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?