I noticed something about myself in my quest to learn coding and whilst playing video games (the two are connected, just stay with me on this). So, I signed up for Codecademy to learn coding because hey, it’s cheap and I figured it would help. And they do this thing that most sites people interact with do nowadays — even WordPress does it. Like, if I sign in and do something for more than one day, Codecademy will give me and “Yay! you’re on a streak! Keep it going!” kind of thing. WordPress does this too if I blog for two or more days in a row. I know it’s meant to encourage people to blog more, but it also is meant to make one feel guilty for *not* blogging and that’s annoying. But what really burns my butt on Codecademy is that for every little thing I do, they give me an achievement (this is the tie-in to video games, the achievements). Like, finish a lesson… Yay, you did it! (even if I use hints and have to have them give me the answers), do a quiz… good for you! (even if I get a bad score), practice what I’ve learned… You’ve got a new badge! I have 70 flipping “badges” on Codecademy and I haven’t even finished 20% of one course. That — to me — is annoying as hell. Maybe it helps some people push through, but I don’t want their flipping badges, I just want to go through the course at my own pace and for them leave me alone. Because their badges mean nothing, and it’s annoying.
I realized how annoying these things were when I started playing video games a few years back. I know that many people who play these are way younger than I am and maybe that’s what the developers are aiming for… but it’s like giving trophies to everyone in the race. The trophies become meaningless because why would anyone even try if everyone is going to get something in the end? I mean, how is walking into a town (in a video game) “discovering” it? That town was literally sitting there and all I did was walk through it. There was nothing to discover. Meaningless. And I know that there are people out there — even adults — who want to get every last achievement in the game, even the joke ones. And more power to them, it’s just not my thing. I mod my games so those bad boys are disabled on most of them. Which is great, so at least with (my) video games they are turned off, but with things like Codecademy, I haven’t found a way to do so. It’s kind of putting me off of doing anything in Codecademy because they are always there — at the end of every lesson, every quiz, and on my dashboard. And yeah, it’s a petty peeve and a first world problem, but whatever. It’s there. And it is annoying to me. At least WordPress isn’t so in my face about it.
This dislike of “look how much you’ve done! aren’t you great?” is one of the reasons why I don’t do the “award” game with blogs and other social media. I likened it once to someone I hardly know coming up to my house and saying, “Hey, based on how the outside of your house looks, I think you’re a great person. Here’s an award. Now go forth and spread the joy to other people you hardly know.” Which is how it felt to me because often people would “award” my blog after reading one or two of my posts and then task me with giving that same award to ten or more other bloggers. Like, I don’t know that many bloggers, and I dunno, it just feels like a pyramid scheme to me, or a chain letter for us older folk. Bleh. But I understand that I’m overthinking these things. It just makes me uncomfortable all around. I’m weird that way. Sue me. I know they’re meant to make myself and others feel happy in the blogging sphere, but that’s not the case with me. So if they make you feel happy, dear reader, go forth and spread the joy elsewhere. I’m not gonna stop you.
Anyway, that’s my rant… I guess I just wanted to get that off my chest.