Thursday, April 14, 2011

The geeks shall inherit the earth

online standardisation or online gaming?
While the OED adds OMG and FYI to its (digital) pages and argument rages over where LOL was first used (was it among geeks on usenet, mobile phone text messagers or old ladies thinking it meant lots of love on messages to their grandchildren?) a whole area of abbreviation seems to have been overlooked.

This article on gamer slang which appears on Nerd Trek summarises some of the abbreviations used by online gamers who play World of Warcraft, Everquest and Lord of the Rings Online, among others. Like lots of these things, the abbreviations are a generally accepted shorthand (mostly initialisms and the odd acronym) designed to speed up communication between players when they're chatting to other players or cooperating at moments of high drama, like when you're you're about to take down Gamgee, the mystical dwarf of Nimbus 5 and haven't powered up your level 45 inferno spell.

We covered some gamer slang on this blog a while ago (here and here), but since I have regained control of my life by  stopping playing such games (all hail the Xbox 360 and two slipped discs for helping rid me of my crippling MMORPG addiction!) I've not really followed it as closely as I used to, but it looks like nothing much has changed in the language of online games in a little while. With the rise of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and programmes like Ventrilo, which allow you to talk to other gamers, perhaps the days of language innovation in online gamer chat are over?

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