With the Playstation Vita and the newly released Playstation 4 and Xbox One, it's safe to say that achievements and trophies are not going anywhere. And why should they? It feels good to hear that beep, see the little image and read the descriptions. A number of them take significant effort and skill, and when we finally succeed we feel rewarded, even though the reward has no real value. Unfortunately, that usually isn't the case.
1. Moving forward in the story
What you think they mean: 'You're making nice progress with the story mode. Keep up the good work!'
What they actually mean: 'Gee, thanks for actually playing the fucking game you bought.'
How entitled can we be as gamers? Not only do we spend valuable time pressing buttons on a piece of plastic in front of the TV to make E. Honda fly across the screen instead of learning languages, developing skills and interacting with other people, now we want to be rewarded for it. Story related A/Ts are not about doing something really impressive in the game, it's really just playing it from start to finish. This should be a given. You bought the game to play it. It's not you doing something extra, like beating the game on the hardest difficulty setting. You're just doing exactly what is expected of you.
'You managed to not die. You're AWESOME!'
2. Starting a new game (or anything that doesn't require actual gameplay)
What you think they mean: 'The first step is just as important as the rest of the road.'
What they actually mean: 'Thanks for buying our game. We like your money. We heard you like those little pictures with the beeping sounds. Here, have one of those.'
There are a surprising amount of A/Ts you can get without a second of actual gameplay. The most usual ones are awarded for starting a new game (such as 'It's Hazard Time! from the game Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard or 'Birth of an Assassin' from Assassin's Creed II). What were the developers thinking? Not only do they hand these things out for simply playing, but in some cases not even that seems to be necessary. But there are many, many more of these, the most insulting one is perhaps 'Take Five!' from Eat Lead (again), which you get for pausing the game for 5 seconds.
'Congratulations for being born! You've earned this.'
To make things worse, many games flat-out reward you for sucking at it. Here's a funny one. Pop in the first Saw game (also: you actually OWN Saw: The Game?!). Start a New Game. The first thing you have to do is take off the reverse bear trap to a time limit. If you succeed, the game really starts and you are given a silver trophy or 40 achievement points. If you fail (because, for example, you do nothing) then you die. Also, you get a bronze trophy, or 20 achievement points. The game rewards you either way.
Although, I do suppose they have to reward you to help make up for the fact you're playing Saw: The Game.