Every week, features editor Anthony Burch bitches to a camera for a few minutes and calls it a “Rev Rant” even though he’s sort of trying to get rid of the “Reverend” moniker. It’s not the best idea ever.
If you pay someone to do mindless, repetitive work for up to eight hours at a time, it’s work. If you convince someone to pay you for the chance to do repetitive work for hours at a time, then you’re probably a JRPG designer.
Grinding, especially within the realm of RPGs, is a bizarre concept — players will not only willingly pay for the opportunity to have their time wasted, but will defend to the death those very mechanics which waste their time.
Imagine if, in a third-person shooter, you had to shoot at trees and walls for two hours before your gun could do enough damage to actually kill an enemy. Ludicrous, right? But why can’t we react toward JRPG grinding with the same level of disbelief and irritation?
[Michael Todd partially inspired this rant.]