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I previously asked what is Smurfing and got an explanation that it was a subset of griefing. So now this begs the question....

What is griefing? Is Griefing really the major classification of harassment to be used in all of gaming? I thought it got started in Second Life but it seems to have become a larger part of the lexicon used to describe all other forms of 'gaming douchebaggery'.

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2 Answers 2

Griefing is definitely not a term that originated in Second Life. It's a form of trolling.

Wikipedia describes a griefer as

a player in a multiplayer video game that purposely irritates and harasses other players.

The most common form of griefing is exploiting certain game mechanics to disrupt other players in your team, like team-killing or blocking other players. It can also be someone who harasses other players, verbally or otherwise.

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But trolling isn't exclusive to gaming though. I find it more prevalent on forums. –  mugafuga Aug 18 '10 at 12:07
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another example would be in MMOs where the players respawn after death: a griefer would be likely to "camp" that location (especially if they are of a higher level, or if the ressurecting player will come back with less than full health) and continue to kill that player over and over. –  mfg Aug 18 '10 at 13:10
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Griefing is really bullying in the gaming world. –  Mechko Aug 18 '10 at 13:13
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To hell with spawncampers. Those level 60s should have things to do aside from camping lowbies in STV. –  Raven Dreamer Aug 18 '10 at 13:40
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@mugafuga Trolling occurs anywhere there are groups of people and anonymity. –  Brian Ortiz Aug 22 '10 at 19:03

Griefing is the deliberate, indiscriminate and repeated harassment of other players - with generally little actual benefit to one's own character.

It is essentially a "play style" where the player derives satisfaction from the discomfort he causes others instead from the accomplishments provided by the game itself.

This stands in contrast to unintentional bad behavior resulting from inexperience and also in contrast to harassment of specific players as can be part of a personal feud.

Some examples:

  • Repeated killing of significantly less advanced characters
  • Denying other players access to important resources by looting them aways immediately after they reappear.
  • Denying less advanced players experience by out damaging them and claiming the kills for yourself
  • Stealing the fruits of other player's labor by looting their slain monsters before they get around to it
  • Convincing less experienced players to do things that will harm their progress.
  • Training monsters to areas populated by player that cannot defend themself from them.

Like Mechko said: Bullying in the gaming world...

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It's a bit wider than that. Generally, disrupting your enemies or their friends (in such a way that they can't fight back effectively) with the intent of messing with their goals and/or drawing out their main forces is also usually considered as griefing, but it isn't simply "bullying" - it actually has a purpose. –  Martin Sojka Aug 8 '12 at 12:50
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Bullying is the wider term here. Not griefing. Also, since when has bullying been without purpose? There're reasons -- Albeit unsavory ones. Lastly, I've not heard of griefing used in that instance. We used to simply say "messing around" but I'll keep that in mind for the future! –  victoroux Aug 8 '12 at 15:43
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Pool's closed. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Aug 8 '12 at 20:53

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