☆☆Kids these days☆☆

So I have a son who is now ten years old, and about to turn 11. He mostly lives with his father, but lately, I have been seeing him more, and learning about his game habits. Something that I have come across, is the fact that he usually will play a game on the easy difficulty. When I asked him why, it came down to the fact that he doesn't want it to be too hard, and therefore a challenge. I have noticed that this trend is a lot more prevalent than I thought. Fortunately, I have been getting him to start actually playing games on at least regular level, and he is dying a lot more. But this has got me thinking, have kids gone soft and wussy these days?

Now I understand that it makes sense to sometimes play a game on easy in order to get the hang of how the game works, especially if you are not already good at video games in general. But when does it become lame to not cross the threshold to a harder skill level. I remember when I was a kid that games didn't have difficulty settings, and they were just plain god-damn hard. It would take hours to get really good at a game, and when you did, you probably had died like a million times. Even today, some games of old are still really freaking hard.

So what are your thoughts? Did you play on easy first, then switch it up a notch, or did you just go straight for HARD? Do you think kids are lamer today than in the past? If so, what are some good ways to teach them that making something a challenge is better than just easily skating through something, and that the harder it is, the more reward?

Well, till next time.

Love Ya❣❣❣

☆Megan☆

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Posted by PrincessMattakiStar

So I have a son who is now ten years old, and about to turn 11. He mostly lives with his father, but lately, I have been seeing him more, and learning about his game habits. Something that I have come across, is the fact that he usually will play a game on the easy difficulty. When I asked him why, it came down to the fact that he doesn't want it to be too hard, and therefore a challenge. I have noticed that this trend is a lot more prevalent than I thought. Fortunately, I have been getting him to start actually playing games on at least regular level, and he is dying a lot more. But this has got me thinking, have kids gone soft and wussy these days?

Now I understand that it makes sense to sometimes play a game on easy in order to get the hang of how the game works, especially if you are not already good at video games in general. But when does it become lame to not cross the threshold to a harder skill level. I remember when I was a kid that games didn't have difficulty settings, and they were just plain god-damn hard. It would take hours to get really good at a game, and when you did, you probably had died like a million times. Even today, some games of old are still really freaking hard.

So what are your thoughts? Did you play on easy first, then switch it up a notch, or did you just go straight for HARD? Do you think kids are lamer today than in the past? If so, what are some good ways to teach them that making something a challenge is better than just easily skating through something, and that the harder it is, the more reward?

Well, till next time.

Love Ya❣❣❣

☆Megan☆

Edited by Sackmanjones

As Jeff has said mannnnnnnnnny times now, games are built to be finished now. Sometimes I turn the game to hard before but its not always necessary. Developers want you to complete their game so you can be ready for the sequel.

Posted by Dany

Whats the incentive to have a harder game? In-game rewards barely exist and there are not 100x more things to distract the kid that something easy would probebly mean he'll finish it.

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Posted by kurtbro900

I dont know. I used to play every game on easy until I was like 15, Now I play every game on the hardest difficulty, the last game I played on easy was Halo 2.

Posted by Phatmac

Games have evolved and they really are just experiences. I say let him play what you deem okay(whatever form of rules you have for games applies here of course) and let him play on easy if he wants too. I think older gamers struggle with the concept of games being a more casual experience that devs set out to reach. Games are more open and easier by nature, since their more popular then they've ever been. I don't think you should be hung up on such a silly issue, it really isn't that important. Let him discover and ease into games. He'll decide whether or not he wants to peruse a life as a player or think of it as a casual experience. Just my two cents. Still respect any parent that is open minded about games and realized that they can be beneficial to their kid.

Posted by crazyleaves

There was no difficulty level when I was a kid so I always play on normal or higher depending. The younger generation has more options so if you son likes to play on easy no biggie. You should intoduce him to the old school and have him play some Super Mario Land. I'd say go NES first but nostalgia has rose colored glasses and all that.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@PrincessMattakiStar said:

I remember when I was a kid that games didn't have difficulty settings, and they were just plain god-damn hard.

You're remembering a false time, then. Tons of games had different difficulty settings, even if they were buried in the options menu, or took the less recognizable form of "here's where you can jack up your lives and continues".

