USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘League of Legends’
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The “Meta” of Gamer Culture: League of Legends

The folklore: In gamer culture (in League of Legends), there is always something called a “meta.” The meta is referred to by gamers as something that is the most popular or trending style of play at the time.

Informant is a 39 year old Ecuadorian male, who plays the video game, League of Legends. League of Legends is a multi-player real time game where teams battle each other.

Informant’s Folklore: The “meta” means the style of the game that people are playing at that time. For example, the trend at the time. So the meta this week, everyone is playing this one particular character because they saw one of the best players in the world playing this character and kicked ass. So now everyone wants to play that character, so that character becomes the new meta. It also can apply to how you play the game, and the strategies you use.

Informant: Where did you learn this from?

Collector: I just learned it from people talking. I remember someone I met online said “meta” in a group chat on League of Legends, and I was like what does that mean? And they explained it to me.

Informant: What does this mean?

Collector: Well, the players of League will always try to find the most powerful player in the game, and they will try to exploit that character. And League of Legends notices it and nerfs the character by taking away some of his power. So by nerfing him, it makes another character more powerful. And the whole process changes it.

Informant: Why do you think they do it?

Collector: It’s like chasing the white rabbit, because they’re trying to make the game as fair as possible.

I think that the gamer culture, just like any other entertainment culture, developed the idea of the “meta” to reflect what’s popular or trending. It’s a saying that’s known to the League of Legends’ gamer community: you only know what it means if you’re part of that community and if you stay up with the trends.

Digital
Folk speech
Humor

Leauge of Legends – Slang Words and Memes

About the Interviewed: Jared is a sophomore at the University of Southern California, studying Finance. At the time of this interview, he is also my roommate. His ethnic background is distinctively Chinese, and his parents are first-generation American immigrants. He is 20 years old.

At this point of the interview, I highlighted upon my roommate’s love of League of Legends, a massively popular online computer game.

Jared: “League of Legends is an extremely popular game. People play it all over the world. You play it by choosing a hero and joining a team. You have to help your team defeat the other team. It’s pretty simple.”

I ask him about any slang words or unique vernacular he may have encountered while playing such a globally accessed game.

Jared: “Sure. There’s a ton of humor and inside jokes between people who play the game. Internet memes and things like that are pretty popular on there. Aside from basic things like, LOL and WTF, League has other things. A few of the more recent ones- one of them is like, BM, which stands for Bad-Mannered, it’s like when you do things out of line, or sabotage the team, that’s what BM means.”

I ask him if it came about as a result of cooperative play. 

Jared: “Yeah pretty much. Another one is ‘GG, no RE’, I don’t know if you’ve heard that, it means “Good Game, no Rematch”, if you want a rematch, you just type RE.”

I ask if he thinks that these phrases came from the community or the people who made the game.

Jared: “They’re probably from the community – thousands of people play the game everyday. There’s actually a meme going around right now – LOMO. There was a guy on one of the Chinese teams – Vasili – instead of typing L.M.A.O. [Laughing My Ass Off] he kept typing L.O.M.O, so people have been saying LOMO a lot lately.”

Here, I ask Jared if he thinks that League’s multi-regional nature contributes to the evolution of these slang terms and jokes.

Jared: “Totally, yeah, It’s always changing.”

Summary:

Players of the popular online game “League of Legends” has developed a number of slang terms and abbreviations as a response to the rapidly evolving culture of the game.

 Games like “League of Legends”, that have large, active global communities, are sources of evolving culture. In order to make the game more efficient, players invented terminology to keep things fluid – terminology that can be recognized almost universally, from players in America to players in Korea. The Internet is full of subcultures such as this, but League’s mass popularity ensures that its culture is always on the move.

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