When the Music Stops, Or When the Griefers Go Live

by prokofy on 15/07/07 at 11:06 pm

Kim_3_003 Gavin MacKay, Kim Seifert’s manager, at the Lily Pad

Prokofy Neva, Music Critic/Griefer Watch/Hey, when are we going to get a real music critic?

Now with open and moderated comments! –Uri and Prok

An ardent fan of Second Life’s popular singer Kim Seifert, IM’d me, hopping mad at the Lily Pad Lounge in Clyde. Or rather…several sims away, as the sim had crashed due to griefers wrecking a concert of this SL live performer, who describes herself as performing “a little soul, blues, and jazz thrown in for a full color spectrum.”

Once again — apparently this is getting to be a regular occurance for a number of SL live acts — a griefer came rolling on to the sim, released the usual Cosby Jello-wned textures all over the place, put out some screaming grief balls that self-replicated and then whoops, rocked the sim right offline for a good long while, because nobody could find any Lindens.

How could this happen, with all the tools given to residents to combat the increasing epidemic of disruptors like this, bent on denying everybody a second life? In this case, the problem was in part due to the venue owners not owning the entire sim — it’s a mainland sim — and therefore being unable to keep griefers completely at bay. The sim-crasher — as many do now — also seemed to have a curious shield, or to be using a hacked version of the open-sourced client, that prevented the owners from being able to eject him immediately. An island venue might be able to insist on a group or instantly globally ban a griefer from the sim. But many venues are on the mainland, where clubland is cheaper, and even island ampitheaters can be on rented parts of sim, not the entire sim.

The griefer used a throwaway day-old alt with the stunningly original name of “Reynoldsballz Burt”. In a new twist from the usual repertoire of the Patriotic Nigras, which includes the Jello-owned stuff, this bedroom-eyed bozo appeared to be making an attempt at blackmail, typing into chat before the sim crashed that the concert-organizers had to pay $10,000 to a well-known landowner each week, or face griefing. The landowner’s name was mispelled, and it was unlikely he had anything to do with the clumsy bid at extortion.

Not to be intimidated, Kim Seifert stopped her song and said, “Mr. Burt…you have just commited a crime…it is called extortion…better start hiding” — and then the sim went down.

Mr. Burt is indeed now hiding — the Lindens removed him from the People List. He’ll likely be back on another alt, and wreck another song before too long. It’s frustrating experiences like this that are increasingly making the Live Music community — like merchants in stores and couples in rentals; like partcipants in large panel discussion; like reporters at press conferences and entrepreneurs at business meetings — as mad as hell that the Lindens just aren’t doing enough to stop the antics of a few that are ruining the experiences of the many.

I caught up with Gavin MacKay, Kim Seifert’s manager, who took me on a tour of the Lily Pad, SL’s oldest live music venue, where Frogg Marlowe and Jaycatt Nino used to play. Frogg and Jaycatt still hold their Froggy Fridays at the Amphibian Lounge up in the sky in Lingell now.

With the economic slump in general and the summer slump specifically, I’ve noticed anecdotally, popping around to a few live music venues that I used to be unable even to get near, that attendance is way down there, too — filling a sim with 40 or 80 on an island was the norm; now I see 20 or 30. So it’s indeed aggravating to be discouraging by griefing, too, what many find the best part of Second Life: live music.

Gavin believes that the extortion threat was merely a distraction, not to be taken seriously, and that the griefer may not even have been related to the notorious griefing groups like the PNs. He might have been merely a wierd obsessive, for example — unfortunately, the more popular singers get, the more likely they are to acquire these nuts seeking attention by linking themselves to a prominent person.

Although only born that day, the “newbie” Burt was already a member of Kim’s 500-plus fangroup — something that just wasn’t likely — and didn’t even fit the usual organized griefer’s M.O. Perhaps the throw-away alt was paid to make the attack — but who knows? That’s why they’re anonymous — you can’t know.

Gavin says he has a couple of suspects now under investigation, but his real challenge is to the Lindens: stop this ability to make anonymous, unaccountable accounts, which he and Kim Seifert’s fans and many others believe are the chief factor in griefing in SL.

