The Barrier to Entry

Do you think the real entry barier to videogames might actually be the player? At the end of the day, no matter how hard or easy a game is, how good they perform is determined by what they practice, how they practice, and whether or not they have the motivation to learn how to play.

Thinking that way is pointless.

Why are some games more popular than others? Is it because they’re necessarily easier? Harder? Or is it a lot of other factors? Brand popularity? Marketing strategies? Graphics? The concept of the game?

Either factors about the game affect the game’s popularity, or it’s random luck of the draw. Given that there are correlations between various factors and popularity, it can’t be purely luck of the draw.

Is it individual players that decide to be interested in any given game? Is there not something about the games themselves that influences this decision to play overwatch or call of duty for hundreds of hours?

The Melee community as a whole is at a much higher base level of competency than it was in 2006. The weakest players are stronger than ever. That’s why there’s the meme about low level smashers going back in time and tearing up the tournaments in the early days with advanced future technology. The worst players are better because the quality of the instruction has gotten better. There are way better tutorials and low level players understand a lot more about the game.

If you put the resources closer to the game, give people better tools, make the game give more feedback about what is going on and what they did wrong, then they will learn the game better.

Individual players have barriers or setbacks, but in considering what can be done to make a game or video games in general more approachable, you need to think on a systemic level, not an individual player level. In large groups, people tend to act predictably, even if it’s difficult to predict individuals. People follow the path of least resistance, and it’s up to you to make that path the one towards your product.

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