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Apr 01, 2007



Not sure if it fits your category but MMOGs have been creating and twisting word use for years... for example http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/archives/001313.php..


Some of these terms, much as people would like to believe are universal, are actually quite specific to particular virtual worlds. Also, although glossaries are, on the whole, accurate, I find there are always a few weird words that the compiler has put in or is promoting in the hope that they'll gain wider acceptance (eg. Maving from the rec.games.mud FAQ).

Anyway, here's the MUDspeke dictionary, covering the idiosyncratic vocabulary used by players of MUD1 and MUD2. You'll see some words in there which have indeed become universal, but others which only really worked for one instantiation of MUD.



I'm sorry, I couldn't find a place to comment on terranova in general, rather than an individual post, so this isn't actually relevant to your discussion. Just wondering, I'm sure a few people here have been keeping track of Acclaim's Top Secret project, and I'm curious as to why no one has mentioned it here? It's a veritable bee hive of activity at the moment, and surely worthy of some high brow analysis, whether directly related to creating an MMO racer, or the whole 'creating a game being the game' aspect. Anyway, sorry for the highjacking!


In the virtual worlds I frequent, people use the term "toon" instead of "avatar." When I ask why not 'avatar,' I'm told (in l33tspeak with a pedantic tone): "Avatars r the pix on a forum post, duh."

The notion that forum avatars and virtual-world avatars are the same thing is lost.

Language is built by popular use, not proper use, despite my curmudgeonly wishes.


Moses>"Avatars r the pix on a forum post, duh."

As far as I recall, when "Avatar" first appeared in "mainstream" virtual world language it did indeed refer to the picture. The entities that players controlled within a virtual world were "characters", and a character's avatar was its visual display. This was in the days when textual worlds were at their height: some word was needed to refer to the appearance of a character on screen, and "avatar" was it. To this day, I still use "avatar" to mean the image; I'd never refer to a character in a textual world as an avatar.



How old is toon as a term?
Most virtual environment type researchers I meet (old new school?) say avatar by the way.


das mit der virtuellen parallel welt wie secondlife finde ich fragwürdig, haben wir nicht genug zu kämpfen im richtigen leben ?


ErikC>How old is toon as a term?

In a virtual world context, I first it really registered with me heard was around 2000/2001 I think, but it was probably used earlier. I noticed it because at first I thought it was to do with the upcoming Toontown, but quite how it would have jumped from there to other virtual worlds is hard to guess. I seem to recall its being a mainly Asheron's Call thing to start with (one of the people I worked with played AC and she called the characters "toons").



Toon seemed to gain currency with those who started playing with The Realm -- that's where I first saw it, and it seems to have spread from there.


I've always liked the word "avatar", since it was (supposedly) drawn from notion of an otheworldly being's manifestation upon this realm. But everyone I know uses "character". "Avatar" seems exclusive to academic circles.

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