This was a lovely episode, thank you!
On the difficulty question and hard-game-players: it wasn’t til I went to the US at 18 that I heard someone use the word beat to mean “reached the ending of” a game. In the UK we always said finished, or completed.
It did, and does, baffle me. You beat Mario 64. Was there ever a contest? How can you beat something that isn’t trying to beat you? A game isn’t standing in your way; it’s a journey whose creators actively want you reach the end. It’s a corridor calibrated to let you walk down it, with varying friction.
I don’t know, it feels like saying you beat a book.
Though I still haven’t beat Ulysses, so.