Saturday Morning Gaming: The Debate over “Easy Mode”


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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46 Responses

  1. Mikkhi Kisht says:

    I grew up playing video games. I’ll even joke that Nintendo, Sony, Maxis & MTV raised me more than my parents did. Easy modes… don’t bother me. As long as the originally planned difficulty level is still available, who cares if there’s an ultra hard mode and/or an easy option? Does it personally hurt me if someone else takes the easy setting while I tackle medium? Nope, not one bit. I’m for any options (challenge ratings, colorblind settings, allowing custom controller connections, etc.) that gets more people enjoying video games. I’ll switch modes in Minecraft. If I’m doing a replay on a favorite game, I’ll bump it up a challenge rating. It’s no big deal. The ones making the stink seem to be more about gatekeeping rather than getting more people mashing buttons in video game happiness. To each the own ability when it comes to pixels, and lets have fun. That’s what games are supposed to be about.Report

    • I’m not much of a gamer (my repertoire is Triple A, Risk, and computer solitaire), but I agree with this.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mikkhi Kisht says:

      Eh, I think part of the problem isn’t that there’s a debate over whether it’s okay for video games to have easy modes (because that’d be a short debate) but whether the makers of games like Dark Souls and Cuphead are obliged to provide one.Report

      • gabriel conroy in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’ll repeat my disclaimer above about my limited repertoire of games and add I’ve never heard of Dark Souls, etc., until I read your OP. Nevertheless, here’s my two cents:

        For me, it’s probably not a question of obligation. They can do what they want. But if they want to attract people to play those games, those people might just like to start with an “easy mode” to figure out the in’s and out’s or even the basic mechanics of the games. (Whether and why they’d want to attract new gamers might be an open question. If they don’t want to, or if gamers are a self-motivated group, then the more power to them.)

        I’ve mentioned Triple A. I’d really like to play the Napoleonic and US Civil War scenarios, but they just seem too complicated for me, especially the Civil War scenarios. I might be willing to play them if there were an easy mode. (There are differences b/w triple A and what I imagine Dark Souls, etc. to be like. For one thing, I don’t pay a dime for Triple A, so if they don’t want to supply an easy mode, then that’s fine with me. For another thing, they do supply “easy A.I.” and “difficult A.I.” modes, which helps. For a third thing, they offer the chance for a lot of customization and, errm, cheating by the solitary player that he/she can make up their own scenario easy enough.)Report

        • Jaybird in reply to gabriel conroy says:

          I kinda think it’s like food or music. Would Slayer sell more albums if they decided to play something melodic instead of atonal?

          Yes. Maybe? I don’t know.

          There are niche games for niche people and when someone who is used to mainstream kinda stuff encounters weird niche stuff, it can be off-putting.

          (One thing that does seem to keep coming up is that there seems to be a clustering of these arguments in the group of Gaming Journalists causing some to speculate that this isn’t about accessibility but about allowing people who really wanted to get a job at A Respected Journalism Outlet but could only land a position at the Video Game Desk to play a game and beat it without having to, as the saying goes, “Git Gud”.)Report

      • Murali in reply to Jaybird says:

        The argument for easy mode is like this:

        P1. Game makers should aim to make games that everyone can, at least in principle, enjoy

        P2. Some people can enjoy a game only if there was an easy mode

        P3. Game makers should aim to provide an easy mode (from P1 and P2)

        C. Game makers should provide an easy mode whenever it is feasible and not too burdensome to do so. (from P3)

        P3 follows from P1 and P2 by simple modus ponens. C follows from P3 via an elaboration of what it means to aim at doing something. It seems that if I aim at doing something, I do that thing whenever it is feasible and not too burdensome to do so. If I fail to do something even though it is feasible and not too burdensome, it is not entirely clear if I have actually aimed at doing it. Either that or I’m suffering from some kind of akrasia. Since akratic concerns disappear when examining what we ought to do given what we ought to aim at, C follows from P3.

