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34 Cliches of Christmas
Leaderboards
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 23, 2007   |   Episode 32 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at the video game cliche, the type of thing we've seen time and time again in all generations of gaming. Is this cliche realistic? Does it need to go away? These are the types of questions Defunct Games will be asking over the next month. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 34 Cliches of Christmas!



I'm sorry, what was it we were talking about? I got a little distracted there for a minute!
As Seen In: Pac-Man, Guitar Hero, Dig Dug, Project Gotham Racing, Final Fight, Rock Band, Street Fighter II, Tempest, Ghosts 'N Goblins, Tetris, Crush, Madden NFL 08, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, Virtua Fighter, Hang-On and pretty much every other game ever made (including every game released on the Xbox 360)!

What Is It? It's that top 10 list that you see after you've lost all your guys and had to give up. The leaderboard is the place where you would put your name (or at least your initials) if you were good enough at the game to get a high score. But you're not, because you're a terrible game. That's right, you heard me, I think that you suck. If you were better at Frogger then you could have put your name on that board; you could have beaten that poor kid who has been cursed with "ASS" as his initials. But you couldn't even do that; you just had to die, didn't you. Well that's why you should try it again, because eventually you might be able to beat your friend's score. Of course, you know that when they see your high score they're just going to play the game twice as much so that they can take back the title. So in reality it's just a vicious circle, the kind of thing you can stop before it gets too bloody. So stop, don't play the game again, show them who the boss is. Be your own man; find something better to do with your life. Okay, fine, play Frogger again, see if I care.

Is It Realistic? Even though we don't want to admit it, we're all kind of interested in knowing how we stack up against our friends, co-workers and strangers. Even if

I hate it when old people get in the way of me taking pictures of monumental signs like this one!
we're not competitive in nature, most of us like knowing if we're better or worse at something than other people we know. The good news is that there are a lot of these "leaderboards" in real life. Obviously you have stats and charts in all sports games, but you also find these boards in a lot of other areas. In fact, now that we live in an information age, just about everything you do can be compared to other people you know. Want to compare your arrests with your friends? Now you can. Want to see who lives next to the most sexual predators? Yup, you can do that, too. The world is full of cool leaderboards, so get out there and try and outdo all of your friends and family. That's what the baby Jesus would have wanted.

Is It Overused? While I give leaderboards a lot of flack, the truth is that I LOVE the idea of having a leaderboard for every game. Lately I have been going through both Rock Band and Guitar Hero III trying to beat all of my friends, which has definitely given those games new life. Obviously not every game needs a leaderboard, but if you are making a game that deals with points it's important that you add an online leaderboard. I cannot stress that enough.

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