Summary of “When “easy mode” isn’t enough: An analysis of unclear lessons in video games”

This week, a gaming and pop-culture critique channel on YouTube looked at the existential question of “Video game access” from a wholly different perspective: a year-long analysis of an adult trying video games for the first time in her life.
Instead of calling the video “I made my wife suffer through video games for her first time ever,” Razbuten opted for a title that speaks to the inherent learning curve for anyone new to the hobby.
“What Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn’t Play Games” came as a result of a full year of the host’s wife testing nine video games she’d never played before: Super Mario Bros., Celeste, Shovel Knight, Portal, Doom, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Last of Us, Uncharted 2, and Dark Souls.
While we’ve seen essays and thinkpieces about the obfuscating “Language” of video games and how that can be a barrier for those who didn’t grow up with the hobby, Razbuten’s video shines because it collects and presents clear video proof of his concerns.
The tester unsurprisingly got lost in 3D games for various reasons, most commonly due to information overload and unclear onscreen markers.
Still, the video does an interesting job of selling the tester’s familiarity with computers, phones, and technology but not necessarily with the dense, underlying language of how traditional video games work.
What’s an “L3” button? Do all games have “Run” or “Sprint” options built in? If something in the game world looks destructible, why can’t it be destroyed?
The resulting perspective is an interesting mix of rigid and wide open, and it speaks to how even seemingly “Accessible” games can stand to make a little more room for brand-new eyes, especially as services like Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, and Microsoft Project xCloud loom as gaming entry points for people who have otherwise never owned a console.

The orginal article.