        P2 is an empirical claim and seems to be true. Scrubs exist and I am probably one of them for most, if not all the games I play.

        Hence, the only premise that can really be challenged is P1. However, while P1 might initially seem implausible, I think it'[s defensible. For one, all the apparent counterexamples to P1 can be worked around.

        Counterexample A: I don’t enjoy first person shooters, but enjoy RPGs. If P1 is true, then game makers shouldn’t even try to make first person shooters.

        Reply A: While I don’t actually enjoy first person shooters, if my tastes were inclined in that way, I would. Thus, while I don’t enjoy first person shooters, I can, in principle, enjoy them

        Rejoinder to Reply A: But wouldn’t that mean that scrubs can in principle enjoy games without an easy mode?

        Reply to Rejoinder A: This doesn’t follow at all. I don’t want to enjoy first person shooters in particular. But I do want to enjoy playing a particular game but the boss monster is just too difficult to beat. That is to say, my lack of enjoyment of fps games is a matter of taste not a matter of lacking a capacity. The same is not true of my inability to beat the boss monster.

        Counterexample B: Aren’t there many kinds of incapacities? If P1 is true, it seems that game makers should only make games that paraplegics can enjoy. but that cannot be right. While it would be unfortunate if there were no games which paraplegics could enjoy, it cannot be impermissible for anyone to make a game which, as it turns out, cannot be enjoyed by paraplegics.

        Reply B: This doesn’t follow. We only ought to aim at making games that paraplegics enjoy. In many cases, this is going to be so infeasible or burdensome that there is no duty to make a game that paraplegic can enjoy. However, the same does not apply to easy modes. Reducing the H/P or attack score of the boss is significantly less burdensome than trying to make Diablo a hands free game.
        Counterexample C: It seems acceptable to make games that only teens or only adults can enjoy. However, if P1 is true it would be impermissible to make games that are appropriate for only some ages.

        Reply C: Being of a given age is not the same as lacking the capacity to kill the boss. For one, in the normal course of a life time, a person will go through all the age brackets and hence is in principle capable of enjoying games for an age bracket not their own. The same does not apply to being unable to kill a boss. Over the normal course of a lifetime, a person who currently cannot kill the boss will not be able to kill the boss during other phases of her development. This incapacity is more permanent. Therefore making an age restricted game is not wrong to the same extent or degree as not providing an easy mode.

        The following is not a counterexample, but an objection.

        Objection D: Isn’t P1 satisfied as long as at least some games are enjoyable for scrubs?

        Reply D: Not necessarily. Games aim at being enjoyed in the same way that beliefs aim at truth. For any given belief, it is incoherent to believe it and think that it is not true. Likewise, there is an incoherence in making a game without trying to make it in principle enjoyable for everyone. Wanting to make a game with the aim of it being unable to be enjoyed by some people is a lot like trying to form a belief which one knows cannot be true.

        If these various counterexamples and objections are adequately answered, then P1 starts to look very plausible. Therefore, games should be made with easy modes insofar as this doesn’t severely violate the mode of enjoyment inherent to the game (therefore making the easy mode infeasible). For instance, you can’t have an easy rogue-like. That’s more than unfeasible, that’s incoherent. Otherwise, in most cases, there should be an easy mode if the normal mode is too difficult.Report

      • Mikkhi Kisht in reply to Jaybird says:

        Do I think game studios are obligated to offer challenge modes? No. The only thing I think they’re obligated to do is sell games that are complete, functional & not a busted bag of coded glitches to their customers. (Fingers crossed someone in Bethesda notes their bugs ain’t cute anymore!) Do I think it would do them some good to add difficulty modes to their games? Yup. Whether a game is played on story mode, average or controller throwing hard, it’s still another sale to the player base.Report

  2. fillyjonk says:

    I’m not a Real Gamer, so take that as a disclaimer, but:

    sometimes you just want to have fun and goof and not stress. And even a game can stress me out if it’s too difficult and I keep getting killed. Especially when other things in my life are not great.

