What is griefing?
Most of the people that your kids will meet on multiplayer servers are just there to have a good time. But some want to attack other players, or intentionally destroy or steal the things that other players have made and collected. In short they cause a lot of grief, and it can be a really upsetting experience for many kids.
What do griefers do?
These players like to create havoc. It can also take the form of bullying, where players are lured into traps so they can be attacked or mugged (e.g. a player takes up an offer to exchange diamonds with another player by teleporting to them, only to find a big pile of TNT waiting for him when he gets there). Griefing can also extend into very organized destruction, where teams of players roam around servers looking for stuff to steal or blow up.
Why do people do this?
Who knows! I guess some players do it because they're bored, and others are just plain ol' lazy and don't want to go to the trouble of mining or crafting for themselves. And then there are the players who have learned bad habits from others, or had bad experiences themselves on other multiplayer servers.
How can we help kids to deal with it?
Here are some tips to help your kids if they're playing on a multiplayer server:
- Only choose servers where griefing isn't allowed and players are whitelisted
- Encourage your kids to tell you about the griefing when it happens
- Teach them how to report it to one of the server admins themselves
- Keep an eye on your kids' mood during and after playing on multiplayer servers - talk to them about how the game went and what the other players were like
- If they catch a griefer in the act, take a screenshot with the player's name in it
- Teach them how to keep themselves and their valuables safe - build a safe house far away from the spawn point, never leave valuables where other players can find them easily, build armor and protect their house with traps or build underground
- Suggest that they build a second house and chest somewhere else, so they have a back-up if they lose all their stuff
- Tell them to never teleport to (or accept a request from) players they don't know
- Make sure your kids aren't the ones doing the griefing :)