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Angry gamers defend their heroic calling against soyboy journo cucks who think maybe some games should have an easy mode

Games journalist destroying Western Civilization

By David Futrelle

I regret to inform you that the gamers are at it again. Or at least that subset of gamers who have somehow convinced themselves that finishing games on the hardest possible mode is an accomplishment as momentous as say, curing cancer or rescuing a litter of puppies from the 15th floor of a skyscraper in your underwear, or something.

What’s got the gamers’ manties in a bunch this time? Well, it tutns out that several games journalists have suggested that maybe the ninja vs. samurai game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, released last month, would be a bit more fun and accessible if it had an easy mode.

You’d think that someone had banned them from eating chicken tenders for life.

Gamebros have long preached about the evils of easy mode, but something about suggesting that a deliberately difficult game like Sekiro should have an option for those who don’t want to end up punching a hole through their monitor in frustration was too much for these sensitive — sorry, I mean, EXTREMELY TOUGH –gamer souls to bear

Follow Follow @YTPause_Game
Replying to @IGN
Add an easy mode to a game that supposed to be hard for a reason...... how yall pussy bitches man the fuck up
Follow Follow @aK1dNamedCam
Replying to @Kotaku
Anyone who wants an easy mode for a game not meant to be easy, is a pussy.  Go play something different.  Google “how to no longer be a pussy”, find a guide, follow the steps, become a better you.  Leave the “difficult” games to us, the non-pussy.  We’ll handle it from here.
Follow Follow @Hopper783
Replying to @TheSMonroeShow @MinnyMausGG
This game needs an easy mode is journalist shorthand for, "I'm a pussy and need my binky."

And then there was this masterpiece of angry gamer pomposity:

Some of the angry gamers (like, for example, Mr. Fetusberry himself) denied they were “gatekeeping” their hobby. But others did their best impression of a mean bouncer.

Donovan The Gamer
Follow Follow @Donny_Ray12
Replying to @migguzi @bombzothewolf @Doctor_Cupcakes
Games are not for everyone. That's why we have "target demographics". I'm sorry, if the Nintendo Wii, Minecraft & EA has made you soft, but games aren't for everyone. Some games should be for people, who are actually good at them. Weaklings should go back to mobile games.
Follow Follow @txb_gaming
Replying to @SavinTheBees
Fuckin weak ass people. Game was DESIGNED at this difficulty, if you aren’t willing to learn the mechanics and tools to get better and learn the skills to master it, go back to fkn Pokémon. Not everything in life has an easy mode cause you refuse to practise or learn new things.
Follow Follow @IposAstarath
Replying to @mywifecameback @tkblingx2 @Kotaku
People wallowing in and celebrating their mediocrity annoys me. We should all constantly be trying to improve ourselves and our lives.

Others don’t mind letting the “weaklings” play, but only if they end up getting properly emasculated for choosing easy mode.

Follow Follow @Kyonko802
Nah you know what fuck it. I hope they add an easy mode to #sekiro but Wolf wears a little pink bow and you get shit talked the whole game and Emma calls you a weakling.

It’s worth remembering that these guys — and most of those yelling the loudest about this are indeed guys — are basing their self-assessments as “non-pussies” and “non-weaklings” om their prowess at a game that involves sitting at their computer hitting keys real fast.

Wow, guys, you’ve proved that you’re so obsessed with video games that you’re willing to grind through difficult game missions over and over again until you get good enough to beat it. Ten year olds can do this.

But these guys have convinced themselves that playing a ninja game has somehow made them the equivalent of an actual ninja.

What makes their complaints even more pathetic is that adding an easy mode to Sekiro wouldn’t stop them from playing the harder modes that these guys love so much. It would just make the game more accessible to a wider range of players.

How fragile must your masculinity be if you feel threatened by someone else enjoying a game that you like but with a little bit of the difficulty dialed back? WHO FUCKING CARES?

Some people play games in order to master them, to beat the final boss on the hardest difficulty setting; other people like to play to relax.

I’m in the second camp. And so, while I’ve been playing video games, off and on, for nearly three decades, I basically still kind of suck at them, despite devoting many hundreds of hours to some of my favorite games — generally the sort of open-world games that allow the maximum amount of just goofing off. I almost always play games on easy mode at first, at least until I get the hang of them. Sometimes I stick with easy mode because, well, I just don’t feel like dealing with a lot of frustration. I paid for the game, shouldn’t I get to enjoy it how I want to? Oh, and I was kind of addicted to the Candy Crush games for a little while.

