Keith Burgun for Gamasutra:
What’s so bad about achievements? The mother-problem with any “achievement” system can be stated like this: at their best, they do nothing at all. At their worst, they influence player behavior.
I’ve been debating turning off Achievements for a while on Xbox 360. I’ve been thinking for a while that they are more distracting than they are good, and they can sometimes even get in the way of my enjoying a game for just being a good experience. After I read this, I decided that I would go ahead and do so.
Imagine my disappointment when I learned that you can’t turn them off without also disabling Friend, invite, and messaging notifications, which makes it a much harder decision.