FFD: Are games getting too easy?

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Gaming is becoming, or has become a pretty mainstream thing, no longer confined to basement-dwelling nerdy types. As such, it’s changed significantly – and one of those has been a change in difficulty. For technical or playability reasons, games are no longer all about punishing or infuriating players.

Old games are hard. there’s a big reason for that; games were originally found in arcades, and were designed to be torturous (but fair!) so they could swallow up all of your money. It’s a philosophy that persevered for years. Games were for gamers with gamer skills, and they were hard.

That’s hardly true any more. Because of their wider appeal, video games are becoming  a lot easier than they used to be. Barring a few notably challenging-by-design games like Dark Souls; Super Meat Boy; Donkey Kong Country Returns; games are sometimes reaching the point where they play themselves.

But here’s the thing; do games need to be challenging to be enjoyable? does it really matter that games are easier, if they’re still entertaining experiences – or does this “dumbing down” leave you, Mr (or mrs!) hardcore gamer, with a bitter taste in your mouth?

Last Updated: November 16, 2012

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Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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