Viewpoints

Turning Hollow: Games And Difficulty

“Hello, was it you who rang the bells?!

“My name is Jack Boyles, and I am losing my humanity. I am turning Hollow.

“The video game landscape has turned complacent. Years have passed, only to find checkpoints, auto-saved or skippable sections perpetuate. It seems like a lifetime we had limited saves, continues and restarting a game because thou hath used too many bullets early on within a game. We are husks, wielding a controller or keyboard and mouse, burning the cornea of our eyes with our High Definitions and watching lonely individuals on camera talk to themselves like some knight who is hollow; watching them completing videos games for us to throw our loot at them like they are some succubus.”

Turning Hollow: Games And Difficulty

“Some games make us fight off this wretched curse. Allow us to suffer for hours, just for that little sip of euphoria when you finally killed a boss…Ah, Elation!

“Disputes over the ascending trend of difficulty within video gaming has broken out: ‘Should video games be made to suit a mass audience, resulting in a difficulty that is possible for any skill player, so that the ending is always attainable?’.

“Allow me to elaborate, giving me purpose, so I can hold onto my humanity. For just a little longer.

Cuphead, reminding thou of a challenge.

“‘Cuphead’ denies thee access of the last 10% of the game without defeating the game on normal. As a hollowing gamer, my first conquest in gaming dates back to the age of the 16-bit. In those times, a ton of games had this practice. Even those from Disney… Yes, that family-friendly Disney!… That Zipadeedoodah Disney.

“In those days, thou must consider that games were not the mammoth task ye must partake in today. Nevertheless, Big Publishers are questioning the longevity of Linear Single Player Games, saying gamers doth not endure them long enough; ha ha. Does one understand my intentions?

Castle of Illusion on Megadrive – Equip the mighty apples.

“Some spout out rhetorical questions in a delirious pleasure that feels more like a marketing team questionnaire; they are ‘Do developers owe it to consumers to show their full game no matter the skill level?’, ‘Should games be made so everyone can enjoy them?’ and ‘Is a game too difficult for its own good?’. These questions pose that video games should be accessible to everyone and should cater to all skill levels. This is an impossibility.

“I would say I’m a competent gamer. I have played various games, some of which would be unspeakable to most gamers. But even a low soul level gamer can defeat me at FIFA.

“They consistently tell thou video games are the only medium that stops thou from seeing all the content, and they are correct in saying that. But other mediums do challenge thee in other ways, like ones’ intellect. Therefore, diminishing ones’ enjoyment of that content. Many transient beings have tried to fathom James Joyce’s Ulysses and only to be deterred by the stream of consciousness literature. Same can be said for Cinema, if anyone can understand David Lynch’s Inland Empire, I’ll hold them in high regard.

Inland Empire, yes those are rabbits.

“One thing is missed when talking about difficulty within video games, one of the most important life lessons and one I’m thankful for; ‘When you fail, try again until you succeed’. Life can easily defeat thee, that is why thou see those Hollows out there. They were once people like you and I, people who one day gave up hope. We should embrace difficulty in video games and encourage the young to play them. I am certainly gleeful I have this life skill, would thou not agree?

“So why doth these people continue to advocate otherwise? Maybe it’s not their doing? Maybe they have been consumed by a darker force ye or I cannot comprehend…

“Maybe themselves have turned Hollow. A mere shadow of their former selves desperately clutching at any fragment of their humanity. Only for them to fade from view time and time again”.

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2 comments

  1. Tis a nihilistic evening – the age of delayed gratification is over, the age of instant gratification is in session. We long term gamers are doomed in this inevitability – society would like everything faster and easier too many times I hear “games are supposed to be relaxing”.

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