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Webcomics, in many ways, are like restaurant menus. See, you've got all these big main courses. You order something and you're bound to get a LOT of it (unless it's one of those restaurants that makes you pay a little for a lot).

And then after (or before!) that, you have "appetizers" that are pretty much main courses in and of themselves.

And if you try to eat both a main course AND an appetizer, your gut will likely burst! Unless you have a stomach like— I dunno, Yoshi or something.

Well, this page of Extra Stuff could be considered the "appetizer menu" to Ragnarok Wisdom's "main course" of comics. And, hopefully, if you read both the comics as well as these, you'll bust a gut ... from laughter!

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"It's Just A Game, You Baby!"
October 2004

If you've played any game on the internet, you know that running into jerks are inevitable. They're everywhere, they come from every corner of the globe, and they can make a game rather un-fun. However, these people—and others—will often tell anyone who complains to "stfu, it's just a game you baby lol" or any similar message.

Do people really have a justifiable reason to be pissed off when someone gives 'em crap in a game? Yes and no. Sound confusing? Well, here's why.

Griefing: What Is It?

Before I can get into the 'why,' though, I should go over what 'griefing' and 'griefers' are. That term is the central focus of this here rant, and I use it repeatedly in other rants, so:

The main problem with a lot of online jerks is that they're griefers—that is, people who enjoy exploiting some medium to harass, upset, and piss off other people. Forms of griefing pertinent to RO would include dead branching Kafra spawn points (or towns and indoor shops, in the earlier episodes of RO), or constantly following someone around and killstealing from them.

Another example for a more general frame of reference would include team play, where griefers will repeatedly teamkill (attacking and killing members of their own team), or help the opposing team in some way (such as delivering their own team's flag to the enemy base during a "capture the flag" scenario).

None of these scenarios are very fun to be on the receiving end of. Griefers can often break a game and ruin the fun for everyone—it's not uncommon for (in the instance of the latter) people to be annoyed by a griefer on the opposing team who is giving them easy victories.

So, to sum that up—griefers are much like trolls, another internet menace. They feed off of angering, inconveniencing, and upsetting others. They're the kind of kids who never grew out of kicking down others' sand castles.

The Philosophy Behind It All

I'm sure that most people would agree that griefing is a Bad Thing, except the griefers themselves. Most of the time a griefer will claim that people have no right to complain in response to their antics, hiding behind the "it's just a game" excuse.

As often used as it is, it's an excuse that fails to hold water. Games are a form of entertainment, yes—people play them to have fun. And, in many games, people play against each other to have fun. However, abusing the game system and using it to intentionally disadvantage or annoy players doesn't make it fun for the others in the game, especially the victims.

To give an analogy, it would be like the morality of free speech—you might live in a country where you have the right to speak your mind, but it doesn't mean you can scream "FIRE!" in a crowded theater. In a case like that, the person screaming "FIRE!" would be abusing his right to free speech to disadvantage others (causing them to go into a panic, etc.)

What To Do About Griefers

While I think people have every right to be annoyed and pissed off when a griefer preys on them, vocalizing their angst may not be the best way to deal with the offending griefer. Griefers feed off not only the act of annoying others, but the reactions they get, too. Yelling at the griefer might simply elict a "lol newb" in response, and continued griefing. By giving the griefers a reaction, you're feeding them, just like with trolls.

It can be hard to keep that in mind when playing a game—especially when one is blinded by emotion. I should know —I have made that mistake before, perhaps all too often, of going off on a griefer, only to have them elated by it and getting their buddies to stalk me for easy feeding while telling me how much they enjoy pissing me off.

So, the best thing to do when being preyed upon by a griefer is to not give them any reaction at all, if you can help it. Instead, quietly report them to that game's operators, if the game has it. That's one of the best ways to deal with a griefer—let the administration take care of them. Even if it doesn't phase the griefer to get banned from the game, it will keep them out of your hair, even if it's only for a little bit.

After reporting them (or if the game has no administration to report them to), just try to avoid the griefer. Stay out of their way, and if they're stalking you, lose them—in RO, teleport away and go to another field.

In Closing ...

This might have been a no-brainer for some of you, but it's something that needed to be said. Griefers, like trolls, are the scum of the internet. Just because they stalk people on a video game doesn't make it any less wrong, and people have the right to feel annoyed when someone tries to keep them from enjoying the game.

And to any griefers who might be reading this, I say to you—KNOCK OFF ALL THAT GRIEFING!

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Ragnarok Wisdom is © 2002 Irish Lightning Studios.
This notice does not imply any exclusive right to preexisting material by other authors featured in Ragnarok Wisdom.

Ragnarok Online is © 2001 Gravity Corp. All Rights Reserved.
Ragnarok: Into the Abyss is © 1995 Myung-Jin Lee. All Rights Reserved.

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