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Game difficulty "gatekeeping" is bullshit, and here's why

Jan 29, 2019
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Not all people are capable of playing on "Normal" levels.
You have some people with physical or mental disabilities needing modified controllers or more time to do things and you may have some really young kids who just want to play the same game they see others playing without dying every 5 seconds.

I generally don't really care what other people do or how they choose to play through their games.

There are usually different achievements for playing at higher difficultiy levels if dicerning your gaming prowness to others is important to you .
Yes, but this is not what xbox stated here is what they said:
Beating the game on the lowest difficulty is still beating the game
Technically it's not false, but I would argue it's not the same depending on the difficulty level, you're not doing the same thing. You can enjoy it as much as you want, but having your mom read a book to you is not the same as picking up a book and reading the story inside by yourself.
 

eyesabitdull

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You don't care enough about anything to argue against changing what you consider a part of its essence? or at least question motives?
Of course I do.

Unless I read wrong, the entire OP. including the title, is why gatekeeping is bullshit; something in which I already acknowledge - it did not ask me to provide a reason, or state my own argument.

Therefore, my response is as I said.

But if you'd like a proper response, my perspective on the matter is that there should always be games that cater to those who desire a challenge in their game - and these games need to exist exclusively for those who enjoy it no matter the complaints - and no one group should dominate the other.

Gaming should always be diverse in the range of genres, and difficulty, and trying to force one mentality is detriment to gaming itself.

So what if there are casual games? Are we short on games that are challenging. No right?

Are we drowning in casual games? Not really, either, are we?

So gatekeeping is bullshit, and unnecessary.

If anyone believes that gaming is heading southward with casual games obviously doesn't own a PC, or hasn't venture out beyond their comfort zone to play a wider range of genres in gaming.
 

Nico_D

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Aug 9, 2013
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By this philosophy, shouldn't you just let people think what they want, even if they hate easy difficulty? because in the next sentence, you are judging them and telling them to grow up, which goes against the first sentence.

People may have whatever opinion they want as long as it isn't putting other people down or isn't about what other people are doing.

This thread isn't about whether people think easy difficulty is bad. It is about how other people play games and how other people feel about other people playing games..

Being worried about what other people think or do, as long as it isn't harmful, is a certaim sign of immaturity. And you are free to do that, just saying life is much easier when you stop doing that.
 

Gifmaker

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This thread isn't about whether people think easy difficulty is bad. It is about how other people play games and how other people feel about other people playing games..
No, it is about that modern attitude that people seemingly have to be comforted and valued all the time, even if they are objectively doing worse than others; and if you refuse to do that, you are "gatekeeping" . As someone already mentioned a few pages earlier, this is a trend that extends way beyond gaming and I don't quite get it.

How people took away from the OP that I am somehow against easier difficulties or think that people shouldn't be allowed to play, when I explicitly stated otherwise and also pointed out that I myself don't play hard difficulties usually, is completely beyond me. As someone stated, all nuance seems to be lost.
 
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wOs

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Five bucks says Elden Ring now has an easy difficulty mode.

That being said, games should be however the developers intended but the problem is developers no longer have any say in it but producers and corporations do. I'm all in on accesibility and giving everyone a chance at finishing a game but if you're going to disregard the crowd that prefers a challenge in the process, then you're just a bunch of idiots.
I’ll take that bet.
 

Nico_D

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No, it is about that modern attitude that people seemingly have to be comforted and valued all the time, even if they are objectively doing worse than others; and if you refuse to do that, you are "gatekeeping" . As someone already mentioned a few pages earlier, this is a trend that extends way beyond gaming and I don't quite get it.

"Doing worse" is already corcerning yourself what and how others are doing, as is being worried how they need to be valued and comforted. If you are not like that, then why would you care if some others are?

I don't think any kind of comparison is and should be required for anyone be happy about themselves or their performance. Yet it seems to be with the talk of higher difficulty playthrough being more valuable somehow in the sense it validates the person in comparison to someone who played the game on easy. Or marathon or whatever.

They both did it. They both deserve to be happy about themselves. Anything else, to me, feels like is done on expense of others and for thr purposes of self-validitation.

And for the record, I'm not saying some performance isn't a bigger achievement than some other. But to a person the feeling of the achievement may be exactly the same whether they got a record time on marathon or just got through the finish line - or passed the 20 km line.

For me it is the personal achievement that counts, not how it compares to others.
 
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SafeOrAlone

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Guys, I'm loving this debate about "legit gaming".

Btw, what the hell is "legit gaming"? Of course it's legit, but I agree with OP in the sense that you didn't "beat" the game if you cheated. At the same time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cheating in a single player game, when the priority should be having a good time.
 

