Blasphemous Gives Us Another Way to Think About Difficulty in Games”

At Fanbyte, David Murrieta considers the way Blasphemous might provide new ways of looking at difficulty in video games. “The aesthetic approach to difficulty can do away with the idea of ‘challenge’ and attempt, in the spirit of Blasphemous, to account for as many fortunes as possible, not through prescriptive, mechanical measures, but through inquiry: in what ways can this game be experienced? How can the game’s trials direct and respond to players’ ‘useless and fantastic actions,’ instead of their desire to win and become saints? While ‘difficulty is not synonymous with accessibility,’ as demonstrated by Dia Lacina, there might be a way to mesh both, with aesthetics as a bridge. Narratives could use ordeals instead of quests; the idea would be to reframe difficulty to reject the individualist lenses of self-worth and merit, of overcoming and proving oneself, returning to a more welcoming and open form of play uninterested in being used to reproduce social hierarchies.” (Thanks, Bill!)

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