Posted by NTM

Most of the people I know that play games always play the game on easy 'cause they "don't like dying", and just want to be done with it. Some of my friends back in high school, and most likely could get together with nowadays, played games on hard. I personally often play games on easy first just to see what the game's all about, then I go to the hardest 'cause I love a challenge and it's often more immersive. Very rarely do I start out on the hardest first, and very rarely do I go back to easy after I play on hard. I also hate middle difficulties; they're just dumb to me. No matter what, it doesn't seem like games are "hard" these days.

I mean, I consider a game that I think I can beat without much hesitation, pretty easy, even if it can pose a challenge. I think kids today will grow up and appreciate such things, just like other aspects of life. It's kind of like when I was a kid, I absolutely hated to learn things like math or simply take time read, and nowadays that's different. It's something that some will acquire in time, and some that just won't give a damn about. I'm not sure if you can correlate playing a video game on harder difficulties to other things in life, unless you were to think that being up to the challenge readies you for real life challenges; that I'm not sure about.

Posted by AdzPearson

Personally, I usually go to straight to the 'Hard' setting. For most games these days, I find it to be the 'Normal' setting. This usually works out fine for me. If I put on Normal for most games, I'd probably find them too easy. However, when I did that with Comdemned 2, I found it was a bit too hard for me to enjoy it. If I ever get round to that game again, I'll be playing it on Normal.

I think a lot today's games tend to hold the gamer's hand for a good part of the game. Older games rarely did it. For example, I'm currently playing through FFV and there have been plenty of moments when I don't have a clue where to go next. I'm used to games giving me subtle hints. I think I might have been spoilt by newer games in that regard.

I'm 26, but my childhood platforms were the ZX Spectrum, C64 and Amiga, so I missed a lot of the 'hard as nails' old games that were on the NES/SNES or Master System/Mega Drive (Genesis). That said, even some of the games I played on those systems were less forgiving than modern ones (like Treasure Island Dizzy only giving you one life to complete the game).

I wouldn't say there's necessarily anything wrong with playing games on easy. I personally prefer some kind of challenge, but if some players can still enjoy a game by playing it on easy, then there isn't really a problem. Each to their own.

...it's funny you should mention rewards for playing games on a harder setting, though. I watched the Quick Look for the new Kid Icarus game today and that seems to have a risk/reward system depending on the difficulty you play it on. While I'm not really interested in buying the game myself, it seems like an interesting feature. Maybe that's the way to go for more games.

Posted by TobbRobb

I guess it depended on the game. I usually pick the hardest I can where it's not painfully frustrating, which in some games might have been easy. I played a lot of platformers when I was a kid though, and they don't tend to have any difficulty settings. Dunno if I coudnt as "kids these days" though, just became 19.
 
Games have definitely become eaiser over the years, I can't really remember the last time I got something down to easy because it was too hard. Must have been playing DMC 3 or something when it came out... That game was not for kids.

Posted by jking47

I think its pretty awesome you just admitted you think your son soft and a wussy.

Posted by GunstarRed

There's nothing wrong with easy or very easy modes in games. Games are meant to be finished now and that is a good thing. If all games were like Battletoads now I wouldn't love playing games at all.

I played all games at easy on a first playthrough (if I could) during the PS2 era and If I enjoyed the game and wanted more out of it I would move up to normal, hard, very hard etc. If I hadn't had the focus of achievements in this generation I would have probably continued like that, but the promise of usually more points means my brain is trained to start games at normal or even hard from the beginning.

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Posted by Pazy

I typically play on the Hard setting. For me this is, typically, the setting which gives me the "correct" amount of challenge in that my abilties are tested, I have to use all my abilities but I dont usually get stuck at one checkpoint dying over and over again. Personally I have never found it fun to repeat the same scenarios constantly whether it be to just complete them like old school games or for grinding in an RPG.

While I dont want to die constantly having no fear of losing makes the entire experience worthless for me. I dont see a reason to play a fighting game if my oponent cant pull off a quarter circle or fight a boss in an MMO when he is 20 levels lower. When its reduced to that level its feels like pushing buttons as opposed to "gaming".

Im not against the easy difficulty but I find that games are better when you play them on "your" difficulty. Whichever one gives you the "appropriate" challenge so that you are constantly engage. All of too often I let a friend borrow one of my favourite games only for them to play little of it and return it because they found the gameplay boring on the easy setting.