    I think the snarking on Easy Mode is just another damned gatekeeping thing, where people set themselves up as arbiters of What’s Right and they like being able to dunk on the idea of Easy Mode. And also, it allows them to show themselves (in their minds at least) as better than those noobs or kids or casuals or women or whoever. It’s human nature to say “I’m better than (whatever person or group)” and the snarking about “oh you play on easy mode? git gud” is just another manifestation of that.

    Shoot, I see gatekeeping among some quilters or knitters, even – there are people if you’re not tackling the “hard” patterns, they snark about what you do. And you know what? To hell with that. If you want your hobby to die, drive away the “noobs.” Lose enough “noobs” and you won’t have a next generation of participants.

    I suspect this is true of everything. I gave up the clarinet as a teen because someone snarked that I wasn’t good enough and wasn’t playing hard enough stuff. And it’s easy to tell someone to have more of a spine, but when all you hear are discouraging words…

    I don’t know. I think *some* games should have easy modes. Maybe not all of them, or maybe they should be up-front about whether they have it or not.

    Right now, my whole damned life feels like it’s been set on super-hard mode (will spare you the list) and I would want something just fun and nice and not too stressful right now.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk says:

      Yes, it’s absolutely a gatekeeping technique.

      A game like Stardew Valley can provide huge amounts of zen. You have inherited a farm that has gone to seed. Go out into the field and dig out all of the rocky soil, pull all of the weeds, do some tilling, do some sowing, do some watering, and watch your crops grow. There’s no real clock ticking, no real punishment for screwing up. There’s tons of stuff to find and explore, of course. But if you don’t do it today, you can do it tomorrow.

      And after a while, you can turn chaos into pastoral order.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to fillyjonk says:

      See my post below but I’m in complete agreement. It is a method of gate keeping and status seeking. I suspect that every hobby community has people like this.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    There are a couple of solutions that seem to have appeared organically. I am an enthusiastic fan of the first, a reluctant participant in the second.

    The first is: Achievements. Give the player a Trophy Case. Beat the game on Easy? Get a Bronze Trophy. Beat the game on Normal? Get a Silver Trophy. Beat the game on Hard? Get a Gold Trophy. Behold, the gatekeeper can say. Feast your eyes on my Platinum Trophy! Weep, Silver Trophy holders!

    And everybody is happy.

    The second is: “True Endings”. Sure, you can beat the game on Easy… but you won’t see the best cutscene… If you beat it on Normal, you can see a better cutscene… but if you want to see the *BEST* cutscene? You have to beat it on Hard.

    Or go to YouTube.Report

    • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

      The first is: Achievements. Give the player a Trophy Case. Beat the game on Easy? Get a Bronze Trophy. Beat the game on Normal? Get a Silver Trophy. Beat the game on Hard? Get a Gold Trophy. Behold, the gatekeeper can say. Feast your eyes on my Platinum Trophy! Weep, Silver Trophy holders!

      This, honestly, would be ideal. Human achievement is a real thing, and people who work hard and do hard things deserve credit. If someone completes Dark Souls (and the DLC) on “level 1,” which is a thing some people do, they get to brag about it. In fact, I want them to brag about it. They did something really awesome.

      I couldn’t do that. I have to overlevel a bit and farm for the better weapons.Report

  4. LeeEsq says:

    People who are really good at something often hate having to make concessions to people who are only average or not so good at something. They, somewhat rightly believe, that they put hours of work and many times invested a lot of money in something so why should they have to deal with people unwilling to do that. The more casual hobbyists can say that “these things aren’t life and death things. They are just supposed to be fun ways to pass the time. I just want to be able to get good enough to do this and have fun.” In my hobby group, the dance community, we see this sort of behavior a lot. Many of the dance professionals make passionate attempts at moral suasion, “we are all one big dance family, by kind to one another” and the ever popular “the real good dancers dance with everybody.” The more skilled hobbyists aren’t having it.

