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Big Ideas: The nature of challenge

Big Download:

I well remember the days of the early 80's, spending a lot of my free time in the local arcade. My excitement over playing the latest and greatest machines was tempered by my limited finances. Getting to a certain level of proficiency in those days was often a costly endeavor. Fortunately, a high school friend of mine would soon purchase his first home computer, an Apple IIe. I ended up transferring my arcade time to time spent at his house, playing some of the greatest games I've ever had the privilege to encounter.

Thinking back to those games, one phenomenon stands out: their inherent difficulty, compared with that of today's games. It seems as though games in general were just more challenging then -- but surely that's just due to my poor recollection? Could games really have been getting easier since their humble origins? Have we lowered the barrier of entry to the point of making things too easy?

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