Editor's Note: Good Griefing

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Good Griefing

Are griefers just a bunch of jerks on the internet, or is there something more to their online exploits?

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Undead Dragon King

Evil Spacefaring Mantis
Apr 25, 2008
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Despite their myriad reasons for doing what they do, griefers really just piss people off. To me, griefing is not really defined by the people doing it. It's defined from the people suffering from the griefer's antics. Perhaps you grief because you're trying to prove something to yourself. Perhaps you really are a corrupted soul who likes to gank people for no reason whatsoever. Regardless of their motivations, a griefer by definition causes grief. And that is why they can be classified as a group.

There is a server on Team Fortress 2 that actually caters to griefers. Almost every person who plays it is a griefer extraordinaire. For all the spawn-camping, all the verbal abuse over the mics, and all the innovative ways to break the game engine, it's definitely one of the most fun servers to play on- in a strangely cathartic way. What's the best way to deal with griefing problems? Watching a bunch of griefers at each other's throats.
 

Fire Daemon

Quoth the Daemon
Dec 18, 2007
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Congratulations on making it to 200 articles!

Griefers are just people taking the game to a newer level of fun (for themselves). They are probably bored with the experience they are offered and decide to change the game to suit their personal tastes and if their jerks that involves ruining it for another person. We all probably Grief in our own little way, like playing as a Spy in a game TF2 even when your team has three other Spys and you know that you don't play a very good Spy but want to do it anyway. Griefing doesn't always have to be malicious, however it is a lot of the time, unfortunately. It is bad that people only find the game enjoying when they torment other players, it makes me wonder what sort of a person they are, but griefing isn't necessarily going out of your way to mess around with people, it is playing a game the way you want to play it.
 

squeakthedragon

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May 5, 2009
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The standard disclaimer trolls and griefers use - lol we are teaching you to not take yourself seriously - reminds me a bit of the old disclaimer we used to see on websites offering direct downloads of copyrighted MP3 files: "These files are intended to be used for demonstration purposes only and must be deleted after 24 hours." It sounds great, and is just the cute sort of excuse that a clever Internet guy would snigger at, but it doesn't really hold water.

Like those old MP3 sites, where a few people really did download the files to sample them, and always ran out to buy the CD the next day, once in a while griefers do sting someone who is entirely taking themselves too seriously and could use a dose of perspective. But in most cases, it comes down to taking pleasure by taking it away from other people - by frustrating them, showing (in your own mind at least) that you're more clever than them, etc. Even when griefers are merely bored and finding new ways to play the game, they still generally follow classic troll logic: win by losing. Everybody in a game or on a server hates the griefer - generally speaking - but most of the time, the griefer ends up just being dismissed as an asshole. He doesn't win many friends.

And that's okay by troll logic. The pleasure comes in making the other guy put out more effort to "get back at you" than you put in to pissing him off. Because the more effort someone puts into something, by the mindset of many people, the more seriously they're taking it. And people who spend all their time griefing on the Internet generally, in my experience, don't feel anything is worth taking seriously. They're very cynical when you come down to it, and quite a lot of them have proven to be a member of "generation f**k it". The Internet is the easiest and cheapest way to enjoy the most suffering the fastest, whether it's pure voyuerism - atrocity tourism - or active meddling in what other people are doing.

The funny part about the story involving the next door neighbor and her TV program is this: a griefer tried and true would laugh and say that anyone who complains that someone who complains about their personal enjoyment being spoiled by another is taking themselves too seriously. But by the same token, all the woman was trying to do was watch her TV show in peace - why exactly should she not be allowed to do that? The only real answer a griefer could give, if they were being honest, is this: my activity is always more important than your activity, because I'm the most important person in the world. At best, you are my caged animal, existing solely for me to poke with a pointy stick and delight in watching it squeal.
 

jdnoth

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Sep 3, 2008
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Griefer here.
The whole "internet is serious business" thing is just an excuse. We just love annoying people more than playing the actual game. To give you an idea; the most fun I've had playing Team Fortress 2 was when I managed to teleport half of my team behind a mesh fence, then got to stand in front of it making my engineer character laugh at them whilst the enemy team captured all of our points.

I don't understand anyone who doesn't think this sort of thing is hillarious.
 

