As far as I'm concerned gatekeeping is fucking irrelevant.Gatekeeping in videogames is very important as it is an effective deterrent for keeping (fuckin) normies who were too lazy to learn the game, out of these games and ruining them.
I don't like difficulty selection in general, incidentally. And I don't like it for what it does for ME, not for what it does for others.
I'm not sure why game designers keep asking me to "pick a difficulty" upfront without any real explanation of what each difficulty level entails.
Will the increased/diminished difficulty come with different rules? Will it involve more sophisticated enemy behavior or more challenging puzzles? Or will it be a case of stat bloat where arbitrary numbers are added and subtracted with impact on the game's flow?
What if I like a decent/moderate challenge but I'm not into HP bloat as a way to achieve it? What if I pick "Hard mode" and it turns out to be over-tuned and annoying in a way that makes the game less enjoyable? What if on the other hand I pick "normal" and it turns out to be something tuned for the average mentally challenged Polygon game expert? Etc.
I'm much more comfortable with the FEW but precious games that tell me "Here's the game, it works according to these rules and it's the same for everyone, we put our effort in making the the experience as balanced as possible across the board, make the best of it".
And if turns out to be too difficult/unforgiving for me in a way I can't enjoy (an example here would be Cuphead, as far as I'm concerned) eh, I'll drop it. I don't feel entitled to the right of finishing a game just because I bought it.