Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Asshole

I’ve had two phases of experience with Mario Kart DS… The first phase was back in 2005 during the game’s post-launch period, with the second phase being right now, after my recent repurchasing of the DS and the game in question. Everything, of course, remains the same with the game today as it did two years ago, except for one notable exception: online griefers.

As I have frequently established on this site in the past, I am a longtime player of online games, and much like with anything else that involves dealing with other people over the Intarwebs, assholes are always to be found within that particular genre of gaming. From fantasy role-playing games, to frantic first-person shooters, to even Yahoo! Chess, it doesn’t take long for the online gamer to meet-up with a complete cock-stain of an e-person.

“…but Mario Kart“, you say? I’m afraid so, yes.

Since I’ve been getting back into taking the Kart online this week, I’ve already come across two different types of griefers. The first type — who we’ll call “dipshit” — aims to grief a single target, while the second — who I’ll refer to as “shithead” — looks to irritate the entire playfield.

Dipshit’s tactic is to conventionally participate in a race as one would expect, only to go haywire once an invincibility Star is acquired. With invincibility activated, Dipshit will target a single individual and begin to repeatedly run them over (using forward and reverse) until the power-up has been depleted. Once the player is hit and the “invinci-griefing” begins, there’s nothing the victim can do about it, except to feel glad that they’ve been a part of making the offender feel good about his life’s goals.

Shithead, however, has much loftier aspirations (Dipshit’s such a slacker), as he aims to grief not just one player, but every player in the race. To achieve this, his tactic is to speed towards the first Item Box spawn-point he can find and park himself directly over it. The main item that Shithead hopes to get each time the Item Box respawns is, of course, the blue Spiny Shell. Since the Spiny Shell races to the leading racer, taking him out and any others in the immediate area, Shithead can easily stay put the entire race causing grief. And since Shithead has chosen a car with the highest Items attribute and is always far behind the other racers since he’s not moving, he manages to get the Spiny Shell A LOT. (By the game’s design, the further back a player is in the race’s standings, the better power-up they will receive when hitting an Item Box.)

Like others of their ilk, both Dipshit and Shithead are clearly assholes, but I guess I have to at least give these two types a little credit. Not only for their tenacity and dedication to their “craft”, but for the simple fact that they at least work at being a griefer “legitimately” within the confines of the game. After all, any fool can ez-cheat using an Action Replay “game enhancer”.

Penny Arcade had it soooo right

Fatsquatch Written by:

Professional nerd. Enemy of nonsense. Failed musician. Friend to the animals. Misanthrope. Jaded gamer.

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