Home > Uncategorized > The language of MMOG’s (or TLoMMOG)

The language of MMOG’s (or TLoMMOG)

I cannot understand an MMOG-er’s speech. It is far more evolved (or devolved) than my present grasp of language. I realised this truth while playing Gunbound: Revolution (Q: Why is it that almost every MMOG tags "Revolution" on to its title?).

Officially, I play games to understand the language of MMOG’s and how people act/react within interactive entertainment environments. So apart from positioning my misshapen vehicle and angling cannons to inflict maximum thunder and bazooka damage upon other tiny, overly-cute Gunbounders; I spend most of my in-game stint chatting with other players.

In-game chat is enabled via a dialogue line where words are typed in and displayed elsewhere onscreen. My part of the dialogue is usually peppered with asterisks and other unpronounceables: "%^$*$*!&*@^()#^()#&!()^#*(!!!!"

It is nonsensical but this merely expresses my frustration. It’s the other players’ responses that I sometimes find incomprehensible. Conversation snippet reproduced below.

 

A Gunbound Conversation
nicknames have been changed

Skybe (Me):
%^$*$*!&*@^()#^()#&!()^#*(!!!!
Arsswhip: ROTFLMAO
J=Enne{=>: afk
Timie: Wat a nublet! Skybe aim higher.
Skybe: Cheers.
Arsswhip: Bunge that nublet!
J=Enne{=>: WTF! Wind change!
Skybe: ????
Timie: ns. I still aak.
Skybe: Damn…Missed. *#&()!&()%^&)!$)@&#*()@!&()%^!@(*!!!!
Arsswhip: gg
J=Enne{=>: OMG! Skybe move to your left! N00b!

Key (arranged in order of appearance): ROTFLMAO (rolling on the floor, laughing my ass off); afk (away from keyboard); nublet (also newbie or n00b. Refers to a new gamer); Bungee (destroying the land from under an opponent. Specific to Gunbound); WTF (What the fuck!); ns (nice shot); aak (alive and kicking); gg (got to go); OMG (oh my god)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not like the folks at the Speak Good English Movement who subsist on pristine English. Language evolves with the medium and according to people’s needs. In this case, MMOG-ers need to quickly make a point and yet be perceived as sociable; thus promoting the use of acronyms – acronyms easily-typed and understood by long-time gamers.

Interestingly it spills over to real-world speech and writing.

For example, I know some people who laugh by repeating: "LOL! LOL!" Back when I was teaching, students turned in work filled with acronyms and emoticons: LOL, OMG, :). Even now, articulate professionals liberally litter their sms-es with similar acronyms and emoticons.

Given internet slang’s pervasive influence, perhaps the next best-seller will be entirely in internet patois? I eagerly await for it.

What is internet slang?

  1. WiseGeek (www.wisegeek.com/what-is-internet-slang.htm)
  2. Wiki entry (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_slang)
  3. Blog entry: The evolution of Internet speak (aka geek speak) (maggyfloeter.com/?p=77)
  4. Forum discussion on internet slang (forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=26337)

Online dictionaries with searchable indexes

  1. Internet Slang Dictionary & Translator (www.noslang.com)
  2. Netlingo.com (www.netlingo.com)
  3. Internet Slang entry on Wikitionary (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Internet_slang)
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