Wherever there’s a positive creative space, there’s always someone who wants to spoil it for others – and virtual world SecondLife is no exception. Maybe it’s a power trip thing, maybe it’s someone’s idea of a joke, but it can be disconcerting – even upsetting to be the butt of a griefer’s fun.
I attended a really useful class run in-world by Ayla Curry at the GQ teaching site on dealing with griefers.
Griefing can take many forms – the one common feature is it’s a form of bullying. Some shoot guns that push your avatar around, some surround you in particles until everything slows down under the processing weight, and some try to get control of your avatar and make it do things you don’t want it to. Some are just abusive, incite vilification, or belittle a newbie’s attempts to come to grips with their new surroundings.
Most people respond with anger – and that’s exactly what the griefer wants – a sign that they have had an impact. So it’s important to stay calm – there are several things you can do.
If you are surrounded by fog or particles you can go to the View menu and click on BEACONS – you can edit out particles and then you can see again.
If an avatar is pointing a gun then sit down. That’s it – just find something to sit on – the ground will do – and sit down. This immobilises your avatar and renders it immune to pushing by others.
If they attach something that follows you around – like a big spider or a sound that hurls abuse – try teleporting out – anything that is attached can’t follow through a teleport.
And if all else fails log out and log in again later.
If you can get a screenshot of the griefer or capture chat history of any abuse then you have the identity of the griefer and proof of abuse – report it to Linden Labs and it is likely that person will be banned from the world.
Above all, stay calm and breath deeply. It’s only a game after all! And remember: WHEN IN DOUBT – LOGOUT!
For more information, consult the Secondlife knowledge base (login required).
Many thanks to Ayla Curry for her time and generosity