Difficult games are easy enough to find, and there are a lot of players who like them. And yet, it’s also easy to find people who use these games and their difficulty as a test of who is a “real” player. In this essay I explore why that gatekeeping mentality is harmful for the video game community as a whole.
It’s easy to come up with examples of games that are difficult or tough. But when we talk about difficulty, what does it actually mean for a game to be difficult? In this essay we’ll look at different forms of difficulty in games, and analyze what makes particular challenges fair and unfair.