Yes, Games Are Easier, And I Say Thank God For That
Of course video games have gotten easier over the years. But if they hadn't, I probably wouldn't be playing them today.
I was there during the dawn of gaming when the hardcore and dedicated were rewarded with super high scores. I recall the fits of rage certain friends would fly into when playing certain games, and completing certain levels earned one a badge of honor. Of course, that badge of honor was only recognized by the other gamer geeks (the girls never cared) but hey, it was a niche hobby. Now gaming is mainstream and as a result, if developers and publishers wish to make any money, they need to make their products accessible.
I would think that much is obvious. But beyond that, think about a few other factors: Firstly, video games have every chance of innovating on a continual basis and these days, it's more and more about the experience. Journey is a perfect example; you can't die and you aren't penalized for having slow reactions. You merely indulge and enjoy the atmosphere and experience and perhaps unsurprisingly, this almost surreal adventure has gone over very well with critics and gamers alike. But there's a more logical issue to consider as well.
Firstly, the number of games that arrive in any given year today vastly outstrips that of yesteryear. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that five times as many titles arrived in 2011 as compared to 1991. On top of which, as opposed to the years when half the titles on shelves were just comical crap, one could go so far as to say the majority of games released today are perfectly playable. At the very least, we get way more titles that are well worth diving into, and most of us don't have the time to play them all. We definitely don't want to waste hours trying to master one level in one game. There are other things to play.
Time is the last common sense issue. As the average age of a gamer continues to rise, the average amount of time a fan has to play drops. People get older, have lives, and assume responsibilities that preclude entertainment. Gaming isn't just for kids coming home after school anymore, and many times, it's just about an adult unwinding and relaxing. That being the case, these games had better not be anything like they were a few decades ago. Nobody I know would play them and that's that. I wouldn't, either.
4/5/2012 9:19:56 PM Ben Dutka