New Game+ Is a Hell of a Metaphor For Privilege

Eric Ravenscraft
5 min readSep 27, 2021

Persona 5 Royal is a long game. I mean loooong. A typical playthrough of the year-long high school sim/supernatural psychological RPG can range in the hundreds of hours of play time. And most of that time is spent grinding, not just on your character’s EXP, but your relationships, your finances, and personal development.

For the unfamiliar, Persona 5 Royal (and I’m going to focus on Royal, the half-re-release, half-DLC that came out a few years after Persona 5, just for simplicity’s sake) tasks your character with a wide array of tasks and choices on most of the in-game days, which span nearly an entire calendar year.

On any given day where there’s not an important story event happening, you could be doing any of the following:

  • Go to one of your several part-time jobs. These jobs will net you cash, but they’ll also sometimes increase your personal stats, like Proficiency or Kindness.
  • Do extra studying for school. You’re in high school, you should be learning. Choose to spend time on your studies and you gain Knowledge.
  • Read a book, watch DVDs and movies, or play games. Another way to build your social stats, you could build your Guts or Charm by learning from the media you consume. Nice of the Persona video game to conclude that playing video games is personally edifying.
  • Solve crossword puzzles. Oh yeah, those give you Knowledge, too. They’re basically free, so you should do them any time you find one on the counter.
  • Grind away in Mementos to earn cash and EXP. Once you unlock Mementos, it’s basically an open training dungeon where you can earn cash and level up your squad.

And tons more. There are so many activities you can do in Persona 5 Royal that, despite playing for hundreds of hours, you still might never do them all. Although I feel like I’m forgetting one really important one. Oh, yeah, that’s right. You can also:

  • Spend time with one of your friends. Certain friends require a certain level of a particular stat like Charm or Kindness to hang out with. And each friend has ten ranks of friendship you can level up in. The more time you can spend with your friends, the higher their rank (and some are even romanceable), and the more…

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Eric Ravenscraft

Eric Ravenscraft is a freelance writer from Atlanta covering tech, media, and geek culture for Medium, The New York Times, and more.