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Griefing is the act of intentionally causing distress to other players in an online game and the tactics used to cause grief vary depending on which game is being played. Griefers sometimes record their victim's reactions and upload the videos onto YouTube. (See also: Trolling, Pools Closed, Ralph Pootawn)
Griefing has existed since the days of Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) in the late 1980s and early 90s. In 1991, a notable MUD griefing event occurred in the LambaMOO game community, which was caused by a character named Mr. Bungle. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Bungle griefed the community by using a subprogram to commit "cyberrape":
The "cyberrape" itself was performed by a player named Mr. Bungle. The user behind this avatar ran a "voodoo doll" subprogram that allowed him to make actions that were falsely attributed to other characters in the virtual community. These actions, which included describing sexual acts that characters performed on each other, went far beyond the community norms to that point and continued for several hours. They were interpreted as sexual violation of the avatars who were made to act sexually, and incited outrage among the LambdaMOO users, raising questions about the boundaries between real-life and virtual reality, and how LambdaMOO should be governed.
The earliest known use of the word "griefer" comes from a USENET group discussion about the game Ultima Online from August 14th, 2000. Ultima Online, one of the earliest massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), holds the Guiness World Record for "First MMORPG to Reach 100,000 Players". The first Urban Dictionary definition was submitted on May 23rd, 2003:
griefer: In online gaming, someone who purposely seeks to annoy the other players, especially his own teammates. Usually a griefer is someone who is not good at the game, has a poor internet connection and wants to vent frustration. There are articles related to griefers and griefing on the Minecraft Wiki, TF2 Wiki, and the Second Life Wiki.
Types of Griefing
There are several types of griefing, many of which are only effective in specific video games.
- Spamming / Flooding: this method involves flooding in-game chat areas with massive amounts of text to make it difficult for other players to communicate. Some games have audio chat as well, and spammers can blast annoying sounds, or simply yell into the mic. These methods are typically circumvented by using 'mute' options.
- Blocking: some games have use collision detection that prevents players from being able to run through each other. This allows griefers to block other players from entering certain areas, or boxing in players to keep them from leaving, This has famously been used in the Habbo Hotel raids.
- Training: triggering monsters for the sole purpose of bringing them to other players to kill them (see Leeroy Jenkins).
- Camping: In games that allow player versus player (PvP) combat, a common practice to kill a player repeatedly by waiting for them to resurrect by their corpse, or by a spawn point.
- Team Killing: intentionally killing members of your own team. This tactic is most common in first-person shooters with friendly fire turned on.
- Kill Stealing: the practice of repeatedly killing enemies that another player is attempting to kill themselves. This is most common in MMORPGs like World of Warcraft.
- Destruction: destroying work created by other players. This is a common form of griefing in Minecraft.
The YouTube channel FFGriefers posts videos of their Minecraft griefing exploits. Another example of a griefing group is the so called: "Team Avolition". This group seems most active in minecraft, but has also uploaded several griefing videos from: Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, etc.Team Roomba has posted several popular griefing videos on their YouTube channel, the most notable being their Team Fortress 2 videos. The Gorons are a griefing group that has posted several videos to YouTube from both Garry's Mod and Team Fortress 2. The gaming organization myg0t was created for the sole purpose of griefing and hacking online games for the amusement of the group's members.
 Google Groups – rec.games.computer.ultima.online
 YouTube – FFGriefers
 Wikipedia – A Rape in Cyberspace
 TF2 Wiki via Archive.org – Griefing
 Second Life Wiki – Griefer
 YouTube – TEAMROOMBA
 YouTube – GoronCityEnterprises
 Urban Dictionary – griefer
 Team Avolition homepage – Griefing Group
Aug 06, 2011 at 01:30AM EDT
May 21, 2012 at 10:51PM EDT
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