Over on his YouTube channel, Charlie Cade argues that what defines game as a unique medium at its very core is challenge, and that game creators and critics would be wise to be aware of that:
As a new fresh medium we can make up our own rules. We can a look at the type of art we’re making and decide what gives it its intrinsic value. […] Shouldn’t you entice new people with what the medium can do differently, rather than by trying to make it more like everything else?
Check out the full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoOK6e_y1q8
In terms of further reading, you may also be interested in this article or this piece of the BrainGoodGames commandments.
Over at Gamasutra, Dennis Ramirez reminds us of the way games make use of failure in productive ways, instead of unhealthily discouraging it as our modern society does in many areas:
Even if there’s a chance for failure, there is something engrossing about working on an interesting difficult task. If we believe, as Popper did, that the creation of knowledge is an iterative process, we must allow for misconceptions and revisions. Games that challenge the player seem to give them some form of dignity.
Check out the full article: https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DennisRamirez/…
Recently some single-player strategy games, such as Auro: A Monster-Bumping Adventure or Minos Strategos, started using ranking systems of dynamic difficulty, specifically to combat some of the long-standing problems of the highscore model. In his new article, Ethan Hoeppner argues that this approach, while being a step in the right direction, comes with its own problems and can be improved upon further. He suggests presenting players with optional challenges, and discusses a difficulty format based on a single “par” number in depth.
Check out the full article: https://ethanhoeppner.github.io/gamedesign/the-problems-with-difficulty-modification.html