Is 'grinding' a fair or contrived mechanic in RPGs to extend gameplay? Was it more warranted in the past than it is now? Why?

Talk about the concept of grinding in video games (Single-player console games. MMO’s would be an entirely different topic). Often RPGs, especially JRPGs, require players to spend time mindlessly fighting enemies to up their level enough to advance the plot. Is that still warranted in today’s game environment? Was it warranted in the past? Is the level-up system outdated?

Use examples of RPGs from the older generations (SNES, PS, PS2, Gameboy, etc) and modern generations (WiiU, PS4, XboxOne, etc). Did technical limitations play a role? Is it an old tradition that’s stubbornly clinging to life? Am I wrong in suggesting it’s outdated and it is still an essential part of RPGs?

  • Wow! This is a really really fascinating topic. I think you are really diving into a very deep area of discussion with this topic! But it is one that merits alot of discussion. One question I might ask the writer to think about is this: "when writing this topic is how deep will this conversation be?" Will a casual reader be able to read an article about grinding and understand the article with little to no knowledge of RPGs or will does the writer have to include alot of background to help clear up information and make this topic more clear to people not immediately familiar with rpgs. Just some food for thought. Regardless, this is an AMAZING topic to address in an article! – SeanGadus 7 years ago
  • As a gamer, having played a certain amount of mmorpgs, and other games which require a grind, I am sure you can relate to all the other gamers that have probably been familiar with it. Today I feel there is a more of a "Pay2SkipGrind" option in all games. I am not sure that level up is outdated but it gives players a goal to get to feel that their countless hours atleast got them something. – Fluxz 7 years ago
  • Honestly, this might be a little too philosophical, but I have always appreciated grinding. It has always felt a little closer to true life than a lot of aspects of video games. For instance, grinding seems to connect closely with practicing sports. When you practice something like baseball, you simply need to go to the batting cages and hit a baseball at a certain speed over and over and over again. It might get a little boring, but only by crazy amounts of repetition can you ever expect to improve and advance as an athlete. I think this is true of almost all areas of life--the necessity of practice to perfect a craft. You know, the whole 10,000 hours, Malcolm Gladwell thing. Anyways, I feel like I would argue FOR grinding because of this idea that it connects the game a little more closely to the real world. – Squirrels 7 years ago
  • I think it would be worthwhile to address how grinding has "evolved." For example, turn-based RPGs like the older Final Fantasy games are nostalgic certainly, but probably too outdated for today's modern gameplay. FFXV and Kingdom Hearts (to name a few games), while still RPGs, took out the turn-based gameplay and integrated more seamless gameplay while still forcing the player to grind. I think the difference between these grinding methods lies right there, in the seamless-ness. – Christina 6 years ago

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