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Posted by Doctorchimp

You should be happy your son is smart enough to plow through a game and get on with his life.

It sounds like an essential life skill he developed.

Posted by SomeScrub

Games with no challenge suck, what's the point? Is just hitting buttons fun for you?

Posted by SSValis

I remember when I was little I would never finish games, because I always found them too hard. Now it's just because I don't think a lot of game are worth the time.

Posted by buzz_clik

@Video_Game_King: Most games of the C64 era didn't have difficulty settings. It was just "here's a game, GO" before you died quickly and had to reload shit on the tape all over again.

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Posted by OldGuy

Once games started to have difficulty settings I adopted the 1 under hardest (modified) rule. What does this mean? I'm glad you asked:
 
I (almost) always play for the first time on the setting one lower than the hardest setting. Some exceptions include -- Easy/Normal only: play on Normal -- Five settings, but the hardest is locked: play on setting 3 -- Normal/Massicore: play normal... and so on.
 
It really amounts to the right challenge level for you. Let's be honest here, not everyone finds the puzzle of how not to die a lot very fun and that is the key: "Are you having fun?" Well, if you aren't you might want to figure out why -- if turning down (or up) the difficulty setting makes the game fun for you well then bully for you! I'm not gonna say a damn thing about the setting you choose to use to have fun.
 
I think one of the best innovations of (relatively) recent vintage is the mid game settings change. This is a GREAT thing. It means that you can bang your head against a tougher challenge (or more cheaty AI) but, if you get sick of it, you can spin the dial down without having to restart all over again. Yay for whoever invented that!

Posted by benspyda

Story driven games I play on normal because I want to see it through without getting stuck for hours before seeing the next story bit, Easy for story games that either have clunky controls or Normal really means hard (Uncharted games), and hard for games with little story or second playthroughs. I find I get frustrated playing story driven games and getting killed non stop when I just want to see what happens next.

I have no issue with games getting easier with story driven games (a little challenge is still important), just please add a hard difficulty option, because it gives me reason to go back and play games a second time.

Posted by supermike6

If you want a challenge, then there is an option to make it challenging. If you don't, there is an option to make it less challenging.

I don't really see the problem. Choices are good.

Posted by me3639

Always start on hard, unless it becomes unbearable. Watching Jeff play or talk about anything is annoying because they always play everything on the default(easy) setting. Too many games these days on default have become laughable. Take COD as an example, the most novice player of video games would not die on that setting. I guess i play games for the reason of challenge, and if no challenge is present why play?

Posted by Vodun

Yes, and their music is terrible and they should get off all our lawns. Fuck these arguments you geriatric cunts.

Posted by Addfwyn

As it's been said before, games are experiences now. Sometimes the difficulty contributes to that experience, like Dark Souls. A game like that just wouldn't be the same game if it were easier. Other games, the difficulty is entirely independent of the gameplay, like most RPGs which exist more to tell a story. In those cases, it really doesn't make a huge difference.

Is playing a story-driven game on easy 'wussy'? Not really, the difficulty doesn't really change what you're playing the game for.

Personally, I often find myself playing games on the harder difficulties right away, cause I am a total trophy shill. Often it makes games a bit worse of an experience, like when I played ME1-2 on Insane my first try (though admittedly, ME Insane is not remotely hard). That said, I'd much rather play a game that's 'too easy' than a game that's 'too hard'.

Posted by MetalBaofu

I play games to have fun. I tend to play on harder settings, but that is just because most games are generally too easy for me to have fun with them on too low of a setting. That doesn't mean other people can't have fun playing on easy, and there are times when I turn the difficulty down if the game starts becoming more annoying than fun to me.

Bottom line: Play on easy, play on hard, play on what you personally find fun and enjoyable.

Posted by Mars_Cleric

my brother plays games on the hardest difficulty the first time he plays them and he never finishes the games. It frustrates me to no end.

Posted by Lazyaza

In my experience with games most just aren't ever balanced and tweaked well enough to be enjoyable on normal. Nothing frustrates me more than failure and the more I'm dying and failing in a game the less interested I am in playing it. Especially with story driven games where death is incredibly easy having to re-experience the exact same moment over and over until you get it right ruins that moment. Modern games simply aren't designed for that to happen as frequently now nor should they be. Even Jeff has regularly said games are made to be finished now and for the people who do desire more challenge their will always be difficulty levels and titles like Ninja Gaiden, Dark Souls etc.

