What does griefer mean?


griefer or grief player, is a participant in an online multiplayer computer game who makes a point to harass other participants in the game.

Examples of griefer


Examples of griefer
In 2006, griefers let loose with a rain of phalluses to interrupt a CNET interview in Second Life.__Pwnage, zerging, phat lewts — __online gaming has birthed a rich lexicon. But none, perhaps, deserves our attention as much as the notion of the griefer. Broadly speaking, a griefer is an online version of the spoilsport — someone who takes pleasure in shattering the world of play itself. Not that griefers don't like online games. It's just that what they most enjoy about those games is making other players not enjoy them.
Julian Dibbel, Wired, January 2008
When Borderlands does PvP it's no risk, voluntary, fun. 76 has taken a risk with it's PvP - it can maybe, could, it's probably not - be worth it. As of right now, it's left the door to allow trolling, griefing - maybe some analogy for the resource war continuing - it plays like
@StuckonPandora, November 2018
Luetin09 / YouTube

Where does griefer come from?

BucketPlanks / YouTube

In 2000, griefer was used on Usenet to describe gamers who trash-talk, stall gameplay, or issue friendly-fire on teammates. Griefers often target new players and make sure they don’t have any fun playing the game.

The term griefer comes from the fact these players give or cause others grief.  While the term is older, the act of griefing, as it’s called, has been prevalent since gaming in the late 1990s. An entry for griefer was added to Urban Dictionary in 2003.

Planet Minecraft

Griefers have since infiltrated every major online game, causing concern and pushback from the parent companies. The creators of games such as Counter-Strike, Everquest, Second Life, and Minecraft have all instituted policies and measures against griefing, such is the extent of their killjoy-ing and spoilsport-ing.

In a 2006 episode, the cartoon South Park  mocked gaming culture, including a stereotypically slovenly, nerdy gaming “loner” named Jenkins “The Griefer.” Besides alluding to griefing in gaming culture, his name Jenkins alludes to Leeroy Jenkins from World of Warcraft.

Who uses griefer?

A griefer is one who engages in griefing or griefs. So, to be griefed means a griefer sabotaged you in a game. Acts of griefing include killing one’s team, stealing a kill from another a teammate, or destroying a user’s created or built work.


Of course, it’s no fun to have your experience of a game griefed by some pest. However, griefers posting videos on YouTube of their pranks are popular. As long as they’re not the one being griefed, other players seem to find it amusing.

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