Sure, many words and phrases that gamers toss around in normal, everyday conversations might sound completely incomprehensible to a random bystander, but it is news? NBC thinks so, with a feature on the “Secret Language of Warcraft.”
We’ve all had it happen before: you’ll be in the middle of a deep conversation with a buddy about that awesome TF2 game last night where you were playing a demo on 2fort and took out two pyros, an engy, and an L3 sentry with a single crit sticky – and then you turn around to see a random bystander looking at the two of you in absolute bafflement. Sure, your pal might have understood you perfectly, but as far as the other guy was concerned? You might as well have been speaking Sumerian.
That’s the gist of this two-minute feature segment that NBC Bay Area correspondent Nicole Riley did … about her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, Jay, is apparently quite the avid WoW player, and some of the things that come out of his mouth go right over her head. So, clearly the right choice of action was to do a feature on the nightly news about it.
It feels sort of surreal to watch – not least because I’m hearing somebody talk about raiding Malygos and “5-capping AB” on a major news network. I get the feeling that Jay seems to be pulling Ms. Riley’s leg – telling her that the best way to ask for help as a newb in the general Trade Channel is to say “LFM 25 Naxx 2 more tanks 2 more DKs.” If you’re not familiar with the lingo, this actually means that you’re “Looking for members for 25-man Naxxramas (one of the major endgame raid dungeons), need two more tanks and two more Death Knights.” Supposed difficulty of the raid dungeon notwithstanding, that’s not exactly something a newbie should ever be typing out. On my server, “Hey, do you think someone could help me out real quick?” seems to get the job done pretty well.
Plus, he’s “Number ten out of 12 million?” I think your boyfriend’s been exaggerating a bit here, Nicole. Besides, one would hope that someone that uber in the world of Warcraft would be able to easily tackle 3-Drake Sartharion, let alone 2-Drake. Even worse? They blatantly misspell “pwnzor.” How sloppy of you, NBC.
Besides, as most gamers know, this is hardly limited to WoW – or even limited to MMORPGs. Almost every game has its own lexicon of slang and shorthand: I can fondly recall talking about how Millia Rage’s FRC’d 236H was “awesome oki” in Guilty Gear XX #Reload, or listening to my friends argue whether or not their T-Tar was a good physical sweeper in the latest generation of Pokemon. This is something that we gamers accept.
I’ll admit that it was kind of nice to see a major news outlet doing a piece on hardcore gamers that isn’t spouting schlock about how games are corrupting the youth – recognizing the existence and validity of the gamer subculture, even – but the whole thing feels kind of juvenile, y’know?
Or maybe I’m just too embarrassed over the fact that I understood every single thing he said. (Or perhaps jealous that he has that damn Phoenix mount. Stupid Ashes of Al’ar.)