Posted by BlatantNinja23

I guess it all depends what i'm feeling... Sometimes I do kinda wanna play something that's more "fun" then it is "challenging". Letting me relax a little....

Posted by LiquidPrince

I used to play easy when I was younger... Now I play on the hardest difficulties usually. It's no big deal.

Posted by emem

Alright, that's the first "young" content tourist I've heard of. :)

Posted by SpaceInsomniac

I'm of the opinion that games can't be too easy or too hard, as long as you can set the difficulty.  I especially like super easy modes and "skip level" features that only open up if you do badly enough.  You paid your money, you should get to see the whole game.  Most importantly, allow people to change the difficulty without restarting the whole game. 
 
As for the games of the NES days being so much harder than anything these days, you also have to remember that many of those games were only about 15 to 30 minutes long, once you knew what you were doing.  Games had to be damn hard, or they wouldn't offer any value.

Posted by huntad

I noticed that my little brother does the same thing. I used to constantly tell him that he should try it on normal, but I understand that it's not really a big deal anymore. The only thing I'm concerned about is when he finishes games too fast, but I'm still glad he finishes them.

If he wants to have a good time, and easy allows him to do so, then I don't really see the problem. Games are easier today as a whole, so 'going soft' is not really the issue.

Posted by Masha2932

If he enjoys his games on easy let him play that way. Playing games on normal or hard doesn't make him a better gamer or something. If what he gets out of the game is enjoyable on the easy difficulty leave him be and he will migrate to higher difficulties when he sees fit.

Posted by Village_Guy

This seems to be trend for the younger generation, playing the game on the easiest difficulty - which saddens me a bit because they won't learn the feeling of satisfaction after overcoming a challenge. Which is an essential skill to learn in life, because otherwise kids are learning to just jump over where the fence is lowest.

Posted by Lunar_Aura

I actually play most games for the story and cutscenes. I'm not as good at videogames as I was as a kid. Easy mode is pretty much where I go unless it's just braindead easy, in which case I'll bump it up a notch.

Also, OP had stars and hearts. I almost expected to see the post littered with links to cheap Niek shoes.

Posted by deathstriker666

@PrincessMattakiStar said:

So I have a son who is now ten years old, and about to turn 11. He mostly lives with his father, but lately, I have been seeing him more, and learning about his game habits. Something that I have come across, is the fact that he usually will play a game on the easy difficulty. When I asked him why, it came down to the fact that he doesn't want it to be too hard, and therefore a challenge. I have noticed that this trend is a lot more prevalent than I thought. Fortunately, I have been getting him to start actually playing games on at least regular level, and he is dying a lot more. But this has got me thinking, have kids gone soft and wussy these days?

No wonder you were separated from your child. You sound like a terrible mother

Posted by James_Giant_Peach

@Dany said:

Whats the incentive to have a harder game?

Challenge? A sense of achievement? To make it interesting?

Posted by drag

we didn't play hard games when we were children because we wanted a challenge. we played them because that's all there was, an arcade hold-over to get more money out of people. if there was a difficulty setting on games when i first starting playing you bet i would have turned most of them down - i never even saw the back half of a ton of games

Posted by believer258

Make him sit down and complete "Mile High Club" on CoD4 on Veteran. When he's done, he'll either start loving harder difficulties or will never touch them again.

Posted by CptBedlam

@me3639 said:

Always start on hard, unless it becomes unbearable. Watching Jeff play or talk about anything is annoying because they always play everything on the default(easy) setting. Too many games these days on default have become laughable. Take COD as an example, the most novice player of video games would not die on that setting. I guess i play games for the reason of challenge, and if no challenge is present why play?

Pretty much my stance on the whole thing as well. Playing games without a challenge is just boring and meaningless to me. I always cringe when Ryan says things like "I'm playing on easy because there's no achievement for normal difficulty" etc. It just sounds he's playing for the wrong reasons.

Posted by Tennmuerti

I remember myself at around 10.
All games seemed incredibly hard.
When you are that age and have not been playing  for long your thought processes are just on a different level, as well as ability to analyse information, multitask, etc..
I frequently go back to games that i could not even complete in childhood and they are actually quite easy, turns out.
 