Are you really not a real gamer, as “Gorilla Channel” inventor @pixelatedboat sarcastically suggested on Twitter, “unless you treat gaming as a horrible, joyless job you don’t get paid for.”

Seriously, if the mostly casual way I play video games, sitting by myself or with a friend in the privacy of my own apartment, offends you as a gamer, might I suggest that you maybe just shut the fuck up about it? What fucking difference does it make to you how I or any other “weakling” gamer plays a game.

I mean, Jesus Christ, dudes. Get a grip on yourselves.

H/T to Shitty Gamer Takes on Twitter, who highlighted that tweet about “weaklings” needing to go back to mobile games and got me heading down this whole rabbithole.

UPDATE: I added the tweet from Fetusberry; thanks to kupo in the comments!

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122 replies on “Angry gamers defend their heroic calling against soyboy journo cucks who think maybe some games should have an easy mode”

I’ve played a rather diverse assortment of games. I’ve beaten some hard ones. I mostly prefer easier ones though. The funny thing is, preferences vary, and you can like more than one thing.

Super Mario Bros., 2, and 3 — got to final level in first, beat the easier 2nd and 3rd games.
Zelda 1 and 2 — beat the first, which is notoriously hard though not nearly as much so as the second.
Metroid — beat.

Zelda 3 — beat.
Super Metroid — beat.

Beat all of the Sonics.

Gamecube, N64:
The 3D Zelda games for these consoles. Beat all of them, but only with emulator saves. Could probably do so without but have not played them on the actual consoles. 🙂
Also the first two Metroid Primes. Same notation.

Beat the roguelikes Angband and Oangband, without cheating. The second especially is reputedly very difficult. In fact, patience and a great deal of caution and paranoia allow one to win these ones fairly consistently. Roguelikes without the -band ending tend to be much worse (crawl, adom), with much more dependence on luck even with cautious play.

Also played a bunch of shooters. The Dooms, Heretic, Hexen, and the Quakes all get replayed from time to time, and of course the Half-Lives, which still are unfinished, alas.


Currently been playing two of these significantly: Empires and Puzzles and Diggy’s Adventure. The former is turn-based and the latter has no combat. In fact it’s not really possible to lose, die, fail, or etc. in the latter. Both try to sell you stuff but you can do well without spending real money on them.


The console games when they get replayed these days it’s with emulators, and I’m not ashamed to use save states to save tedium with redoing a difficult section (or sitting through a cutscene again!) though I mostly avoid more blatant cheats (ones that get you super stuff super early or etc., rather than just let you restart from closer than otherwise if you die).

One fun thing I used to do with Doom 2 back in the day sometimes was fire it up and use the cheats to jump to the final level with infinite health and ammo and then just blow away the enemies that keep spawning, using it as a shooting gallery. But I did beat it (and its predecessor, and the Quakes, etc.) without resort to cheats. (I even got the damnable gnome achievement in HL2 Episode 2 without cheating. And Ep1’s one-bullet achievement.)


I’ve made a few custom single player Doom 2 levels and a few custom multiplayer Quake 3 ones. I’ve also coded games from scratch but never released (or, usually, finished) them — mostly before there were any release channels available to mere mortals.


Diggy for anyone with an android and a desire for a relaxation game: no combat, no fast reflexes needed, etc. Portal also qualifies but isn’t free to play and there is combat, of sorts, and some speed needed at the very end of the game and at one other point.

For shooter lovers the Dooms, Quakes, and Half-Lives but you already knew that.

For exploration plus combat, the Zeldas and Metroids generally offer up plenty. Perhaps ignore the NES entries but do find an emulator and ROMs for the SNES ones, which two are routinely listed in top ten best ever console games lists, even after all the later generations of consoles that have come along since then. There are many secrets to find in both games, and nonlinear exploration can net you some nice goodies that are optional, or earlier than you might otherwise get them, making the game easier. The 3D games in those two series are decent on the same measures as well.

As for exploration without combat, I don’t know of many (though Diggy likely qualifies). Console and/or free to play ones would be preferred, of course.

Oh, I’ve also played a few console JRPGs. FF6, Chrono Trigger, some FF7. The annoying thing with those is how much stuff tends to be missable, and not just stuff where you are explicitly given a choice; also stuff you’d never know about without a walkthrough. Some of these at least reward exploration somewhat. They have combat but it’s semi-turn-based and can be in a mode where you can stall things by opening a menu. So no need for superfast twitch reflexes.