SAccharing10

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Jul 3, 2008
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I sometimes grief depending on my mood, but not very often, and when it happens to me it does stir up some annoyance - but griefing in games like World of Warcraft is always about making people lighten up. I can't tell you how many times I jumped up and down infront of somebodys fishing bob making them unable to fish which is, in itself the most boring thing you could ever do in a computer game. But in games like Team Fortress 2 it's more to do with lack of interest for the real game, getting your team killed is easier than killing the enemy team, as it were.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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SAccharing10 said:
I sometimes grief depending on my mood, but not very often, and when it happens to me it does stir up some annoyance - but griefing in games like World of Warcraft is always about making people lighten up. I can't tell you how many times I jumped up and down infront of somebodys fishing bob making them unable to fish which is, in itself the most boring thing you could ever do in a computer game. But in games like Team Fortress 2 it's more to do with lack of interest for the real game, getting your team killed is easier than killing the enemy team, as it were.
Ok, question: where's the harm in someone fishing, if they find it entertaining? Ok, you think it's boring, but they clearly don't, so why ruin their fun?

jdnoth said:
Griefer here.
The whole "internet is serious business" thing is just an excuse. We just love annoying people more than playing the actual game. To give you an idea; the most fun I've had playing Team Fortress 2 was when I managed to teleport half of my team behind a mesh fence, then got to stand in front of it making my engineer character laugh at them whilst the enemy team captured all of our points.

I don't understand anyone who doesn't think this sort of thing is hillarious.
And a question for you: did anything in particular prompt you to do that to your team?
 

clem

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Mar 23, 2009
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Enjoy Griefing more than playing the game? You may be able to join the Sociopath Gamers Society!

Here are a few relevant characteristics of people who may have antisocial personality disorder (APSD):

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder )

-Apparent lack of remorse or empathy; inability to care about hurting others (Griefing)
-Impulsivity and/or recklessness
-Lack of realistic, long-term goals -- an inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals
-Poor behavioral controls -- expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper
-Narcissism, elevated self-appraisal or a sense of extreme entitlement (Every Griefer I've seen)
-A persistent agitated or depressed feeling (dysphoria)
-A history of childhood conduct disorders
-Tendency to violate the boundaries and "rights" of others (Griefing)
-Substance abuse
-Aggressive, often violent behavior; prone to getting involved in fights
-Inability to tolerate boredom (Griefer anthem)
-People with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder often experience difficulties with authority figures.

Well, IMHO there are better, more enjoyable ways to live. Get counseling. It worked for me! ;)

Edit: from my experience Griefers tend to be younger guys. It's not unusual for adolescent guys to have more impulsive energy than brains or self-control, and when it's not obvious how to get positive attention they often will settle for negative attention. Most develop a sense of purpose for their lives and grow out of it. You'll find more greifing in games that have a mean average younger player age, I would guess. I play some MMO's that have older player bases and find very, very little of this. (Like two occasions in two years.)
 

Pandalisk

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Jan 25, 2009
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I do it because it amuses me, do i need another reason other than that? sometimes i just want to be a dick on the internet, i just feel like blocking the door in COD5 zombies, i just feel like i want to drive a warhog near a clif and jump out at the last second sending my comrades to their doom. Why? because i can and why not? i find it funny its not complex their is no reasoning, no phychological problems with me, i just think its funny time to time, though usually i get bored after a while and play the game which is much funner when being serious.
its a matter of "Why the hell not?"
 

mr0bunghole

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Apr 4, 2009
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One conclusion I made in my years of playing MMORPGs is that griefers tended to be military-minded people. I decided this after having griefers as clanmates or guildmates, and by engaging grifers in game. More often than not, these people tended to be active military or former military.

Then again, perhaps military people have more time on their hands to play MMORPGS thereby making their presence in online games more prevalent than the "real world", or maybe the games I played (EVE specifically) drew a higher percentage of military-minded fans.

So what does this mean? I don't know - I'll leave it up to the sociologist to draw theories from more scientific observations than my informal surveys.

Nonetheless, I thought it was an interesting conclusion.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Pandalisk said:
I do it because it amuses me, do i need another reason other than that? sometimes i just want to be a dick on the internet, i just feel like blocking the door in COD5 zombies, i just feel like i want to drive a warhog near a clif and jump out at the last second sending my comrades to their doom. Why? because i can and why not? i find it funny its not complex their is no reasoning, no phychological problems with me, i just think its funny time to time, though usually i get bored after a while and play the game which is much funner when being serious.
its a matter of "Why the hell not?"
Ok, all of that makes perfect sense, but let me ask you this: why is your fun more important than the guy you drive over the cliff? Why is it ok for you to enjoy yourself at other people's expense?
 