    Video games and I suspect every hobby community has the same issue. I think it is unsolvable because human beings are status seekers. Since real status in important areas of life are out of reach too many people, they seek status within a hobby community. They do so by getting really good and being seen as desirable within the community. For the more casual hobbyists, this seems to be turning something they do for fun or stress relief into work.Report

  5. Fish says:

    This likely falls under “gatekeeping,” but there’s an element of “if you aren’t playing on the hardest mode then you aren’t really playing the game.” I’m definitely in the “let people enjoy things” camp, though. This doesn’t mean that I think game developers should be obligated to provide easy modes, though, but I sure do appreciate easy modes when I need them. FTL comes immediately to mind, as does Darkest Dungeon, which didn’t have an easy mode (called ‘Radiant’) when it first came out, but the game was so damn hard that the devs had mercy. The game is still difficult, and I still haven’t beaten it, but I would never have gotten this far on Darkest (normal) and certainly never on Stygian (hard).

    (And of course, in googling to make sure I got the difficulty labels correct, I ran across a discussion about Radiant mode in which one of those “real gamers” called Radiant mode “Way to ez.” Fish that guy.)Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Fish says:

      I guess I’ve never quite understood the point of *not* having the game first be fun then be hard – especially in single player games. I have no idea if I’m representative, but there are legions of games I’ll never buy because they are designed around the fail, rather than offering the fail. I guess I’m just a gaming squish.

      Ultimately there’s no escape from being thrown shade somewhere or anywhere. Recently my family and I went on pilgrimage on the Camino… to earn the Compostela one needs to journey on foot 100 km. The first town on the French Way that is 100 km from Santiago is a little village called Sarria. The entire Camino is marked by concrete mini-obelisks showing the distance to Santiago and marking the way with arrows. They are often marked up in various ways. On one of the very first markers outside of Sarria, a helpful pilgrim had painted:

      “Jesus didn’t start at Sarria, bitch”

      And it thought it was very nearly the most perfect graffiti for the 21st century that I had seen. Then when I got back, It turns out memes travel in analog too.Report

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    I think the fact that this is a debate really confuses me. Video games can have multiple difficulty levels. So what? This has been around since forever.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      They can and they do.

      The debate is over whether they must.Report

      • JS in reply to Jaybird says:

        Is it? I didn’t see anyone arguing they must. I saw people arguing they shouldn’t.

        That’s a whole different barrel of fish.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to JS says:

          I’ve seen people argue that designers shouldn’t have to in response to people arguing that designers ought to.

          Is this one of those things where I’m going to have to dig up some tweets? Unh… I don’t wanna… okay fine.

          There. (Took less time than I thought.)

          (Mark Kern is one of the developers of the original World of Warcraft and the producer of Diablo 2 and Broodwar.)Report

          • JS in reply to Jaybird says:

            Ah, so we’re bringing in random tweets now? I was talking about the OP here.

            Sure, you can find anyone arguing anything in a tweet. Even here, though, you’re clipping out a small response in what’s clearly a longer exchange. Is Paul Potter — whomever he is — arguing all games should have easy mode? Or just arguing in defense of games that do?

            In fact, I dug through the thread you linked there and nobody is arguing all games MUST have an easy mode.

            So again, there doesn’t appear to be a debate over whether they “must” as you said. There again appears to be a debate over whether they shouldn’t, whether adding an easy mode is some sort of heinous crime unto gaming.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to JS says:

              You said “Is it? I didn’t see anyone arguing they must. I saw people arguing they shouldn’t.”

              The tweet wasn’t random, it’s an example of someone arguing against the position that they must.

              And when *I* dug through the thread that I linked there, one of the first things I saw was a screenshot of this headline here:

              Every game should copy Death Stranding’s “Very Easy Mode”.

              Seriously, you click on Paul Potter’s tweet and scroll up and you see that.

