Maybe things weren’t as good “back in the day” as we think they were.

It’s instinctual rhetoric from any gamer who grew up with an NES in their house. “We had three lives and no continues. If we died, we had to start over the the beginning of the game!” Remember all those stories your grandparents told you about how hard they had it growing up? That’s us when we talk to younger or less experienced gamers.

It’s kind of annoying.

We like to act as if we enjoyed it. Like it was some sort of exercise in character building and we’re all the better for it. Like the personification of our games were those awful high school gym teachers, who yelled at everyone, all of the time, for no reason, because it was a “motivational tool”.

Gamers nowadays just don’t know how damn easy they have it, right? They weren’t there, man! They weren’t in the shit, getting shot at by Charlie! They don’t know!

We wear our experiences like medals won during combat tours. We brag about them, tell stories about them. If games handed out trophies, you know damn well we’d have those planted up on our shelves and mantles. We’d dust them off and polish them up every week. Before company came over, we’d give them a quick huff of hot, moisture-laden breath, and give them a final once over with the sleeve of our shirts. Those trinkets would shimmer and sparkle more than a rapper’s gold teeth.

Ignore the fact that games actually DO hand out trophies now. Until they release an official 3D printer that I can attach to my game console, it’s nothing but a fancy number!

We constantly complain about forced tutorials, handholding, hint systems, and arrows telling us where to go. After all, we didn’t get all that stuff, so why should anyone else? We played our games just fine and we still managed to finish them!

Is that really the case, though?

I mean, sure, Great Grandpa had to start his car by turning a crank on the front of it. He claimed, “If you couldn’t turn the crank, you didn’t get to drive.” What he forgets to tell you is that he broke his wrist eleven times turning that crank. They were notoriously difficult to spin and when you got the car going, that crank took your hand with it.

Pssh, turning a key? Child’s play. ANYONE can do that!

Yeah, that’s kind of the point. Modern games are things that everyone can enjoy.

Games aren’t being sissified. They are not coddling players or stroking their ego. They are not giving them a gentle but firm pat on the head. One that tells them, without uttering a single word, that they’re proud of them and love them very much. No, I call shenanigans on those, uhh… shenanigans.

They’re being made with inclusion in mind, because, whether you like it or not, games used to TORTURE us. We rarely ever got the ability to save, so we had to settle in and beat every game in one sitting. The influence of the arcades was still strong, so they were designed like they were supposed to snatch a quarter from your tiny pockets every couple of minutes. No, they were WORSE than arcades. At least, in the arcades, you had the option to keep feeding money into the machine. Console games stripped that from you.

“Oh, but that just meant we got our money out of a game!”

Yeah, because we were kids and we HAD to. It certainly wasn’t because we WANTED to. We didn’t have expendable income to go and buy new games. We were gifted them, an event that could only be rivaled by a visiting ambassador bestowing rare valuables to a nation’s king or giving a homeless man a bottle of hooch. These occurrences were rare and wonderful.

And don’t forget all of the awful games we suffered through because of this. Don’t forget all of the time we wasted on games we hated. The pain we endured, the mental trauma that scars us to this very day. Wanting people to go through the same things we went through is like saying, “Well, I was waterboarded. I just don’t think he should be allowed to cook the turkey unless he was, too. He doesn’t have the life experience I do.”

No! The message I get from old gamers isn’t one of acceptance, it’s one of mutual destruction. It’s one that comes from envy and a feeling of unfairness. One that tells me that old gamers think they come from better stock, so everyone else should have to achieve the same things they did, otherwise they’re not “worthy”.

This attitude has been bothering me for some time, and I’m finally sick of it.