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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
To Grief, or NOT to Grief? That is the Question!!

Practically everyone hates griefers. All, that is, except for those who wear the title as a badge of honor. But what constitutes griefing? That is at least part of the problem. I mean, one mans griefing is another mans playing around. Even if you turn to the experts you won't get a clear definition like you would for – say – armed robbery. (IE: weapon, threat, exchange of money).

According to Wikipedia an act of griefing involves the following three actions to be considered grief play.

  • The unfair use or abuse of a game mechanic that was not intended by the game's developers.
  • The inability of the victim to exact some means of retribution beyond utilizing similar unintended game mechanics.
  • The intended purpose of an act of griefing must be to negatively impact the game play of another person.

According to Wikipedia, all three conditions must be met to constitute griefing as well as some undefined game specific criteria set by the developers of the game.

So is it griefing if someone stands in the Violet Welcome Area and yells “Hooooo!” over and over and over? Wikipedia would say “no” but I challenge you to do it for an hour or two without facing complaints or getting reported. Or if you play Dark Life, pick up someone else's gold. Or go to the Barbi Club and push people around on the dance floor. May not be griefing to Wikipedia but its going to piss off people and they're going to call you a griefer.

Here Come Da Judge

I define griefing in much the way that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart tried to define “hard-core pornography” or “obscenity” by saying, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced... [b]ut I know it when I see it...”

Consider all this as a preamble to an incident I witnessed earlier this week. A guy named SpaceAce Wormser (he consented for his name to be used here) along with three friends joined an AgePlay group that has an open membership and began sending instant messages to the whole group. I'm a member of this group, and many other fetish-oriented groups, to better represent readers of “Get A Life.” SpaceAce opened with, “So, I was thinking about getting up a group and going to the teen grid for the evening. Who's with me?”

A couple of his cohorts chimed in with “Sure” and “How do you get there” but within seconds a legitimate AgePlay member informed the group that they'd contacted a Linden to report the griefers. SpaceAce and his fellows went on to argue that they were merely role playing when they asked the group if any members were wearing soiled diapers.

    “I didn't realize it was griefing to contact a group you are a part of,” said SpaceAce. “I'm sending a strongly worded email to the President of the Age Players of America, a (real life) group, I'm going to inform him of the intolerance of this group.”

While it was clear that the AgePlay membership were upset at being invaded by people whose only aim was to ridicule them, SpaceAce stuck to his contention that he was just having fun and if other people don't get the 'joke' they are just too uptight. He stuck to that contention in an interview with this reporter a few minutes after he left the AgePlay IM session.

    “To be quite honest, the problem is, very few people on SL have a sense of humor,” SpaceAce Wormser told Get A Life. “People need to learn to have a good time, and even laugh at themselves... I did the same thing to a furry group the other night, and they had a blast with it. They weren't so uptight that they couldn't laugh at themselves.”

At this reporters prompting SpaceAce couldn't manage to remember which furry group he had joined to mass IM – but I went ahead and IM'd the 20 most popular Fur groups, including Furnation Community, Furry Artists, Furry Felines, Furry Singles, California Furs, and didn't get one Furry who remembered his alleged intrusion into their world. Considering that most Furs are in several groups at once, and combined membership of the groups I messaged topped three-thousand, it is hard to believe that none could remember the alleged hilarity put forth by SpaceAce and his pals.

    “I don't remember him, or any griefers who were funny,” said noted custom builder and Furry EinHain Kavka. “There are only three reasons griefing is done: to get attention, to get back at someone or to impress others. What SpaceAce was doing (to the AgePlayers) is not griefing, but it is annoying, and probably abuse on some level. Therefore it needs to be addressed and punished if necessary.”

EinHain says Furries get griefed by individuals, small groups like SpaceAce's and by huge organized raids that are set up weeks ahead of time by people who run anti-Furry websites.

    “That group of users will make brand new (Second Life) accounts specifically for the purpose,” EinHain said. Current Linden efforts to curb griefing “Is about as good as it gets... unless they want to have it so that making an account requires the user to prove they are really 18. I think most griefing is done by people under 18 that create accounts specifically for the purpose.”

Welcome Area Regular Babydoll Goodnight knows a thing or two about griefers, and she says she's seen SpaceAce around – but she doesn't consider him a griefer exactly. Not a griefer, but she says that even though SpaceAce has expressed interest in joining the Welcome Area Regulars none of the three group co-owners or its many officers have consented to let him in.

    “He seems to take it personally when in fact our group has only one rule: no deliberate and repetitive griefing, so he's not gonna make the cut any time soon,” Babydoll told Get A Life. “I've heard him make very racist or intolerant comments towards a variety of groups. Joke or no joke, shock value or what not, that isn't something I want our group to represent so I'm very hesitant to include him.”