Gavin said he routinely gave a ban list to the venue owners, and they were controling the door, but because they don’t control the entire sim, even when “Burt” was ejected, he was able to use his sim-crashing gear from the next door neighbour’s parcel.

When asked if he abuse-reported the incident at the time, Gavin replied, ” LL wants you sit on your ass and fill out paperwork while your sim is being brought down by a bunch of jugheads.”

“This guy purposely brought down a sim that someone is paying LL to own, and their response was to suspend the av who did for 7 days,” he said. Burt seemed to be gone from the People list permanently, but it bears checking next week.

“Only LL can stop the sim-crashers,” he commented. “We avs can’t do that. They control what goes on in the world, and can make the sim-crashing tools inactive. We can’t do that.”

I have to wonder why the Lindens never deprecate things like the “Doomsday Script” or “Bang Bang Bang” used by griefers — but they never met a script they didn’t like. To deprecate a script like that might…prevent the working of SL’s 17-and-a-half elevators, or might put a crimp in the script-kiddies’ creativity. Can’t have that!

In desperation, Gavin finally said, “The real story here is that LL supports griefers, to the detriment of the people who want to live in this world, and pay them to do so.” Asked what LL is specifically doing to support griefers, Gavin said, “Because they allow the existence of the griefers and their tools, and the opening up of the free accounts is the biggest tool the griefers have. It makes them completely untouchable.”

“A free account is nothing more than a kamikaze bomb,” he added.

Gavin conceded that even concert-goers might have “No Payment Info On File” if they were Europeans, Latin Americans or even North Americans who couldn’t get Pay-Pal or credit cards to work (an increasing problem in SL), or didn’t have them. But he pointed out that griefers tend to have one thing in common: NPIOF.

“You know, we can almost deal with the bastards given the tools we have, IF they didn’t have the ability to crash a SIM… and the whole concept of LL allowing this continue is freakin’ ridiculous,” he said indignantly.

“If your neighbor came every day and kicked dents in your car, wouldn’t the police put a stop to it?”

Gavin, like many other event organizers, believes the Lindens could do more to negate the ability of people to crash sims. LL has done a lot in the last year to negate the ability to crash the entire grid, by limiting the self-replicating balls through the use of fire-lines. Now they need to take it down to the level of a sim.

Gavin noted that another avatar by the name Coon Yifu, a typical PN sort of racist and anti-furry name, was also in the area when the balls went flying and was still in the list — probably “innocent until proven guilty (you gotta wonder why the Lindens put in names like “Yifu” — it’s asking for trouble). Apparently in the chaos, people forgot to abuse-report him, and there he sits.


Note: as this is yet another Herald story reporting the news of Second Life about the criminal antics of griefers associated with, or copy-catting, the PNs, it’s likely to be targeted by that same group and its copy-cats here in the comments and spammed, and many are able to get through their spam and hateful remarks even if moderated. It’s also another story in which people obsessed with backlashing against me line up to take their hits. So I’m closing the comments. I’m truly tired of being overrun by griefers, spammers, haters, and really vicious obsessives. I don’t *fear* publishing them or their criticisms; in fact, unlike others, I’ve been letting their comments through. But in doing so, I feel entitled to fight back — then a number of people begin to complain that the comments are turning into flame-ridden blood-thirsty battlefields.

So you’re free to discuss this column — but it will have to be back on my blog under my rules at this link. There, you will not be able to use an anonymous name; you’ll have to post with your Second Life name, or a RL name or well-known bloggers’ name to take accountability for any nasty attacks you chose to make. If you don’t, you’ll be IP-banned again and again, as long as it takes. Nasty and critical remarks are tolerated; they must be tied to a name that can stand up and identity at least an SL avatar with them. My other rule for my blog is that if you incite or cause me RL or SL damages, i.e. stalk me at home in RL or crash my sim in SL or engage in RL disclosure or incitement of stalkers, you are not welcome, full stop.