              Now, I suppose we could argue about whether you can find an article arguing anything these days (because, indeed, you can)…

              So again, there doesn’t appear to be a debate over whether they “must” as you said.

              While I appreciate that you don’t think that tweets like the one I linked to or articles like the one I linked to should lead you to the conclusion that the debate is happening, can you at least see how someone else might think that the debate is happening based on the tweet/article I linked to?Report

              • JS in reply to Jaybird says:

                “The debate is over whether they must.”

                “Every game SHOULD copy Death Stranding’s “Very Easy Mode”.”

                You can see the difference, right? I mean you do know the difference between “should” and “must”?

                You said “must”. You then backed that up with a piece that used a game that did, explained how they felt it opened up the game to significantly more players, and that they felt others SHOULD — not MUST, should — emulate them, because they feel it’s a great thing.

                Which isn’t must. Why are you picking this hill to die on? I mean hell, look at this comment thread — or the Twitter thread you linked — and you see the conversation is almost exclusively between “I don’t mind games with easy mode” and “Easy mode destroys the artistic integrity of the game” and there is literally no one using the language “MUST”.

                No commandments, no demands for easy mode in all games — the closest you can get to that is people gatekeeping by claiming easy mode ‘ruins’ games.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to JS says:

                I was using “must” as a moral imperative. I should have used the word “ought”.

                I regret the error.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

                I can find the link if you want — I’ve posted it here before — but there is a video I saw about the fake controversy regarding Cuphead being racist. The point was, among all the angry-nerdbro-gamers who were ranting about the “SJWs” calling Cuphead racist, none of them provided links to actual instances of “SJWs” saying that. In fact, there were two articles, which we presume sparked the controversy, which did discuss Cuphead and race, but they were pretty tame. They were about the personal relationship the authors had with the game. (Note, the authors were both black.) However, the angry-bros didn’t link to these articles, because they didn’t actually say what the angry-bros were responding to.

                What the angry-bros were likely responding to were not the actual claims of actual “SJWs.” Instead, they were likely reacting to bad faith restatements of the articles by right-wing Youtube pundits, of which example were many. It was a false controversy.

                Is that happening here? I just read the article you linked to, and it seemed fairly tame and thoughtful. I don’t fully agree with it, given that I don’t want Dark Souls to have an easy mode. (In a sense, it already does, as I explained below.) But I do agree with the general premise: “All else being equal, supporting players with various levels of skill, talent, and dedication in a game is a positive good.” (I think Murali’s argument summed it up.)


                As an aside, I think we all know that authors don’t choose the headlines for their articles. In fact, headlines are chosen by publishers to generate traffic. So a headline “Every game should…” ought to be read with a critical eye. Pay attention to the article itself. Did the writer actually say that?

                Are people lining up to fight over a deliberately provocative headline designed to generate traffic?

                That would be silly. They ought not do that. (Note I didn’t say they musta not do that. That would have a different meaning.)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

                OT Alumnus Ethan Gach wrote an article for Kotaku that touched on race a lot. Specifically on how it used a cartoon style that was popular in the 30’s, a very racist era, and never addressed racism.

                Without getting into politics, of course.

                Hey, speaking of Cuphead, have you ever seen Dean Takahashi’s video of him playing it?

                I’m not sure a “very easy” mode would really help, here.

                Anyway, as for the argument over whether or not the article argues what the headline says, we’re kinda past that now. That argument might have worked in, I dunno, a pre-Twitter universe?

                If you’d like to argue that we still haven’t quite reached the point where the plausibly deniable isn’t plausible anymore, I guess I can’t argue against that…

                But I can quote from the article, I guess:

                But Death Stranding’s Super Easy mode is part of a trend toward extreme difficulty tuning that’s slowly seeping into the industry at large. And, frankly, it’s a trend we hope picks up more steam going forward.

                And, yeah, there are entire paragraphs in the article that talk about how games can make themselves easier for people who want them easier and the arguments against doing this sort of thing aren’t good.

