The most confusing and infuriating thing about difficulty levels is that there is NO STANDARD FOR IT!
You can beat "Boom Boom Shooty Shooty 37" on the hardest difficulty and yet "LOL Headshot 14" is too much for you even on easy... What's worst is that sometimes sequels can have drastic changes in difficulty...
Could it be that... game developers have never tried to understand what gaming skills really mean?
Surely people know that gaming skills is not just one skill, but the sum of various skills and that each gamer is skilled differently in each area? Right?
I'm no scholar, but I can name a few "skills" that we gamers have:
-Short term pattern recognition
-Long term pattern recognition
-Short term strategy
-Long term strategy
-"Endurance": You can make a pixel perfect jump, but can you do 50 in a row?
I'm sure you guys could name quite a few more, but am I insane to think that game developers should actually study gaming skills instead of just doing the lazy difficulty level thing?
Furthermore, we all have different views on what difficulty actually is! Some of use will say a game is hard because they died a lot, even though the punishment for dying is none, while others will judge how difficult the game is depending on how it punishes you and some of us view some things as more punishing as others...