Easy mode, theme park, casual.

ADifficulty 

Kick me while I’m down. Well played sir, well played.

I was playing Divinity II: Ego Draconis last night. Between the cursing and incoherent screaming coming from my computer room my wife must have thought I was engaging in self torture. In a way I was. This is not to say that the game isn’t good, on the contrary I really enjoy it, but I had to get past a few obstacles to enjoy it.

First of all every game I have ever played I have played on normal difficulty. Since I was little I gravitated toward medium difficulty for the sole reason that I didn’t want to play ‘sissy’ mode. This has led to ragequit type anger against many video games over the years, and still I would just reload and persevere until I finally beat those games.

I did not enjoy 90% of those games because I was too angry and frustrated, but it is what I had always done and so I continued to. It’s really surprising that I never quit gaming over the years, but again that is probably just my stubborn streak.

My wife came up to me last night during one of my screaming rages and suggested something so simple, and so insulting, that I had never contemplated it before. “Why don’t you turn it to easy?” she said. My first reaction was to be hurt that my wife would think I needed to do that, but the more I thought about it the more I didn’t know WHY I didn’t just turn it to easy. So I did. After that I starting to REALLY enjoy the game. It was still difficult for me but no longer so frustrating and anger inducing.

So with the influx of new gamers from World of Warcraft and the Nintendo Wii as well as other areas, why doesn’t the industry change this one aspect? No one wants to feel like a loser, and I’m not suggesting changing the game in any substantial way to cater to the casual crowd, but why not change easy mode, which is usually labeled “greenhorn”, “loser”, or “chicken”, to something that isn’t so derogatory to the average person. In fact, add another mode below the traditional three, call it “Casual”, and above that change easy to “Story – for those who want to experience the story without the frustration.” and call it a day.

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