The Case for Easy Mode

I think it's time we allowed ourselves a little easy mode in our lives. Right now everything is more difficult than ever, so if we need a little break when it comes to our hobbies and entertainment, I think that's ok.

There's something to be said to keeping a little challenge in your life, and I have nothing against spending time perfecting your skills or working towards truly getting good at a video game that you really enjoy playing. It's admirable to try to be the best you can. For many in the world of e-sports that can be very lucrative, fun team building, and an excellent way to spend your time, and I would expect no easy mode there. But the world of video games is as vast and varied as the real world, and as a result there are many reasons to play video games. None of those reasons are wrong.

My reasons are not competitive. As I mentioned in my post about Ori and the Blind Forest, I play to relax. I joke with the friends I play Fortnite with that I don't play to win, but I play for fun (I play for both, but I think my skills may have peaked and I'm still not all that great at it). So when I play Ori, and other games that are generally more difficult by nature, chances are pretty high that I'm going to consider easy mode.

I'm not a game designer, but I've heard that normal mode is the way designers intend the game to be played, and that's a fair argument. But I like when easy mode is explained as a way to focus on the story. A lot of RPG games are like interactive choose-your-own-adventure games that allow me to feel like I'm the motivator or catalyst of the story, pushing things along, learning about the characters and the world and the history. Do I want a little action in there to challenge my mind and fulfill that sense of accomplishment? Sure. Do I want to have to do the same thing five times and fail and rage? Nope!

Recently there was an article published on a gaming website complaining about the easy mode in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake being too easy, and despite a general agreement with that statement, why shame people for playing how they want to play? We shouldn't be complacent or let ourselves off too easy, but if easy mode allows you to enjoy the game you're playing, or makes it a little more accessible to anyone, then play what works for you.

Go easy on yourself.


Headshot of SphinxySphinxy is an occasional Mixer streamer at She plays a variety of games leaning towards casual, fun and RPG gaming, the likes of Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Final Fantasy, Lego games, sims and city builders, and indie games. Opinions are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Tri-North Studios.

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