Griefing 101


Recently, we’ve had a spat of “Griefing”, “near-Griefing”, and other annoying events. As annoying as they are to you, they’re a real problem for There because we (SamSyn, Bruce, and I) end up spending time on them.

There are lots of tools in world you can use to avoid Griefers, people you don’t like much, or just people in general:

  • You can ignore them, which not only makes it impossible for them to talk to you, it also hides their name (they become “Ignored”), and their clothing.
  • You can teleport away from them. Given that you have an entire Virtual World at your disposal, this is always a good option.
  • You can buy or rent a neighborhood or neighborhood lot, and exercise as little or as much privacy as you feel like today.
  • If someone is shooting you with a paint gun, you can use your Force Field to protect yourself.
  • You can turn on “Buddies Only Voice” to ensure you only hear the voices you want (including the ones in your head) (If they’re on your buddy list, that is).

By far, however, the best tools you have are your own maturity. Whatever tools we come up with, Griefers, who apparently have nothing better to do with their time, will come up with a way to get around them.

But what griefer’s can’t do is make you react.

Remember, “No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent“.

We know that when a Griefer (who has problem run of of flies to pull the wings off of) makes an Avatar with a name that disturbs you, it’s bothersome. Even if you can’t see it (since you cleverly ignored them), it bothers you that others can.

Well, first, remember that just about everyone else will recognize the name as having being created by a Cretin (that’s a fancy word for Griefer). It’s not like someone going to see an avatar name “MichaelWilsonKillsKittens”, and immediately call the SPCA. Seriously. Think about it.

Second, if you do react, all you’ve done is stimulated what is probably a pre-teen who’s been grounded for not cleaning their room into griefing you some more. Like a tick on the butt of a diseased rat chewing on the carcass of a hyena, as long as it gets blood, the griefer will keep sucking. As soon as you cut off it’s food, it dies.

So, don’t react. Of course, you can ask us to ban them, and we’ll be happy to do that, but all that does it get them all excited.

You can also have fun with them. If they make a shirt, say “MichaelWilson’s Drunk”, I’d make one that said “But a least tomorrow I’ll be sober, and you’ll still be a fool“.

We’re all adults here. Most Griefers, aren’t, at least mentally. If you act like an adult, then they’ll get bored, and go back to puzzling out how to tie their shoes.

We’ve had lots of suggestions, which were rejected for handling griefers. Here are a few:

  • SamSyn, Bruce, and I will take 8 hour shifts, 7 days a week, to stay in world and instantly pounce on any Griefers who appear. If we did this, we wouldn’t get anything else done.
  • Get rid of free trials. This is probably not a good solution.
  • “Free Trial” accounts will be restricted to standing silently in Zona until they become premium members. While this would cut down on griefing, and give us another nice statue gardern, it wouldn’t entice new members to join up.

I know this isn’t a pleasant subject, but I think it’s worth bringing up from time to time. With all the bad things going on in the world right now, it seems like people could focus on being nicer to each other, instead of finding new ways to torment ourselves.

  1. #1 by AgapeLove on 2014.10.08 - 5:59 am

    I have never thought that the “griefing” I have received in was that big of a deal ; I just add their name to my ever growing prayer list as they are hurting themselves more then they are hurting me due to their charactor flaws! Most of the times what grieves me most are some of the changes in ,as it always seems to me that the more I spend the less I get! Now that I have a hood for the first time and pay for 4 or 5 family members to get on There; I might pay as much as 140 + a month! It leaves me very little to play paint ball unless I just want to play using the tryits with the 25 free shots 😦

    And as far as the 2 hour limit to second party hosting, I’m a legendary in event host but still need to set up 8 hour events for things like quests which no host needs to be there for! And if my husband , daughter, other family member or friend wants to set up the event and get the skill credit for it they should be allowed to in my hood! 😦 They will now have to take the time to sit there and set up multiple 2 hour events instead of one 8 hour event ! When they earned the skill level to set up an 8 hour , they are being told that they don’t enough skill ,which isn’t the case!

    I understand why you want to end the free paintball, but am not sure why the changes to the event lengths. I know that some people may abuse the event system and if I go to an event that is not a real event it takes less time to just leave the area then it does to set up multiple 2 hour events in the place of a longer one! Thanks Agape’

  2. #2 by ray on 2014.09.30 - 10:33 am

    NICE UPDATE MW TO CHARGE US FOR PANIT BALL HOW LOW YOU REALLY GOING GO I know this is out of topic but still going make more of a ghost town hope u make there free now when paint ball is charges now like the old there there was no charge

  3. #3 by JohnOzzyOsbourne on 2014.09.05 - 3:43 pm

    Hey Mr Wilson.. Completely off topic here but here goes…. There is a new company releasing a headset called Oculus Rift sometime in 2015. This is said to give us true virtual reality and actualy put us in the game. Just wondering if there is any chance of There working with them to give us the first true 3d interaction world ever???? There would be the absolute best if this was to happen.

