200: A Folk Hero for the Online Age

tendo82

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Wargamer said:
Griefers as Robin Hood figures? Yeah, right!

Sorry, but there's nothing 'heroic' about Griefers; they're just a bunch of sad no-lifers.
The folk hero analogy, as most of you have now realized, isn't a perfect apples to apples comparison. Obviously Johnny Appleseed or Paul Bunyan don't work within the analogy. Neither am I trying to suggest that individual Griefers are heroic. We can all admit that, with few exceptions, they're basically terrorists when you deal with them on an individual basis.

However, I think as an entire group, as an archetype, Griefers do fulfill this psychological need we have, as a society, for the outlaw as a romantic hero. This is why people love movies about the Mafia when, if we're honest with ourselves, the Mafia are basically a bunch of thugs who terrorize lawful society. We all know this, and yet we're able to enjoy romanticized portraits of them like The Godfather. I think Griefers are fulfilling a similar role, they provide that kind of entertainment at a remove the outlaw gives us. But no one would advocate we stop prosecuting them in real life, just because we enjoyed the Godfather.
 

Wargamer

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tendo82 said:
Wargamer said:
Griefers as Robin Hood figures? Yeah, right!

Sorry, but there's nothing 'heroic' about Griefers; they're just a bunch of sad no-lifers.
The folk hero analogy, as most of you have now realized, isn't a perfect apples to apples comparison. Obviously Johnny Appleseed or Paul Bunyan doesn't work within the analogy. Neither am I trying to suggest that individual Griefers are heroic. We can all admit that, with few exceptions, they're basically terrorists when you deal with them on an individual basis.

However, I think as an entire group, as an archetype, Griefers do fulfill this psychological need we have, as a society, for the outlaw as a romantic hero. This is why people love movies about the Mafia when, if we're honest with ourselves, the Mafia are basically a bunch of thugs who terrorize lawful society. We all know this, and yet we're able to enjoy romanticized portraits of them like The Godfather. I think Griefers are fulfilling a similar role, they provide that kind of entertainment at a remove the outlaw gives us. But no one would advocate we stop prosecuting them in real life, just because we enjoyed the Godfather.
No no no, even that analogy is god-awful!

Let's go with a good analogy; Pirates. Why are Somalian Pirates 'evil' yet the Pirate archetype of Jack Sparrow so clearly 'Good'? Because Somalian Pirates are a bunch of bastards with AKs who murder merchant seamen and holidaying tourists passenger liners.

Whilst Jack Sparrow may get into a bit of a kerfuffle with the Royal Navy, and even yoink a ship or two, he is at least doing it for the right reasons... sort of. If it weren't for Jack Sparrow, the ocean would still be plagued by various Undead or Semi-Undead Evils and whathaveyou, so ultimately he was breaking a few rules for the good of everyone.

This is the key point here; Robin Hood may have murdered several people, but he murdered them because they picked the wrong side, so we don't care. Heroes are only heroic because they are on our side (ie: the side of the common man, not the drug-dealing asshats, paedophiles of the criminal classes, nor the ultra-rich elite or corrupt government official). Pirates, Ninjas and so on, when idolized, are invariably fighting the Good Fight... just not in the way that the insufferable Stars & Stripes Saluting Ultra-Patriot Superheroes do. In short, they fight the Good Fight the way real, ordinary people would; by taking the law into their own hands.

Griefers are never, ever on the side of the 'common man'. They are scum of the worst kind. If the WoW Griefers were somehow griefing Blizzard because they'd upped the prices, or griefing them so everyone else could get access to an otherwise inaccessible region or item set, then the analogy would stand; sticking it to the man is heroic, being a twat is not.
 

Zac_Dai

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tendo82 said:
Wargamer said:
Griefers as Robin Hood figures? Yeah, right!

Sorry, but there's nothing 'heroic' about Griefers; they're just a bunch of sad no-lifers.
The folk hero analogy, as most of you have now realized, isn't a perfect apples to apples comparison. Obviously Johnny Appleseed or Paul Bunyan don't work within the analogy. Neither am I trying to suggest that individual Griefers are heroic. We can all admit that, with few exceptions, they're basically terrorists when you deal with them on an individual basis.

However, I think as an entire group, as an archetype, Griefers do fulfill this psychological need we have, as a society, for the outlaw as a romantic hero. This is why people love movies about the Mafia when, if we're honest with ourselves, the Mafia are basically a bunch of thugs who terrorize lawful society. We all know this, and yet we're able to enjoy romanticized portraits of them like The Godfather. I think Griefers are fulfilling a similar role, they provide that kind of entertainment at a remove the outlaw gives us. But no one would advocate we stop prosecuting them in real life, just because we enjoyed the Godfather.
Don't worry Tom I enjoyed the article and as a once long time player of EVE-Online I completely agree.
 

in_95

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Griefers are the antidote to the fact that, despite playing imaginary characters in imaginary scenarios with no real rewards or outcomes, people take gaming way too seriously.

A reality check every now and then can't be a bad thing.
 

robinkom

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in_95 said:
Griefers are the antidote to the fact that, despite playing imaginary characters in imaginary scenarios with no real rewards or outcomes, people take gaming way too seriously.

A reality check every now and then can't be a bad thing.
That can go either way really. Yes, there are people that take games way too seriously, but that's only a portion of that bunch. Naturally, if you're paying a monthly fee to Blizzard or whoever to play their MMO, you want to do the best you can to maximize your fun/progress to get your money's worth. But you have to know when to turn the game off and get back to reality (like any of us with common sense).

I have 4 years worth of time in City of Heroes/Villains, but I hop to it when reality comes knocking. Real life is a bigger priority.