SpaceAce started a rival “Regulars” group that didn't go anywhere, and has since apparently disbanded. He has publicly acknowledged getting a seven day suspension from the game for his behavior in the past, so the Lindens are aware of his antics. They could perma-ban him but like a slew of other young people out to have fun – he has no payment information on file. He'd just come back.

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If you have a question for "Get A Life" just email . All submissions become the property of .  We reserve the right to edit submissions for brevity and clarity. No 'real' or 'game' names will be published. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Heartun Breaker, except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via e-mail to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes. 

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posted by Heartun Breaker @ 11:11 PM  
  • At January 17, 2007 at 5:47 PM, Anonymous Philanthropy Yue said…

    Welcome Area Regular Babydoll Goodnight knows a thing or two about steamers.

  • At January 17, 2007 at 5:58 PM, Anonymous Ahern_WA_Regular said…

    This article did not even come close to what griefing is or how it should be addressed. This is Second Life, a place where people want to live out a fantasy life. Whether it is sexual, griefing, building, or designing clothes these are things people want to do. Yes, it is against the TOS to act against people in an aggressive manner in second life. The risk when griefing in real life or second life is the adrenalin rush when doing something wrong. This article did not appropriately address griefing and instead focused one person who has not even been in the "game" that long. If people feel so inclined to feel they are being abused, file an Abuse Report and move on. When you put a spotlight on griefing in an article that is not even good enough about covering the topic to take griefing seriously is difficult. To be a good writer you should have gotten both sides to this and not just 2 people in a world where 20k people are logged in at any one time. Research the subject matter better next time.

  • At January 17, 2007 at 7:43 PM, Anonymous Spanky Squirrel said…

    LMAO, I never thought about joining perverted groups... that's genus!

  • At January 18, 2007 at 5:43 AM, Anonymous SpaceAce said…

    Your column nearly achieves the journalistic integrity of your previous articles regarding scat and fingerbaning, but I did notice several grammatical problems and factual errors I think I should point out. Perhaps my comments will encourage you to improve your column, and then you can share with me your proceeds. Deal? There are also a couple of statements I wanted to make regarding this issue. I plan to speak directly from the heart.

    Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the grammar and writing, but I was shocked to learn that you are a teacher. Poor kids. Maybe your remedial writing skills are a ploy to get you more attention and action in the ageplay world. Is this an accurate statement? Like I said though, I don’t want to dwell on it because I’m likely to make a few errors in this comment. I don’t want to appear hypocritical, even though I’m not the one trying to pass myself off as a journalist.

    Also, you make mention of several 'friends' of mine that participated in the ageplay chat. While it is true that two other acquaintances of mine joined 'Ageplayers' that evening, I think you will be shocked to learn the following. The individual that responded to me by saying 'How do you get (to the teen grid)' was neither a friend, acquaintance, nor any other associate. He or she was an actual ageplayer. Scary isn't it?

    Using your stellar investigative journalism skills, you make the conclusion that no furry group would have ever responded in a jovial manner to my group message that went as follows: "Is it true that furries fling their won feces?" Well, it did happen, and I have witnesses, right Jonny? Furries are weird, but is it not out of the realm of possibility that furries might just have a sense of humor in real life?

    The Welcome Area REGULATORS are not a rival group to the Welcome Area Regulars. We are a group that functions to protect the Welcome Area from moral decay. We work with the Regulars, not against them. Currently, we are putting forth efforts to encourage furries to relieve themselves in the pastures on the outskirts of the Welcome Area rather than urinating and defecating on the Welcome Area concrete. It's very demeaning for the Regulars to come behind the furries and clean their excrement (although some members of the Regulars apparently enjoy this task). Additionally, the WA Regulators are not defunct. We happen to be even more selective than the WA Regulars. Our membership is currently at 4. We don't plan on growing anytime soon. You and babydoll are welcome to send in applications, but don't expect to be granted membership anytime soon. We're too good for you.

    My 7 day ban was for telling people in the Welcome Area that 'I am more powerful than a Linden.' Evidently, this is a serious TOS violation, even if it's an obvious joke. The people who file the abuse reports know it's a joke, but I guess get so agitated after stepping in furry dung that they have to take their anger out on someone.

    I don't seek out specific people or groups to test humorous anecdotes. That's not my style. I'm equal opportunity. Heck, I'm not big on caging or weaponry, but just the other day, I teleported to the Sandbox specifically to cage myself. I neglected, however, to file an Abuse Report.

    Finally, to all the ageplayers out there, I'd like to apologize. I'm sorry if I offended your kind by pointing out your sexual deviance. Your bizarre freaky fetish is something that should be left alone. Also, I encourage you ageplayers out there not to confuse a sense of humor with underage immaturity, so quit IMing me to ask me if I want to ageplay.



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Disclaimer: All submissions to "Get a Life" become the property of We reserve the right to edit submissions for brevity and clarity. No 'real' or 'game' names will be published. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Heartun Breaker, except that an individual may download and/ or forward articles via e-mail to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.



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