Seven Creative Approaches To Difficulty That Make Games Better
Difficulty shouldn't just mean dying faster. These seven games go above and beyond that low bar.

The Last of Us
Difficulty setting: Grounded Mode
What it does: Strips out HUD, numerous checkpoints, and Listen Mode (x-ray vision); and fewer crafting supplies
Why it’s great: The Last of Us was already built upon the foundation of apocalypse-based oppression, where every supply was precious and every enemy a threat. But Naughty Dog’s checkpoint-heavy design mitigated much of the tension associated with death. Grounded Mode removes a few of the game’s helpful crutches and gives death more weight since fewer checkpoints send you further back if you bite the dust. Actually listening – thanks to the sublime audio design – replaces Listen Mode, mentally counting bullets substitutes looking at the now-absent ammo counter, and paying attention to Joel’s physical state becomes your new invisible health bar. Couple this with often only having a single shotgun shell, half a shiv, and a brick to clear out (or sneak past) a room of creepy Clickers, and you have a gameplay dynamic that finally fully mirrors The Last of Us’ ruthless universe.

On difficulty.

It’s often said that the HIV/AIDS epidemic has a woman’s face. The proportion of women infected with HIV has been on the rise for a decade; in sub-Saharan Africa, women constitute 60 percent of people living with disease. While preventative drugs exist, they have often proven ineffective, especially in light of financial and cultural barriers in developing nations.

A new intravaginal ring filled with an anti-retroviral drug could help. Developed with support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases by Northwestern University visiting associate professor Patrick Kiser, the ring is easy to use, long lasting, and recently has demonstrated a 100 percent success rate protecting primates from the simian immunodeficiency virus (SHIV). The device will soon undergo its first test in humans.

“After 10 years of work, we have created an intravaginal ring that can prevent against multiple HIV exposures over an extended period of time, with consistent prevention levels throughout the menstrual cycle,” said Kiser, an expert in intravaginal drug delivery who joined Northwestern from the University of Utah, where the research was conducted.

Found looking on ASAT! 

The dancing Shiva is known as Nataraj.

The term ‘Nataraj’ means ‘King of Dancers’. This cosmic dance of Shiva is called Anandatandava, meaning the Dance of Bliss, and symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death. The dance is a pictorial allegory of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy:
•Shrishti - Creation.
•Sthiti - State, or preservation.
•Samhara - Destruction.
•Tirobhava - Illusion.
•Anugraha - Release, Emancipation.

In the form of Nataraja, Shiva depicts all of these elements.

Shiva has four arms:
•He holds a Damaru or a drum in his upper right hand. It symbolizes sound originating creation or the beat of the drum is the passage of time.
•He holds fire in his upper left hand, which characterizes destruction. Mostly accepted as destruction of all that is bad. Both these hands are on the same level or, on the same line. This shows that creation and destruction are both equal.
•The lower right hand shows Shiva’s protection from both evil and ignorance to those who follow the righteousness of dharma. This gesture is known as the Abhaya Mudra.
•The lower left hand is pointing towards His feet. It signifies upliftment and liberation. It also points to the left foot with the sign of the elephant which leads the way through the jungle of ignorance. Here, the attention is drawn towards the fact that life is graceful.

His right foot is pressed downward, expressing Tirobhava, or illusions in life; whereas, the left foot is drawn upwards, depicting Anugraha, or release from the illusions of the world towards enlightenment. The right leg is at the middle of the figure, which shows the preservation of a state, or Sthiti. It also holds down a demon, which can be perceived as the demon in all of us that shall be suppressed.

As in Hindu scriptures, “It is a continual dance of creation and destruction involving the whole cosmos; the basis of all existence and of all natural phenomena.”


Devon ke Dev Mahadev | Sati’s first interaction with a symbol of her eternal love, Shiva

Born as a mortal princess, the goddess was unaware of her identity as the Divine Mother Adishakti and her beginningless bond with Mahadev Shiva. Furthermore, she incarnated as the daughter of Prajapati Daksha, who loathed Shiva with as much passion as she inexplicably loved him. One after another, his symbols such as the Rudraksha bead, the Shivling, and the Tripund markings sparked memories of her divine origins and led her to beloved’s side.

In the center of the field was a huge stone-lined firepit. Even though it was a warm afternoon, the hearth smoldered. A girl about nine years old was tending the flames, poking the coals with a stick.

happy holidays to Shiv, who requested Hestia tending the fire at camp for their secret santa present! This was a lot of fun, because I’ve never drawn Hestia before uwu
I hope you like it!