If You Think Video Games Have a “Difficulty Problem” Then Stop Fucking Playing Them

I’m going to say something here that may be considered controversial. Video games don’t need to be easier to be accessible, you just need to get better. Why is that controversial? Well if you believe the recent slew of articles from an increasing number of mainstream video game journalists, games these days are just too gosh dang hard.

 

Rock Paper Shotgun

 

Gamesradar

 

Paste magazine

 

Now, I’m not here to be a video game gate keeper who hates “casuals”. I’m not even here to to take a fat shit on video game journalists who are incompetent when it comes to video games, as much as my grumbling bowels yearn to do so. (Angus has already written about it on our site here). I’m just here to lay down some hard facts: If you have an aversion to being challenged, then maybe video games aren’t the hobby for you.

Look, I get it. You wandered a bit too far from playing Candy Crush on your phone, you read some trash shitaku article about how mobile games don’t make you any less of a “REAL gaemur ecks dee”, and you now find yourself out of your depth because your ineptitude makes it hard to even finish the tutorial. That’s not the fault of video game culture, and it’s certainly not the fault of video game developers.

There are plenty of games out there that don’t require the high level of skill or reflexes that you feel are so problematic. Visual novels, slice of life sims, walking simulators, and farming games that are digital skinner boxes, rewarding players for pressing a button at certain intervals. There are genres out there for people who want something that doesn’t push them out of their comfort zone, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But video games are a hobby, and like most hobbies, they sometimes require you to invest a bit of time before you can master them. To get in a huff and assert that all games should have a mode for people who want to be spoon fed and handed everything for little to no effort is not only laughable, it screams of entitlement. God forbid you learn to find enjoyment in accomplishment, and overcoming challenges and obstacles.

If you wish to experience pure story and world building, with as little interactivity as possible, then there’s good news. There’s a form of media called “movies”, which are right up your alley. A media for those who wants their video game with less game, so to speak. Could you imagine if we applied this same logic to another art form (Yes, video games are an art form) like movies? It really starts to highlight how ridiculous this narrative is. No one ever demanded that The Shawshank Redemption be cut down to 15 minutes long and the dialogue be stripped of all complexity, lest it be labelled “inaccessible” and not able to be digested at face value.

It’s a joke that the industry pumps out articles from hacks that harbour such contempt for the very culture and topic they write about, while people with a genuine passion are represented and associated with them by default. Just know that while you run your salt mine and throw toddler-like temper tantrums about everything not being catered to your skill level, you’re the minority, and the wider community is laughing at you.

and for the love of Christ, stop describing anything with a hint of difficulty as “like Dark Souls”.


Also published on Medium.

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