Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Voice over IP

Here's a bit of an interesting conversation. They're initially discussing the use of 'voice over IP' in online video games, and then it kind of shifts to discussing the relationship between how people "speak" and how they "write". Finally, at the end, we see the beginning of an explicit discussion about language choice between offline and online forms.

Pepe:
Played a bit on UT2004 with headphones + many people, and no, my experience was not hysterical. plenty of kids, but not much talking, and no shouts and yells and wtfs

Pepe :
extremely practical for "between levels" sessions

Pepe :
to rearrange teams, to adapt difficulty, etc

Pepe :
and also, played to Pandora tomorrow with that. It's even part of the game. Since you play 2 vs 2, each team can speak without the other team listening. However, in-game, there's a gadget that allows you to spy on the other team's convo. extremely useful

Pepe:
since, the game is 75% about tactics

Pepe :
= since the game is

Boris:
but people's style and vocabulary, or grammar, is more like everyday talk or like forum/chat sessions ?

Boris :
no, it's casual talking

Pepe:
very very often, people tend to speak as few words as they can

Pepe:
to not to pollute the discussion, since you cant "see" people talking, you cant know either when they want to speak

Pepe:
so, very few words, very "up-to-the-point" convos

Pepe :
also, very often, people tend to try to sound "pro"

Pepe:
as in "ridiculously" pro

Boris:
acronyms and such ?

Pepe :
hmmm

Pepe:
not necessarily. rather some "It's better to use the cricrigun on the factorygizzy level because with 0.25 seconds left, you can sprintstrafejump to the second base, and touchdown in the platform'

Pepe :
that, you hear a lot

(Hanz returns to chat after an absence)

Hanz :
jesus christ what have you cunts been chatting

Boris :
ethnocyberlinguistics.

Hanz :
wicked.

Pepe:
to be honest, I don't believe that my experience in chatting online while playing games is immense. But from the little I've seen, there's not much difference than there would be between people that would not know each other, playing in a cybercafe together

Boris:
i think so, but would people playing together in a cybercafe talk the same way as people playing together around a table (or in a gym room)...

Boris:
...or is their language a bit adapted to the cyber style (of forums, chat windows, etc).

Pepe:
hmm, nope, I don't believe so

Pepe:
Related to the video-game, no doubt, related to the online situation, I doubt so

Hanz :
simply angry little youths who get far too easily frustrated and can shriek at strangers with pretty much zero chance of rebuttal

Hanz :
can bet your arse that if that kid in the video was in a cybercaff, he'd just be quietly steaming

Boris:
No, it's not about behaviour, it's really about forms of language and communication.

Boris :
Behaviour is a whole other issue.

Hanz :
what, "FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FAG WAAAAARGH AAAARRRRGH FUUUUUUUUUUCK"?

Boris:
:haha:

Hanz:
^^

Pepe :
Ho

Pepe:
Very related, however

Boris:
well, "FUCK YOU" is one thing, "STttFFFFüüüüü" is another.



Comments:
Ooh, good self-correction up there.
 
that reminds me a lot of those articles on jargon as identity - you know, the wine drinking and the stamp collecting.

boris self-repaired over a comma. boris is our king. that's some pretty obvious 'i'm speaking and not writing' if i ever saw some.
 
it may be interesting to note that English is none of their native languages. i wonder how that factors into the discussion. should this be one the variables we look at? we need to start making a list of variables to investigate. lauren's already made some arguemts for the inclusion of sex, and paolillo aregues for social network ties.
 
Native language is definitely important. I'd also argue for spoken dialect more generally (or is that more specifically?). Aside from being another variable, nonnative language/multilingualism stuff online is also a whole 'nother area in itself...codeswitching and all that...

Not unrelated, I would add literacy level and experience with the media (length of time used, applications used, intensity of use). How you operationalize those is tricky. Age, that one's easy.
 
i guess another question is how relevant those factors are to the speakers involved, especially if you want to get into interactional sociolinguistics and identity work. there's also the question of perceived demographic rather than actual speaker demographic in shaping discourse - like the way josh's black toon from his MMORPG corpus alters his perceived ethnicity, and is reflected in the language practices of others around him and, well, maybe even his own.

then there's the horrible fact that you can't log into IRC with a nickname that's even slightly girly without fifty guys PMing you and calling you honey and asking if you want the hot hardcore.
 
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