  4. #4 by Dihtri (@Dihtri) on 2014.09.05 - 3:40 pm

    Only 33c a day. Skippy might appreciate this!

  5. #5 by BaphNagi on 2014.09.03 - 12:02 pm

    Then we get clowns like the Zone Griefer (or Troll) who has taken on the task of insuring that NO Open Hosting Zone shall have a Buggy Track for more than a couple of hours! This situation has now been inconveniencing buggiers in general for almost 3 years!

    In the beginning buggy layouts were replaced with a boarding track so braindead that the boarders wanted nothing to do with it! This layout would sit for days (or weeks) and only one person (never the troll itself) would put up a time.. I would replace it with a buggy track and it would only be there for about 6or8 hours before the same board track would return.. In that 6or8 hours the leaderboard would be filled with names, so there was no lack of people comming to the zones to drive a track! They just did not want a board track! Eventualy even the Troll realized this, and started setting up boringly simple tracks for other vehicles, with about the same useage levels (ie: only 1 or MAYbe 2 people in days!)

    Then they changed tactics some.. They would clear the buggy (other vehicles would stay a day or two) tracks, and leave the zone empty, thus useless to anyone! If I dropped a buggy track, it would sit for half a day tops (with a filled or almost filled leaderboard) before it got deleted! There were some days I would try dropping a layout again but it wouldnt last.. Ive dropped tracks as many as 3or4 times in a single day, but at day’s end the zone was again empty!!

    The most recent tactic is to leave the track intact, but remove the leaderboard and change the vehicle type to hoverbikes, with an absurd number of laps to a one driver race! Again, I have changed it back to buggies multiple times in a single day!

    For a long while I thought it was just my tracks being targeted, but then I heard from other buggytrack builders who were having the same problems.. most builders of buggy tracks have quit using the many open hosting zones because they know the tracks wont last more than a few hours, unless they set up multiple 8hour back-to-back events for it! Some (like myself) have aquired their own zones so they can keep their tracks unmolested in at least one zone! Most are unable to afford this option…

    So how the heck do we ignore these shenanigans???

    You could ban the avatar from hosting anywhere, but we are already painfully aware of the futility in that! They simply change avatars and we are left with the same problem ad nauseum…

    About the only effective solution I can see would be to return to the old way of having all the There-Owned Zones set to Approved Hosts Only, but for this you would need someone (Staff or Volunteer) to Administrate the Zone Hosts, and that could become an almost full time job in itself! I believe (perhaps wrongly) you originally began allowing Privately Owned FunZones to ease the workload of the gal who was handling that task!

    Beyond that I dont know what else CAN be done to stop the Zone Griefer(s)…..

    …..BaphNagi…..Steve W…..

  6. #6 by Escape on 2014.08.27 - 12:15 pm

    I’d like to know exactly what’s going on. Like for instance is everyone being griefed or only certain individuals?

  7. #9 by Loriendil on 2014.08.27 - 8:36 am

    First, the one circumstance that truly makes it impossible to *ignore* a griefer is when you’re trying to do a course in a funzone and a griefer comes in and purposefully gets in your way. Yes, I can leave, and I have, but it’s frustrating because my time in There is limited, and going through the hoverboat courses are something I do not just for fun but to practice precision flying. Oh well, just as in Real Life™, there are some things that Must Be Put Up With.

    Secondly, I don’t know the person or situation, but from what Punkster has stated, it sounds more like stalking than griefing. And having been stalked, and having the game wherein I was stalked do *nothing* to the stalker, this makes me uneasy. Is there no way, if provided with proof of long-term stalking, to do *something* to permanently stop a stalker?

    • #10 by Michael Wilson on 2014.08.27 - 8:46 am

      “First, the one circumstance that truly makes it impossible to *ignore* a griefer is when you’re trying to do a course in a funzone and a griefer comes in and purposefully gets in your way”

      Well that’s interesting. Maybe we can think about that.

      “Is there no way, if provided with proof of long-term stalking, to do *something* to permanently stop a stalker?”

      We can certainly do things (which we do), but, as I said, it’s a game of cat-and-imbecile sometimes. Some people’s lives are so empty they apparently will pay money to grief people (besides the other hoops they have to jump through).

