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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Over 40 years ago, Activision used to send real letters for in-game achievements

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In 1983, special achievements in video games had a completely different significance. This is illustrated by the photo of a Reddit user

Are you wondering why we put Marcus Fenix from Gears of War on the article picture? Because Marcus Fenix is a real badass. And that’s exactly what this news item is about: people who don’t shy away from any task, no matter how difficult – at least in video games.

Reddit user Whyforyoulookmeonso is definitely one of them. In 1983, he played through Pitfall!, a very challenging platformer, and even received a letter from Activision for his achievement.

Several rewards for a great achievement

On Reddit, the proud trophy hunter shares a letter he received as a child. The sender is none other than Pitfall Harry, the protagonist of the jungle game himself

He congratulated the then ten-year-old on his remarkable achievement, having scored over 20,000 points in the arcade version of Pitfall! And there were even several rewards for this.

Found my first gaming achievement/trophy from 1983
byu/whyforyoulookmeonso ingaming

  • He can live in the knowledge that he has made Pitfall Harry proud. If that’s not a hiring criteria on a resume, what is?!
  • The boy received the official emblem of the Activision Explorers’ Club.
  • His name ended up on the recipient list of Activision’s gaming newsletter, which of course was still sent out in analog form back then, on real paper!

The brave Achievement hunter still remembers what happened back then:

I was about 10 years old. I remember getting into a bit of trouble for using a whole roll of film from my stepmother’s new camera.

I was worried that I wouldn’t get a clear photo [of the high score], and I probably didn’t want to wait until it was developed. I sent in my photo and received this letter and a sticker in return. Both have been tucked away in a box for the last 40 years.

The letter published on Reddit shows how important an Achievement was back then. Instead of being shown a plain text message after playing your heart out like today, back then you still received the recognition you deserved.

Why isn’t this framed? That’s great!

Speaking of appreciation: On Reddit, the comments also hail praise from many users. And, of course, there is often enthusiasm about Activision’s gesture at the time

Holden_place rightly asks:

Why isn’t this framed? That’s great!

WickedBedBug is also enchanted by the lovingly written letter:

That’s so sweet! I love the detail that you have to ask an adult to iron on the emblem.

shmyrg highlights the effort that games companies didn’t shy away from back then:

It makes me really happy to read this. It’s amazing to see the extra effort [Activision] put in to show their players that they care! It reminds me of old Game Masters in World of Warcraft and their insistence on staying in character!

The comment of the day however, goes to the cynical reply from RcTestSubject10, who is sure:

And today: Activision Explorers Club DLC for 199.99 US dollars

You will now receive an Achievement from us for reading this article. Unfortunately, the GameStar emblems are currently out and we don’t have an intern available to write letters at the moment.

But as a reward, you will receive three excellent tips for further reading, which all revolve around the topic of achievements in games. You can find them in the link box above

Age: 24 Origin: Germany Hobbies: gaming, football, table tennis Profession: Online editor, student


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