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Should video games have an easy mode?

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Dawn, Apr 16, 2019 at 11:07 PM.

  1. Dawn

    Dawn King of Heroes

    Chiyo Sakamoto
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    Marketing games based on their difficulty is something that has become more prevalent with the popularity of the Souls series, and a common complaint is that games that do this are TOO challenging, and that they should have an easier difficulty setting to make them more accessible to gamers who struggle with them.

    The general response to this - ignoring the toxicity of the "git gud" mentality that outraged people who do not find these games challenging take, because that is hardly worth discussion - is that adding an easy difficulty will not necessarily make the game easy, and that to do so would be a betrayal of designer intentions: they made these games to be difficult, it's the main selling point, and adding one would defeat the point of the game.

    Video games do not have to be for everyone. Or should they be? At what point does it stop being about what the creator intended and become exclusion? Is it fair if some players, for whatever reason - be that they don't enjoy challenge, struggle, or are outright unable to play because of a physical of mental disability - to be unable to play because of creator intent?

    Of course, accessibility in gaming is about significantly more than just difficulty settings, but in this topic at least, let us focus on difficulty. Should video games - especially those that are more challenging - have an easy mode? Does it dilute the experience, or betray the creator's intent, if one is included where it may not be otherwise intended? Does that even matter if it's optional? Is it OK to exclude groups of people to provide a specific experience, or should games strive to be as inclusive as possible?
     
  2. Infernostar

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    No. If you can't get further in a game, that implies you lack the needed skill and must work to improve yourself. Games are for everyone to play, but only those who are willing to put in the effort to should be rewarded with victory. Doubly so for fighting games, where your enjoyment of it boils down to how much time and effort you put into learning it. Even games with less to learn like Street Fighter V still require the player to learn through practice and experiences to improve and grow stronger. It's why I have undying respect for Virtua Fighter players, because that is the hardest fighting game series to play, and they make it look like second nature.
     
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  3. Dawn

    Dawn King of Heroes

    Chiyo Sakamoto
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    I don't necessarily disagree with your assessment, but I would question your premise. What about people who are physically or mentally disabled - people who, through no fault of their own, are unable to "work to improve" so that they can earn victory? Whilst this is by no means true of everyone with a disability, there are plenty of players who are unable to get further in games through no fault of their own. Is it acceptable for them to be excluded from playing some games?

    It's a very delicate and complicated subject, and about far more than just difficulty settings, but my point is that there is not necessarily the implication that it is the fault of the player that they are unable to play a difficult game, and I am curious to know if your perspective would change if we didn't make the assumption that it was. If people NEED an easy mode because they are incapable of playing the game on the default difficulty - again, through no fault of their own - should that mode be added, or is it acceptable for them to be excluded? If games are for everyone to play, should their design reflect that?
     
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  4. Infernostar

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    Still no. If anything, its more impressive when you have a physical handicap and still manage to triumph. Halfcoordinated is a speedrunner who only speedruns with one hand due to hemiparesis, and is still a great runner, and the Blind Warrior Sven plays Street Fighter despite being blind, and reached Diamond Rank in online for SFV, which requires a lot of time and skill. Not to say we shouldn't have something for those who are at a disadvantage, but to actively change the games core design in an attempt to make the game more accessible takes away from what the game is. It'd be like having a slow down button for Tetris, which destroys the purpose of the game. Not every game is capable of appealing to every individual person, and shouldn't be ashamed of that. Embracing accessibility is fine, so long as it doesn't hinder with the game as a whole.
     
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  5. BZRich64

    BZRich64 "I am the Mario!"

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    Definitely. Always. I thinks that all video games should always have an easy mode whenever possible. Being to difficult is a serious issue that effects not just the physically and mentally disabled, as already mentioned, but also anyone who's just getting into video games and anyone who just doesn't have time to "git gud".

    Now, when it comes to people who are just getting into video games, you might just be tempted to say that these people don't need an easy mode and that they should just work on mastering the skills they need to enjoy the game 'as it was meant to be played'. No. That's stupid. Someone who experiences this is going to end up getting frustrated and its going to leave a proverbial bad taste in their mouth when it comes to video games. It could end up causing them to not want to get into video games altogether, potentially missing out on a lot of games that they would enjoy, just because they now think that video games as a whole are too complicated and hard.

    And of course many people just don't have the time to really devote any level of skill development to a game. Their lack of free time means that they just want to play a game quickly in the time that they do have and then move on. Any game that's too difficult and/or requires a lot of mastery is ultimately going to be a waste of money and precious time to them. This could severally limit what options they have.

    (I also think that difficulty settings should be something that you should be able to adjust at any point in the game, rather than having to choose a difficulty at the beginning of the game and your stuck with it, but I'll just leave it at that for now.)
     
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  6. Wizard

    Wizard Jewel of the Empire

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    While I haven't played any games that stand out to me too much as far as difficulty, easy mode is always nice for the people who are just in it for the story, characters, or something else. Should all video games have it? Probably not, but it IS a nice option, for sure.

    ^This is a really good point. Some of us have plenty of time to play games, but other might not. Learning to get good at a game isn't always possible, and some people just aren't capable of "gitting gud". I think there are ways around this. Many, many games have exploits in them already where the player can "break the game" and become overpowered. I'm not saying that this necessarily makes the game easy, but there is a way to beat many games that developers overlooked.

    Another perspective I'm thinking of right now is accessibility. Should every game be accessible (easy enough for most people to pick up and play?) I believe that lies in the hands of the developers and game designers. Dark Souls isn't meant to be a casual game for everybody, which is the main appeal to many people. If every game was accessible, then there wouldn't be much of a challenge for those who do enjoy the greater challenge.

    In conclusion, I think that there is no harm in putting easy mode in video games. If people want a challenge, they could play the original mode. However, easy mode allows even more people to enjoy the game, which is the ultimate goal of the developers. Developers want to sell as many copies as possible. I think this is why so many games have multiple difficulty settings these days.

    Also, save states are nice if you suck at old games like me.
     
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  7. Hraesvelgr

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    I don't see a harm in putting the option there, those that wanna play the games "as they're meant to be" can do so and let those that play on lower just do that. Is nice to have the option if you don't have the time to sink in enough to actually play a game on default, that the option is there is hurting no one. The two previous posts said everything I pretty much wanted to say, they just did it better than I ever could.
     
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  8. Bug

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    I think there is an appeal to a the kind of games that From Software makes, and games like it. They are made with those who seek a challenge in mind... And honestly? It's fine like that. They do this, and they do it well. For how difficult their games are, they are well made and intuitive to play.

    As for making an easy mode for games? I would like to see more franchises utilize this option. Pokémon does this... Sort of. I sometimes I get a little impatient with the catering with newer games, but I realize that it's petty. It introduces fresh blood into the franchise I enjoy, which means a longer lifetime with more content for me to enjoy in the long run. Scaling difficulty for the casual player allows a game to reach a wider audience, and nobody is lesser for enjoying things at their own comfort level.
     
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