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To gauge your fellow gamers' ages, watch for jumping

When trying to figure out just who we're playing with in virtual spaces like World of Warcraft, we often watch how they talk for clues. Common knowledge suggests that gamers who are more mature -- and therefore older -- will be more grammatically correct, typing in complete sentences with proper punctuation rather than leaning on acronyms and slang. However, a recent study on gaming chat by a Colorado State University researcher suggests our common knowledge might just be wrong -- because while phrasing can certainly give us hints at a typist's age, Millennials are better at grammar than we think.

In a study of players in Second Life and World of Warcraft, research concludes that the more definite indicator of age is how players move. Younger players jump about twice as often as older players, as well as moving more in general (15% more) and moving backwards more often (30% more). So before calling out your fellow players for immature kids, you might keep an eye on how often they jump -- if they don't, they may just be straight-up immature.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Are you a Trade Chat grammar narc?

I don't know which is funnier, watching people in Trade Chat trying to figure out what to call someone with the Inscription profession or watching the people who get upset by it. "Inscriptionator" versus "It's SCRIBE, you morons!!" -- they are both pretty funny.

Trade Chat, as you know, includes a lot of things besides Trade chatter: Guild recruitment, LFG, general help, gold spam and, of course, every topic under the sun. It also includes a lot of typos and grammar errors. Some of them are pretty benign, but others are so bad it's hard to decipher the meaning. And then there are the pet peeves.

You're a literate bunch. Do you correct people in Trade Chat? If not, do you mind or care when people do? And doesn't it take longer to type "ne1" than it does to type "anyone"? I know it does for me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Five tips for guild applications

So maybe your current guild just isn't doing it for you. They're casual players and you're ready to step into something more hardcore, or you can sense some impending guild drama and want to be far away, or maybe they're like my guildmates and keep talking about wangs in guild chat for, like, half an hour. It's time to suck it up, tell them you're moving on, and then go to the realm forums and start filling out guild applications.

Despite what you may think, guild applications aren't quite as rough as job applications. They're mainly there to weed out the total idiots and incompetents. On the other hand, it's pretty easy to appear like a total idiot or incompetent, so here are some tips for your applications. Happy hunting!

  1. Don't spell like a moron. Yes, yes, it's the Internet and spelling and grammar aren't cool among the kids these days. Nevertheless, you're trying to impress these people, so at least make some effort to not type like a monkey undergoing shock treatment. Typing in all lower-case with no punctuation except for "lol" makes the guild officers think that you're going to be a nightmare to have in guild chat, and they're probably right.
  2. Use the actual guild's application. Not a generic application. Not another guild's application. ESPECIALLY not the application of the archnemesis of the guild you're applying to. This is usually an automatic disqualification -- if you can't take the time to fill out the application, how are you going to abide by the guild rules?
  3. Don't flirt or post pictures. No one cares that you're a girl. Really. No, really. They care about how well you can play. If they ask for your gender, it's okay to tell the truth, but including revealing pics or a link to your myspace in your application screams "In the future, I will carry on an ongoing flirtation with several guildmates that will eventually destroy the entire organization." I would assume it's also verboten for a guy to flirt and post half-naked pictures in his guild application, but honestly I would probably /ginvite that person just to watch the chaos that ensues.
  4. Don't complain about your last guild. Even if the split was really bad, just say "there were some issues about _____ and I decided to move on." An epic description of the drama in your last guild makes you look bad, and some of the officers in your wanna-be-new guild probably have friends in your old one.
  5. Don't talk about what they can give you -- talk about what you can give them. I have seen many guild applications where the reason for joining boils down to "I want to get gear and you guys are progressed!" Sure, that's probably the real reason for it, but it's considered tactless (kind of like saying "I really need some money" during a job interview.) Instead, talk about your desire to see new content, meet new people, and help your guild in new encounters. Don't mention gear at all, really.

Do you have any tips for guild applications, or do you find the whole concept kind of distasteful?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Guilds

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