Monday, November 06, 2006

Tomato, tomato

I had the pleasure of spending time with some gamer friends this weekend. Let me tell you, it feels nice to be around people that have the same passion as you and speak the same language. Well, mostly the same language.

I was deep in conversation with a friend who is mad about WoW, I mean absolutely addicted and loving it... hmm, let's call her "Elendil". Anyways, we were talking about raids and items and people management when we came across the topic of accents. Given that WoW is an international game and she keeps vampire hours, she plays a lot with Aussie gamers.

I asked her, "So like, in the heat of battle, do you lose them cuz of the accents?".

"Not really", she replied.

"Yeah, I guess everyone screams DOT the same way." I said.

"Umm no, we say dot." she corrected me.

In the above exchange, I said DOT by pronouncing every letter, dee - oh - tee. She just said the word, dot, rhymes with bot. Oops. I am SO lame.

Now let me caveat this whole thing by saying I don't like using voicechat. I don't do it. It kills the experience for me. If I did, I'm sure I would have come across the proper way to say DOT (which by the way stands for damage over time). But given my avoidance of voice, I simply defaulted to my own internal voice.

This is, unfortunately, not the first time my internal voice has botched words I've read but never heard. Earlier in my gaming life, I ran across words like tunic (it's ton-ick right?), falchion (falk-on?) and epitome (epee-tome?). Not bothering to actually look up these words, I gamed for endless hours using my own pronunciation. It was not until I actually started talking to other players did I realize I was wrong. "Ooooh, that's how you say it!"

I'd like to think that in a strange way these situations are gaming's little gifts of education to me. More realistically, it's just a secret language between groups of like-minded people. If you don't stumble when reading this sentence, "HP low, tapped mana, medding for sec. Watch for MOBs, SoW out in 2 mins," you'll probably do just fine in any MMO. Unless you said "ess-oh-dubyu" for "SoW". Ha ha ha, you're such a noob!


Amber said...

l2p, newb. :)

When I first encountered the term "pwned," I pronounced it "poaned," and my rl gamer friend laughed at me. Much debate ensued within the guild, and 3 camps emerged:

1) It's pronounced "poaned." ~50%

2) There is no pronunciation, it's simply a misspelling of "owned." ~30%

3) It's pronounced "pwinned." ~10%

(the other 10% were "stfu and pull already.")

I see the topic come up occasionally, and it seems that the "poaned" camp was winning. And then John Kerry had to go and pronounce it "the troops are poaned," so of course the proper pronunciation is now "Jesus."

Ken said...

When I first saw it, I pronounced it "pawned", go figure.

Ok, fine, I still do but no one has to listen to my internal voice but me.

I'm going to stew-fu now.