Games Don't Punish Me For Dying, And That's Fine
I know video games are easier today. A lot easier.
And I do believe that the "mainstream effect" has resulted in a slew of blockbuster games that don't require much practice to play and complete; hell, you can blaze through most of them without any issue whatsoever. And that's the point, of course. If you want a bigger slice of the consumer pie, you had best cater to the masses...which means dumber, faster, and easier.
I'm aware that a lot of gamers my age are annoyed about this. They just hate that games like Dark Souls are few and far between when they used to be the norm. It drives them nuts that many of the most acclaimed and most popular titles today are indeed very easy, even by 10-year-old standards (forget about the impossible difficult of two and three decades ago). However, while I understand what they're saying, I really don't care that I'm not punished for dying. I don't. I don't know about you but I was not a fan of dying a million times in the "good ol' days," nor was I all that keen on the idea of playing a level over and over and over before I could beat it. I will understand the mentality; the indomitable spirit needed to overcome these trials. I've beaten some very difficult games in my day, after all, so I understand the motivation and I too savored the taste of hard-won victories.
But I'm past that. Let's just say I've grown out of it. Yes, most games just put me a few steps away from where I died, I didn't lose anything in my inventory, there's no in-game metric that took a hit, etc. Whatever. It's still annoying to die and I really try not to die, so it's not like this ease of play has turned me into a free-wheeling, throw-caution-to-the-wind type of player. I never was that way before (couldn't afford to be with most older games) and I'm not now. I just don't see the need to be punished beyond the fact that I have to try again. I'm glad there are games out there for those who wish to test their mettle and skills, I really am. And the success of the Dark Souls franchise proves that there are plenty such players still in existence. But listen: Don't try and tell me those games are "better" just because they're harder.
I'm sick of that elitist garbage. Difficulty and quality are mutually exclusive, my friends, as are specific gameplay mechanics and structures (i.e., saying a linear construct is "inferior" is equally moronic). Video games, like all forms of entertainment, are about fun. If you get off on punishing yourself, that's cool, I've got no issue with that. Did it myself many a time. But don't stand there and proclaim your superiority - or the supposed inferiority of games that don't punish death - simply due to your personal preferences. That's all I'm saying.
3/4/2016 Ben Dutka