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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SL ARTS & LITERATURE: Why I Don't Understand Griefers

Bragging at dethklan

I do not understand Griefers.  I do not understand people who choose to use their energy to disturb and destroy, rather than create and support.  Well, I suppose inside their own microcosm they support and create themselves, but that is really pretty much negated by taking that and using it against others.  Now before this descends into a strange discussion about war, I should probably share one key piece of information: this “Major SL Raid” in the site above?  That was members of this group griefing about sixteen people sitting around a campfire listening to native Hawaiian tales and chants.  Oh my!  The bravery THAT must have taken!

This group has apparently been around for four years.  Four years!  They are a legitimate group in SL (Hey! They paid their $L100) with 15 members founded by a RON Paule whose stated purpose is “A Group where we go around and jack each other off.” Classy! They even  promote their exploits through their website:

I suppose it is dubious for them to get even this much attention, but the more we expose those who incite and provoke, the more we losen their hold over us.  They appear smart, but then they behave stupidly.  Hmmmm.  Attacking people listening to a story and then crowing about it?  Hmmmmm.  They griefed at the site of the stories over a 30 minute period of time, some pretending to be legitimate audience members. They were still rezzing their particles fifteen minutes after the audience and the storyteller were teleported out of the parcel, while two members of the audience stayed and collected information on them to add detail to the pile of ARs that were submitted to Linden Labs.  Jamison Melody was engaged in an IM exchange with me in which he really thought I would tell him what I had posted in the AR! 

Several of the griefing members from Saturday night’s “raid” who were findable in search Saturday night were not searchable Sunday (Jamison Melody & MyParentsAre Absent).  One hopes that Linden Labs will and is following up on Ron Humble’s recent promises to provide better support of their users.  Allowing griefing does not encourage the legitimate use of Second Life.

The dethklan website is hosted by a company called Dream Host.  A member of the story group contacted their abuse department and asked them to review dethklans webpage, specifically the racial aspects and what they say they do to children, and asked if Dream Host would considering suspending dethklan's account. Dream Host said that while they personally abhor such content, they support the right of the website users to post whatever they want to.  Well, I do love democracy even if it does allow stupidity.

They also lied to a resident on the island being attacked, pretending to be assisting Linden Labs and redirecting the blame for the incident to a member of the story group and encouraging them to AR that person.  Never AR someone on the word of someone you don't know!  

There are tons of legitimate Role Plays (RPs) within Second Life where you can scratch this particular itch, make war, shootem' up, and get a sense of accomplishment from a battle fought hard and won.  It is still baffling to me why you would decide to just do it on your own to unsuspecting people who did nothing to you but exist.  I suspect these particular individuals wouldn't last in a legitimate RP.  Too much structure and too many rules.  They probably didn't last in World of Warcraft either for much the same reason.  Given their clear ability to manipulate the system in Second Life for four years, it's a wonder they couldn't manage to thrive in an RP.  But then, they don't really want to play someone else's game, do they?  Nice!  Neither did we on Saturday night.

Given that griefers thrive on their ability to perpetuate their stupidity via alts, there is sadly only so much that can be done, unless Linden Labs takes the group seriously.  They may find me writing about them and posting this as a validation of their “triumph” – assuming they actually read.  I hope, rather, that by making others aware of them, we can help along the process of shutting them down.  Look at their website if you will, but only to educate yourself to them, their intent, and their ways.  Then forget about them until that moment, which will hopefully never come for you, when you need it.

Of all of the opportunities in SL that you can dubiously perpetrate and and get some weird sense of victory or superiority from . . . shutting down a story session? How utterly pathetic!

~Caledonia Skytower, Reporting
“Any ink is good ink, even if it is virtual”


Post Script:  As can be seen from the comment of Mr. Spencer Pierce, and on the dethklan website, members take offense at being labeled.  Fair enough. You are right. Labeling someone makes them a faceless non-person for whom it is easy to deny empathy or compassion. I too am a person with a real life: family, friends, job.  And yet you are quick to label me as "you guys."  Is that anymore fair?  You can't have it both ways.  So point taken: no more labels.

The Urban Dictionary defines hate mongering thus: "A person who uses political beliefs or passions of any kind as a platform to express their hatred for another individual."   Mr. Pierce, I ask you to look at the dethklan website where you will observe people being denigrated for who they seem to be or are, regardless of their actions. What does that say to you?

