Like it or not, you cannot be impassive to it:Julian Dibbell’s Wired article on griefing, specifically what we’re experiencing in Second Life — organised griefing — may very well become the ultimate reference essay on description and motivation in the mind of the griefer.
Dibbell claims that ultimately griefers want to have fun and laugh at things that people find so serious; the more serious we find something, the harder they’ll hit to be able to laugh at it afterwards.
Open to discussion is, naturally, what we can do about people that claim of themselves:
Asked how some people can find their greatest amusement in pissing off others, ^ban^ gives the question a moment’s thought: “Most of us,” he says finally, with a wry chuckle, “are psychotic.”
Worth reading it to the end. Then read about Prokofy Neva’s interview to Dibbell.
And then discuss if griefers are just the ultimate jokesters in a society that lost their sense of humour; if they’re dangerous psychotics; or just bored people who revel in the limelight, and suddenly having found out that there is strength in numbers, and that the era of the individual hacker sitting in their basements without any form of social contact except bragging about their feats on the forums is now over, and organised griefing — sort of “hackers together, going out for a laugh” — is a new trend for the 21st century.’
[UPDATE 20080202: Hiro Pendragon’s excellent essay debunking the Wired article should be required reading]