I think an additional factor behind the observed inconsistency here is that the anti-easy crowd are…
Doctor Professor

It’d be an interesting project to look at the overlap between support for anti-easy and cheese posts. It would be easy if we had access to Reddit upvote data, but it might be possible to do a network analysis on comments. I suspect there might be a sort of “casual assent” where people who otherwise wouldn’t really care about the easy mode question upvote anti-easy posts because it’s FOTM as induced by a vocal minority. If not, it seems like there would be some downvoting contingent on anti-easy or cheese posts.

Alternate methods of consumption is interesting; I had a vague notion that speedrunners interact with the game in a different way, but Let’s Plays and streaming also need to be accounted for. The real crux seems like it would focus on how alternative methods of consumption might modify the structure of the game itself (skipping content a potential point)— alternative consumption so far seems to be performed through the imposition of some other technology.