John Welkner

Griefers and other people who like to cause hell can be found almost everywhere in world. The author talks mostly about the Griefers from online community and ones in MMORPG’s. I think that the internet makes these people worse then who the actually are. In the real world there are griefers too, but they are not all together to really have a real affect in your life, and most people are different in real life. An example about how people are much different online is when my multiplayer games class went on lambdamoo. We all go on there and became trolls and where harassing the other real players in the game. We were making jokes about the teacher and other people, but we are not like that in class. Some people are like this in the real world too, like a person who doesn’t hold the elevator door open, or a person who doesn’t let you over while driving. While in the online world, they are brought together by forums and guilds, and they can plan something that has a big affect on the much smaller gaming world. An example that I heard of is when someone dragged a very high level dragon to a noob town in World of Warcraft. This caused a lot of deaths in the city and was only defeated when enough high level characters got together to beat it. There are also griefers on other gaming communities besides MMO’s. An example of this is on Xbox live. Most of the FPS’s are filled with people who will team kill, and talk trash.

To John

Funny you mention that WoW dragon grief... I'll just leave this right here. I agree with you about being able to find griefers so easily, and it's because since they prey on other people, they can literally be found anywhere there are people. They just happen to be found so much more commonly on the internet because you can grief without retaliation, it's all anonymous and have no responsibilities attached. Furthermore, as it was stated in the article, griefers are especially attracted to people on the internet that genuinely believe in something, take something serious, stand for something, etc. This is solely because the bigger something is, the harder it falls, and the harder it falls, the more lulz there are to be had.

-Matt Burroughs

@John ; Matt

I agree with both of you guys for the most part. In various games I have played online, there are times when I'm bored and amuse myself by annoying others. I'm going to be honest and say those times I find pleasure in sadistically torturing them. I normally wouldn't do that in real life so openly. Being online gives me a mask so I feel more provoked into taking such actions. Of course I know how it feels to be grief'd upon and that is why I do it when I do. Individual or group feedback due to my "griefing" provokes me even more to continue. I find it interesting that this type of action is almost, if not, a never ending loop of cause and effect. In this case, I always find the "prey" eventually retaliating by becoming the "hunter".

-James Le


Jeffery Reynolds

Having been online since before the existence of the World Wide Web (yes, I took part in Archie and Gopher, and was a big reader/poster on alt. forums years ago), I've seen every kind of griefer there is. I've played dozens of MMORPG's, from text-based adventures to modern graphical games like City of Heroes. And I have to admit, the author is completely correct: there is nothing on the internet so incredibly important that we can not step back, take a long look at it, and laugh it it. It's only when we give it importance, value it more then reality, or sink actual dollars into the product that griefers cause us grief.

Like John, most of what I've seen from griefers involves their participation - or lack there of - in team games. I spent many long hours playing Battlefield 1942 online, for example, and it always gave us fits when another player would sit and kill his own team mates as they are trying to enjoy the game. But if you give them too much attention, it only makes things worse. The key is to laugh it off, kill them a few times for giggles, and eventually they would get bored and try to find some other more "serious" gamer they could annoy.

The question is: would you ever engage in griefing? I probably have, at least as far as message forums go, mocking people for their righteous indignation about any number of topics. In games, not so much, I consider games like any sports to have rules, whether coded or simply expected, and try to adhere to them as much as possible. But I certainly have learned that others will not agree with me, and there's little I can do to change that fact other then smile and keep on playing the way I play and try not to let them get to me. Once they've gotten to you, then they've gotten what they really want.

Alex Morrow

I think the idea behind many of the online Griefers is that - while the act of "griefing" can be just plain fun at times (this coming from a non-griefer who's only dabbled in noob crushing in WoW and a bit a trash-talking in various online games), ultimately is due to the fact that these people enjoy specifically ruining the good times of the serious online participants; whether it be MMO's, forums, blogs, etc. they just want to rustle the feathers of those who sleep, eat, and breath their online avatar. That's why Second Life was such a huge target - it truly is many participant's second life - who take it as seriously as their first life.

Because, as Jeffrey stated above, it only affects the people who allow it to affect them. When you invest so much of your real life into something that to most people doesn't matter, how can you not expect grief? I'm not saying it's OKAY to do some of the things that these PNs, /b/tards and Goons take part in - I think in many ways it's just cruel and unnecessary - but if you are able to just say 'the hell with it' and have a laugh, or take a sigh of relief many of these Griefers would have no fuel for their fire. If the Anshe Chung, Furry loving, Titan users of the online world could turn a blind eye to some of the antics of these Griefers.

