Friday, February 12, 2010

Growing awareness for seemingly Trivial things

By Azariell

"LOL, omg I just pwned that n00b when I told him to STFU and L2P". Abbreviations of phrases are a rather common thing in MMO's. But do we always mean what we type or better said do we always realize what we are saying?

The content of the abbreviations are often 'lost in translation'. Sure, most know what the abreviations actually stand for, but never really think about it when using them.

Just for laughs, count the amount of LOL's, LMAO's and ROFL's you see in the chat, and try to estimate how many will actually be 'Laughing out Loud', 'Laughing their ass off' or are 'Rolling on the floor laughing' (I still have trouble understanding how somebody can type while rolling on the floor laughing btw).

My best bet is that not too many actually will have performed any of the actions for which they often even use caps to write them. The content of the combination of letters has become completely lost and those words are now just used as expressions of fun, not really showing how funny you thought something was.

The 'Laughing abreviations', however, are not that bad. Sure it removes part of the feeling you can get with players, but in itself it's seemingly harmless. STFU and OMG on the other hand is not.

OMG can be seen as one of the most 'vague' expressions in chat. Oh My God to me refers to rather severe expression of astonishment and/or disbelieve. However, people use it for all kinds of reasons. From 'normal' day to day affairs such as 'omg I just walked past an undead' to semi-rare occasions such as "omg did you just see that horde guy walking into the alliance inn"' to severe astonishment "omg, did he really just pull a Leeroy on us?". A rather wide range if you ask me.

Last night I was in a pug, wiped, got a new dps and healer and the first thing the dps said was when he entered "omg" nothing more, no explanation, nothing. So in my mind I was going "What does he mean, did he just hurt his pinky finger with his knife, or maybe he hadn't noticed, before joining, that one boss was already down (and now he knows, will he leave?), or was he just so much in awe of my uber 1337 outfit" Ok I made that last one up, but still...You don't know, and can't know as the meaning of the words have become completely lost.

These are just a few of the many abbreviations that are used around almost all MMO's. How many people do you think still really realize what they are typing instead of just using the abbreviations that have completely lost their meaning.

The example also shows that it has become more and more difficult to interpret others. Personally, I always 'hear' the entire sentence in my head instead of just the abbreviation. The awareness of the sentence in that case can hit pretty hard. L2P can be one's standard response when the tank misses one mob, but for another it can be a serious accusation. I take everything personal and with that, I make it much harder on myself than it might be meant.

I for one grow a bit tired of asking what a person is referring to when they OMG, to find out of its something referring to me, and if I need to do something about it...

So what is your way of 'dealing' with the abreviation madness?"