Monday, August 4, 2008

An Antithesis: The Joy of Griefing

This is a somewhat pro-griefer argument. I thought I'd do an article acting as the antithesis to one of Krib's Five, for the lulz. ;-P

Regardless of whether you love 'em or hate 'em, I submit that griefers are a necessity to our gaming experience. Why? Things would be pretty dull without em.

Griefing has a love-hate relationship with the gamer. It is funny to some, and horrid to others. It's also relative, as most gamers probably have a personal criteria for what griefing is. Some see corpse camping as the consequence of not being careful, while others think such activities are a crime against humanity.

That being said, I would argue that the social dynamic between the griefer and the afflicted party are part of what makes things interesting and fun for an MMO in the big picture. In the short term, most of us think of griefing as an inconvenience, but in my opinion, it's all a part of the journey.

What if there were no griefers in our MMOs? I think many people would get bored because of the lack of player tension. I should specify that tension and conflict are the important undertones that griefers can provide.

When I look back to my SWG days on Bria, the Imperials were seen as the big bad wolf: the griefer faction of SWG. Guilds like LFD and FoE made their reputations on being assholes. FoE had their city take-over antics, and LFD bested most Rebel PVP groups in battles, and just by plainly not playing nice.

Hell, I remember there was a huge uproar and debate over 'video game rape' because two imperials and a coerced bantha were 'raping' a corpse in a cloner.


However, the Rebel faction would eventually bend their e-morals by doing meanie things like destroying turrets through exploiting turret range, by destroying a city, or by engaging in good old-fashioned corpse camping themselves.

In retrospect, it all added up into engaging drama. And it contributed to the creation of a strong and entertaining player community. Not to mention: some of it was really fucking funny.

Now, you might be thinking that I gotta be a griefer if I'm defending such a terrible class of gamer. Well, I guess you could say I am.

I've never really been a full-time griefer, but I've engaged in griefing now and again. Why? Because it's funny. It's funny especially if you get a response like this from people.

This goes back to a point Krib makes, which is essentially: don't feed the trolls. If you give them responses like the gem above, then griefing will always exist. And there's something to be said about those people too: the kind who take in-game drama, items, or actions too seriously, and who forget it's just a video game.

I grief because I take joy in poking fun at people who take gaming far too seriously. It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for...it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? (Brownie points for those who know the reference.)

4 comments:

Krib said...

LUL! OMG blog drama! :D

Sure, I don't entirely agree with you. I draw a slightly finer line on what is behavior that pisses me off. Of course, as you say, that line is relative. For me, it is when you step past bedevilment into cruelty.

However, I definitely allow for the need for bad guys. LFD and FoE slaughtering and embarrassing us was what made Bria what it was. And it hooked me on MMO gaming.

More at a slightly less insane pre-work hour.

And bravo.

Rabidmutt said...

Bah, why didn't it just delete my comment entirely? I just wanted to edit.

Anyway...

Hehe, wasn't aiming for drama, but I thought I'd throw a different perspective out there on the subject of griefing. And of course it was really more of an address to the community of MMO gamers (and devs)at large.

I guess that would be another reason why the WoW community atmosphere felt so impersonal to me. Couldn't easily stir shit with the other side. :)

I am an advocate for players policing themselves though. Like a cops and robbers kind of thing, and less so than having devs trying to prevent grief all together.

jeffe said...

Spoken like a true MMO Libertarian Rabidmutt!

James said...

Well there's always the option of having carebear servers and more hardcore servers - enforce anti-griefing rules on carebear ones, and let everyone go nuts on the other ones. That might cause division amongst groups of friends who play together, but it's one approach.

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