You know you’ve done it, we all have, who hasn’t? What I’m talking about is the act of "grinding" in games, meaning the repetition of crafting, farming, playing level one fights for bonuses – the simple act of repeating a step over and over and over again for seemingly inconsequential gains. Now in real life none of us would often willingly engage in this (generalisation I know), but really people seem to go out of their way to engage in innovative, unique, interesting jobs – no one wants to do the same task ad nauseam. So why do we choose to do this in our down time when gaming? What really is the appeal of grinding?
Personally I have been guilty of this when it comes to RPGs, especially in the Final Fantasy series. There is always the main objective of completing the story itself, but knowing that there are other potential sidequests, bonuses and easter eggs often leads to an uncontrollable urge to spend time grinding to levelling up characters. Another element that has added to this addiction is the use of achievements and trophies, and the need to have that sense of completion. On a side note I have also experienced this with some mobile games, only to delete them after months with the question "what was actually achieved by this?" – midado4 months ago
I've done more than my share of grinding, too, and sometimes hate myself while I'm doing it! It can be so boring. (In multiplayer games, I've often griped along with other players about just how boring it can be.) I'm wondering if the appeal has a lot to do with the significance of the gains. You wrote that the gains are "seemingly inconsequential," but I'm thinking that they have to be consequential on at least some level in order for us to pursue them. As midado writes, maybe it's the completionist in us? Or maybe we grind for a purpose and then stop once we get what we were going for (or at least close enough)? – JamesBKelley3 months ago