The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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marurun
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Re: Are Cuphead and other difficult games ableist?

by marurun Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:08 am

You know, one thing that came up early in this discussion, way back, was this idea that the difficulty or challenge level of a game was often carefully crafted by the developer to grant a certain experience. But the question about for whom was never really addressed. Difficulty is relative, so every player will actually have a different experience with that level of challenge. If I just naturally have slower reflexes, I'm never going to experience a game with very unforgiving timing the same way someone with faster reflexes will. But I can have that same experience as the other player on a game with looser timing. But of course, a good and proper easy mode does require work and more testing. I'd certainly rather simply avoid a game than play one with an easy mode that was not properly considered. Further, discussion about artistic intent is complicated by the very commercial nature of the modern games market. Even a company like From Software is always going to be looking at its audience and making sacrifices and compromises to make a product they think they can sell. Nothing that comes out of a modern commercial dev house is going to ever truly be an uncompromised work of authorial intent.
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Gunstar Green
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Re: Are Cuphead and other difficult games ableist?

by Gunstar Green Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:44 am

marurun wrote:You know, one thing that came up early in this discussion, way back, was this idea that the difficulty or challenge level of a game was often carefully crafted by the developer to grant a certain experience. But the question about for whom was never really addressed. Difficulty is relative, so every player will actually have a different experience with that level of challenge. If I just naturally have slower reflexes, I'm never going to experience a game with very unforgiving timing the same way someone with faster reflexes will. But I can have that same experience as the other player on a game with looser timing. But of course, a good and proper easy mode does require work and more testing. I'd certainly rather simply avoid a game than play one with an easy mode that was not properly considered. Further, discussion about artistic intent is complicated by the very commercial nature of the modern games market. Even a company like From Software is always going to be looking at its audience and making sacrifices and compromises to make a product they think they can sell. Nothing that comes out of a modern commercial dev house is going to ever truly be an uncompromised work of authorial intent.


As I've said before, probably earlier in this thread, From Software does often have "easy" modes, they're just not apparent. Some games let you grind, enemies have built-in weaknesses to discover and their patterns are very obvious with the repetitious nature of their games leading to memorization. The point of those games, despite the marketing from Bandai Namco, was never the difficulty, but overcoming the challenge put in front of you in one way or another. I think that they've become the icon of difficulty is sort of misleading and unfair and it's offputting to people, they just don't approach difficulty with a menu selection.

They're still not going to be for everyone, but no game really is.
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