Definition: Grinding in a game means repeatedly taking an action that grants you an in-game benefit, while there's no significant risk involved. That means you are guaranteed to gain the affected resource while losing (almost) nothing. It's a completely safe way to success basically. Thesis: To allow grinding in a game is bad design. Argument: Grinding in itself is not interesting as it poses no gameplay challenge whatsoever to the player. However, for the same reason, it's usually an optimal strategy, giving you benefits with basically no significant potential disadvantage involved. An uninteresting strategy like that, should never be a good (or indeed optimal) one. Most of you probably already agree with that. But let's see if we can get this bulletproof once and for all. Possible counter-arguments: You can interpret grinding as a difficulty safety net. Everybody can make the game as easy or hard as they like. Answer: That might seem nice on first sight, but actually it's just the designer not having done his job. Instead of offering multiple balanced and thought-out difficulty modes to accomplish the suspected goal of allowing players of many skill-levels to enjoy the game, he asks the player to decide. "How easy do I want to make it for myself?" The player is supposed to decide in which of the (in some cases basically infinite) difficulty levels he will have the most fun in. That means that he is effectively puttings hours upon hours into the game (while grinding) to adjust the difficulty level, instead of just having to change one option in the main menu? Seems bad to me. You don't have to grind that much. Or alternatively: Nobody grinds through the whole game, because it takes so long. Answer: It's actually not that uncommon for people to maximize on every little piece of grinding they can get. And the thing is, it's completely rational to do that and to make the game as easy as possible for you that way. The reason is that grinding in most cases is an optimal strategy. You continously get advantages without really spending resources. There is no reason not to do it inside of the game. What's wrong with the above counter-argument is that it implicitly shifts the level of assessment: For the argument to become reasonable, the player has to make the transition to the meta level of "real life". He has to understand that the resource invested here is "time of his life". And he's not getting (real) value back in the form of interesting gameplay (which grinding isn't). So, what the player wants in the game and in his life are completely opposed here. In the game, grinding is just amazing. Everbody wants to do it, because it's a really great strategy. In real life, it's awful and you don't ever want to do it (which is one of the reasons why many F2P titles make money, by the way, because they let you "skip the grind" by paying money). Exposing the player to this severe mental discord and making him force himself to not take the optimal gameplay action, is just horrible. Some indeed can't take it and just waste hours and hours of their life, because the game told them that it's optimal. A in itself not interesting strategy should never be an optimal (or even good) way of playing. I personally always run into these. Particularly the second counter-argument. Hope that's a good case against it? What else can you think of? Probably something like "But I like grinding" or "I think it's relaxing". Both of which I'm pretty sure have little to do with game design to begin with.