                So the editor got the gist of the article in this case. For once.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

                Anyway, as for the argument over whether or not the article argues what the headline says, we’re kinda past that now. That argument might have worked in, I dunno, a pre-Twitter universe?

                I don’t see why anyone would think that way. If one unknowingly reacts to a deliberately provocative headline, we can let them know what is happening. If someone knowingly reacts — well, that tells us something. Isn’t it the “SJWs” who are supposed to “want to be offended”?

                Note, it seems fine to criticize the bogus headline because it is bogus, while at the same time reacting to the meat of the article on its own terms. That’s a much healthier way to respond to modern journalism.

                But you do you. Anyway, you’re making an bald assertion without justification.

                From your quote of the article, note that it does not say that “all games should…” or that “all developers should be pressured to…” Had the author wanted to say that, he could have. I’m sure he knows which words would convey that meaning. Instead 1) he identified a trend he likes, and 2) he stated that he hopes that trend continues. That’s a very different statement from what the gamer-bros are responding to. If they’ve read the article, they have no excuse for mixing those up. If they have not read the article, then what are they responding to? (Perhaps bad faith summaries?)

                I repeat, the statement “This is a welcome trend and I hope it continues” is very different from “All games should…” or “all developers should feel pressured to…” They’re obviously different. It’s bad faith to conflate them. For example, I agree with the author. At the same time, I like Dark Souls the way it is. Likewise, I’m not suggesting that Cuphead specifically needs an easy mode. I can believe those things at the same time because they are consistent.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

                I’ve seen the whole “I can’t believe you’d argue that!” tweeted to journalists who then tweet back “I DIDN’T WRITE THE HEADLINE!” for, oh, fivish years now?

                And the debate always seems to stall out when editors are added to the twitter conversation.

                It strikes me as an argument that may have worked once but I’m not sure it does anymore.

                They’re obviously different. It’s bad faith to conflate them.

                The bad faith is there in the headline which frames the story that follows.

                And let me say this: we don’t even know whether or not the author wrote this headline or not. We’re just assuming that he must not have because other editors have written headlines in the past and so this journalist ought to have their article read as if the headline were not there.

                Which is weird.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well anyway, this happened:

                So I guess the author does support the “all games should…” framing.

                I disagree with him on that. I do agree with the text of the article, specifically that it is a positive trend and it should continue. I think it is on the whole a good thing. But yes, you are correct that the author said that and he meant it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

                Awesome! Thanks for finding that! (See? Twitter changes everything!)

                And let me restate that I am down with (and have used!) Easy Game Modes.

                I just disagree with “ought”.

                There are plenty of things that aren’t quite accessible could do in order to become moreso.


              • DensityDuck in reply to veronica d says:

                “among all the angry-nerdbro-gamers who were ranting about the “SJWs” calling Cuphead racist, none of them provided links to actual instances of “SJWs” saying that.”

                You might say there were as many actual-for-real “Cuphead Is Racist For Not Addressing Race” takes as there were actual-for-real “Ariel Being Not-Entirely-White Is Pandering To SJW Crybullies” takes.Report

              • veronica d in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Are there? Why would you think that?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

                No politics/religion.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                It’s not even that, although the “three cooters” thing is a similar dynamic. In the “Cuphead is racist” thing, no one actually linked to the original articles. In other words, this wasn’t about retweeting “randoms on Twitter.” Instead, it was a pair of culture critics writing thoughtful essays. In response, a few right-wing YouTube grifters released some “the SJWs are trying to ruin Cuphead” videos. Those go retweeted widely. They were the fuel of the controversy.

                You might say the YouTube pundits were the “cooters,” but they weren’t randoms. They were dudes with fairly large YouTube channels.

                The thing about retweeting a random, you can go look at their account and determine they are a random.

