Inside the Minds(?) of Griefers

Sorry if this one is a little late to the party. But it's the weekend, time for some longer think pieces. And besides, finding posts for Kotaku on the weekend is a bit like drafting a fantasy team. (Alright, World of Warcraft violence study, I'm going with you if ... DAMMIT. McWhertor took it ...)

Here's an article out of Wired I spotted shortly after coming aboard. It's a great look at Second Life and EVE Online griefers, whose behaviour is truly sociopathic — in those communities. In the real world, they're average ordinary /b/tards and SA Goons — OK so they're probably sociopaths in the real world, too.

But it's fascinating to me, do they have the motivation to do, in real life, anything analogous to what they do in MMOs? And even if you're not interested in the probing psychological question, Wired delivers some bizarre vignettes, beginning with the story's lead:

But shortly after 5 pm Eastern time on November 16, an avatar appeared in the 3-D-graphical skies above this online sanctuary and proceeded to unleash a mass of undiluted digital jackassery. The avatar, whom witnesses would describe as an African-American male clad head to toe in gleaming red battle armour, detonated a device that instantly filled the air with 30-foot-wide tumbling blue cubes and gaping cartoon mouths. For several minutes the freakish objects rained down, immobilizing nearby players with code that forced them to either log off or watch their avatars endlessly text-shout Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Get to the choppaaaaaaa!" tagline from Predator. [...]

Soon after the attacks began, the governance team at San Francisco-based Linden Lab, the company that runs Second Life, identified the vandals and suspended their accounts. In the popular NorthStar hangout, players located the offending avatars and fired auto-cagers, which wrapped the attackers' heads in big metallic boxes. And at the Gorean city of Rovere — a Second Life island given over to a peculiarly hardcore genre of fantasy role-play gaming — a player named Chixxa Lusch straddled his giant eagle mount and flew up to confront the invaders avatar-to-avatar as they hovered high above his lovingly re-created medieval village, blanketing it with bouncing 10-foot high Super Mario figures.

"Give us a break you fucks," typed Chixxa Lusch, and when it became clear that they had no such intention, he added their names to the island's list of banned avatars and watched them disappear.

"Wankers," he added, descending into the mess of Super Marios they'd left behind for him to clear.

Honestly, I'm trying to imagine what in real life could be analogous to that.

Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses: Put the Blame on Griefers, the Sociopaths of the Virtual World [Wired]


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