Miles708

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Guys, I'm loving this debate about "legit gaming".

Btw, what the hell is "legit gaming"? Of course it's legit, but I agree with OP in the sense that you didn't "beat" the game if you cheated. At the same time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cheating in a single player game, when the priority should be having a good time.

My question is: is beating Dark Souls using only a shield, or using the Guitar Hero controller (like some people did on Youtube), "legit gaming" ?
Isn't that cheating as well (albeit to have a malus instead of a bonus)? Because I'm pretty certain that Dark Souls was never meant to be played like that.

So if we can agree that these weird and unconvenient (and even stupid, if we want) ways to play are legit, simply because it's fun for the person doing it, why shouldn't be legit to use cheats, glitches and save states, for exactly the same reasons?
 
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Kev Kev

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i just hope the next doom isnt so effing difficult that i can at least beat it on the lowest difficulty setting. i couldnt do that with doom eternal and it broke my greasy heart.
 

6502

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Gotta be one of the worst takes of all time.
Because I want value out of my games and difficulty settings allow this? Grinding, difficulty spikes etc are imo signs of poor design. Test my reflexes, test my problem solving that is fun - but why seek to test my patience?

When you have a family, job, other interests competing for your time you will want to be able to enjoy a game without it causing frustration.

The harder settings should exist - I enjoyed getting 007 on goldeneye and additional objectives, but I was able to play through the game and improve whilst enjoying it.

Beating a game on easy is beating the game and I shouldn't suffer any cut content for doing so. Though rewards and objective changes to increase challenge is fair and good.

Its like running the London marathon, great runners will set great times but I can walk it and enjoy the view. I will watch the experts and enjoy what they do. It is not exclusive.

To me it is like games where you have to earn the two player mode - you advertised something I paid for, I should be able to try it when I get it home...
 
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Daymos

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All I see is a tweet from Xbox that says 'Money is the most important thing to us and we'll say and do anything to get your money.'

If its trending on twitter that hard games are better then Xbox will announce new harder difficulty levels for hardcore games! 'We support the hardcore!'
 
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chonga

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Because I want value out of my games and difficulty settings allow this? Grinding, difficulty spikes etc are imo signs of poor design. Test my reflexes, test my problem solving that is fun - but why seek to test my patience?

When you have a family, job, other interests competing for your time you will want to be able to enjoy a game without it causing frustration.

The harder settings should exist - I enjoyed getting 007 on goldeneye and additional objectives, but I was able to enjoy and improve by going through the game and enjoying it.

Beating a game on easy is beating the game and I shouldn't suffer any cut content for doing so. Though rewards and objective changes to increase challenge is fair and good.

Its like running the London marathon, great runners will set great times but I can walk it and enjoy the view. I will watch the experts and enjoy what they do. It is not exclusive.

To me it is like games where you have to earn the two player mode - you advertised something I paid for, I should be able to try it when I get it home...
I agree, I think the movie thing works too. You could argue that some dumb-dumb might turn to you and say 'I have no idea what is going on', but are you going to explain it to them so they can enjoy what they paid for or are you going to laugh in their face and get them to leave the theatre.

I think this thread is basically a way to identify those who are selfish/have only child syndrome/an inferiority complex and those who don't.
 
Jun 4, 2020
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I think it depends on the game and the person! I just finished Mass Effect 1 & 2 on Insanity difficulty, obviously I'm playing ME3 on Insanity difficulty as well.

Yet I started Resident Evil Village last night on casual difficulty, I also played RE7 on casual. I know what types of games I tend to be good at and I adjust the difficulty as needed. There's no right answer as everyone is different.
 

drotahorror

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I'm thinking the tweet is more about making people feel ok if they can't beat a game on a hard difficulty. I don't think it was saying "You're just as skilled as someone who beat the game on Ultra Hard, even though you played on Story difficulty".

Reminds me of some shit I was reading the other day about Resident Evil Village. I just started playing it recently, on the hardest difficulty available to me (Hardcore). I got shit on at the very beginning of the game, there are a dozen werewolves chasing you through a town that take 10 bullets to kill and will 2 shot you. I played it a couple of times and put it down for the night, I didn't beat that part. I went back later and beat it.

