The problem with low level grinding

As much as I like playing video games, but I really tire of win-one-lose-one grinding that seems ever more pervasive. I get that developers want players to spend time (and money) in their game and not leave – or choose another game. But this seems to have limited appeal in a world where greener-grass is on offer.

Games which grind through fetch quests for days on end to obtain basic resources for hours in the hope that eventually you’ll level up remain popular … but personally, I’m over them.

We all did this in Warcraft, just to get a mount. But times change, they give you one almost immediately these days – and that sucks. The grind seems to offer diminishing returns for old hands when shortcuts are increasingly on offer

We live at a time where we have alternative options to many things in life. In theory, we don’t need to grind through life in the hope that we’ll find something more fun, more rewarding and more meaningful. But life doesn’t have to abide by rules, and people are both logical and illogical – and yet people escape into virtual reality constantly.

In Overwatch, the grind is tiresome. Win a game, lose a game, deal with players quitting, refusing to play other than their favourite hero … which ultimately means those who are flexible, more willing to roll with it – end up losing more often – and don’t have the means to escape the core mechanic.

I wonder if gamification has adopted grinding as it’s core mechanic. What makes something fun and meaningful vs what feels like an endless wheel with terrible loot.