I love ADOM, but the beginning part is awfully random indeed. It do calm down once you are deep enough in, but having to start 10 games to have one good one can be a bit annoying


I cheat like a bastard in every single player video game, because I’ll enjoy the game on my terms and you can’t stop me.

Me too! I’ll have a go at something, but if I’ve been grinding away at it and not getting anywhere I get bored after a while and I’m all like “let’s get to the next bit, what are the cheats, where’s the YouTube walkthrough”? It’s only fun as long as it’s fun, right? I don’t want a game that makes me feel like I have two jobs, I want a game that entertains me. That whole thing of “let’s just keep going with this even though I hate it and I’m bored and it’s taking forever, because otherwise I have somehow failed” is what I have to do in all the rest of my life. I’m not doing it on my ‘puter. I control that reality.

BTW If anyone is looking for a new game and likes things that are both rather creepy and stunningly beautiful, I’m playing this at the moment. It’s not too challenging, but it’s interesting.

Edit: ugh link issues.

And you know what. I like soy milk. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because I have a sensitivity to lactose and would rather use it up when I have pizza or ice cream does not mean I’m a weak person. If I didn’t hate almonds I’d probably drink almond milk.

I got to quite high levels and put my initials on a fair few machines back in the 80s playing Q*bert in the arcades of Omaha. I got an Atari to play it at home, but never liked the controller and gave it to my younger cousins. Still don’t like game controllers but nowadays mainly because of carpal tunnel.

I discovered in the 90s that I liked watching others play video games. I had friends that were really into the Oddworld games and could happily watch them for hours on end. Imagine my delight when I discovered LPs on YouTube!

Paradoxical Intention (hi, Paradoxy!) has a YT channel and I have watched all of her gameplay. I’d really love to see her play Cuphead, but JackSepticEye’s Cuphead videos are pretty great if you don’t mind salty language.

These days, I play hidden object games and matching games. I need better reading glasses*, though! I was into Candy Crush Soda Saga and Simon’s Cat for a while but have moved on to Relic Match because it has other quests to achieve and you can choose your layout and mode (either timed or moves).

*I’m playing everything on my phone since I seem to have broken the charging port on my tablet.

The dude saying Pokemon is easy has never tried the Nuzlocke with no generated Pokemon challenge .

Also I’m officially back

I’m glad you enjoy it. Really made my day.

Oh, and I can also recommend “Return of the Obra Din”, if people like playing detective.

I appreciate everyone’s recommendations!

Reminded me of playing “Myst” way back in the long ago and never getting off the first island, despite reading the book of hints.

I’ve watched my husband play “Portal”, and it was agonizing. Having a clearly defined objective and no idea how to achieve it is, for me, the stuff of nightmares. He seemed to enjoy it.

@Paradoxical Intention – Resident Cheeseburger Slut

I can also HIGHLY reccomend the website, which is a website where indy devs can post their games, and a lot of them are free, so the only real thing you’d lose is your time when you try them out. You can also play a lot of them in your browser, so there’s also not a need to download things if you don’t want to.

I wholeheartedly second that! I’ve used to upload game projects myself and they are definitively an indie-friendly site. I’d also recommend checking out GameJolt for anyone looking for free indie gems, both great sites for small developers, and in case of GameJolt I also think that they have a great and easily comprehended system for content warnings for the games uploaded so that any sensitive players can check a list on what potentially upsetting topics are part of the game before downloading it.

Return of the Obra Din was easily my absolute favorite game of 2018, because not only did it have some great mystery-solving, but the way the game handled it’s storytelling and narrative was a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

I’m unsurprised that this reaction was from a From Software game; even back when Demon’s Souls was still a niche game any comment about the difficulty would lead to parroting of “GIT GUD”. Still happens in the Dark Souls community now as a matter of fact.

In this case the journalists got a double dose of both the typical asshattery you find on Twitter with the elitism of a small community that sees the excessive difficulty (although it seems more like unnecessary complexity to me) of their games as the very reason why it appeals to them. Their point is basically what Arthur said, but stripped of any possible nuance and reduced to the most juvenile way of stating it. And they’ve been doing it for years, the only difference is with the amount of bile they spew now. Probably because they’re used to having those games hailed as being uniformly amazing, including by the game sites they’re attacking now.