But I read other people's view on that specific part on reddit. Some people said it was hard, some people said it ruined their experience with the game, some people said they even returned the game, all because they wouldn't drop the difficulty down from Hardcore.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to get at, just rambling. Here's the reddit thread -
And here's one post in particular I found amusing -




I didn't find it a 'challenge'. I found it tedious. I wasn't sure if I had to kill everything, find some place to escape, just survive, etc. The worst part about this encounter for me (and it probably took me around 6-8 tries), was when I died I had to open a gate, get knife out, slash a box, pick up herb, make med kit (I was one hit from death after each reload), use kit, grab powder, grab other crap, make ammo, grab shotgun, and THEN I get to start out the encounter that I don't have any idea how to complete at the moment. It wasn't difficult I just felt aimless. Not saying I needed some handholding but I didn't know what to do at all in the encounter and dying was particularly tedious on this part. I heard the rest of the game is easy. I do typically play most games on harder or the hardest difficulty, but this part was kind of silly.
 

nowhat

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Grinding, difficulty spikes etc are imo signs of poor design.
Word. I really liked Yakuza 7, but towards the end there's a ridiculous difficulty spike and it being a JRPG, you're not going to get past it without grinding. Sure, there is a "dungeon" for exactly that purpose, and the game suggest you grind that out in a not-so-subtle way - but at the same time, the game implies the dungeon is optional. That (and the unnecessary and nonsensical cameos after it) really brought the game down a few notches for me.
 
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Boglin

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I enjoy going to a paint and sip occasionally and the result I come home with is definitely not good enough to hang on anyone's wall but that doesn't matter. Even though my artist friend along with everyone else knows my paintings suck, we still have fun anyway and no one is trying to tell me I shouldn't be allowed to paint anymore.
Everyone in the room attempts to paint the same thing but I doubt many people in the world would have issue telling me that my paintings don't quite measure up to my friend's.

Do I need a trillion dollar company tell me what I did is still "art"? Who is this validation for?

Also, can someone explain to me why wanting the expulsion of participation awards keeps being conflated with wanting the expulsion of the participants themselves?
 

FStubbs

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If developers want to include difficulty modes, that's fine. IF not, that's fine too. More difficulty modes do increase accessibility, though.

For an offline game, if you're some hardcore freak who plays on nightmare mode, it doesn't hurt you if someone else plays on easy. Get over it.
 
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wvnative

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If developers want to include difficulty modes, that's fine. IF not, that's fine too. More difficulty modes do increase accessibility, though.

For an offline game, if you're some hardcore freak who plays on nightmare mode, it doesn't hurt you if someone else plays on easy. Get over it.


This is all that needs to be said on the subject.
 

SafeOrAlone

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May 22, 2018
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My question is: is beating Dark Souls using only a shield, or using the Guitar Hero controller (like some people did on Youtube), "legit gaming" ?
Isn't that cheating as well (albeit to have a malus instead of a bonus)? Because I'm pretty certain that Dark Souls was never meant to be played like that.

So if we can agree that these weird and unconvenient (and even stupid, if we want) ways to play are legit, simply because it's fun for the person doing it, why shouldn't be legit to use cheats, glitches and save states, for exactly the same reasons?
I’m getting lost in semantics. But yeah, both ways are viable. It’s all good.
 

Filldo

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Jan 8, 2021
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I don't know about it being meaningful, I'm trying to express my confusion with why people insist on this stuff so much. I think that "Everyone's a winner, there are no wrong ways to enjoy a game!" approach is just incredibly insincere and only serves to teach people to be less ambitious and feel like victims too easily.

@Nevan Hard disagree. I cannot help but be impressed when seeing highly professional performances on some games, like certain kinds of speedruns or no hit/death runs. Especially if it's a game I know well and have a grasp at how hard it must be to perform that way.
Beating a video game is only slightly more ambitious than watching TV. And also, why the fuck do you even care. It’s supposed to be entertainment. You know, fun?
 

Shut0wen

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Guys, I'm loving this debate about "legit gaming".

Btw, what the hell is "legit gaming"? Of course it's legit, but I agree with OP in the sense that you didn't "beat" the game if you cheated. At the same time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cheating in a single player game, when the priority should be having a good time.
Lmao ikr if anything legit way would be playing it old school so after dying 3 times you have to start a new game like in the arcade times
 

Gifmaker

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Beating a video game is only slightly more ambitious than watching TV. And also, why the fuck do you even care. It’s supposed to be entertainment. You know, fun?
What does this have to do with anything that I said? When and where did I say that videogames are not supposed to be fun or entertaining? All I said was that it's bullshit to pretend that acknowledging when people game on higher difficulties is somehow "gatekeeping".
 

Urban

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Every Solo game i buy with a option for difficulty, i will always play it on easy mode.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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How about you play and finish your games however the hell you want and keep it to yourself instead of talking about it on internet forums? Because the problem is all there.
 
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Spukc

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I just don't care. Play at whatever difficulty you want to. It doesn't affect anyone else and I don't see why a person would take even a single second to worry about what difficulty another plays a game at.
Yet here we are on page 4
 

ninjaurbano

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I can enjoy a bad game if it provides a good challenge. But it's very hard for me to enjoy a good game if it's too easy.