Pandalisk

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Jan 25, 2009
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Susan Arendt said:
Pandalisk said:
I do it because it amuses me, do i need another reason other than that? sometimes i just want to be a dick on the internet, i just feel like blocking the door in COD5 zombies, i just feel like i want to drive a warhog near a clif and jump out at the last second sending my comrades to their doom. Why? because i can and why not? i find it funny its not complex their is no reasoning, no phychological problems with me, i just think its funny time to time, though usually i get bored after a while and play the game which is much funner when being serious.
its a matter of "Why the hell not?"
Ok, all of that makes perfect sense, but let me ask you this: why is your fun more important than the guy you drive over the cliff? Why is it ok for you to enjoy yourself at other people's expense?
I never said it was, and i never said it was more important nor did i say it was okay, you are looking for a reasonable answer to a question that has no reasonable answer, their is no reasoning, People are dicks and thats as much a reasonable answer you are going to get or probably willing to accept.

People are different to one another, they have different senses of humour, some are serious some arnt ectera ectera, some people do these things with friends so its a joke shared by them but not by you. Some are alone and do these things because they find it funny as will others on the server that find it funny, its like a joke you hear someone say where some people laugh while the others dont find it funny and thus you have people complaining about the joke while others swarm in and claim they are way to up tight ectera and it goes on and on. In the end its up to an individual persons personality.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Pandalisk said:
Susan Arendt said:
Pandalisk said:
I do it because it amuses me, do i need another reason other than that? sometimes i just want to be a dick on the internet, i just feel like blocking the door in COD5 zombies, i just feel like i want to drive a warhog near a clif and jump out at the last second sending my comrades to their doom. Why? because i can and why not? i find it funny its not complex their is no reasoning, no phychological problems with me, i just think its funny time to time, though usually i get bored after a while and play the game which is much funner when being serious.
its a matter of "Why the hell not?"
Ok, all of that makes perfect sense, but let me ask you this: why is your fun more important than the guy you drive over the cliff? Why is it ok for you to enjoy yourself at other people's expense?
I never said it was, and i never said it was more important nor did i say it was okay, you are looking for a reasonable answer to a question that has no reasonable answer, their is no reasoning, People are dicks and thats as much a reasonable answer you are going to get or probably willing to accept.

People are different to one another, they have different senses of humour, some are serious some arnt ectera ectera, some people do these things with friends so its a joke shared by them but not by you. Some are alone and do these things because they find it funny as will others on the server that find it funny, its like a joke you hear someone say where some people laugh while the others dont find it funny and thus you have people complaining about the joke while others swarm in and claim they are way to up tight ectera and it goes on and on. In the end its up to an individual persons personality.
Ok, perhaps I misunderstood something. When you drive your Warthog off a cliff, for example, do the guys who die chuckle and laugh it off, or are they pissed?
 

Pandalisk

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Jan 25, 2009
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Susan Arendt said:
Pandalisk said:
Susan Arendt said:
Pandalisk said:
I do it because it amuses me, do i need another reason other than that? sometimes i just want to be a dick on the internet, i just feel like blocking the door in COD5 zombies, i just feel like i want to drive a warhog near a clif and jump out at the last second sending my comrades to their doom. Why? because i can and why not? i find it funny its not complex their is no reasoning, no phychological problems with me, i just think its funny time to time, though usually i get bored after a while and play the game which is much funner when being serious.
its a matter of "Why the hell not?"
Ok, all of that makes perfect sense, but let me ask you this: why is your fun more important than the guy you drive over the cliff? Why is it ok for you to enjoy yourself at other people's expense?
I never said it was, and i never said it was more important nor did i say it was okay, you are looking for a reasonable answer to a question that has no reasonable answer, their is no reasoning, People are dicks and thats as much a reasonable answer you are going to get or probably willing to accept.

People are different to one another, they have different senses of humour, some are serious some arnt ectera ectera, some people do these things with friends so its a joke shared by them but not by you. Some are alone and do these things because they find it funny as will others on the server that find it funny, its like a joke you hear someone say where some people laugh while the others dont find it funny and thus you have people complaining about the joke while others swarm in and claim they are way to up tight ectera and it goes on and on. In the end its up to an individual persons personality.
Ok, perhaps I misunderstood something. When you drive your Warthog off a cliff, for example, do the guys who die chuckle and laugh it off, or are they pissed?
That depends on the person(s), friends or otherwise.

different people re-act differently, Some of my friends get really pissed and exact their revenge upon me in humorous vengeance, others laugh their heads off. while people (i do not know) watching laugh their heads off or shake their heads in disgust, It depends on the person.

