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.
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.