So, challenge is extremely important and a fundamental part of the experience.

If the easy mode provides for you as much challenge as hard mode for me, that's fine.

A lot of games are also completely different when playing on the hardest mode, like Resident Evil 2 Remake. So, even if two people played the same game, the one that played on the hardest mode had a very different experience.

Anyway, I think easy mode is important as a mean to sell more games and provide a more difficult mode for those who enjoy been challenged.
 

lughnasadh123

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"maintaining artistic vision" is a flimsy shield when it comes to incorporating multiple difficulty options as you still get the base game that was original going to be put out plus easier, and perhaps even harder, challenges for those that want them. It's very much gate keeping when at the heart of it is players don't want to feel less special when playing their games.
 

Justin9mm

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I usually complete every thing on normal difficulty, I never change it unless it is quite apparent that their normal difficulty is far too easy but I can't think of any game off hand as an example.

But there are games where even the easiest difficulty can be a challenge, Doom Eternal springs to mind, playing it on the easiest difficulty is still no walk in the park. And if you play The Anicent Gods Part 1 DLC you would be forgiven for thinking the easiest difficulty has accidentally put the game on hard.

Difficulty is subjective, this is why we generally have options for all skill levels. It is still beating the game and it is still an achievement.
 

pratyush

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It was too long so didnt go through completely. I have paid for the game and if i am not good enough to beat it at higher difficulty then i want an option where i can progress further. This isnt competitive sport.
 

DelireMan7

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People take video games too seriously. Who cares if you beat a game on Very easy or on a "SL1, no hit, no dodge, bare first" run ?

I don't get the need some have to compare everything they do with others. If we're talking about Difficulty settings, it applies to single player game so... Play whatever you have fun with. It's not a competition...
 
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Duchess

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i just hope the next doom isnt so effing difficult that i can at least beat it on the lowest difficulty setting. i couldnt do that with doom eternal and it broke my greasy heart.

Doom Eternal springs to mind, playing it on the easiest difficulty is still no walk in the park.
DOOM Eternal is badly designed, which is what is making it hard.

You constantly have little-to-no ammo available, due to the idea that you should be being the chainsaw on the minions constantly. It means you have to stop your tactical battle against that bigger foe to go looking for something to help you restock. In those moments, when you're running around searching for a bad guy to chainsaw, you've taken your eye off the more powerful baddie, which makes you vulnerable.

Also, the areas in which you're fighting are far more cramped than the 2016 game. I imagine this is the devs wanting to you always be up close and personal with your foes, but it simply doesn't work.

(yes, I still hate the game and am still pissed about it)
 
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klosos

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people need to understand that not everything is for everyone, Sometimes games come along and for multiple reasons they just aren't for me. it is what it is.

The problem we really have isn't about difficulty its about an Industry who for twenty years have watered down mechanics and difficulty to a point when a game has any kind of complexity or difficulty spike people will just give up and put it down and move on then complain on social media , instead of gritting there teeth and pushing through.

Maybe that's a generational issue am not sure.
 

Vagos48

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If increased difficulty is utilized to fulfill developer's goal for a game, then it's probably fine. But if it used to extend the gameplay hours because of a weak story or limited content, then it's a very cheap way to do it. Returnal is an example of that, even if the gameplay is super, the limited content of it would not justify a full priced game. They choose a weird way to increase playing time, by not only increasing the difficulty, but also interfering with the console feature set (Rest mode) . On the contrary the soul's games are purely pursuing the developer's ambition : "great effort, greater reward"
 

borborygmus

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I have seen way more "easy mode" people whining than so-called elitists bragging about their skills. It's typically the former who engage in disruptive behavior, like whining incessantly about the 1 title out of thousands that doesn't cater to them, or attempting to broadcast to everyone that it "officially counts" as beating the game to complete it with cheats, which is a strange kind of virtue signal as though this were a matter of morality or value as a human being (and oftentimes their position is disingenuously disguised as an accessibility argument).

Many have tried explaining that the difficulty in some games that don't offer easy modes affects the entire game's design, to which the response was simply to repeat the accusation of elitism. If you're going to accuse people of being elitists, gatekeepers, insensitive towards the disabled or what have you, the burden of proof is on you. Provide some evidence or shut up.

I wish these people the best of luck in therapy in the future, lest they end up in the asylum screaming "I BEAT DARK SOULS OK?"
 
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Danjin44

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It seems lately in GAF we getting lots complain about either graphics or difficulty and even both.

I’m start to think some of you guys want to just put the game in auto mode so you can concentrate on counting pixels.

They more than 1000 games with difficulty option, what so fucking wrong for other developers wanting making something different? I’m really, REALLY starting to get tried of this type threads.