Controversy within the gaming community arose upon the release of From Software’s “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice,” and as usual, it came from the busybodies who shout that games need to cater more towards one group or another because otherwise, they’re not inclusive enough.
This takes different forms from “there’s not enough representation of people of color in this game filled with white people about medieval Bohemia” to “this game is too difficult for disabled people and should come with an easy mode.”
The latter complaint is currently being thrown at From Software from various parts of the social justice community for Sekiro being too difficult of a game. To give a short background on From Software games, they are very difficult by design and players flock to their brand for that very reason. Beating a From Software game requires the player to fail and try again until they finally win, and this can be a frustrating process. You will fail many times before you succeed and move on to the next challenge where you will start the process again.
From Software has developed a cult following over this. It’s the brand’s flavor.
However, game journos want that flavor watered down and have begun pushing From to make a mode for its games that makes it far easier to play for people with disabilities. One writer, in particular, Dave Thier of Forbes, is such a journo.
“The fact that these games don’t have any difficulty settings means that only a certain sort of player with time, inclination, reaction speed and lack of physical issues will ever see the final boss fight anywhere but on Twitch. This is a problem,” wrote Thier.
According to one quadriplegic, however, it’s not the problem Thier is making it out to be, and the disabled gamer proved it by beating one of the hardest bosses in the very game Thier addressed.
“People saying this game is too hard and want an easy mode,” wrote YouTuber Limitlessquad. “I even saw one post using disabled people with poor motor functions as an excuse for an easy mode. So here’s the Corrupted Monk done by me a quadriplegic.”
The video shows the quadriplegic beating the boss while another camera is focused on his hands. As you can see, he has limited motor function, but he still manages to beat one of the hardest enemies in the game.
As Erik Kain at Forbes wrote in his response article to Thier, From Software’s leader made his games this difficult due to the fact that these games give you a true sense of satisfaction after you defeat a part of the game that’s giving you trouble, essentially, giving you your money’s worth with a great experience:
FromSoftware doesn’t want you to act this way. Remember, Sekiro is a teacher. It is teaching us how to master its systems through failure and persistence and it is doing so for our own benefit. One particularly thorny boss I finally took down left me literally whooping for joy and pumping my fists in the air. What a feeling!
Miyazaki has said in the past that he wants “to let players experience a sense of accomplishment through overcoming difficulties.” The mountain is steep, but when you reach the top . . . the view is breathtaking, and all the more so for the climb.
It’s an amazing philosophy to have, and one that I feel is sorely lacking today. It reeks too much of an “I want to force my opponent to make me fail less” ideal that leaves one hollow in the end, yet we see it pushed as a guiding light for many in today’s society.
And if one quadriplegic gamer can’t change your mind about that, then allow me to introduce you to BrolyLegs, a gamer who specializes in playing Street Fighter 4, and is currently ranked number one online as a specific character.
BrolyLegs doesn’t have the use of his feet or hands, and instead uses his mouth to play.