be met, and one has to be very skillful in order to easily hit these totals.

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