Now, Grievers who mess with people that lose their jobs or drop out of school to play online games... I'd advocate that behavior. They deserve it for being such incredibly thick twats.
 

KaiusCormere

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There was nothing griefing about the zombie invasion in wow, except for the whiners who complained about it
 

UnSub

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I'm aware of examples of individual griefers - Fansy has been covered, there was the Unibomber in UO (http://www.thepurge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8270), the Mittiani for EvE - but I thought it was telling that an article about them really couldn't name individuals. It's probably because griefing is usually a very personal experience and not something that translates well from game to game.

The issue here is that the 'noble outlaw' archetype doesn't work for griefers when what you see them do is gang up on those weaker than them, kill them and then teabag them while insulting their victim's sexuality. Robin Hood (at least in his most well known guise) didn't do that - he stood up to the system, robbed from the rich to give to the poor, and all that.
 

MisterColeman

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The best griefer ever in my mind was unfortunately quite buried by Blizzard and perma banned and what not.

Anyway it was an alliance hunter and I really wish I knew his/her name. There is a boss in Molten Core that places this bomb on someone randomly that is intended to wipe out the entire team unless they down it fast enough, or something like that. Well this particular time the boss put the bomb on the hunter's pet so the hunter in a stroke of evil brilliance dismissed the pet and killed the boss with his group and hearthed to Ironforge. Since the mob/person with the bomb didn't exist in the game's mind when the boss died it was not removed. The hunter unleashed their pet in the middle of Ironforge and the explosion literally crashed the server. Apparently there are limits to what the game can handle as far as number of people and npcs dieing in one instant.

Blizz quickly determined this was a deliberate act and acted accordingly, but it's probably my favorite griefer story. I think the server was Dark Iron but I might be misremembering. That bomb 'debuff' can no longer exist outside MC.
 

Xanadeas

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As an admin in two sims on Second Life I don't find anything heroic about a person that purposefully rezzes prims that follow, shove, and scream rape in a high pitched squeal at people. There's nothing good about forcibly hurling a person so high into the air that the client loses track of their avatar and the game crashes.

I've had to deal with griefers quite a number of times as an admin. Not once have I seen anything good about it. Playing a practical joke or being rebellious isn't the same as purposefully harassing other players so that they can no longer enjoy a game.
 

tendo82

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Nov 30, 2007
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Wargamer said:
Griefers as Robin Hood figures? Yeah, right!

Sorry, but there's nothing 'heroic' about Griefers; they're just a bunch of sad no-lifers.
Just like the baw baw carebears that get attacked by griefers are sad? Seriously they just need to separate the servers- if you get too many griefer complaints they make you go onto a griefer server. If you're on a griefer server and its no fun - go to a carebear server and play that game. You could make nazi servers and boot anyone that pisses anyone off ever and be done with it. If you're on a PvP server and you whine- its your fault: you chose a PvP server.

Yeah after reading about Unibimber in UO - I have to conclude he was a pretty cool guy- he only griefed the greedy and let the players punish themselves.
 

Wargamer

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Terminalchaos said:
Wargamer said:
Griefers as Robin Hood figures? Yeah, right!

Sorry, but there's nothing 'heroic' about Griefers; they're just a bunch of sad no-lifers.
Just like the baw baw carebears that get attacked by griefers are sad? Seriously they just need to separate the servers- if you get too many griefer complaints they make you go onto a griefer server. If you're on a griefer server and its no fun - go to a carebear server and play that game. You could make nazi servers and boot anyone that pisses anyone off ever and be done with it. If you're on a PvP server and you whine- its your fault: you chose a PvP server.

Yeah after reading about Unibimber in UO - I have to conclude he was a pretty cool guy- he only griefed the greedy and let the players punish themselves.
Congratulations, you have missed the point.

The people who defend Griefing are usually cuntbags themselves. People who complain about Griefers aren't all cowardly pussies who cry the moment someone says a bad word against them. The moment I boot up any PVP game, be it Killzone 2, Warhawk or whatever, I know that victory is achieved by trampling over the corpses of everyone who isn't on my side.

However, even then there are rules. Rule #1 is you don't try and kill your own team. Rule #2 is you don't go into battle against players who blatantly have no chance (ie: a seasoned pro going into a beginner server). In most FPS type games, Rule #3 - no Spawn Camping.

The fact is, I don't have a problem with going onto Resistance 2, facing off against a Supreme Commander (highest total rank available) and getting caned because he is better than me. I don't applaud him for kicking my arse, but I accept that I can't realistically expect to cake-walk every game.

What pisses me off is when you've got 8 strangers vs a 10-player Clan, who all have headsets and all spawn-camp you to fuck so you don't have a chance.

The problem that idiots who suggest 'nazi servers' is this; the moment you log on, all I have to do is Grief you by blaming you for something you didn't do. You get banned. Voila! Your anti-griefing system actually makes griefing worse!
 

tendo82

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Nov 30, 2007
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This has got to be the most ignorant article I've ever seen on the Escapist. Seriously.

Griefers are people who go out of their way to ruin the play experience of other players. Not for any noble purpose or goal, but because they lack the skill or desire to play the game properly. They are scum, plain and simple.

Writing an article that attempts to glorify the acts of such socially inept creatures is simply pathetic.
 

LordLundar

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Griefers get their jollies out of ruining the game for people who want to play legitimately, that's all. They don't care about acclaim or scorn, just that they screwed with someone else. Applauding these actions is shameful and childish at best, and downright disgusting otherwise. And for those of you deciding to agree with this article and the article writer itself, consider this: would you think their actions are so laudable if their sights were set on you? Would you think it funny if they chased you around and disrupt your game play to the point that your only option is to stop playing?

Yeah, didn't think so.