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    I’m not sure I agree with the author. Or, rather, I agree with part of his article, and I think he falls short when talking about farming simulators and the like.

    A very large portion of a farming sim is the tending: watering the crops, watching them grow, feeding the livestock, gathering what they produce, etc. That’s not a downside of the genre, it’s a core feature.

    Many times over the last three decades, I’ve repeatedly heard comments that amount to “I love SimCity/Civ/etc, but it would be better if there were no disasters/other civs/barbarians/etc”. That speaks to a real desire to do the slow work of tending and building something. And that should be recognized as something very different than the willingness to grind in order to reach an unrelated goal.

    In other words, I’m pretty sure the author doesn’t understand those games he’s criticizing. For many if not most players of those games, it’s not about the rewards, it’s about the “mindless work being glorified at every turn”.

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      I think he addresses that:

      “Having something to do” does not mean that it’s also something worthwhile or interesting — especially not in games. And wanting to simply “pass the time” may not be too reasonable of an approach, given it is a highly limited resource. Maybe questioning the circumstances that make you want to “switch off your brain” in the first place would be a worthwhile endeavor.

      And I tend to agree. Farming simulators are less about enjoying a finite story and more about escaping from your real life for an unbounded amount of time.

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        He comes into the article saying “grind is bad”, follows it up by “even for games where the grind is the point”, and ends with “wanting this isn’t reasonable, and you should do some introspection to fix it”.

        That still sounds like he doesn’t get it, to me.

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          I think he does get it, but wants us to reflect on how we pass the time when we play these games. And personally I agree with the author.

          There are better ways to spend my time than grinding in a game and I hate it. I’ll gladly drop the difficulty if it means I can get through the game’s story mode in 4 hours less.

          And the farming simulators? I play those in real life with real plants. No need for a game to do that.

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            And the farming simulators? I play those in real life with real plants. No need for a game to do that.

            I’m also playing that way, but have been finding the random events are frequently not much fun.

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              Just blame it on the “false sense of accomplishment” that many games provide.

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              I mean, “He gets it, and he’s right: people should like different things” is a pretty roundabout way of saying “he doesn’t get it”.

              It’s okay if you and the author don’t like these things. That doesn’t mean that people who do like these things are wrong. That doesn’t mean that your definition of “better ways to spend time” are universal.

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        I used to be an avid player of Path of Exile. I jump once in a while when they have a new content patch. But as soon as a few hours pass, I realize how futile and wasteful it is. I’ve had some great moments of human connection playing these games. And it is pretty fun to clear thousands of monsters an hour. But I’ve never felt anything close to the frission or aesthetic pleasure or the tears I’ve felt a few times in my life with any of my other great loves - painting, music, film. I just don’t think grindy RPGs are a worthy artform. The problem with them is that they’re somewhere between a slot machine and art, mostly on the slots end.

        Spend your time on something better.

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          I used to be an avid consumer of movies and tv series. I still watch one from time to time when a new one comes out. But as soon an episode or two passes, I realize how futile it is. There’s like 20h more for just this season.

          Spend your time on something better.

          Only half kidding. Even if it feels a little grindy I still currently enjoy playing grindy MMOs a lot more than watching stuff. I have small goals that I want to accomplish and usually manage to do that. “Finished the season” is not a good goal for me anymore, even if the show is actually ok. It’s just too passive.

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            Completely agree with TV. There’s so much available these days, you’ve gotta pick and choose. I find the value of having consumed the same TV shows as someone else is not too high. Best case - a new friendship forms, a good discussion ensues. Common case - they haven’t seen the show, the conversation is superficial. TV is also on the spectrum from passing time for a few chuckles to nuanced, filmic, fresh art.

            One could leave up choices of what to see and play to individual decisions - do what you enjoy. But there’s art that engages the highest faculties of our intellect, heart, spirit and there’s wastes of time. I think it’s possible to make that distinction.