Gatekeeping, Git Gud and Cuphead

Tanya DePass
Oct 3, 2017 · 2 min read

I keep seeing the discourse™ around difficulty, gate keepjng and the like around Cuphead. It’s a hard game & becoming the new Dark Souls. It’s becoming the if you don’t play & beat it, you’re not a real gamer title. Apparently playing on Simple mode is a gaming sin.

Cuphead Image by Studio MDHR Corp.

We’re already seeing but it’s easy! Cries from people who’ve spent plenty of time on it & beat it. Cool story pals. But consider this.. It might be easy for *you* because you’ve spent a god awful amount of time on it, or you just have good twitch reflexes still. Something being easy for you does not mean it’s easy for someone else. That can be for many reasons. Let’s look at mine for example; I have a RSI, tendinitis. That game would put me in a brace for a week if I tried to play it. My twitch reflex is gone to pot. The patterns also switch up sporadically in boss fights.

I’ve watched people play it, it’s a gorgeous game. However, mentioning that a simple mode would get me interested in it got me a well you can’t finish the game! remark. Well that means I won’t play it at all, because an easier mode locking me out of content is punishing me as a player. No thanks. Another comment I got was finishing it would be one of my great accomplishments of the year! If I persisted with it. Again not really (there’s a whole hell of a lot I’ve done this year that will outrank beating a difficult as fuck game)

I wrote a thing on that particular rabbit hole I went down on gaming identity & cuphead, not entirely relevant here though. Long story short, can we burn git gud culture to the ground as a way to gate keep who is & isn’t a “real gamer”? I play games of all types, ergo I am a gamer. I prefer to enjoy games, not play on max difficulty to prove my cred to anyone.

Cuphead looks amazing, cool for the people into it but stop using it as the key to lock people out of being part of the culture.