Online Gaming, Griefing and Rage

psychpost | 1/11/2012 12:21:00 PM

In the current age of online gaming it is a common occurrence to encounter a player who griefs or rages against their own teammates or the opposing team. Griefing refers to actions that are meant to deliberately cause annoyance. Rage or Raging refers to actions of a player that are caused by anger.  In this post I will be referring to griefing and raging against one's own teammates since it is much more interesting.

Common griefing and rage behaviors include:
-Performing actions to hinder the performance of one's own team. This includes behaviors such as intentionally dying or not participating in team-related events.
-Written or Verbal insults and Spamming.
-Reversing another players progress in ways that do not benefit the griefer.
-Rage Quit: Intentionally disconnecting from a match in order to not suffer a loss.

Underlying causes of griefing and rage:

I believe that the greatest cause of griefing and rage comes from the anonymity provided by the internet. Griefing behavior is looked down upon by almost all players of a game. Being anonymous allows players to grief without being identified. In Social Psychology this is known as Deindividuation. It is interesting to note that griefing does not usually occur when teammates know one another in real life.

Poor performers greatly misjudge their skill.
I believe that another major cause of griefing and rage comes from player's misjudging their own skill and performance. It is common for individuals to believe that they possess at least average skill (50th percentile). Interestingly, the skill required to evaluate one's own performance is the same skill required to do well in the task. Novice players will believe their skill level is much higher than it really is. This misconception may cause players to blame shortcomings on fellow teammates. 

There are more causes for these types of behaviors but I believe these two are the most prevalent. Feel free to add any thoughts in the comments and I might edit this post if the ideas are good.

33 responses to "Online Gaming, Griefing and Rage"


  2. Good Luck & Have Fun ;]] following ;] !

  3. This is interesting and I can definitely empathise with raging and things like that, I really can.

  4. hehe nice psychology rage! :) i like your blog, you got a new follower :D +1

  5. Interesting topic, mate. Following!

  6. Neat blog following :)

  7. Good ideas here. +hanks! :D

  8. hey, nice blog! (:

  9. haha nice that's true

  10. This post was so amusing. I can't even begin to express my amusement. I should take a picture of my grin and post it.

  11. hahah I think anyone who ever played an online game has experience with this. :p

  12. People do that to there friend too!

  13. Some kids need to chill out and realise it's just a game, and some newbs need to srs the fuck up and realise it's just a game they're bad at.

  14. Oh well. happens every time :(

  15. This is why I don't play online haha

  16. the FUUU UU pic makes me crack up every time!

  17. Everyone plays the game differently. They paid for it and they think they have the right to do as they please. It is dumb but it is how the online community works...

  18. I'm a frequent DotA player and have to deal with this ALL the time. T_T

  19. Playing online, it's just one of the things that you have accept. It's what makes video games different from other media.

  20. haha I love to tick people off online, it's such fun that they take it so seriously.

  21. Sunday league football in the U.K is probably a good example as they massively misjudge they're own skill and compare themselves to professional football players alot whilst everything is always the teammates/defenders fault ^_^ +following

  22. haha nice post! really enjoyed it. Ticking people off online is great

  23. When i get pissed i throw my headset

  24. those who get truly upset about a video game are just silly! getting a bit upset, fine. But actually mad , that means they have too much invested in the game.

  25. I have griefed so much on WoW. It's not even funny.

  26. That was shockingly more in depth than I expected when I first saw the top of the article. Kudos to you sir. lol

  27. If my team is full of raging 13 year olds I'll purposely active retard mode and start derping around, being as useless as possible to piss them off.

  28. It's true; the best players constantly complain about themselves being terrible and making dumb mistakes.

  29. Griefing is one of the many joys in life. Minecraft; Replacing houses with cobble stone.

  30. nice post, very usefull, following !

  31. Really very useful post . Thanks .

  32. Haha, I've always wondered about the psychological explanation for kids being douches on the internet. Great read!

  33. Haha I always wondered about the psychology behind kids being douchebags on the internet. Great read!

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