Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cavemen had known how to laugh, History would have been different. - Oscar Wilde
People in class have clearly been having problems with the idea that anyone would find the racist statements and horrible images used by griefers to be funny. I want to offer an argument that explains, if not justifies, the system of values employed by griefers.
1. Values are culturally relevant. Across the world and across time, values are constantly changing. The argument that we can share common values implies hegemony in an extremely diverse and complicated system of culturally dependent context across the world.
2. Nothing is sacred, save for humor. "its for teh lulz" is the most common explanation give by griefers as to why they're participating in their activity. Humor is the only value held common by all griefers as it is established by their tight knit, jargon filled counter-culture. If the humor comes at the expense of someone else, it is better.
3. Which leads to the final point that we as humans take ourselves too seriously. We have all been raised to think that we're the cause of creation, rather than the result of it. This justifies humanities views of entitlement. Never is this more the case than on the internet, where people are attaching an incredible amount of value to virtual worlds and characters all too often ignoring the real life costs of learning to socialize in an environment where nothing, other than ones mental fantasy is at stake.
While some, such as those on LambdaMOO might argue that assaulting the mind is as damaging as assaulting the mind, griefers explicitly reject this concept. If you have a problem, log off. If you don't want to log off because you're too invested in your online avatar, that's exactly what the griefers are fighting against and therefore will continue to harass you. This is demonstrated extremely well by the /b/tards from 4chan.org's raids on the Habbo Hotel. Habbo Hotel is a programmed designed for teens to chat with each other using poorly animated avatars. /b/ targeted the program because of racism, claiming that admins were abusing their powers and often banning people with ethnic looking characters. How true this is, I'm not sure as Encyclopedia Dramatica tends to...guess it... dramatize everything. /b/tards registered black characters with afros and suits and blocked access to the pool, shouting "POOLS CLOSED DUE TO AIDS", racist slurs, and even forming virtual swastikas. On the surface this looks extremely racist and downright evil.
The idea, however, is that Habbo Hotel is a terrible way for teens to be learning how to socialize. I argue that it is too early to determine the effects that massive amounts of online identity formation in teenagers will affect the interpersonal relationships of the future. Is it potentially good? Yes, but what are we sacrificing? Children use to ride bicycles miles to school, play in their neighborhoods, and generally get into adolescent trouble. In this day and age of exaggerated media stories, parents are convinced their child is going to be abducted, maimed, or killed if they go out and play. In this world, Habbo Hotel becomes a replacement for the normal imagination and adolescent tomfoolery that once defined an age group. Therefore as a questionable agent of this new socialization process it's opened itself to attack. By not maintaining a system capable of preventing this type of abuse on the Habbo Hotel servers, /b/ is demonstrating that it is not a safe place for teenagers to be.