The GamerTag Series Part 2: Achievement Counselors
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 19th May 2012
This subject is a deep one and there are many more examples, and plenty of advice that can be offered with respect to it, but the whole purpose for raising it here in this article is because it is this basic reality that largely helped to establish the success of the Persona Designer as an industry, and ensures that it will continue to thrive. It is, in other words, that very negative and harassing element that created the need for the services of the Persona Designer, the Achievement Counselor, and the Image Counselor, professional gamers who make their living assisting other gamers in avoiding the jerks and evading the experience of being a new gamer!
The entire decision of whether to hire a Persona Designer and the supporting consultants who are part of that world comes down to a simple question: would you like to avoid being harassed and treated to the shit-sandwich that is the life of the Newbie? Assuming that they can afford it, the answer to that question is almost always "where do I sign up?"
Achievement Counselors: Paying for Status
In the world of Persona Designers there are a number of related but distinctly separate specialists whose services they routinely recommend to their clients, and the consultant most frequently recommended is the Achievement Counselor, who is by definition a professional gamer whose business it is to assist new gamers in obtaining the right Achievements as they go about unlocking and accumulating the 20,000 Gamerscore that is thought to be the magic line between veteran gamer and newbie.
In Part I of the series we explore the reality of the Persona Designer -- a professional consultant who exists at the same level as the fashion consultant or personal appearances adviser, frequently consulted by the well-to-do and socially prominent for their knowledge and experience in presenting and crafting the correct image. While Persona Designers have existed throughout much of the 2000's it is only the last three or four years that they have become an indispensable part of the gaming scene, allowing gamers who can afford the cost (which averages around $1,000 for a basic Gamer Identity Package) to purchase instant respect in the online lobbies of multi-player games, and assist in avoiding the distasteful hazing that often accompanies the process of establishing yourself as a gamer in the early stages.
The basic qualifications for the professional Achievement Counselor are actually fairly straight forward and even obvious:
-- Be an expert gamer with a well-established reputation and identity that nicely illustrate their own skills as a gamer.
-- Be discrete; the pro doesn't kiss and tell, in fact they are careful to keep their own gaming persona distinctly separate from those of their clients to the point that they maintain two sets of each of the gaming consoles, one for their own play, and one that is used exclusively for servicing their clients.
-- Maintain working professional relationships with several Persona Designers and Image Counselors, the source of more than half of their business as clients come to them through referrals.
-- Own and maintain a collection of the right games, including the associated DLC, and maintain veteran skills in each.
-- Maintain a consistent level of personal discipline and meet deadlines, delivering finished projects on-time and within the quoted budget.
With those qualifications a skilled Achievement Counselor can easily pull in an income of $5K to $10K a month, receiving their payment via their PayPal account and bank account, which they use for receiving wire transfer payments from their customers outside of North America. It does not hurt if they also speak a little Japanese, German, or Spanish, those being the three most popular languages for clients.
Speaking of clients, if you are assuming that the gamers who make use of the services provided by Persona Designers, and Achievement and Image Counselors are simply lazy overly wealthy gamers who lack game skills and/or the drive to accomplish the process on their own, think again. In a brief survey of her customers, Dean has learned that the vast majority simply lack the leisure time required to achieve the end results that they are paying these consultants to obtain, with the most common view on their part being that in contracting for these services they are using their money to save time.
So just exactly what does the average Achievement Counselor look like?
The Making of an Achievement Counselor
Persona Designers, by their very nature, are the secret keepers, and they stand at the beginning of the process of creating new identities, while the Achievement Counselor has a much broader client base, being employed not just by people who are in the process of declaring themselves to be skilled gamers, but also by gamers who strongly desire completing that all-too-crucial leap from average gamer to respected pro.