Archive Griefing: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding In-Game Harassment
Griefing and online harassment in video games

What Is Griefing in Gaming? And How to Stop It?



Table of contents:

    Griefing in gaming has become a term commonly used in the digital playground of video games. It’s a controversial concept that has raised many debates and discussions among gamers, parents, and researchers alike. But, what is griefing in a game? And, why do people grief in games? Let’s delve into these questions.


    Understanding Griefing in Gaming

    Griefing is generally defined as intentionally disrupting another player’s gaming experience for personal enjoyment or advantage. It can take various forms, ranging from harassment, power imposition, and scamming to greed play. In essence, a griefer in a game is a player who derives pleasure from causing distress to others either by disrupting their gameplay or exploiting game features in a way that is detrimental to others.

    As Anti-Defamation League reports, “Three out of five young people (60%) ages 13-17 experienced harassment in online multiplayer games” in the past six months. The chart below shows how common each type of harassment is in online games:


    Frequency of Harassment in Online Games as Reported by ADL


    Why Do People Grief in Games?

    The motivation behind griefing is multifaceted. Some players grief as an expression of superiority, exploiting their in-depth knowledge of the game to gain an upper hand. Others may indulge in harassment as a form of trolling, deriving satisfaction from causing emotional distress to others. Revenge is another motivator for griefing, with players resorting to disruptive behaviors in retaliation to previous offenses.


    How to Identify Griefing in Games?

    Identifying griefing can be a challenge, primarily because it largely depends on the context of the game and the intent of the player. However, common signs of griefing include:

    • Harassment: Players causing emotional distress through harmful language, threats, or targeted bullying.
    • Power Imposition: Players dominating others or exploiting game features to harass others.
    • Scamming: Cheating or tricking other players for personal gain.
    • Greed Play: Stealing items, achievements, or disrupting the game in ways that yield personal benefits.


    What Are the Effects of Griefing on Young Players?

    Griefing can have profound effects on young players. It can lead to a sense of distress, anxiety, and disillusionment with the gaming environment (Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds). In some cases, it can even lead to cyberbullying, with harassment extending beyond the game into real-world interactions.


    Young gamer being harassed by a griefer


    Parental Control Apps for Managing Griefing

    For parents, managing griefing can be a daunting task. However, parental control apps like Safes offer an effective solution by providing tools to monitor and control the gaming activities of children. Safes allows you to set limits on gaming time, block certain games, and even monitor in-game chats for signs of griefing.


    Safes is available on all phones, tablets, and computers on platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. So, if you want to learn how to protect your child on each of these platforms, use the following links:


    Communicating with Your Child About Griefing

    Open communication with your child is vital in addressing griefing. Discuss the concept of griefing, explain why it’s harmful, and encourage them to share their gaming experiences. Make sure they know they can approach you if they’re being targeted by a griefer.


    Establishing House Rules for Gaming Behavior

    Establishing house rules for gaming behavior can go a long way in preventing griefing. These rules could include time limits for gaming, guidelines for online interactions, and consequences for breaking these rules.


    Reporting and Addressing Griefing Incidents

    Most gaming platforms have mechanisms for reporting and addressing griefing incidents. Encourage your child to report any instances of griefing and follow up with the game’s support team to ensure the issue is resolved.


    Conclusion: Balancing Gaming Enjoyment and Safety Away from Griefing

    While gaming can be an enjoyable and enriching activity, it’s essential to be vigilant about the potential risks, including griefing. You can ensure a safe and pleasant gaming environment by understanding griefing, communicating with your child, and implementing safeguards.

    Remember, the key to managing griefing is not to eliminate gaming but to promote responsible and respectful gaming habits. After all, games are meant to be fun, and every player deserves to enjoy them without the fear of being griefed.



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    Download Safes Kids for Chrombook

    1. Install the Safes Kids app on your Chromebook from Google Play. 
    2. Pair Safes Kids with parent app. Follow the instructions in the app to pair your child’s device with your parent device.  
    3. Add the Safe Kids Chrome extension. Open Chrome and go to the Chrome Web Store. 
    4. Navigate to the Manage extensions page. Click the three dots in the top right corner of Chrome and select “Extensions”>”Manage Extensions”>”Details”
    5. Turn on “Allow in incognito mode” This will allow the Safe Kids extension to work in incognito mode, which is important if your child uses incognito mode to try to bypass the parental controls.
    6. Select Safes extension and follow on-screen instruction

    Download Safes Kids for Android

    Download the Android Kid’s app directly to get the full features!

    Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

    Download Safes Kids App on

    Safe Kids is available on the Google Play Store, but if you download it directly from our website, you will get access to Call and SMS monitoring feature, You can monitor the phone calls of your child’s device, as well as the contacts and messages they have sent and received, including those containing inappropriate content.