Before the weekend Microsoft’s Xbox Twitter account sent a surprisingly important tweet: “To beat the game on the lowest difficulty is still to beat the game.” This was then followed up by Double Fine who added that completion Psychonauts 2 with “invincibility turn on” still counts as hitting the game. Which is about the most refreshing thing I’ve seen come out of games forever.
It was probably about four years ago that one of the game’s most tiring, partying corners was on top. The audience “Give God” polished furious internet and looked for all signs of weakness in the game, and swifty punished it with arrow-ons and heinous personal abuse. Which Dark Souls III was at the peak of popularity, and all other games tried to ride in the wake of FromSoftware, together came Cuphead, and we went into a perfect storm of gamer douchebaggery.
I experienced the sincere astonishing power of this rage on many occasions, but never more than when I published an article on jaunty Kotaku tribute page Rock Paper Shotgun. Calling for a button that allowed players to skip boss fights, this rather innocent suggestion that the whole game should be available to those who had bought it, was met with all sorts of suggestions on how I should kill myself, how I was a proof of death of game journalism, and of course how I must “git God.” In other words, it was a coordinated stream of panic from frightened little boys whose only source of pride was threatened by my proposal.
It’s quite extraordinary that just four years later I read the Xbox and shoot down this attitude that Nightmare Difficulty is the only acceptable way to play, Finally (and then very late) take a stand against Git God attitudes that poison this hobby. It is even better to see that some developers join and take the same position. While for you or me, reading Double Fine as a finisher may seem completely harmless Psychonauts 2 with what is really a “cheat” turned on, still counts as completing the game, it is very difficult to convey how controversial and controversial a position this is out there on the internet.
They go on mocking the formerly higher, more prevalent attitude. “Uh, excuse me, I beat Sword Guy Serious Time in a” no hit hard “mode, and if I did not, I do not respect you. And the like, you can even comment on things if you are not diamond six in ranking mcBlam? I do not think so. ‘”They tease and conclude with” cool bud. you are sooo cool! “Then a little more sensible spell it out,
“All people should be able to enjoy games. All ages, all possible needs. It is a continuous and important process for our industry and a challenge we must face. [sic]
“The end of the day? We want you to have fun, laugh, to experience a story that affects you. On what terms you want.”
Amen. I mean, it would have been nice to hear those voices half a decade ago, but thank goodness we’re hearing them now.
Of course, both sets of tweets have been met with all sorts of rage. “Going to school while sleeping through class is still going to school,” the tweets quote on a poster, without understanding the difference between attending differently and not attending at all. A podcast with 6 followers explains to us: “Whether they are played on a screen or in real life, games are largely about improving yourself or being part of a team,” which is the most impressive flashing perspective of not could see outside. Others obviously choose the more nuanced position of using homophobic slurs, but my favorite is the guy who begins, “Tangible and provably fake”, before telling game developers how games develop.
Any objection to the notion that it is acceptable to complete games in any way can only be rooted in a desire to exclude others. Just a picnic of the thought makes any sensible person recognize that not everyone who plays games can be as able to work as they are. Additional thinking time may cause others to reach conclusions such as: “How someone else plays this single player game in their own house can have no effect on my experience,” and how it would be disturbed to think otherwise.
The only reason for gatekeeping games via this irreconcilable attitude to difficulty is to protect the most fragile egos, which are only supported by the belief that playing skills give the individual superiority over others. The lack of perspective to realize this, while it is so feverishly furious about the public, is quite peculiar.
Of course, there is still work to be done. It depresses me that both Xbox and Double Fine chose to use the term “beat the game” instead of “finish” or “finish” it. Every time I read or hear someone say how they “beat the game”, I can not help but imagine that they are done watching a subtitled film on Netflix and then push their arms in the air, while they wave all the way how they “Beats THE MOVIE! ”
Either way, the good news is Psychonauts 2 will come up with an option to make yourself invincible, in case you reach a level or bossfight that turns out to be too difficult to get past. And extraordinarily, for everyone else who does not believe it has any right to exist, they can just … not use it!