Author Archives: pvaladez

The Hidden Language of Gamers

Abstract: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic a huge wave of online gaming has consumed all platforms and with that new interaction amongst all communities. In the game, terms have been adapted with the meaning being to give up on a match or to lose because the game wasn’t played correctly. These terms are analyzed below

Background: JL is an amateur gamer with a plethora of experience in the gaming community. He’s 20 and lives in Florida with one of his favorite pastimes is joining up with his team and competing in competitive matches in the evening or over the weekend at potential tournaments. The interview conducted below contains the phrases which he says are most common when he games. The topic came up when discussing how the virus is affecting the gaming community and those who’ve recently joined.

Slang: “You’re throwing”

JL says the term is similar to saying “you’re messing up” or along the lines of “you’re ruining this for the whole team” if he’s on a team with other people. Basically I am doing something that I should be doing that affects others in a negative way. In reality, they’re probably a better way of conducting the task but they chose the wrong method. 

Example:

Person 1: I’m moving forward to attack the energy. *Fails*

Person 2: Fall back, person 1 is throwing and now we have to regroup.   

Interpretation:

At first, the term sounds like something that would be said to someone play a sport with a ball and yelling at them you’re throwing to such person. However, in the gaming world, this term takes a new meaning and is especially common when used in a team game with players utilizing their microphones to speak with others and discuss strategies. The term You’re throwing tends to come about when your teammates are frustrated with their loss or when the opposing team is allowing for an easy victory. This term could’ve originated from a baseball game in which many players are required to throw balls and compete as a team and have developed into a gaming slang culture that infects gaming platforms with no requirement to throw anything such as shooters and team-based combat games. 

Slang: “GG no Re Plebs”

JL: A term which means “smoking the kids” who challenged you the first time to a rematch after they lost the first time. Essentially the GG means good game and the Re stands for a rematch and finally, the term plebs describe. Typically this phrase is brought up really during a team fighting video game. 

Example

Team 1: Let’s re-compete in a new match to prove we messed up the last one. 

Person 2: Alright let’s compete.

*loses the match again*

Person 2: GG no Re plebs.

Interpretation: GG is a phrase most common when playing in any competitive games whether they’re shooter games or games focused more on a professional sport. Hearing this phrase used quite a few times when I would play games. This phrase was generally used when we were opting to rematch an opposing team and then continuing to beat them. The phrase is commonly used through voice but also text chats are also populated by the phrase when a match is completed. The toxicity in the phrase also helps with adding a minor advantage by agitating the opposing team and throwing them off of their momentum with these phrases. The phrase is a combination of two phrases since it incorporates the GG term and the term plebs which is the main word meant to tick off your opponents.

Curupira

Abstract: An viewing of the Curupira which is a mythological creature that is said to have orange fur and lives in the forests around Brazil. It was said that this creature hunts for hunters and poachers to protect the animals of the forest and is said to have backward feet such that he can never be tracked. He is said to be a demon and in the interpretation by MC, it is portrayed as a demon meant to frighten children. 

Background: MC is a Brazilian currently living in Florida and is a student at the University of Southern California. She’s an advocate for Brazilian culture and expresses it by speaking highly of their myths and legends and even partaking in the semi-religious activities such as wearing bracelets with powers to grant wishes to the wearer. She describes one of the few stories heard from parents when she was younger and details it below.

Transcript:

P: So tell me about a story that involves creatures like fairies or something mythological? 

MC: I have one I think about a character known as the Curupia which is this demon figure who basically has his feet turned 180 degrees so no one can track him when he moving around. They always look the wrong way for him which is creepy to me but also cool that Brazilians got creative with it. The weird thing is that this creature is said to make those random high pitched noises whenever it’s dark or in a forest that no one can explain. On top of that, I think it rides like a pig creature whenever it doesn’t want to travel on foot.  Also apparently he’s kind of like a person who saves the animals from poachers and such.

P: Pretty creepy if you ask me. 

Interpretation:

This character seems to compliment others such as the Saci and others listed as Brazilian folklore. This creature in some cases seems like a beneficial one for the country of Brazil as it seeks to preserve all the creatures of the country and protect them from extinction. The Curupia is a great example of a conservationist in this case and helps the people preserve life and keep the wildlife intact. On the second interpretation of the creature, it acts as a demon bothering those who encounter it and due to its backward feet, it cant be tracked so revenge against it is never an option. It always seems to be out of reach of anyone. The symbolism of good and evil packed into this individual almost shows a balance for the culture and a way to show the world is balanced by both a protector and those who seek to cause conflict. This figure would sure scare myself if I heard it around the same age as MC but for good measure, as it seems it was used to keep some people out after dark along with other myths promoted.

Fita do Senhor do Bonfim

Abstract: The incorporation of a bracelet with the magical power to grant wishes to the user who wears it. The bracelet is always decorated a certain color representing a spirit or a feature of Brazil and it always has a catholic prayer or saying listed on the outside of the bracelet. It was made out of cloth and woven together with the phrase placed on top.  The goal was to wrap up the bracelet somewhere on your body and then perform a few steps to ensure your wish comes true.

Background: MC is a Brazilian currently living in Florida and is a student at the University of Southern California. She’s an advocate for Brazilian culture and expresses it by speaking highly of their myths and legends and even partaking in the semi-religious activities such as wearing bracelets with powers to grant wishes to the wearer. She describes one of the few stories heard from parents when she was younger and details it below.

To gain a wish:

MC: First you take the bracelet and you figure out a spot where to tie to your person. 

MC: Next you have to come up with 3 wishes before you start to tie it on.

MC: Now you wrap it around you so, for example, I’m using my ankle and you have to make 3 Knotts with it, each symbolizing your wish and basically knotting it to you so you don’t lose it.