In other words I would cut the kid some slack mostly due to his age.

Posted by haffy

I hate difficulty settings in most single players games. A majority of the time your just raising enemies health and decreasing your own. It can be more fun if you get the balance right, but that's all I'm really looking for.

Personally if I want to play a game that is actually hard, I'll play the multi player, other wise it's tedious remembering a pattern with no real relevance to the rest of the game play.

Posted by JasonR86

Back in MY DAY...!!!!!!

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Posted by PrincessMattakiStar

@jking47: I wouldn't go that far. He's a great kid though.

Posted by Raven10

For me it depends on a couple of factors. I rent a lot of games from Gamefly and those games I often play on easy cause I want to get through them quickly. If I buy a game I usually play it on normal. I never start harder than normal. If I really like the game I sometimes go back and play it on hard. I'm honestly not very good at games so normal is a good enough challenge for me. As a kid I often never finished games because they were too hard. I think it sucks that someone may not be able to see a game through to completion because it is too hard. In addition I have less free time on my hands now than as a kid, so spending hours mastering a single level of a game is just not feasible. There are a lot of games to play and not a lot of time to play them. All that said, I do dislike it when I play a game on easy and don't die a single time through the whole game. Recently I was marathoning every Metal Gear Solid game. I wanted to get through them pretty quickly so I played on easy. I found that difficulty to be fine for the first three games. I could shoot my way out of a jam but I couldn't be too stupid and I still died regularly. Then I played MGS4 on easy and it was hilariously easy. I actually felt cheated out on some of the fun of fighting the bosses because none of them did any real damage. I didn't die to a single one of them. And I didn't die at all until near the end of the game, and I died because you die instantly in that situation if you do the wrong thing. Only time I died the whole game. That is too easy for me. I don't want to die a dozen times on every encounter but I want major battles to at least kill me a couple times. Often for me the easy difficulty fits that mold. So, yea, easy or normal for me, but that is more because I suck at games than because I want it to be a cakewalk.

Posted by Demoskinos
@PrincessMattakiStar Well "back in the day" games were really hard but they had to be because in most cases they were also super short. Difficulty was used as a way to keep people coming back. Now we have Blu-Ray discs that hold 40Gb and dont have the same worries of memory restrictions and space. Games are just meant to be finished now days. Personally I almost always crank up the difficulty because I do like having a challenge.
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Posted by Dagbiker

If the kids having fun playing on easy let him play on easy. What difference dose it make? I had 5 games for my NES one of them was Super Mario Brothers 3, and It took me forever to get to beat it. I would leave that thing on all day. And then I would die and then I would try the next day. But now I just kinda like the story of games, so I just play them on easy. It doesn't really matter.

Posted by TheHumanDove

yeah, what the hell is wrong with your son?

Noobs

Edited by MattyFTM

I played games on easy difficulty modes for a long time. When I started playing games, I obviously didn't have the ability to play on harder difficulties because I was like 5. So I played on easy. And that was a habit that stuck with me right through to my mid-late teen years. It was a force of habit. It was what I did. I didn't think about why I was doing it, I just did it. I got a new game, I jacked the difficulty down. It was really only when achievements became a thing that I stopped, because I wanted to get achievements for completing it on normal.

And even today, jacking up standard games to their highest difficulty settings does nothing for me. I love a good, hard, challenging game, but that game really has to be built from the ground up with the challenge in mind. Artificially creating difficulty by increasing the health/numbers of enemies and decreasing your own health (or similar tricks) does not make a compelling experience for me. It makes it frustrating, not challenging.

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Edited by Etnos

people play videogames for different reasons... and apparently that is damn hard to understand...

Posted by TobbRobb

Playing on hard is pretty pointless a lot of the time. Challenging games that are fun are usually designed specifically to be skillbased. Jacking up the health and damage of enemies in a shooter doesn't make it more compelling in the least, while playing something like Bayonetta where you can literally go through the game without ever taking a hit with a bit of skill is infinitely more satisfying when you ramp up the punishment.

I kind of want to get rid of difficulty levels in general, just design the game they want and let the people who can enjoy it fully play as intended. I know that's not gonna happen, or is fair in anyway to people who just plain aren't good enough. But I think that would make for better games in specific audiences.

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