I do not hate dethklan. I criticized them based on their actions which were inflicted on others without their consent.  The challenge of freedom is that yours only extends as far as it does not impede the freedom of someone else.  Griefing is an attack, whether the damage is real or just inconvenience, and attacks are often taken personally.

For the record, I am not the person who contacted Dream Host, and I have nothing to do with any threats to dethklan or its members outside of the Linden Labs TOS. I support the constitutionally guaranteed protection of free speech in the United States. Dethklan is free to say anything they want on their website and I am not forced to look at it. Dethklan members are free to rez all the multiplying particles and sound making devices they want, as long as they do so with those willing to participate.  If dethklan members choose to "jack off on each other" then they are free to do so amongst themselves.  If they choose to take it beyond that, then they take responsibility for the consequences of that choice. 

There is a reason why the term includes the root word "grief." Definition: “A griefer is a player who does things in a game or virtual environment to deliberately cause annoyance ("grief" in the sense of "giving someone grief") for the griefer's own enjoyment.”  Is it right Spencer, for your enjoyment to trump mine? 

That same First Amendment Right that allows dethklan the freedom of its website allows me to post my opinion here, as a columnist.  My opinion is that individuals who are smart, regardless of how old they are, and who are "normal human beings that have social lives, friends, school, jobs..." should be applying themselves to creating something positive with that capacity.  Griefing is neither positive, nor productive. 


  1. Well thought out and written Ms. Skytower.

    A 'Major Raid'?? These pathetic dweebs made some noise and rezzed some particles and they call that a 'raid'?? You're right Ms. Skytower, these wussies obviously couldn't make it in a legitimate game setting. I do think it's funny that they don't appear anymore under Linden Search. MyParentsAre Absent was obviously an alt as you said and only a few days old, but Jamison Melody was almost two years old and listed on his own site as president of some dumb thing. LOL!! let's hope he did get banned for good. Thank you for taking the time to keep us informed Caledonia.

  2. what mighty warriors those dikklan guys are.. to quote Al Pacino...

    "Ooooh, What a big man you are, how about I buy you a pack of gum and teach you how to chew it."

  3. Very well written Cale! Thank you for this informative article, I am sure it will help protect others. It is very unfortunate that adults (many times questionable), would behave in such a manner. By creating awareness you have paid a good did forward!


  4. Why do you insult us? I don't understand, we did nothing personal. Why, then, do you attack us on a personal level? For the most part we're normal human beings that have social lives, friends, school, jobs, that sort of thing. It really offends me when you "journalists" see something that you don't like and make it your duty to personally ridicule those individuals. What makes you think that we're all a bunch of incompetent weirdos who can't read or function in a setting with other people? You guys are the ones who spend all your time on Second Life and writing about it, some of us spend a lot of our time out living a first life. I, personally, am a 17 year old high school senior in Maine by the name of Spencer Pierce. I think you'd find that I'm a lot smarter than you're making me out to be. Think before you speak, you hate-monger.

  5. You better cut it out before we call your parents Spencer...

  6. Because you can find me and my parents, and because my parents would care. Why did you not address my points, by the way? What do I need to be cutting out, I did nothing to you, you have no reason to be mad at me. If you're all such respectable adults and I'm just a mongrel who can't read, why is it that you're threatening me and I'm only asking you questions?

  7. You made a great point Spencer. You act this way because according to you, your parents don't care. Please reevaluate your need to get your question answered by SLE. We are not even sure what your point is. You basically got called out for your behavior and you want to justify it. You clearly are acting your age and need to grow up first, before attempting to get in an arena with adults with experience in dealing with adolescents.

  8. I'm not trying to justify anything. I do what I do, like it or not. What I'm saying is, you "respectable adults" are calling us stupid idiots, and I'm asking why. I can't really make it any clearer for you than that. You seem to be avoiding my questions because you have poor journalistic integrity and you can't own up to your own actions, unlike some immature adolescents in the conversation. You have a lot of things to learn if you think I'm acting juvenile in this situation. Try and have an intellectual discussion with me before writing me off as just some kid, you're making yourselves look bad.

  9. Good Grief, read the post script and keep it moving.

  10. Hello, I am a co-founder of the Dethklan Second Life Group. I was alerted to these accusations of griefing recently and I would just like to apologize on behalf of the Dethklan leadership. We do not in any way condone the actions of these people who claim to represent the group. dethklan is, and always has been, a group for dedicated builders and scripters who want to construct free houses for low income Second families, and it saddens me to see it put to use as a griefing tool. The guilty parties will be found and punished severely. We are soo sorry.

  11. Hi does anyone want to roleplay



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