Say our team is losing and i do drive my team of a cliff, i will generally get bad remarks about it, But if our team is winning the majority find it funny, I find that Individual personality and The progression of the game we are in are major factors in the re-action of follow gamers, Most opposition players find it very amusing while the more hardcore find it annoying, though i expect that from the hardcore.
 

Tharticus

New member
Dec 10, 2008
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Griefing is for people who wants a massive attention span because they are bored in real life and games.
 

carpenteria

Master Draftsman
Mar 27, 2008
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There are times and places for common dickery, but not greifing imo. And I think there is a differance between casually causing mischief (like the warthog thing mentioned above, I can't say I have been above similar incidents in similar games) for poops and giggles, and actually being labelled a griefer. I would say its an attitude thing, as well as the frequency such incidents are carried out. To reuse the above example, if it is done once every now and then, but you are clearly goofing around, no real drama, respawn and get on with it. If its your main way of using your play time, or it's clear your intentions arn't just for aforementioned poops and/or giggles, yahar, thar be a greifer.
 

sokolov

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Mar 20, 2009
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Humans are, in many ways, sadistic creatures. Not all of us, but many of us have a mean streak, whether we admit it or not. Whether we act on it is another story.

The internet's level of anonymity makes this type of behavior more prevalent. And any pretense about "teaching people a lesson" is just denial and displays a need for social acceptance even when doing something others may find unacceptable (it's ironic, but it makes sense).

At the end of day, as Pandalisk has demonstrated - they do it mostly because it's fun to them, it amuses them, and satisfies some part of their being. School bullies are similar, do they really need a reason to do it?

It's simple economics - video game griefing has low cost and allows you to obtain a reward you may not otherwise be able to obtain in real life (legality or safety issues).
 

Froggyman1000

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May 2, 2009
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Regardless of what anyone says, there is ALWAYS a reason someone performs an action. "Because I feel like it," is a reason. There are psychological problems with some people, some of those people play video games, but to try to label griefers as a massive group of people with something horribly wrong with them is just plain crazy in its own right.

I'm gonna open up a can of long winded typing now, so for those who don't like words, you can just skip down below to someone else. First of all, true griefing is not cool in my opinion. If you drive your teammates off a cliff once, that's fine with me. Sometimes the randomosity is welcomed amidst the same old find kill tactics your team will be employing the whole round. However, if your purpose is to constantly kill your team, to either make sure they lose, or to make sure they don't enjoy the game themselves, that's pure griefing, and it's wrong to do, whether you believe it is or not.

That being said, a lot of people who play games put themselves into this weird state of mind where they think they MUST win, or achieve some contrived goal, and if they don't they flip out like you wouldn't believe. These people really do need to lighten up. Some games are competetive. I grant that, no problem. But when you allow the goal of winning to take over the FUN aspect of the game, you're taking it too seriously. Games are supposed to be fun, just by playing them. If you don't enjoy PLAYING a game, you're missing the point of a GAME.

There isn't a single person out there who can simply pass judgement on someone else. If you believe someone is taking the game too seriously, it isn't your right to make them stop. Just ignore them, and let them game in their own little world. If I'm griefed, I simply ignore it. Someone called me a 1000 pound biatch loser with no life today, because I said something on world chat in the MMO I'm currently playing, and they didn't like what I said. I just let it go, it's the best thing you can do.

No one should try to take your fun out of the game, but in the same sense, you are the one who lets them take it. If they are messing with you, and they don't get a reaction, they aren't going to keep doing it. They WANT you to get mad, that's their fun. If you ignore them, they'll move on to someone else. If you feel you need to take further measures, report them. Dropping to their level isn't going to help, and it's not your job to "keep the peace" either, most companies have paid representitives who are paid to pretend to do that. *cough* Blizzard *cough*

As for hacking, or things that can't be ignored that limit your ability to play, report them, and move to a different area/play a different map/the equivalent to walking away and going somewhere else. If all else fails, walk away from the game, take a deep breath, come back in ten minutes, and see if it's still happening. After all, it's just a game, and it's not worth your mental or physical health.

-Froggyman