While I don’t agree with their way of doing things and don’t particularly like the difficulty myself, I’m not sure how an easy mode would work without cutting out or trivializing large chunks of the game mechanics in the process. Some of what Arthur said could work but it’s rarely one mechanic in their games that’s difficult to understand- more often it’s several of them all connected to each other.

There’s an “Emperor’s New Clothes” mentality in regards to video game difficulty: nobody is willing to criticize excessive difficulty for fear of being branded a filthy casual and fake gamer who can’t handle “real challenge.”

I’ve actually been meaning to look more into ResetEra and asking other people about it, so I’m a little surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned here at all. Maybe my impressions of its reputation are off due to these types of angry gamers hating on it so much, and for all I know it’s kind of like Tumblr where the community has real flaws that are papered over by its status as a right-wing scapegoat. I guess I never really got into general gaming communities on the internet all that much, not even NeoGAF.

As for the actual article, @IposAsterath’s tweet is particularly telling to me. This whole idea of growth for its own sake, as much growth as possible, damn the consequences, is what’s gotten us into this environment-wrecking, community-destabilizing late capitalist hellscape in the first place. It can feel good to improve at something, even to the point of feeling like the suffering to get there was worth it, but unfortunately that feeling of accomplishment doesn’t care whether the suffering actually was worth it in the grand scheme of things. You can feel accomplished by generating an image of a black hole, or helping to destroy a rainforest to watch a number go up, or watching someone else accomplish something while doing nothing of your own to contribute to it. It should matter what the actual accomplishment is. Otherwise, you’re just glorifying suffering, not just of yourself, but also of others. It really explains a lot about their attraction to authoritarians and especially fascists and the fascist-leaning.

Besides, we know a lot about human limitations at this point, and a lot of aspects of execution-based difficulty in games are just about riding those limitations to the point of barely being fair (and, consequently, often not being fair to some people with different abilities).

Personally, I don’t have reservations about looking up guides most of the time. It’s not so much because I don’t like challenge in games — I certainly do in a lot of cases — but because I don’t really like flailing about not knowing what I’m supposed to do. There are things like mystery games where looking up what to do would actually detract from the experience, but oftentimes, guides don’t even actually lower the challenge of a game. They just save the time and frustration of figuring stuff out, especially when the game has measures to actively prevent/discourage you from figuring stuff out too easily. Exploration can be fun but I find that games typically make you “pixel hunt” to find everything and I’m not a fan of that.

I’ve been playing electronic games of one type or another since I was about twelve… which means… about, oh gods, 36 years now? I like games with an easy mode, because it means I can sit there and concentrate on the story rather than having to try and juggle story mechanics, game mechanics and all the rest. I certainly prefer them to games without an easy mode, because I get very seriously bored in the mid-game of a lot of the games I’m playing (I’ve run across approximately two games where this didn’t happen – Persona 5 and Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus). There is only so much grinding I can handle (there’s a reason I’m not fond of nightclubs either!) before my brain starts wanting to run shrieking for the nearest exit.

Yes, my game collection runs heavily to JRPGs. As an unrepentant pantheistic polytheist pagan, I find getting the gang together to kill God is rather cathartic, and if it comes with a good story as well, I’ll take it! Then again, I do play games for the story.

(katster: I used to be reluctant to claim the label of “gamer”. Gamergate changed that for me. These days, I’m aggressive about claiming it, because I figure after thirty-something years of playing games, if I ain’t a gamer, what the flying fazackers am I? They wanna gate-keep, they can just go right ahead, and I’ll tell them bluntly: come back when your favourite game is old enough to vote, darl, and I might be willing to listen.)

Surplus to Requirements: making things miss-able was the other way of spinning out a little game into a lot of time – or at least making you go back and re-play the same durn area something like six times in the hope you’d finally get that one last plot coupon so you could mail them all off for the Macguffin. Then again, this is part of the reason I love Final Fantasy VII so much – it keeps me going back for the story, and for the characters, and for the optimistic hope that this time I’ll finally be enthused enough about the chocobo races to breed me a gold chocobo.