MC: Make sure you say each wish in your head before you start the next Knott and then once it’s tied up you leave it. The bracelet will fall off over time and when it does, your wishes will come true.

Interpretation: 

It interesting to see that the catholic faith has overtaken the traditions and meaning of items in Brazil. An item that grants wishes but has a verse from the Catholic bible written on it is a blend that shows the mix of Brazilian ideals. The idea of tying this to your person could be a way of carrying the faith and trusting in the Catholic God and as time progresses and the bracelet “matures” or gets old, so does your feeling of being used to having the bracelet on you. Shows that you can grow in the faith just like you grew into wearing a bracelet on you. From this burden of having the bracelet and it eventually falling off shows how your bond exceeds that of Knotts and you’re rewarded with having your wishes come true. 

The Jewish Penicillin

Abstract: The Jewish take on Chicken Soup which is said to be a powerful substance when you’re not feeling well or you’re going through lows in health. This tradition has gone on for a few years but its actual origin is unknown. This remedy isn’t restricted to those of Jewish faith as well as it was mentioned that Christians and protestants use this remedy as well either for illness healing or for the enjoyment of eating soup.

Background: SD is a Jewish-American who attends the university of southern California who’s lived in Arkansas. He’s been living a somewhat Jewish household that holds on to a few of the secrets and traditions celebrated by Orthodox Jews. The Jewish Penicillin is a fancy name to describe chicken soup however this chicken soup apparently has some extra zest which makes it more effective than regular soup. This topic came up while we were discussing some home remedies which our families used to help when we’re ill.  

Transcript: 

P: Ok so I told you about my traditional medicine, give me something you’ve relied on. 

S: So its really simple, its just chicken soup but everyone calls it the Jewish penicillin-like when some I knew had back surgery we got the chicken soup and they were excited we brought them Jewish Penicillin. 

P: Is it like part of the religion to use Jewish Penicillin whenever you’re not healthy?

S: This tradition seems to extend outside the Jewish religion because it’s known about by other religions. Like my mom always told me while I’m at college if I’m sick to go and buy some chicken soup from the store before buying medicine. She really believes it’s extremely effective and honestly so do it. 

P: So what’s the twist? What is the traditional way to prepare this Jewish penicillin?

S: The difference is we use a kosher chicken and sometimes people put in matzo balls which is way different than regular chicken soup but I believe the rest of it is pretty similar to regular chicken soup. 

Interpretation:

It’s interesting to hear that it was labeled Jewish Penicillin yet everyone was using it as a method to feel better. It seems like the chicken soup was over-exaggerated when it comes to its effects but I feel it not about the soup but the lore behind it. The soup carries with it a lot of history and lore which is where the effects come to play. People for a long period of time have been believing in the idea that the new soup carries a lot of mystical powers and through this belief, the effects of this soup are increased. It is noted as well that this soup also has a second use that is able to heal the mind and restore you to a calmer state. 

S doesn’t know the origins of this Folklore but he believes its outlasted a long period of time at least beyond the life of his grandparents. He mentions that he believes the concept is passed down from each generation so it is a significant remedy that is kept alive by many families of Jewish and non-Jewish generations due to its alluded powers of healing. However, S does make a note that not every group makes it the same and there might be some adaptations to the recipe depending on the religious group. 

Maui: Hawaiin Demi-God

Abstract: A view of the demigod Maui and how he’s influenced popular culture in Hawaii and even inspired a movie where he is featured. The story of Maui varies depending on who tells the story but he is responsible for creating the islands of Hawaii and bring peace to the Polynesians. His defining characteristic is his fishing hook ironically, he’s a bad fisher and is ridiculed by his brothers. In an attempt to prove them wrong, Maui uses his famous fishing hook to reel in a good catch but can’t pull up the fishing line from the water. He uses all of his strength but manages to pull up the islands of Hawaii with his strength. 

Background: DM is a student at the University of Southern California who is a native Hawaiin and grown up with many Hawaiin tales to explain how her place of living came to be. She finds great interest in the history of her island She grew up her entire life in Hawaii and with that, has heard a lot of folklore. Unfortunately, she doesn’t remember when she first heard these stories After reading about famous Hawaiin Folklore, I saught to ask her about what she knows about her Island and its origins. 

P: So tell me more about the origins of Hawaii. How did they come to be like what stories have you heard?

DM: Ok so there is the origin story of Maui which one of the most popular ones especially after the release of the Disney movie. 

P: O that’s right so is he very similar to the Disney version of Maui?

DM: In some ways, he has his fish hook to use but the significance of it is different than that in the movie. Instead of being this crazy deity that does all these great things for the Polynesians, I know him from one story and that’s how he was a horrible fisher which I think is funny because he carries around a fish hook. He knew he was a bad fisher and had three brothers which always teased him about his inability to fish well so one day he went on a canoe with them and tried to fish and prove them wrong. He sent out his line and waited then once he tried to pull up the hook it acted like it was stuck on something. So he used all his strength to pull it up and his brothers start to paddle away and they kept pulling for a while until they turned around and saw they reeling in the Islands of Hawaii. 

Interpretation:

This Deity is very important to the people of Hawaii because it explains how their islands rose from the waters thanks to Maui. One thing that was mentioned is how Disney took the legend and applied a few similar characteristics from Maui such as his hook and his powerful strength to perform tasks such as raising Hawaii from the ocean. Another topic was brought up that the people who wrote Moana are native Hawaiians which explains why a lot of the Polynesian culture brought up in the movie is very similar to the traditional Polynesian culture. This is one of the few times when Disney stayed more true to the legend being portrayed instead of adapting it to fit their standards. However, the differences are the brothers of Maui which each symbolize an island of Hawaii since there are 4 habitable islands and 4 brothers in total.