Apparently there has been some discussion lately about a BioWare writer’s suggestion of making it possible to skip fighting parts of a game, the same way you can skip dialogue. I’d rather not go into the response she received (which is not only disgusting, but also extremely stupid), but think about the actual suggestion, which I think in not only interesting, but also completely correct.
First of all, why do I say “correct”? Usually I’d say there is no correct way of designing a game, everyone has their opinion, etc. But here, it seems extremely simple – a feature that, unless I’m mistaken, should be very easy to implement in almost every game I can think of, has no effect whatsoever on people who don’t look for it, and improves the gaming experience of others. If it’s good for some, and meaningless for the rest, I can’t think of any reason not to do it.
Having said that, the idea is also interesting. Is it reasonable for a person to want to play Dragon Age or Mass Effect without combat? I myself recently stopped playing Desperados mid-campaign, and when I was a kid I stopped Warcraft 2 near the end of both campaigns, but in both cases I cheated my way to the end just to see the resolution of the plot. But do that for the entire game?
I think for now, no game I’ve ever seen was good enough beyond its main mechanic (usually combat, but you can ask the same question about sports games and sports, or racing games and racing, or any other main gameplay mechanic) to allow that. I enjoyed the plot in Mass Effect 2 very much, but not enough to want to play it without the action. Same thing with Dragon Age (except I also didn’t enjoy the action, thus I didn’t play much of it at all).
So in my opinion, video games don’t seem ready yet for enjoyment without their main mechanic. But if some people think otherwise, I hope game designers think about them as well. And for those who are worried about the future of gaming, in danger of destruction because of people who enjoy things other than combat? That’s a legitimate opinion, just try to make sure you really think that might happen, and you’re not just being a “Stop having fun” guy.
Anyway, I’ll certainly think about it when designing my future games.
 Did any of those people have a problem with god mode and other cheats being around pretty much since games were created? Did IDDQD ruin gaming forever?
 And again, this is a purely theoretical question that has nothing to do with the BioWare thing, because the ability to skip combat doesn’t necessarily mean “skip all combat”, just like skipping dialogue often just means “skip boring dialogue parts we’ve already seen”.
 Not that any of those two has a very impressive plot. But it was nice enough to want to hear more of, which already puts it in the top 5% of video game plots.
 And this is an interesting topic as well – how I, a huge fan of D&D tactics games like the gold box, didn’t enjoy the Dragon Age combat. I suspect it’s because it preferred realism over tactical depth.