The value of griefers


No, I haven’t been upset by anything – put away the popcorn! Yes, lost my marbles long ago. And yes, I’m speaking up for the cockroach percent. And no “compost” is not a valid value.

I’m not speaking up for the malicious or the evil – and anyway those are just as likely to be all nice and appear ordinary. There is nothing as underhanded, snide or destructive as the average smiley faced social climber defending their patch ! (I hate social climbers – said in the voice Oxhorn uses at the end of the Anti-Elf Anthem when he says “I hate elves” – same misery)(I’ll dig out a link later).

Now then…. (I’m folding little clothings as I write – there will be gaps)

Those of us who spend prolonged hours with children and are reasonably good at it don’t have a lot of trouble spotting, containing and diverting griefers. It’s not an alien trait amongst our species, and has it ever crossed your mind that these pests-and-nuisances might serve some societal function? I think they do.

This is an uneducated observation, but most people grow out of the pest-and-nuisance phase – however there is a percent that don’t, and like old women these seemingly (in an evolutionary might-is-right, breed-or-be-chucked away way) (I am an old woman I can say it) non-functional parts of the species most likely have a use. I’d guess, and it is a guess, they are still around because we need them to stress test things (yes, old women too!), and to try things nobody else in their right minds will (yep, fits.).  The News of The World used to be full of people doing remarkable things with Fireworks (no, old ladies are a bit too savvy for that one).

In a good world our organisations would be impeccable, accountable and functional – all too often they are none of the three and not even close. They do however excel in being self-sustaining, nigh impregnable and often pretty dangerous to confront. Send in a griefer! Even better – a roguegue!

If, as in lovely Wurm, you are creating the deed of your dreams and are targetted by a griefer – you know what? Your defences improve amazingly, and they’re doing it for free too. I don’t think we should need defences on the PVE servers – game mechanics should make it impossible to grief – and if I was a dev, I’d be watching the cockroaches to see what needed tightening and changing. They have done a pretty good job already on Wurm but I always have a niggling worry that one day Rolf will drop all the defences and allow his elite remaining pvpers to go on a rampage. Still, he’s managed to resist the temptation so far.

So there it is. We need them to test-fly spaceships, try snake-oil out, find loopholes. I’m sure they have even more uses. In my time I have discovered a surprising number of knights in shining armour hidden amongst the spotty and profane. Thats another truth.

However. Like cockroaches, if you allow them to group up, proliferate and build whole empires with cultural assets, they become a very, very big problem, so as every teacher knows, you need to watch out for clumping and the formation of herds. And griefer propaganda. Proximity to griefers keeps you pretty much on your toes.

The ultimate anti-griefer weapon was developed in Scotland by an old woman and works even on the older ones that never grew out of it. It is “Ah ken yooor maw!” (I know/am friends with your mother!) Which brings me to the last point I want to make, fold, fold, fold. The one thing that usually isn’t there in a griefer’s life and should be, is the biggest erse (Scottish, but I won’t translate). Griefers are hard-wired to follow this, so the lack of one leads them into dead-ends.  Real criminals take advantage of this unfortunate, hard-wired need for a big erse to worship, to build up very scary criminal organisations.

But if you can find a civilised big erse, it will be invaluable in showing pests-and-nuisances a way of behaving that while being macho, is also more likely io result in them breeding and being otherwise acceptable. In other words they might become palatable enough for the opposite sex, whichever it is, to be able to put up with them. They might begin to acrue riches and find status. In other words, they need role models. Feel free to step up.

That’s my take on it!

Oh p.s. to nuke a group of taunting youths I usually yell “Waaaaaaaah body woman, bodiform for yoooooooooooooooooo!” By the time they get over confusion and embarrasment and stop laughing at me I have escaped. Actually I get along quite well with the local thugs. Are ya surprised?

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