66 Responses to “When the Music Stops, Or When the Griefers Go Live”

  1. mootykips

    Jul 18th, 2007

    SL is a descendant of IRC as much as an ATM machine is a descendant of the CRAY supercomputer

  2. Coincidental Avatar

    Jul 19th, 2007

    @Brown Rain,

    I think that their 3D vision speak is the normal American/LL bullshit. The internet won’t go 3D because 3D can’t represent information (text) as efficiently as 2D. And the porn, a major non-informative driver of the internet, will be mostly 2D. 3D content will be an add-on on the web pages like movies/videos nowadays.

    And then there will be these IRC descendants (3D chat rooms) and Spacewar descendants. LL recently introduced voice to enhance the IRC family and to balkanize the international user base. I suggest that Second Lie & *Hearsay* imitates LL and allows us to leave our comments in voice. Thus we can’t anymore deduce the intelligence level of the commentator from his/her spelling errors and it will be fun to guess from the low quality recordings what is being said.

    What comes to VRs and 3D add-ons to web sites, I agree with you. I don’t remember if I published my thoughts about this earlier. Anshe Chung, EU-VR and China will be the major players. LL dropped the ball by being in a country having a significant Chinese population and being unable to deal with Chinese government. Chinese government may calculate that they get direct access to the largest market of the world, European Union, via Entropia Universe in Sweden/EU. Additionally Anshe Chung resides in the largest and the most difficult market to enter of the European Union – German speakers.

    The exact name of the company which will emerge from the Chinese operations of Entropia Universe is unknown to me, but Entropia Universe will get its share from the profits.

  3. Candy Lemmon

    Jul 19th, 2007

    Oh yes Coco, I’m afraid it is EXACTLY like class hatred and prejudice.

    “Class-hatred? Prejudice? Better go tell all those other places that charge admittance, then. Like the movies (tickets cost $9), newspapers, clothes at Macy’s, your broadband company, etc.

    Charging or not charging for access to SL has zilch to do with class hatred or prejudice.”

    Those things were ALWAYS pay-services. An ACTUAL comparison would consist of a formerly FREE service being made PAID-ONLY.

    To take a thing which is currently available to all people, regardless of financial status, and make it subscription-only, because of an assumption that those which are non-paying are more likely to grief, is the very definition of prejudiced behavior.

    It is absolutely wrong to ban the innocent because of a guilty few.

  4. dick burns

    Jul 19th, 2007


    according to coco all free accounts should be banned due to griefing

    according to coco all muslims should be arrested and questioned due to terrorism

    according to coco all women should be confined to a small rubber room once a month due to pms

    according to coco all pools should be closed due to aids

  5. DaveOner

    Jul 19th, 2007

    Wait…pools have AIDS??

  6. Cocoanut Koala

    Jul 19th, 2007

    Well, I said nothing about “because of an assumption that those who are nonpaying are more likely to be griefers.”

    Nor did I say anything about “banning the innocent because of a guilty few.”

    Charging for something has nothing to do with prejudice.


  7. Candy Lemmon

    Jul 19th, 2007


    “Well, I said nothing about “because of an assumption that those who are nonpaying are more likely to be griefers.”

    Nor did I say anything about “banning the innocent because of a guilty few.”

    Charging for something has nothing to do with prejudice.”

    Which, I’m assuming, is why you referred to my initial criticism of this article as “off-topic”. One of the points this article is adamant about is the banning of – CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO ALL – free accounts, and how that suppposedly translates into griefer control, and resident protection.

    Saying that charging a fee for something doesn’t translate into prejudice would be true almost everywhere – but NOT IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS ARTICLE. If you have something to say after this, I would seriously recommend you re-read the post you’re commenting on.

  8. Cocoanut Koala

    Jul 20th, 2007

    I was referring to my own post as off-topic, branching off as it did from your post, rather than commenting on the article itself; not yours.

    Charging for access to Second Life would not necessarily be to get rid of griefers, nor would it amount to banning anyone, innocent or not.

    It wouldn’t translate into prejudice in SL any more than it translates into prejudice anywhere else.