Unfortunately, in some cases, however, how can they? It's a two sided coin. It's hard to simply say "oh well" when you invest weeks worth of hours online in a virtual reality only to have it torn down before your eyes. All your work dissipates into nothing just because some people thought it would be funny...lulz! While many people would say - some of those people need to 'get a life' and stop putting so much time into things that shouldn't have any bearing on real life - it's much harder for people like Catherine Fitzpatrick who's online presence merits true monetary revenue.

So as the internet grows and virtual worlds expand, the griefers will only find more environments to trash, servers to crash, lives to ruin and people to annoy to the point where they write death threats - we must all realize that there is still life beyond that online interface. And we must all learn to join in on the laughs. If we don't the Griefers will live on in their zealous, unfounded attempts for the LULZ they desire.

Steven Ho

I found this article to be very humorous. In fact, I lol'd multiple times throughout the read. I think griefing should be expected in most online communities -- gaming, blogs, or whatever, and if you don't take it too seriously.. it's kind of funny. Having played many online games, I've grown a love hate relationship with griefers. I remember playing Diablo 2 in hardcore mode-- which is when you die, you lose your character. I spent many hours leveling a character only to instantly get killed by another player of a much higher level at a teleport zone. It was very frustrating at the time. Looking back now, it's not such a big deal.

To John: Ah yes. I remember people dragging that abomo(Stitches?) from Darkshire into Goldshire(noob town) on my WoW server. I stood back and just watched all the noobs die.

To Jeffery: I don't really consider myself a griefer, but I've done it before. I usually try set my focus on the game I'm playing, and ignore anyone who tries to grief. It works well when you don't respond, as griefers lose interest in you. On the other hand, I play a lot of DOTA with one of my friends who can't stop talking trash. I find it very hilarious but don't usually don't add to the fire. That game probably has the worse "friendly" gaming community I've ever seen.

Sean McMakin

Never thought I would be doing a homework assigment about griefing. I do agree with what Jeffrey says, if you ever find yourself being griefed, the last thing you want to do is give them a reaction that they are looking for. A lot of it really depends on the circumstances. In World of Warcraft, servers come in pvp or pve variants. In pve servers, a player can only engage in combat with another player if both players consent. On pvp servers a player can be attacked by other players at any time in most of the game's regions. Some play on these servers because it makes the game world a more dangerous place, and that appeals to some people. Others don't find that appealing and play on the pve servers. So in World of Warcraft's case I don't really think anyone can have a serious complaint because it was them who choose to play on that kind of server knowing full well what could happen. They are some special circumstances, like bringing a dragon to the low-level area, but these are generally difficult to do, and happen very rarely. Even when they do, there are usually something the player can do like moving to a new area and coming back later.

One particular example comes to mind, a person who played WoW died in real life, and his guildmates held an-ingame funeral and put the person's avatar to rest. Anyway they were coming up one at a time to pay their respects, when suddenly a large group of the opposite faction came and massacred the funeral attendees. Needless to say, some people were pretty pissed off.
Heres a youtube link
People generally don't think about the negative aspects of online communities. Having a game that is so oriented on its community is both good and bad. I remember something that said different people find different aspects of these games appealing. Some like cooperation, some like competition, some like exploration, and some people just like messing with other people. There aren't any real laws that prohibit griefing in a game world. Despite how much it tries to emulate human interaction, its just a game and people will continue to treat it as such.

David Weiss
David Week 4
Oh my god, this has to be the best article I've read in this book yet! So far it was the only one that I managed to pay full attention to without trying, no offense. Anyway, I never knew that was a term for griefing. I've seen my fair share of it over the years *cough cough* Rick Rolled *cough cough* and for the most part I find it very hilarious. One of the few things that I don't apprecaite, when it comes to griefing is being Rick Rolled on Youtube or expereincing anything like it. On YouTube I'm trying to find things that are entertaining or that will give me information. Getting Rick Rolled video after video is not a fun thing to experience.

