In response to "Wanted: Ganked or Alive" from The Escapist Forum: The problem with trying to punish a griefer in-game is that the griefer is ultimately playing a meta-game; any punishment you impose is just going to cause them to switch proxies and create a new account, because they aren't attached to their "actual" progress in the game as much as they are their ability to undermine other people's time investments. As long as a relatively new character maintains the ability to be even slightly annoying or destructive, griefers will always have the upper hand.

Consider the idea of an "elected" board of officials. Imagine for a moment how easy it would be for griefers to overrun such a board and take control of it from the inside -- and consider how incredibly tempting it would be for them, especially if such a board had any kind of power. All they'd need to do is talk their friends into making a hundred characters apiece, and voting once (or a million times each, if the vote is conducted foolishly).

In real life, the penalty for being a sociopath is that you don't get an extra life. If we lock you in jail for life or kill you or whatever, you're dead; all games are over for you. Online, however, no punishment lasts any longer than the griefer chooses to let it last, unless he's made the foolish "mistake" of actually caring about the game.

- TomDavidson

This article has to be a joke. Allen Varney wrote PARANOIA, for goodness sake. There is no possibility that he is as naive and silly as he portrays himself.

The projected solutions to griefing are kind of hysterical, and seem rather PARANOIA-ish in themselves. But the idea that player-run government will eliminate griefing? That has to be satire/humour, surely? Everything we've ever seen from online communities (which tend towards, with all due respect, being petty-natured, vindictive, clique-y, and generally like the High School from Hell), and from people suddenly handed power, and, if one is even a little cynical, from human nature and history flies directly in the face of that. The Judge Dredd reference, I mean, come on, you're kidding right, Allen? This is all a big a joke at the expense of The Escapist's readership, right, right? With players in charge, the main things we can expect are anyone the leadership dislikes being labelled a "griefer", and genuinely horrid individuals who are "in" with the leadership being given virtually free reign to do what they like.

- Ruinx


In response to "A Griefer's Life for Me" from The Escapist Forum: To be fair, in anything, there is a time and place for it. Ironically, I wouldn't wholly call what the article describes merely "griefing" in the derogatory sense. The author here is describing an honest to goodness high grade /prank/. There's nothing inherently wrong or objectionable about a good prank. But look at it this way.

A good prank can invite others in to laugh with the joke and join in on the fun. That's what happened in this World of Warcraft anecdote.

Most of what goes on in online games under the banner of griefing though, isn't a good prank. Most of it is just trying to break the game for other players to make them made and spoil any potential for fun they have. It doesn't allow them the opportunity to laugh along with the joke. They're just a meat target.

Typically, the old line holds true: trolls accuse everyone else of having no sense of humor, but everyone else is just trying to say "it's not that I have no sense of humor, it's just that your idea of humor stinks."

- squeakthedragon

That actually sounds like a lot of fun! Usually when I think of griefers, I think of people who get in your way on purpose, or try to make it impossible to play. This endeavour actually seems like what the developers wanted, which is really where MMOs shine: the players get to decide how the game is structured.

Most multiplayer games have a very rigid rule set of "go in to the server, try to complete the objective, leave". With WoW and other MMOs, the objective becomes "go in to a server, make some friends, find what you want to do, how you want to do it." I applaud the creative use of the PvP server here. In fact, I would actually participate in it (on the Alliance side, of course) if I ever played WoW. If the subscription fee is ever low enough, maybe I will.

- NinjaKirby1322

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