Minecraft Blogs

A Psychological Explanation to Griefing

  • 7
  • 2
  • 3
avatar Angry ii Pirate
Level 5 : Apprentice Miner
I was asked to repost this as a blog so here goes :

Me : After seeing a topic posted by another, I decided to set about using my A-level knowledge learned from Psychology to practical use, by putting forward a possible explanation for griefing in minecraft.

The question everyone ponders? Why grief?

Well, perhaps the Social Learning Theory could explain this.

The SLT puts forward the argument that our behaviour is learned from our social environment - that being those around us. From this standpoint, it could be argued that griefers merely do so, because they have observed others in the past, and have learnt this behaviour. Furthermore this behaviour could have been reinforced by others laughing and joking, and egging each other on to ruin people's hard work - peer pressure working at its finest.
Moreover, it is very rare that a griefer will be punished for their actions - how often have you had your work griefed and not been able to trace the culprit in a large server? Therefore, with no punishment, nor negative reinforcement, the behaviour is learnt and becomes something enjoyable to do.

There may be further enviromental factors in why people show this destructive nature in minecraft. The way a person has been brought up contributes a great deal to their behaviours, thought patterns and nature when they are older. The nurture received whilst at a young age, could predetermine a person to become a griefer. Just think, how often when you were little, did you go to the seaside, only to see other kids destroying sandcastles and not getting punished for it. Were you, like me, one of those who was taught not to touch other's stuff, and therefore respected the sandcastles as if they were someones prized belonging, opposed to a collection of whittled down rocks owned by nobody? And in playschools, there was always the group of children who would destroy the toys they played with. Or feel the need to steal your toy as they were jealous of it being "better". Ever had your artwork destroyed because it was praised by others? Jealousy is contributed to by the nurture received of people you want to gain praise from. And if someone else receives that praise instead of you, naturally you might wish for their stuff to destroyed.

In essence, that was my explanation of why I believe people may grief. What do you think?

XxxAziexxX wrote:Thank you for this viewpoint.

I find it fascinating that many who troll or grief in Minecraft actually would not do or say the things they do to someone face to face.

Me: This could be to do with little man syndome (not a technical thing)
But it is often viewed in real life, as a stereotype, that shorter men can be more angry as they feel they need to make up for their lack of height. Therefore people may grief on a game, to get back at people who they can't in real life.

Another possibly explanation could be the whole idea of becoming someone you're not in a game. Much like the reason why people play MMORPGs, people like to take on a different persona whilst they play computer games. For instance, how many people who play call of duty and other such games actually shoot and kill, or go to war in real life. A very small margin i'm sure. Games are made so that people can experience something they cannot realistically do in real life - if a game was just like life, noone would play it as it would be too boring. Therefore, because you cannot harm and steal other peoples belongings in real life without dire consequences, griefers play out this role in-game.

12/02/2012 11:32 pm
Level 5 : Apprentice Miner
Angry ii Pirate
Thankyou, and it seems there are a heck of a lot of possibly reasons which can predetermine someone to grief
12/02/2012 11:31 pm
Level 27 : Expert Pig
Not all greifers are jerks though. matioshka has a point. I favorite this and diamond.
12/02/2012 11:25 pm
Level 33 : Artisan Engineer
Interesting views. Might I point out that some grief, troll, or spam after they feel they have been mistreated by the server, or a player on it (Especially an admin or the like)
Planet Minecraft Logo


© 2010 - 2020