I was recently mocked for the lack of trophies I had, at first I thought nothing of it, but I have recently had a change of heart about trophies. I do believe they give you something for the gameplay. Trophies are an extension of the basic gameplay of the game. Most people can finish a game nowadays, they are pretty damn easy to complete. But, if you want to say, "I completed the game and did X, Y, Z", then having a chocker trophy cabinet, is proof enough, and can set you apart from the rest of the pack. I do! If I am going to invest money, time and effort learning a game inside out, then I would like to think that my effort puts me in a different league to the casual gamers who are only interested in completing a game. I beleived that we are on the backward side of a downward trend. In the old days games were hard, and were respected for being hard. If you completed a super difficult game, then you rightly deserved the kudos for doing so. Nowadays though, it seems that even the most difficult settings on some games are just too easy. I recently played a few levels of Drakes 2 at a friends house, to see what all the hype was about. Becuase I like to think of myself as a hardcore gamer, I bumped the difficulty up to the highest setting to see if I could handle it. I must have played the game for an hour or more, and only died once - when I misjudged a jump across a roof! Don't get me wrong, Drakes 2 is a fantastic game, but I had a nagging doubt then, as now, that the game was not made for real gamers. Equally, the COD series of games 'had' a legendary reputation for the single player game being very difficult on the highest setting. COD4 was super tough, COD5:WAW is nails (I still haven't completed that on the hardest setting). But MW2, on veteran was almost too easy, and I finished it with little or no trouble whatsoever. In fact, I was a little disappointed that I had managed to complete MW2, when in previous iterations, I had struggled like hell. I also think that you can draw parallels between the difficulty settings in games and the rise in popularity of gaming in general. Gaming is in rude health, but if you look at the numbers, it is the casual gamers that are driving the industry now, and not those of us that were there from the start. As loyal, or as dedicated as we are, we do not write the checks any more, it is the casual gamer, who is only interested in playing a game and baulks at the prospect of a proper 'old school' challenge.