Birgit Swoboda

Birgit Swoboda studied English Linguistics as well as History at the University of Vienna and holds a PhD degree (thesis title: “L2P n00b – the pragmatics of positioning in MMORPGs”) in English Linguistics. She is a freelance researcher publishing and presenting on language use in media and computer-games. Her research focus is netspeak, politeness theory, positioning theory and computer game studies, especially MMORPGs.

Stay out of the fire you %&§!!!! – Negotiation of meanings by positioning in MMORPGs

Panel talk, FROG main conference | Saturday, 14th October, 11:15 – 11:45

Players and their communication are essential aspects of computer-games especially of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games). The inclusive gaming environment, the multiple communication-channels and cooperative gaming provide researchers an opportunity to investigate how meanings are made and positions negotiated in the ingame interaction process. These questions are dealt with by drawing upon an online-questionnaire (n=324) and a self-compiled corpus of ingame communication. How do gamers position themselves by means of linguistic tokens such as acronyms, neologisms and smileys. Why do gamers position through negative behaviors like trolling and ganking? And what does “Stay out of the fire” mean?


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