                I went and found the video about the Cuphead thing. It’s worth watching just to understand the dynamic:


                Please note, as my post to JB demonstrated, this was not the dynamic in the “easy mode” debate we are discussing here, as the author of the article confirmed the headline is his, and thus the various responses were to his actual position. In other words, I was wrong.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to JS says:

                “dammit Jaybird, would you STOP insisting that I look somewhere OTHER than THIS STREETLIGHT RIGHT HERE? THIS is WHERE I AM right now, and I’m NOT interested in hearing about ANYWHERE ELSE!”Report

  7. It’s all about ethics in game difficulty.Report

  8. jason says:

    I agree with the let people have fun part, but companies aren’t obliged to add easy modes–I’m thinking of the Demon Souls/Dark Souls games. I played the first Demon Souls. It was okay. I had no desire to play the second or any of the Dark Souls games. I prefer games that aren’t that stressful. That’s one of the reason I quit playing FPS’s (that and all the teens/young adults of godly skill levels aren’t fun opponents).
    Like Jaybird noted, console gaming solves the issue by offering different achievements based on skill levels of the games played.
    Like others have noted, there’s a culture of elitism in many hobbies. The “elite” X-wing players have their own team names, and jerseys, and often travel to multiple tournaments in the same season. They play a version of the game online to practice. To me, it seems like too much, but it makes them happy, and most of the ones I’ve met are fairly nice guys. For me, when hobbies turn into jobs, they’re just not that fun anymore.Report

  9. veronica d says:

    The funny thing is, Dark Souls does have an easy mode, it’s just not on the menu. There is no “easy mode” setting. Instead, go read a few articles online about “easy for beginners” builds. There are a number of them. Plus if you play online you can summon help, although that is less effective these days as there are fewer players online. To solve that, there is a Reddit forum where you can ask for help. People will set a time, and let you summon them in, and they’ll help you kill the boss. (Plus there are periodic “back to Lordran” events, where people collectively start a DS1 replay at the same time, so the servers are busy.)

    I was playing DS3 over the weekend. I helped about six people beat the first couple bosses (and failed to help a couple, because we got stomped). It’s really cool.

    Anyhow, the difficulty of Dark Souls is wildly exaggerated.Report

    • jason in reply to veronica d says:

      This is a good point. I got through Demon Souls by looking online for a good build and the tips to beat the bosses. I downloaded DS 3 when it was free on xbox live, but haven’t played it very far; I don’t think those games are my cup of tea, but I get why people like them.Report

  10. Kazzy says:

    I am not and never really was a gamer. But I did play. It seems to me this is a case of people wanting to have their cake and eat it, too. I’d venture to guess there are dozens of titles in each category of games. Some titles are better than others. Some titles offer easy modes. Maybe the best title also offers an easy mode. Maybe not. It doesn’t seem reasonable to expect that every item in the market will meet your needs. Maybe you have to play “only” the second or third or tenth best title to find one where the gameplay/difficulty works for you. Such is life.

    I can’t demand that Morton’s sells me a $5 steak as good as the $90 steak. Such is life.Report

  11. DavidTC says:

    The ironic thing is, LA Noire is a game I really looked forward to, and had to stop playing because it was too hard.

    How was it too hard, you ask? I mean, it has an easy mode, right?

    Yeah, you know what I have trouble with in games? And had no idea this game had anywhere _near_ the level of it has?

    Driving. I’m really bad at driving in games. Horrifically bad.

    LA Noire…is full of driving. For no reason I can see other than it being made by Rockstar Games. As far as I can tell, you’re literally just…driving from the station to the crime scene, driving to witnesses, etc. And in this game, you’re _the police_, which means…casually barreling through people standing on the sidewalk tends to get frowned upon.

    Totally pointless, in the game solely because it’s built on the same engine as GTA, made the game completely unplayable for me.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

      I stopped playing because it was too hard. Not because of the driving… but I was investigating a murder and I had to go interview the murdered woman’s husband and on the way to the house I walked past a tricycle.

      “I don’t need to play this”, I thought.Report

  12. Jaybird says:

    Reminder: It’s bad on purpose to make you click.