The Escapist Magazine
Issue 200
Good Griefing
Tales of online gaming tomfoolery.
Editor's Note Letters to the Editor

Do pacifists have any place in Counter-Strike? Have online games become the new City Hall steps? Could the next Million Man March be in a virtual world? James McGrath talks to a pair of in-game protesters about anti-war griefing in online games.

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The Reconstruction Era had Jesse James. The Great Depression had Bonnie & Clyde. The Internet Era has ... GoonSwarm? Tom Endo looks at today's griefers from a historical perspective and wonders whether they might fulfill the same societal functions as the legendary outlaws of yesteryear.

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In a rush to ban griefers from their online worlds, MMOG operators may be passing up a golden opportunity: to harness griefers' collective ill intent and apply it toward the greater good. Allen Varney speculates whether creative game design can turn griefers against themselves.

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It's easy to complain about griefers when they catch you in the last leg of a half-hour-long quest, but they provide a valuable service: They add some much needed spontaneity to experiences that would otherwise feel pretty routine. Brett Staebell recounts his World of Warcraft guild's maritime griefing efforts, and how their victims actually appreciated the ordeal.

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Members of The Escapist Staff fess up about their experiences with griefing.

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