The Sekiro EASY MODE debate

I’m already sick of this “hard games should have easy modes” debate. Allow me to indulge myself by ranting about it for a minute because I don’t want to go get into some heated argument about it with a bunch of random internet assholes and 98% of my audience seems to be mute so I don’t expect nearly as much resistance here.

Look, I’m not opposed at all to the idea that it would be nice if some games had lower difficulties. There were a few boss fights in Sekiro where I almost certainly would have turned things down to easy for a few minutes, but that’s not really the issue here. I don’t think most people out there are arguing that hard games having easy options wouldn’t be “nicer” or “fairer”. Most people aren’t going to say that more options is a bad thing. Most people would also tell you that something being more accessible would only help the creators too, since it would most likely mean increased sales for them (though oddly enough From Software sure doesn’t seem to be hurting for sales or popularity despite their long string of “too hard” games).

No, the problem I have is that people act like the ability to beat any given video game is some kind of constitutional right. Whether it would be nice or not or more profitable or not if certain games had easy modes doesn’t really matter when it comes down to it. Whether or not another hard game included said options doesn’t matter. Whether you think everyone should be able to play everything ever DOESN’T MATTER.

The simple truth of it all is that creators can make their creations in whatever way they choose. They have absolutely no obligation to make their art appeal to 100% of the population and no one has any right at all to try to force them to create things in a way they don’t want to. I saw a prominent person in the gaming community compare this issue to art museums requiring comprehensive art knowledge to enter or refusing to put ramps at their entrances, but I don’t think that this is an accurate analogy at all. We’re not talking about something that was accessible to all, but then some mean man came along and denied access to it after the fact. We’re talking about something that was not accessible to everyone from the beginning, which was in fact designed with that specific intent, and that came from a company with a long history of creating nearly identically inaccessible games.

This analogy also kind of feeds into the panicky clickbaity nature of the debate, suggesting that we’re all being unfairly denied of all the contents of “the museum”, when really nothing has changed about the overall rules or content of “the museum”, it’s just that one single dude has decided his one single painting is only going to be displayed for a limited time.

No, this is more like there’s a restaurant on the corner that serves spicy food, but then a bunch of non-regulars come in one day and complain that the food’s too spicy and that the burger joint next door has much more accessible food so they should too because damn it, they deserve to be able to eat and enjoy food ANYWHERE regardless of the circumstances and the restaurant should change their menu to accommodate them out of fairness.

Most places would kindly tell you to fuck off if you came into their place with that and most people would have just gone to the burger joint next door in the first place and not given their business to someplace they didn’t like. Hell, if we switch the analogy over to movies, people seeing an equivalent movie would just go give the movie they didn’t understand a one star “it sucked!” review on IMDB and move on, but not here. What is it that makes video games different in this situation? Why don’t you see people protesting David Lynch for not releasing easier to understand cuts of his movies?

And before anyone says it, no I’m not one of those nuts who thinks From Software games should never ever have an optional easier difficulty “CUZ IT’D RUIN DA GAME!”. I wouldn’t care if they added it, I just wouldn’t use it, just like if they ever made a game that wasn’t fun or was too hard to possibly win, I just WOULDN’T BUY/PLAY IT!

I mean should I go protest developers of MMOs and online multiplayer shooters because I don’t have the time to play them or the friends to play them with or should I just realize that NOT EVERYTHING IS FOR EVERYONE AND THAT IS OK?!

So there you have it. Feel free to fight me about it in the comments section.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.