Essay on Mini-Ethnography on Gamer Culture

Words: 1986
Pages: 8

"Man, Fragged by the LPB Sniper again!!!" That may sound like nonsense to the average person but to the seasoned Counterstrike veteran it speaks volumes. Today, millions of people of all ages are coming together on the Internet to compete against each other in a variety of online games. The most popular of which is an online modification of the game Half-life entitled Counterstrike.
<br>Counterstrike itself is comprised of players broken up in to two teams, terrorists and counter terrorists, who then compete against each other to achieve a range of goals in a variety of levels. People from anyplace in the world can log in to one of the hundreds of Counterstrike servers running on the Internet and team up with and play against anybody
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The trash talk I heard and saw in the games reminded me very much of the kind of trash talk you would hear during any pickup basketball game. However, the language they use is very unique and exclusive to the Internet community. I noticed three categories of slang that they utilize. They have words they use to describe other gamers. They often decorate words with different symbols to add unique flavor to them and utilize word fragments that act as abbreviations of phrases.
<br>There are a number of words that they use to describe other players and their actions. They are all words that can be interpreted as put downs and that may be humorously or maliciously in their intent. The two examples of this that I ran across most often were "Newbie" which is used to describe a player who's new to the game, ignorant to its rules and usually a poor competitor. The other, "Lamer" is simply to refer to a player who is lame, the antonym of cool.
<br>Additionally, the gamers seem to enjoy decorating their language with a variety of other symbols to try and make it more personalized or unique. They most often replace letters in words with similarly shaped numbers or punctuation symbols. An example is, that they commonly spell the word elite like this, "31337". Other common words and decoration styles are @$$, haX0r, and p1mp. It is not limited to that however, they will spontaneously