“Choose how you want to start the game,” these words usually flash up on the screen when you press start on a new game. It then gives you a choice whether to start the game in Easy, Normal or Hard mode. These are the common difficulty levels that the game gives you. So why does this matter? And why would people prefer one over the other?
I don’t understand why some people would choose the hardest difficulty in a game when they first play it. Is this a show of pride? A show of being the man that you are? Does choosing Easy make you less of a man or inferior to those people who proudly say they’ve beaten the game on the hardest difficulty?
I sometimes feel the need to choose the hardest difficulty just so people won’t laugh or judge me for choosing easy but why sacrifice your level of comfort for what other people want? I don’t want that at all. I don’t want to have to explain myself to people why I would choose a certain difficulty and neither should anyone else. I still have that fear to tell people what difficulty I chose but I realize it doesn’t matter. As long as you are having fun and as long as you are enjoying the game, difficulty doesn’t matter at all. No one should dictate how you play the game but yourself because then it defeats the purpose of playing the game at all. You play the game to enjoy, to relax, or sometimes be stressed and that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to play the way you want to play it.
But what if the game has no difficulty level? And all it has is actually difficult by design. Games like Dark Souls and Nioh comes to mind. So you ask yourself, why should I play a game where I know I will have a difficult time in playing. Why should I put myself through such a game where I know I will just be frustrated? I’m also one of those people. In contrast to me playing Easy mode on games that offer it, I find myself playing challenging games like Dark Souls or Nioh.
So you might be wondering how do I overcome such challenges? Can someone who plays Easy mode all their life be prepared to play a game like Dark Souls? The answer is yes. To me, it’s still just a game. To me, even if I don’t get to choose how to play the game, it’s still a game that I find intriguing. Why is this game forcing me to play this way? Why do I have to submit myself to this torture? Is it really worth all the frustration? Games like these offer a unique challenge. The challenge to conquer your fears. The challenge to test your limits and capabilities. It helps you to learn and grow and be resilient. That exhilarating feeling that I get when I overcome an adversary that I died from over and over is very addicting. That feeling that even someone like me who plays on Easy mode on other games can actually still enjoy a game like Dark Souls.
You might say, you’re fooling us man, you’re actually pro at games. You’re just bluffing us with your Easy mode plays. You are a natural at this from the start. Truth be told, no. Truth be told, I get anxious when I play these kinds of games knowing that any second from now, you’ll find my character getting thrown like a rag doll. But I always like the challenge that it brings. I like conquering my fears. You can say I’m an adventure seeker. It’s also true that games like Dark Souls is not for everyone but you can enjoy this game even if you’re not that good at it. There’s no shame in asking help from other players. There’s no shame about being that person that always seek help. This is how we socialize as gamers. At least gamers who are not as social as the popular guy or girl in school. Trust me, I’ve been there and I tell you people are more helpful in games than you think. All you need to do is reach out.
At the end of the day, you are having fun, so play it however you want. I play the game for the story so why make it difficult to play? We have Dark Souls and other games for that. So the next time a game asks you to “Choose how you want to start the game” Go on. Choose whichever you want. It’s your game, not the world’s.