Monday, December 13, 2004

Griefers, griefers everywhere

Here's an interesting article about people who deliberately spoil the game experience in MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming) like EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies and Sims Online. They are known as "griefers" and are "a small but seemingly irradicable set of players who want nothing more than to murder, loot and otherwise frustrate the heck out of everyone else."

The article points to the strong social rules that govern games and their communities. But I found myself thinking about the "griefers" I have worked with in libraries that didn't commit cardinal sins but who definitely inflicted pain on their colleagues and people using the libraries, and frustrated the heck out of people.

There was Negative Naomi who was impatient and sarcastic with students, and who sucked all the life out of committee work (which flickers with a weak spark anyway) because nothing would ever make librarianship as good as it used to be when she was young.

There was Jaded Janet who used every coffee break, every lunch conversation to decry the sorry state of professionalism and management abilities among absent colleagues.

And there was Peeved Pete who would have been much happier if "technology" had never been invented.

Griefers, all of them. Seems to me our workplaces have things to learn from the gamer communities in managing real social misfits.


Anonymous said...

Ehhhhhhh, they're all archetypes, found everywhere, as inevitable as rain. Just be Oblivious Oscar (or Olive) and go about your stuff with a smile on your face and a song in your heart!

JP said...

Great analogy. As a gamer and a librarian, it rings very true for me... Off to read the article, now.