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Wired chronicles pan-MMO griefing by Goons

Chris Chester
01.24.08
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As a general principle, it's not our focus here at Massively to highlight the exploits the griefers. We don't want to encourage bad behavior for one thing, but also most of the time the griefing that goes on is just so... pedestrian. That's why we're willing to make an exception for this cultural piece in Wired which turns the spotlight on the curious gaming sub-culture of Something Awful. Known collectively as Goons, members of Something Awful have developed smaller sub-communities of players in nearly every modern MMO, and while they have managed to get along peacefully in certain cases, in some games they gain a reputation for being, well... goons.

The Wired article focuses specifically on their shenanigans in EVE Online and Second Life. Anybody whose played EVE Online in the past two years has no doubt become familiar with their style of play, as the aptly named Goonswarm Alliance makes up the most populous faction in the game, and they use their numbers to great effect in waging war. To give you an idea of their shtick, last year they launched a massive assault on and destroyed a massive Titan-class ship worth the real-world equivalent of $10,000 for no other reason than because it would demoralized their enemies, with the hope that they'd quit the game all together. Similarly, the exploits of another group of Goons in Second Life was so prolific, so persistent, and so offensive, that one SL mogul is quoted as calling them "terrorists."

The article is a bit incomplete for my taste, as it doesn't include other Goon foibles like their prolific Star Wars: Galaxies presence nor does it really expound on the real consequences of the Goons' actions in Second Life, but the descriptions and characterizations the author does manage to bring together for EVE and SL are so bizzare, they're worth reading for a laugh, if nothing else.

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