How mechanically difficult should video games be?

So I found this picture while browsing the webs and it made me stop and consider.
How difficult is too difficult for game mechanics?
Should video games universally be seen as art and expression to be experienced the way the artist envisioned, or should there be technical and mental challenge associated along with the "experience?" Can that also be part of the overall experience and the art?
What do you guys think? Does this funny picture tell the whole story, are video games the only art form that punishes the observer or audience, and if so, is that part of what people want to experience? That is to experience a small degree of "work" or punishment "grinding", if you will, as part of a narrative experience.
Kinda just throwing ideas at a wall, lol hopefully something sticks.
Lets get a conversation going.

Should all be on the level of battletoads or higher, keeps the normies out

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Most other art forms are just "sit back and enjoy", video games play with the challenge-reward system most animals have.
The picture is funny, but only tells half the story.
Note: A joke that tells the whole story is called satire

Difficulty? Well... Depends on the game.


I think there's room for any difficulty level across the entire platform. I like a nice, relaxing puzzle game once and a while. And I can understand having different difficulty settings for the same game, but there is such a thing as too easy.

I also think that sequels of difficult games should maintain that difficulty or increase that difficulty as the sequels progress. I hate that some series have fallen into pandering to those who complain that games are too difficult.

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I absolutely agree. Video games are very interesting and unique though in the fact that they are more of a combination of different interest areas. One game can have elements of sports, teamwork, strategy and planning, luck, skill and reflex checks, entertainment elements such as art design, color, lighting, elements of film and cinematography. It's why I think video games are the ultimate form of expression for us, because we take all the things we like or that challenge or grow us as people and we simulate that in interesting ways to tell stories or have experiences.
I think the end goal for all of it is a Star Trek Holodeck type experience, or a Sword Art Online "brain to vr direct connect" type experience. Then we will come full circle where we can be ourselves truly but unbound, able to experience anything in anyway.
Anything difficult to do is worthwhile to do. It's an old saying for a reason.

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