      But, if someone truly thinks they are being stalked, they should contact the authorities, and we will work with them (the authorities) as appropriate. We’ve done it before, we’ll do it again.

    • #11 by punksterofthere on 2014.08.27 - 11:22 am

      Thank you loriendil, I believe that is what it is. Day in and day out this person/griefer/stalker appears and it instantly puts upset and fear into those being stalked. I talk as we, because we are close, like a family and we support each other the best that each of us can. I am hurting for my friends. I see hear the upset and pain being put upon them. We can handle a few griefers now and then but this is much more than that. It is time to contact the authorities and I hope this can be put to a stop very soon. Thank you.

  8. #12 by Kelayna Hilton on 2014.08.27 - 6:41 am

    Thank you for posting this. There is a wonderful world that I am happy to be proud to be a part of. Sticks and stones will hurt as well as bad words, but There is big enough to simply go to be with friends. I do my best to get along with all those I can, and if I cannot then I leave it up to all involved to go on. I have also been advised to use this on other social media as it moves back and forth with “greifing” there as well

    I agree with Francis’ post as well.

    We might all get along all the time, but we can at least agree that we would feel devastated if things got to where we no longer had There to call our virtual home. We were blessed to get it back, If not mistaken, remembering that we knew that support would be limited in world regarding personal situations prior to re-opening. We are given the tools to use and I do use them.

  9. #13 by Francis_7 on 2014.08.27 - 5:30 am

    I always surprised me that when given such a wonderful virtual world that a few bring the worst aspects of humanity with them, rather than bringing their best. It just seems such a missed opportunity for them.

  10. #15 by Punkster OfThere on 2014.08.27 - 5:18 am

    Wow you haven’t a clue do ya, MW? Most of us know all of this that you have shared already, and for those that do not, thank you for informing them. However, if you or any of your two employees had been paying attention those affected, you’d better understand the situation going on here. Oh no more work?! Really? Now we wouldn’t want that for you!! That would just be such a burden for us to put upon you and your two employees. We love this world, we never complain but when you have one person constantly recreating an avie name that uses other avie names and includes CRUEL words which are ATTACKING and ABUSING these fine people who too LOVE this world THERE.COM. Who put more time and effort money into it than most people. They are being targeted and over and over we ask for help because we’ve tried to do all of those things you mentioned above. This has many of us angry and frustrated and on the verge of leaving. Pay attention to the people who care. Do something! That is all. Thank you for reading.

    • #16 by Michael Wilson on 2014.08.27 - 5:49 am

      Believe me, we do understand the situation.

      But at some point, we will spend all of our time playing chicken with griefers as they come up with new and interesting ways to get around whatever tools we develop. As I said, we’re happy to do it, but as long as people react, they’ll keep doing it.

      As for the rest of your remarks, well, I’m, sorry you think we’re somehow “clueless”, “lazy” or objecting to “doing more work”. You, of course, are entitled to your own views and I’m happy to give you a chance to share them.

      • #17 by punksterofthere on 2014.08.27 - 6:30 am

        I’m sure your not lazy, none of you, because you three are running a business and it’s just the few of you doing so. It doesn’t help though that we having to have gotten to the point of feeling helpless and having to reach out for help because after trying those things mentioned above, after 4 months of ignoring this griefer, the grief continues. Most people do get bored and either give up or grief someone else, this is not the case here. Something far more serious is going on with this person mentally, for them to keep this up for as long as they have. We’ve used the tools, we’ve done the ignoring and forcefields, the person just keeps coming like they are really sick and twisted and as much as we try to ignore, it’s hard not to notice. We very much would rather be able to take care of this issue on our own, believe you me. So the only reason we reach out to you is because it is beyond our abilities unless we choose to let them win and walk away. We need your help. But we don’t want to be a burden either. If there is anything ANYTHING more that I can do, I will do it, to protect my friends and the world. Thank you again for reading and responding. Sorry if I seem upset, I am.

  11. #18 by Joey on 2014.08.27 - 5:12 am

    Why don’t you ask for a credit card for signing up for free account. Then only serious people will sign up. Then it will automatically charge them after the month if they don’t cancel the free trial. Most companies do this with free trials. This will stop all these problems and kids signing up. Then you know it’s only 18+ doing free trials

    • #19 by Michael Wilson on 2014.08.27 - 5:17 am

      They have to have a PayPal Account for the Free Trial, which in turn requires them to have a credit card, or bank account.

      • #20 by #2 on 2014.08.27 - 5:25 am

        You can buy a prepaid card or something like MoneyPak GreenDot to use on PayPal, you don’t need verify PayPal as long as you don’t go beyond the spending limit, thus anybody “including children” can make phony PayPal accounts.

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