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I am a word.

To the well-educated, I am an object of pursuit (well at least to some degree, if you are an American).
To the veteran gamer, I come at little to no cost (would-be players often bring their own cards to this game, so take that into account).
To the rest of the crew, I am something to boast about - but most people aren't interested, in the end, even if they are the best girl or boy.

What am I?

NOTE: The correct answer should thoroughly explain what I've written and why I've written it this way.

Hint:

To the "well-educated", "veteran gamer", "rest of the crew" - I am the same word, but my meaning is different.

Hint #2:

Clarification about "cards": This is a newer game mechanic that wasn't part of the original game. Depending on where you are, these card rules may or may not apply. I (the riddle-writer) often play with cards, but that is not necessarily the norm. So "often bring their own cards" is a little misleading.

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    $\begingroup$ I deleted my attempt at an answer, but the note you've added is a handy addition. $\endgroup$ – spikey_richie Sep 14 at 12:59
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Are you:

credit/credits

To the well educated

an American degree is made of credits. "Extra credit" is often sought after.

To the veteran gamer

the credits are shown at the end of a game. Nowadays, credit cards are used to purchase add-ons or advantages against good players.

Try two:

Credits are used to purchase lives on an arcade game! Traditionally purchased with coins, some machines will accept credit cards.

To the rest of the crew

if you worked on a production, you get your name in the credits, but if you're not the top billing, very few will notice/care. Best Boy is a relatively unknown role, for example

Title:

To give someone kudos is to credit them with an achievement.

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  • $\begingroup$ So close! I am looking for a different explanation for one of those. $\endgroup$ – kedarguru Sep 14 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ This answer would also fit with the title. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Sep 14 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ I'll mark this as solved to keep other people from submitting more answers. But see if you can figure out what I was talking about in my last comment! $\endgroup$ – kedarguru Sep 14 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ My guess on that last clue is that (gur "Orfg Obl" vf n zrzore bs gur perj ba zbfg zbivr frgf, va cnegvphyne bar gung nyzbfg abobql bhgfvqr bs gur vaqhfgel unf nal pyhr jung gurl qb.) $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Sep 14 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman I'm glad you caught that - that is exactly what I was going for. As for the as-of-yet unexplained clue, that is something else. $\endgroup$ – kedarguru Sep 14 at 16:59
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Are you

Honor

To the well-educated

He wants to get his degree with honor

To the veteran gamer

Honor is a system to know which players are honorable in video games, and players can gift some other players honor points to reward them

To the rest of the crew

The honor is something we can be proud of, but the vast majority of the other don't mind honor nowadays

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a good guess. The correct answer will be something that fits more closely with what is written. $\endgroup$ – kedarguru Sep 14 at 14:24
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Are you:

Experience

To the well-educated:

You want to be the expert (very experienced) in your field.

To the veteran gamer:

Lots of games revolve around getting experience to level up

To the rest of the crew, I am something to boast about:

An experience, like a fancy holiday. The fun is in being on the holiday, being told about about one is not that interesting.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting, but how would "well at least to some degree, if you are an American" fit? Non-americans want that, too. $\endgroup$ – Lasse Meyer Sep 14 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ @LasseMeyer you are asking the right questions. $\endgroup$ – kedarguru Sep 14 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ @LasseMeyer Americans wanting something does not apply that non-Americans don't want it. Your argument can also be used against the accepted answer, since most non-American degrees are also based on such systems (e.g. ECTS), just as much as this answer is also sought after by most non-Americans. $\endgroup$ – JJM Driessen Sep 17 at 12:04
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Are you

Happiness

To the well-educated, I am an object of pursuit (well at least to some degree, if you are an American).

The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental principle on which the American (as in USA) society is build upon.

To the veteran gamer, I come at little to no cost (would-be players often bring their own cards to this game, so take that into account).

It is also a board game that, if I understood correctly, comes with add-ons in the form of extra cards, so if you played it a while and got the expansion set, you might bring it to a friend's game for extra content.

To the rest of the crew, I am something to boast about - but most people aren't interested, in the end, even if they are the best girl or boy.

Well, people often boast about their happiness, presenting it in various ways. But in the end we are mostly not too interested in other people's happiness (not that we wish bad upon them, of course). I might have misunderstood this one, since we of course are usually interested in our own happiness.

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Are you perhaps:

Knowledge

For the educated:

The educated already have knowledge, thus it has no cost to them

For the veteran gamer:

Perhaps you are referring to Ridley's General Knowledge? Though I'm not sure how this relates to bringing your own cards.

And for the rest of the crew:

People often boast of their knowledge, sometimes in the form of useless facts, but people don't necessarily care

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  • $\begingroup$ A good attempt but I'm sorry, that is not the right answer. $\endgroup$ – kedarguru Sep 14 at 4:28
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Are you

An achievement?

To the well-educated, I am an object of pursuit (well at least to some degree, if you are an American).

Post-graduate students, especially those working towards PhDs, are required to have numerous achievements in their field to be considered for higher-level positions. In this sense, "some degree" refers to a physical degree.

To the veteran gamer, I come at little to no cost (would-be players often bring their own cards to this game, so take that into account).

In video games, achievements are sometimes given to players for the most mundane of tasks, simply as an incentive for people to keep playing. The cards aspect relates to the skills each individual player has, as those will influence what achievements they will and won't get in a playthrough.

To the rest of the crew, I am something to boast about - but most people aren't interested, in the end, even if they are the best girl or boy.

While achievements are certainly an object to boast about, at the end of the day they don't mean much to the average person, as they only carry weight in the context they were earned in.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a really good answer! But it is unfortunately not correct. This tells me that I may have more to explain about this word to keep it from being too vague. I'll have to update the post accordingly. $\endgroup$ – kedarguru Sep 14 at 13:32
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Partial answer related to Acrabb3's answer.

The answer was

credit

I think the first explanation is incomplete.

If you are currently well-educated, why would you then pursue more credits? Most people pursue something useful with the degree made up of credits. A better explanation is that it was an object of pursuit, to a figurative degree, where you pursue them until you have the literal degree.

More importantly, I'm thinking the second explanation must be different.

"Gamer" in the video/board/card game context just doesn't make sense. The riddle asks about "this game", not games in general, and any application of "credit" would have to be specific to a single game, since not all games have in-game credits, cards, or even ending credits. Without knowing which game, it's very difficult to answer a clue based on it.

Further, it seems rather odd to have a riddle that depends on general trivia for two parts, and specific knowledge of a specific game that many veteran gamers have never played for the third part.

So I think you're referring to the "game" of raising your credit score. I've never heard it talked about that way, but it fits better than video/board/card games.

In the credit score game, you might bring your own credit card so you can rack up a better credit score with little cost. Your bank account is also relevant, as you need to not overdraw your funds, and need enough in the account to pay your bills. Credit score tends to go up over time with no cost just by living normally without defaulting on payments and so forth.

Your addendum ("this is a newer game mechanic") makes this a bit weird, as credit cards were invented in 1950, some thirty years before circa 1990 when credit scores were established. But a lot of people don't have credit cards, where almost everyone has a bank account and credit score.

That said, credit itself has been around since the beginning of recorded history. In that context, credit scores and cards are new to the game. But we would generally think about "reputation" or "honor" in those older contexts, where "credit" is the loan given to honorable people with well-established reputations, not the reputation itself.

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