The more you play a certain type of game the more you will be attuned to its nuances so as they change over time, if we haven't also adapted and evolved with them then it’s only natural we’ll find ourselves losing or forgetting skill.
Our brains are programmed to use this method, they hold on to only those things that are absolutely necessary and repress skills and memories that we no longer need or use.
This is why you don’t remember anything from when you were a newborn baby (lucky really, newborn babies are dull, they just cry, eat, poop, sleep and repeat) or why you have to practice and persevere in order to be good at anything, master musicians are only great because they continued levelling up a particular skill set.
Couple that with the way gaming has changed socially and you actually don’t need to think at all.
If you get stuck in a game, rather than spend time figuring it out or deducing what comes next, you can turn to YouTube for never-ending tutorials, walkthroughs and Let’s Plays. Sure you can still buy game guides and when I was growing up there were magazines with all the answers but today, the solutions are everywhere in excess.
Of course, some games do still require these skills but in general, not so much. Nowadays we have auto-saves or checkpoints and you can even utilise multiple saves.
There were no checkpoints, you had to start a level over entirely. I remember having to restart Alex Kidd in Miracle World over and over because when I first had my Sega Master System I couldn’t save, I had to keep playing it until I memorised the entire game.
The day I completed it felt amazing because of the hours I had put into it. I have incredibly fond memories of Alex Kidd, it was the first game I ever completed.
One could even argue that in modern day titles you no longer pick up on the details of a game and you take it for granted because you are simply moving from one checkpoint to the next.
Nintendo is a prime example of this, I often bemoan them for regurgitating the same games year after year. Yet in doing so, their demographic can play games from past and current titles with the same intuitive ease.