I thought this was a great read, the Audio was ok too.
A couple points I thought were important was discussing how things like game communities, like this one, or something like gamefaqs has changed how we play games. It's very easy to go immediately to a resource like that whenever you get mildly stuck in a game and immediately find your answer.
I'm a firm believer that gamers become more immersed in a game as a result of conquering difficulty in a game (perilous zombies from Resident Evil II, timing your jumps just right in Mega Man games, stealthing through MGS, getting your hammer-on just right in Guitar Hero). So to a degree, I think one could argue that some level of difficulty is lost in a lot of games today because it's so easy to solve a puzzle from the new tomb raider, or uncharted which before may have stumped someone for weeks or YEARS! (Absurd as it sounds, I got stuck on Zelda II as a kid and could never beat it till I learned about gamefaqs). Because I feel difficulty goes hand-in-hand with immersion, (may just be me) I do feel some games today are not nearly as fun as they used to be.
On the other side of that, certainly, a learning curve can help muddle that idea of difficulty = immersion = fun. I used to put games into the Nintendo, Genesis, or SNES that I just did not GET. Partly because they were just bad, but partly because I got bored so fast. As a 13 year old, why in the fuck would I want to read all that text in Final Fantasy II? *pops in turtles in time* So, I'm sure a learning curve has a lot to do with why a lot of people now think games aren't as fun...because they know how the system works. It's the few games that still come out today that challenge and appeal to EVERYONE that we (the older gamers) deem good...which is just hard to do
The gaming industry is little different from TV.. You've got adult shows, kid shows, but the most popular ones appeal to everyone or can appeal to many different generations (Spongebob? Simpsons?)
Just some thoughts. TLDR? Be challenging games! the rest will work itself out.