March 16, 2012
Folklore Item: Phrase, Joke
Informant Bio: Isaac is my good friend from high school. He is a twenty year old Sophomore Computer Science major at the University of Houston. He is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but he moved to Houston at a fairly young age. He is very intellectual, calculating, cryptic, and sarcastic.
Context: Isaac and I are both gamers. He games more than I do though so I asked him what common gamer lore I was missing out on during Spring Break. This was when we were at our friend Scotty’s house playing the latest Super Mario for the Wii. There were four of us, Brandon, Isaac, Scotty, and myself.
A: Isaac is there gaming lore?
I: (Laughter) Yes, yes there are. Like, oh something bad happened? Better nerf Irelia. Nerf is a term when the game developers rearrange the statistics to make the character less favorable. For example if someone has immense strength then they would lessen it. Irelia, she is a character is League of Legions that is ridiculously overpowered. It started as a problem and now is just a joke. You use it whenever. Whenever anything bad happens. In game, two characters, Ramos and Shen, are fighting in the jungle. Chogath just kills Shen, then you say Better nerf Irelia. Out of game… really it’s very wide open. Something falling on your foot. Box fell on your foot, better nerf Irelia. Or have two tests the same day? Better nerf Irelia.
Informant Analysis: It is funny (confused look and shoulder shrug)?
Analysis: Gamers tend to be nerds, and a little solitary. Not many RPG’s or Role Playing Games have multi-player options so RPG-ers like Isaac and I tend to play alone. The commonality of the issue and joke of League of Legions is a way that more solitary gamers can come together. It is also very rare for programmers to make such large changes which is partially what makes the story behind this joke so unique.
Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California
ANTH 333m Spring 2012