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Sekiro’s difficulty debate results in incredible ‘you cheated not only the game’ meme

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The copypasta is generating some truly golden memes

Image: FromSoftware

Perhaps you’ve seen the rousing debate around FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice percolating across the internet these past couple of weeks. Maybe you’ve even engaged in a few “git guds” yourself. But no chapter in the ongoing controversy over whether the video game requires an easy mode (or whether your relationship with it really says anything meaningful about you as a human being) has been quite as satisfying as the “you cheated not only the game, but yourself” meme.

The phrase, part of an already-infamous copypasta, was said with seemingly earnest seriousness by a Twitter user late last week, in response to a PC Gamer article by journalist James Davenport detailing how he used a mod to cheat his way through the game’s punishing final boss.

The tweet at first glance could be mistaken for a bit of performance art, and the author himself, a Twitter user by the name of FetusBerry, has since clarified that he was going for over-the-top melodrama. But it ultimately took on a life of its own as a perfect encapsulation of the FromSoftware fanbase, which has tendencies to lord concepts like skill level, perseverance, and other hardcore gaming merits over less capable players, culminating usually with the sentiment, “These games just aren’t for you.”

“As I’ve said since, I do feel that way about cheating — games can be an avenue for personal growth — but I was being melodramatic as well,” the tweet author told The Verge over direct message. “I believe that people can increase their skill when it comes to their hobbies if it matters enough to them — whether it’s games, origami, building ships in bottles.” But, as he stressed, he has not played Sekiro, and his comment was not at all designed to belittle people who aren’t good enough to play the game, or those who think it should have more accessibility options or ways to lower its difficulty. Instead, he added, it was mostly directed at the idea of cheating in a game where overcoming a challenge is its own unique reward.

Regardless, Davenport’s article arrived at an explosive moment in the ongoing Sekiro debate, and it’s resulted in so much harassment that he’s been forced to leave Twitter. The article appears to have been meant mostly as a first-person response to the easy mode debate around Sekiro, what it’s designed for, and the range of experiences and value you can extract from games like it. (Davenport’s point being that you can derive whatever value from a personal experience that you like, and not doing something the way others tell you you have to is just fine.)

That conversation kicked off immediately following the game’s release in late March and has resulted in some genuinely fascinating discussion around accessibility and what interactive art can evoke in people when it’s designed specifically to challenge them and push them beyond their limits. Yet it’s also resulted in some truly condescending behavior by a subset of players who think the game and its difficulty are reasons to feel superior. That latter situation has pushed a lot of the important discussions behind closed doors, which is truly unfortunate.

Thankfully, when the internet saw the melodramatic quote tweet, it responded in the only appropriate fashion — by meme-ing it into oblivion. And, adding credence to FetusBerry’s original intention, its mostly exited the Sekiro conversation and become more of a commentary about cheating in games and the rich history of how people have done so in popular classic titles like Super Mario and Sonic.

Below are some of the best renditions of the copypasta, featuring some truly creative versions that will take you down memory lane if you, like basically every video game fan ever, once relied on a cheat or exploit in a game.

Update 4/10, 1:48PM ET: Added interview material from the original meme creator and clarity around his intentions when writing the tweet.