Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Talking smack in Multiplayer games for noobs

Have you ever been curious about the origins of the trash that gamers spew to each other? Then let Asylum be your OED to understand why bzzkill99 just said what he said before riddling your ragdoll body with shrapnel.

PWN: As in, "pwned" or "I PWN YOU." Perhaps the most common bit of trash in the consonant-only lexicon, but why make "own" into "pwn?" Some say the move was to get around the limitations of game servers using insult filters. Proper usage: YOU GOT PWNED. MSSV PWNAGE. If you've been pwned, you either basically suck, or the other player's got an inferiority complex. Of course, since "South Park" introduced it, we sincerely hope you already know what this means -- if you don't, perhaps consider buying a system more modern than an N64.

w00t: You can say it "woot" or "w00t," while the much more game-nerdy version uses 1337 zeroes. Some say the phrase comes from hackers referring to "root"; others say it's an old "Dungeons and Dragons" role-playing phrase that went "woot, loot!" To avoid sounding like you're a moron, don't say "woot, loot!" Used as a little celebratory whoop, it's something you say when you're a little happy. Finished a quest? w00t! Kicked someone's ass in Team Fortress 2? w00t! Had sex for the first time? w00t w00t!

More devastating gamer jargon after the jump.
Teabagging: More a technique than an expression, it's exactly like real-world teabagging: You squat your crotch down in someone's face. Except in the gaming world, you do it in front of someone who's dying or already dead. Charming. And a joy for the corpse-to-be, for sure. It all started in "Battlefield 1942" when players realized that, by crouching right on someone's recently fallen body, you'd get a look of unmistakable balls-to-the-face. Usage: "PWNED! I'm teabagging you!!"

FAIL: It's now our nation's calling-card expression, but before its memehood, "FAIL" was good old-fashioned gamerspeak. Originally an Engrish ending to the Neo-Geo game "Blazing Star": "YOU FAIL IT. YOUR SKILL IS NOT ENOUGH. SEE YOU NEXT TIME. BYE-BYE!" That saying was a little too long for quick typing, so "FAIL" became used instead. Which is a shame, because "BYE-BYE!" would be fun, too. Usage: Basically, after anything stupid and self-destructive, say "FAIL." There's even a blog and YouTube channel named after it, proving it has shark-jumped.

Stick: In Madden-speak, this is what you call bringing the heavy hit, the big moves. "You can't beat me, I got stick," you'd yell as you tried to beat that high-pitched high-school kid from Oakland for the 14th time. There is no proof that the origin comes from Teddy Roosevelt's advice to "walk softly and carry a big stick," but then again, he did help codify the American Football Rules Committee in 1906, so anything's possible.

Cappin': You might not ever say "you're cappin'," but if you ever had someone breathily tell you to go f--k yourself as you're lining up for a game-winning field goal, or yell "B*TCH, B*TCH, B*TCH" as Brett Favre is intercepted for a pick-six, then you've been capped. Talking loudly, beating down your opponent with smack -- that's cappin'. Actually playing well -- that's something else. But that don't stop us from cappin' the junior-high crowd, yo.

Zerg: As in, "The gang is Zerging down to Gamestop to pick up some limited-edition 'Street Fighter IV' boxes." Now that "Starcraft II" is coming out this decade, it's time to dust off a little nugget from RTS history. To Zerg is to blitzkrieg the hell out of someone, to gang-rush, to flash-mob. In "Starcraft," the alien Zerg race's best tactic was to stage a massive onslaught before defenses could be formed.

FTW: You'll scream it at the end of a death match, or just to cap a sentence. It can mean "F--k the World," or "For the Win," or hey, maybe it means "Flip the Whip" for all anyone knows. The most common use is "For the Win," and it means exactly what that sounds like: It's a fist-pump declaration of undeniable success. It's gaming's ace shot. Use it when you've just blown someone's brains out, or just when you think you've got a zinger. "Bagful of grenades, ftw!" "Yr momz hott, ftw!"

Pew Pew: As in "pew pew pew pew!" It's the sound frickin' laser guns make, get it? Inexplicably, it's "World of Warcraft"'s term (despite having no frickin' laser guns) for kicking ass and pwnage. If someone says "pew pew" to you, it's like they slapped you in the face, and you should act accordingly. "Less qq, more pew pew" is WOW's way of saying "less crying, more raging." Save it for those you feel you can dominate (with cutesy laser-gun sounds, that is).

LFG: On a quiet night in suburbia, a man logs on to "World of Warcraft" and wants company for a quest or two. "LFG," he calls out to no one in particular, meaning "Looking for Group." Will his answer be called? It depends on what he wants a group for. And anyway, there are elaborate menus and lobbies for getting the group you're looking for, so the answer's yes. Still, it sounds so needy ... because without a group, it's a lonely world out in MMO-land.

n00b: The 1337 classic, the one that everyone knows already. Newbie. Beginner. Idiot. Loser. Fool. Rube. Layman. Novice. Frosh. The guy who fires on his friends and ruins the match. The guy who picks up the n00bstick, named just for him -- it's the dumb weapon nobody else would pick up, like the rusty dagger in a room full of shotguns -- only to be quickly snuffed. "I blew ur ass away, noob, with ur own noobstick." To be a n00b is bad enough. Just make sure you have nothing to do with the n00bstick.

Slang We'd Like to See Enter the Trash-Talk Lexicon

XTRLF!!! As in, "EXTRA LIFE!" Remember when that mattered? Collecting 1-ups was so awesome back when, um, game saves didn't exist. Let this be the new sarcastic way to celebrate the successful pickup of something that's totally useless to you now. You find a treasure box with Bullet Armor in it. Hey, you already have 18 spare Bullet Armors. "XTRLF!!!"

C Y/N? Like "Continue" at the end of those arcade games that would suck up all your quarters.

NSRT QRTR: For "pay to play, b*tches." Someone doesn't want to give you what's owed? Insert quarter to play, just like "Golden Axe" at 7-11. Meaning, pony up something good. Gamer: "I want your golden gun." You: "NSRT QRTR."

UUDDLRLRBA: As in the famed Konami code from NES land: up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A. Let this be the long insult for those who ask you for some info or a cheat you don't want to part with. Gamer: "How can I get as much gold as you?" You: "UUDDLRLRBA"

ET HOL: Not a form of alcohol, no, no. We mean "E.T. Hole." The worst game of all time, "E.T." for the Atari 2600, had one of the most annoying time-sucks ever: E.T. would randomly fall in holes, and to get him out could take minutes of neck-stretching and praying, making you want to burn your face off. For similar traps and wastes of time, use this warning. Gamer: "Let's go in!" You: "NO! ET HOL!!"

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