  9. Brown Shower

    Jul 20th, 2007

    You cant charge for SL, because they would keep the hardcore users in and keep the normal people out.

    Nobody is going to pay for SL without trying it and enjoying it, it has a low player rentention to begin with, people try it out and realize its mostly perverts and overweight people trying to live like movie stars or as beautiful people.

    The only way for LL to stop griefing is to stop self replicating scripts all together and In whistled for a cab and when i came near,
    The license plate said ‘Fresh’,And had dice in the mirror,
    If anything i could say that this cab was rare But I thought
    ‘Nah, forget it – Yo, home to Bel-Air!’

    Ipulled up to the house at bout seven or eight,I yelled to the cabbie ‘Yo home, smell ya later!’ I looked at my kingdom,
    I was finally there! To sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air!

  10. Reality

    Jul 20th, 2007

    Coco, shall we take a step into what is and not what you wish to be?

    Charging for access to Second Life would prevent quite a few people (those not willing to risk any money on this venture for example) from being able to see what it is like and decide if it would really be worth it. Before you even bring it up – the same can be said for any sort of trial account as well.

    There are quite a few productive and helpful people in Second Life that would not be there right now if they saw they had to pay to use the service.

    That is the reality Coco. Requiring them to pay – and leave if they refuse – does amount to banning them.

  11. Candy Lemmon

    Jul 20th, 2007


    Your reading comprehension is poor. If you can’t see the link between this article and prejudice after all that, I can’t help you.

  12. Cocoanut Koala

    Jul 20th, 2007

    “Coco, shall we take a step into what is and not what you wish to be?”

    Don’t believe I ever said I thought people should be charged to be in SL.


  13. Kim Seifert

    Jul 20th, 2007

    I honestly don’t think taking away free accounts will stop the griefing, and I believe to consider that is a very bad idea. Griefers will find another way around, just as they did when LL started banning IPs. Apparently a new client was developed to circumvent that. I can just see the lot of them sitting there rubbing their hands together, eyes filled with glee thinking “Ya buddy! They think they’re gonna stop us with ‘no free accounts,’ we’ll show them!” If the griefers are to be believed, then they are doing this because they are bored and want to be entertained. Kinda makes me think about my children on summer break…always naggin me to let them do something cuz they are bored. Only thing that quiets them is giving them housework to do. That stops them in their tracks every time. Lol…well, since my SL house pretty much cleans itself, that won’t work (<—bad joke I know). But what about this? Only the best of all griefers could come up with an “ungriefable venue.” All others are just wannabe griefers. So I’ll put that challenge out there. Who is “smart” enough to come up with an impenetrable venue that allows scripts, as well as being open to the public but cannot be griefed? Any takers?

  14. dick burns

    Jul 21st, 2007

    kim.. i have inside information that there is a committee of 14 griefers representing the 7 griefer groups in sl. 2 from each clan. this committee is called the “Holy Order of the Taint” and they are currently working on this very idea that you proposed. Apparently they have decided to create “the garden of eden project” in which they sell to the lindens the perfect sim…ungriefable and totally open-scripted.
    As best as I can tell they are currently looking for volunteers to help them in this project as test subjects for various situations “in-game”. any one who has a registered account, or even more preferable a premium account should contact the group in game.

    “The Holy Order of the Taint” has not released any information as to whether or not Prokofy is part of their group, and we can only speculate at her(his) involvment.

  15. anon

    Jul 21st, 2007

    I was looking for a club to invade, and I stumbled across a club she was playing in… while dancing ham club invasions are usually pretty funny, she was damned good so out of respect for her being one of the few worthwhile things in SL, we just enjoyed the show. Too cool to grief

  16. Busta McNutter

    Jul 23rd, 2007

    All you have to do is rez 8 couches, in the same spot, all physical, to crash any sim.

    its easy, take 2 moments to ‘create’ from scratch.

    The solution is very simple.

    If Phsyics starts to get ‘omg’ make everything phantom that is involved in the ‘omg’ ing

    how hard can that be

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