The dude who said we should all be constantly trying to improve ourselves is hilarious. I would understand that if we were talking about some other things, like how a tae kwon do studio should be full contact sparring every class (kind of dumb), or the gym needs heavier weights(probably not dumb, but we are talking about gaming, right? Does getting better at a game really count as self-improvement? I do stuff like study, jog, yoga, box, listen to podcasts relevant to my career, and practice music as methods of self-improvement. I go to bars, bowl, read comic books, and play games as a way to relax. I suppose that means I am not a real gamer

As a casual fan of many geeky things including games, I find most fandoms are mostly good people with a small percentage of toxic gatekeeper assholes. The problem is, that of course the toxic people are loud and obnoxious and sometimes make the news. Thanks to them I am now ashamed to tell people I’m a Rick and Morty fan because some assholes wanted to harass some McDonald’s employees who were out of fucking novelty sauce. The thing that angers me about the media portrayal is that they still focus on geek interests and having more of these people when I believe almost every interest does. I believe than since Geeks just happen to be more present online, copius evidence of their worst members can be found easily. but “Normies” have plenty of entitled, elitist people too. Just look at academia, sports, food culture, cars, music, beauty/fashion, etc. and they all have these assholes in them too. Geeks and Gamers are not special.

Hi We Hunted the Mammoth!
I’ve almost always been aware of your site but have recently taken to actually reading it!

So some first things:

1. I’m a game developer. I made a bunch of games in the 2000’s to, well, now. I was an independent developer back then and worked my way up to an independent producer you might say.

2. I vividly remember the Gamer gate thing. At the time my partner and I would go on huge weekend hikes starting Saturday morning and returning home that night. We started these in 2013. We talked a LOT on Gamer gate BS. When it hit I was a 100% neutral person that never got involved in politics. I had a lucky, good life where I never had to look at bad stuff. All the things she told me… it sickened me. Overnight I stopped playing ‘trollish’ characters in the few online games I played. I did NOT want to be aligned to them under any circumstances. You might have no idea how strong a repellant it is for a normal person to hear what these dickhead nerds were doing and never wanting your name uttered in the same sentence.

3. I investigated the projects I was working on. Two of them were helmed by gamer gate suppoerters. I immediately cancelled the project citing personal differences. That’s legally allowed. There was no way I could ever work with someone that thought the abuse gamer gate people were dishing out was acceptable.

3.5 I guess that’s the problem of working with independent people that feel they’ve always been picked on (but ultimately haven’t, they’re just not talented). There’s a huge amount of hatred in their blood thinking they were overlooked for a woman or black person. Both of them were hugely racist. They thought it was normal to behave the way they did. Fuck that. I screenshotted their tweets, facebook, and other social media posts. Each one full of racism against black people, indians, muslims, chinese. One of them hated South Koreans (he now works at Rare by the way. On Sea of Thieves. FYI).

4. I once attended a halloween party at my b-i-l’s student house in 2014. I met a crappy gamer gater there. Nobody there liked him because he was really anal and horrible. People were at that party to have fun. He opted to attend the party. My b-i-l paid his 3rd housemate for a full night out and was prepared to pay the other, but he said he’d rather stay and have a good time. Well. Nobody had a good time around him. The party was huge. The house was huge too complete with cellar, attic, outside we had a slip n slide in the generous gardens. Fucking ace. Anyways he used to moan that games were limited and only able bodied people should be able to play them. That disabled people should get their kicks from ‘reading’. I asked, “do you read”, “no” he said in an elongated, nasally way.

5. My business boomed in 2015. I’d been doing okay-great for years but I became very successful. I was meeting all the great studio heads at events, retired and existed mega high-ups. You know the consistent belief amongst all of them? That games are for everyone. That all games, with only a few allowed to deviate, should start off ultra easy with the potential to master them.

It’s that simple.

And this is it. I just absolute hate those armchair nerds that think they know how to run these mega gaming firms. I fucking despise their bones when they go out and engage in targeted harassment campaigns against kind decent people.

Honest to god I have no time for them. I’m glad that my products extract money from them. I sleep extra good at night whenever I hear about hardcore gaming groups enjoying my produce because there’s a good chance most of them are rotten.

Why can’t they just be decent people?

There’s this one guy I’ve made it my duty to follow. There was a show on about a rape on BBC years ago. The audience had to vote on whether or not they thought it was rape, almost all said it was. But there was a hashtag. Some troll was the only one to say it wasn’t rape. Whilst everyone else stopped harassing the guy I decided to keep my eye on him. To this day he’s still ultra right wing, thinks women that wear skirts are asking to be raped (yet he’s tagged in Facebook pics with his family where his mom and sister are wearing skirts). His mom has money and when I phoned her, she tried to blame it on his autism. Yet the autistic people I know have never made such rape threats against other people.

But that guy was also a “games should be for able bodied people” type too. They all fit a profile … dont they?

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