Inflicting pain on ‘griefers’

As online-game companies court new and wider audiences, many are running into an old problem: “griefers,” a small but seemingly irradicable set of players who want nothing more than to murder, loot and otherwise frustrate the heck out of everyone else.
Social miscreants can do more than ruin the game for better-behaved competitors. They can hurt game companies’ bottom line by driving away customers and burning up support lines. Problems related to grief players often account for 25 percent or more of customer service calls, according to game publishers.
Now an increasing number of companies are fighting back, using a combination of technology, sociology and psychology to limit griefer damage. Success could be important to the industry’s growth, as companies seek to expand beyond the audience of hard-core players to more casual customers, many of whom are unlikely to tolerate bad experiences for long.
Inflicting pain on ‘griefers’ | CNET

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