Why the Term “Dumbed Down” is Inappropriate for Discussing Gaming

When it comes to terminology players use when discussing gaming, a few terms are not only inappropriate but unwelcome. So, gamers need to avoid these ridiculously overused terms for good, starting with “dumbing down.” Saying that a game or series is dumbed down has become a catch-all term. Usually, it means a person doesn’t like a certain set of design decisions. This is because video games used to be more complicated, arbitrary and difficult to understand.

Dumbing down refers to the fact that modern games include more tutorials, cutscenes and thorough explanations. So, players accustomed to those older video games from the early days expect the more difficult, tutorial-free playing style. Also, the term, “dumbed down” is not appropriate for discussing video games because:

  • Many people overuse the term.
  • Players mistakenly use it to refer to games with a different design rather than those with a simpler design.
  • The meaning varies from person to person, and nobody can agree on the true definition.
  • Dumbed down can mean any number of different things
  • It’s an easy term to use as a replacement for something else that sounds more official.

Also, many gamers overuse certain terms for discussing gaming, including “dumbed down.” And it usually means little more than, “I don’t like how they designed this game,” or something similar. It rarely means that a game requires less intelligence to learn how to play. While this can sometimes be the case, it doesn’t refer to every single video game.

For this reason, this term has become a useless one that doesn’t work when discussing gaming.  So, simply remove it from the discussion altogether, since few people can use it properly. Remember, the only time to use it is when a game has an unnecessary amount of lame explanations and hand-holding features.