I like video games. I've been a PC gamers for years, and in the effort to simplify my life, I moved over to the console side to spend more time playing video games and less time fixing my gaming rig. After dabbling in the area for a while, I found one of the most addicting positive feedback re-enforcements that have ever been placed into electronic gaming: Achievements.
The basic premise is that game developers set up milestones, and when you reach said milestone you have earned the Achievement. The achievement is slotted onto your online profile, and the alloted points for the achievement is added onto your GamerScore. Your friends, your enemies and random people from the internet can view the achievements you have, your total GamerScore, and compare it to their own profile. Very quickly you will find people making the illogical leap, that if a person has a higher GamerScore than you, they are a better gamer.
This is not the case.
Digging deeper you will find out that having a higher GamerScore means you probably have played more games. A person playing 10 games earning 100 points in each will have the exact same GamerScore as someone who squeezed all 1000 points (the maximum for a retail game without an expansion) out of their game. Some of the people with the massive 10k+ GamerScores have reached them by renting (or perhaps purchasing, I don't know) every game they can get their hands on and superficially playing to unlock a few achievements. Through the law of high numbers, they are able to push their GamerScore to the atmosphere. This is the reason that comparing GamerScores is relatively futile.
On the other hand, if you compare, per game, achievements you can get a much better understanding of a person's ability within that game. Take, for instance, the '7 day survivor' achievement for Dead Rising. An individual who has this achievement has to have completed the 72 Hour Mode with the best possible ending, then went on to wrap Over Time mode, finally unlocking Infinite Mode and playing Infinite Mode for a whopping 7 in game days (14 hours). At this point, I believe this person has a good solid grasp on Dead Rising, but the fruits of his labour yielded him only 20 GamerPoints. Compare this achievement to some that can be found in other games, such as COD2's achievement for finishing basic training (25 points). Congratulations, you've made it though a tutorial, good job!
This reasoning is why GamerScore has taken a back seat in my world to the basic list of achievements you have acquired. You may only have a 1000 GamerScore, but if the only game you have played is Oblivion and you have every one of the 50 original achievements, my hat is off to you.
Now, it's time to get some more achievements.