I've done my share of griefing through out the years. Usually I only do it when I'm bored and am looking for laughs. Other times I'll do it because someone ticks me off. But whatever the reason for it, it sure does pass the time. It can be very interesting to see how long it will take before someone does something to kick you off. some of my most memorable experiences are on second life. It's so much fun to mess with others on second life.

To David:
I found this article to be highly entertaining also. I feel like the designers of Second Life are griefers themselves. Why not create a game where players do absolutely nothing except sink time into their avatar. Why not create almost no rules so people scripter can harass noobs all day?
The world's greatest second life troll -
and just for you ... ...
-Steven Ho

Kyle Long

After reading the essay by Julian Dibbell, I feel a sense of guilt because I have to admit that I too was a jerk on a many occasions online. I have to accept what people choose to do with their lives. When I see people acting in role playing, I have an urge to make fun of them or degrade them just for the "lulz" as Rich Kyanka does. As John mentioned Xbox Live, the trash talking that takes place over multiplayer is atrocious. I have never heard so much racism, or foul language from kids that are a mere age of 13 and below. I have experienced most of the crude behavior that comes from the internet and its usually the people that are younger than 17. The internet is becoming much more serious and I have to say that the internet is serious business mainly because it's become a part of our lives. When the author mention about the attacks on Second Life and the hackers said that it was just a joke made me outraged due to the fact that hackers need to do something more productive with their lives rather than make other people have a miserably time playing a game they enjoy and that just want to escape from their reality.

When Sean mentioned the WoW funeral, I always had two opinions on that event. My first opinion was that these people take the game way too serious, having an in-game funeral for a player that died. It is heartbreaking to hear about someone you talk to on a daily basis on Warcraft passed away but I'm not going to have a gathering of people who I've never met in real life in a PVP contested area. World of Warcraft has grown more serious in terms of players contacting each other in real life with phone calls and text messages. I believe the hackers not only to do it to be jerks but to keep in mind to the people they aggravate that this shouldn't be taken seriously.

- James Gedling
I’ve never really understood the appeal of the Lulz. Don’t get me wrong, I can get a chuckle at the misfortune of others as much as any other person. Funniest home videos still makes me laugh when they air the reruns, particularly the physical comedy. But trolling…never seemed all that amusing. I’ve watched other people on games talking and trolling, spraying horribly offensive sprays, spamming annoying sound effects, talking trash in the chat. But the only thought that goes through my mind at them is usually along the lines of ‘Was that supposed to be funny?” Pausing to make light of their misfortune or add to the humiliation rarely occurs to me. Going out of your way to actually cause it just seems stranger still.

On the net, when I come across offensive pics posted in a forum, I scroll past it. If someone decides to spam horrible sound effects or use the mic as a karaoke box, I mute them. On WoW when I got a lvl 50 guy constantly hounding me on a low level area, I’d head somewhere else, or just shut off the game for a bit and put on a TV show. I never really think about retaliating or arguing because there really isn’t anything you CAN do on the net to stop it. It can be an annoyance; it can even be a hindrance to the point where you can decide playing the game isn’t worth putting up with this and hang it up for a while. But the same goes for the weather for a game of soccer. It might be annoying that it starts raining, or it’s too cold; but you can either put up with it and play anyway or go do something else till more favorable conditions arrive. Talking trash to a troll will in the end do about as much good to rectify the situation and shouting through a bullhorn at the sky.

Peter Quattrociocchi
I found this article particularly interesting and funny as well. It was a good read and flowed well. As for the content, I have had contact with Goonswarm and the like before (having played Eve online). They really are just a bunch of 10-year olds inside, but what one get's from a game is personal preference and in no way should be judged (save for obvious exceptions such as hacking). They follow the rules, the ToC, and do everything that is basically allowed. Can't blame them really and I do believe they are just games. I am surprised the WoW funeral crash, as mentioned above, was not featured in this article since it was just as "heartless" as the other things.

-Andrew Montgomery
I agree with finding people trying to harass or act like a jerk online can be found anywhere. I play a game called Call of Duty 2, and online its almost a part of the game finding people griefing over things that happen, or having a virtual arguement online. People seem to act like over a virtual world they cant ruin anyones day, or they can get away with whatever they want. I personally love the whole virtual bullying and trash talking online. I like it because it gives me a good laugh but sometimes it can be taken to far. As everyone was talking about the WoW funeral to me that is taking it to far. Yeah you can get away with things online and be tough but it goes to far when you affect someone emotinally in the "real world".