- Kelly's World- A View into the mind of Uber Geek, Kelly Adams - http://www.kgadams.net -

Playing on Easy…

I play a fair number of computer games. Many of these games have a difficulty setting when you play them: Easy…Normal…Intermediate…Difficult. I usually pick either Easy or Normal.

Am I a “loser”? Fair question, but actually I often ask exactly the opposite question: are people who who play on “difficult” losers?

Maybe “loser” is the wrong word. But here is my experience of the difference between “normal” or “easy” and “difficult” setting. On the higher settings, the game doesn’t become smarter, nor do you see new, cool content that you have to work hard to get to. Instead, you see exactly the same content that someone playing on “easy” does- you just have to die and respawn many, many more times on the difficult setting. So, to an extent, playing on difficult is sort of like hiring someone to follow you around all day poking you with a stick- your day isn’t better, but its a lot more irritating.

Okay, I get the idea that the game is more “challenging” on the difficult settings. But I’ve played many games over the years on difficult setting, and I know I have the skill to complete them if I practice and work at it. But its not “fun” for me to have to struggle harder to get exactly the same reward.

A major reason that I play games is for the sense of participating in a story. Sort of like an interactive book, with more blood and guts and so forth. Completing the story is more important to me than the struggle to complete it.

I wonder what I would do if playing on difficult setting really *did* have a benefit? If I got to see new or more interesting things by accepting the “challenge” of the higher setting, would I just get frustrated and irritated? Possibly…I don’t get much pleasure out of having to practice and practice just to make progress through the game, and probably I’d feel angry to be forced to make that unpleasant effort. I guess I’ll have to wait and see how I react if I ever play such a game.