Online Gaming: Anonymous Communication

Online Gaming: Anonymous Communication

Introduction

“Drink pots if you got ‘em [sic].  I’m down to echoes and having trouble keeping the tank healed.”  The previous statement was recorded during a session of Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO), a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMO).  Each of the words in the statement is a recognizable term in English, though the usage is not customary.  Each segment of society has its own language and jargon for the world around it.  Online gaming is no exception, and while some terms, such as “tank” are common across an entire genre (MMOs), others like “echoes” are specific to one game or another.  Language, however, is not only about the words that are used, but a number of details, some more subtle than others, which provides the context necessary to understand a particular utterance.  With the understanding that not all potential readers readily understand gaming terminology, and to minimize the amount of space spent in explanation of terms, each highlighted term is explained in the Glossary of Terms prior to the Reference page.  By analyzing several hours of communication taking place within the contexts of two very different video games, one can discover the differences and similarities between the languages of each of the games and the general population. Continue reading

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The Free-to-Play MMO Gauntlet

It’s been a while, huh? I’ve been very busy with a full plate of gaming (Black Ops 2 multiplayer, NCAA Football 13 dynasty, Madden 13 coach career, & Epic Mickey 2 are the typical ones right now), an official college course and two Coursera courses, a three year old and a short vacation to the in-laws. I am currently planning yet another final paper using gaming as the focus (in this case, the linguistic analysis of Black Ops II players), and briefly considered a comparison. The language used by gamers is different depending on the context, such as competitive vs cooperative, shooter vs MMO. I thought I might do a comparison between Black Ops and my former Permadeath guild in DDO. In Black Ops, a player is not likely to ever play with that group again, unless they are friends or added to the friends list. In DDO, our guild never met in person, but we still got to know one another well enough, even with aliases, and had friendships come from it. It is not surprising then how infrequently hostile, offensive, or abusive language (like that common in Call of Duty multiplayer) was heard in DDO. The mask of anonymity can lead to actions that someone might otherwise oppress. Continue reading

Borderlands 2!

Good news for fans of the original Borderlands: Borderlands 2 does exactly what is expected of a sequel to a successful game. It keeps what worked and tweaks what didn’t. In this case, the artistic style, humor, and overall gameplay, as well as split-screen co-op, are alive and well. In all honesty, my husband and I still haven’t finished the original since we only play co-op, and rarely have time to spare together, but we put in Borderlands 2 tonight for a few hours anyway. Continue reading