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The Lawbringer: A prelude to avatar rights

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

The concept of avatar rights is a strange and new concept, only really going back as far as people have demanded rights for their virtual counterparts. In the early days of the MMO genre, players would populate MUDs (multi-user dungeons) or similarly designed constructs online and do pretty much the same things we do today -- hack, slash, chat, and adventure with other users. From MUDs, we got graphical MMOs, and from graphical MMOs, we got the second and third generations of the massively multiplayers we know today. World of Warcraft comes from a rich history of all of the games that came before it, as did the concept of the virtual self. The one thing all of these games have had in common over the years is the avatar.

This week's Lawbringer is the first in a multi-part series discussing avatar rights -- where the concept came from, where it's going, and who has the power to set the rules. We're going to talk about the venerable Raph Koster and his avatar rights manifesto, who your avatar is and what is so damn special about him, and some really interesting concepts dealing with what people feel they are owed. Strap in -- this may get crazy.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

WoW Rookie: Essential WoW terminology in other languages

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

Együtt szaladjunk vissza a temetötöl hogy ne vesszünk el. In the sprawling, global environment that is the World of Warcraft today, there's really no telling who you'll end up grouped with. Even on a white-bread American realm, I've met players whose primary language was not English. Gamers are everywhere now! In the spirit of international cooperation, WoW Rookie has crowdsourced a list of basic WoW terminology for PUGging. The next time you run into a situation where you need to communicate with someone who doesn't speak your language, reach for our translations in the Newbie Guide, linked under Guides in the drop-down menu at the top of the site.

Kudos to the hundreds of readers who responded to our call for translations. Merci, gracias, tack, hvala! Let's crowdsource corrections, too -- if you spot anything incorrect, drop me a line at lisa (at) wow (dot) com. Oh, and "Együtt szaladjunk vissza a temetötöl hogy ne vesszünk el?" That's "Let's run back from the graveyard together so we don't get lost" ... in Hungarian.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

WoW Rookie: What's "move out of the fire" in your language?

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

If you use the Dungeon Finder with any regularity, you're likely to eventually find yourself grouped with a player who speaks a different language. World of Warcraft is localized (translated) to nearly a dozen different languages, including two versions of English (USA and EU), French, German, Spanish, Russian, Korean and two versions of Chinese. While U.S. and Oceanic players can generally count on groupmates to speak English, things can be quite different elsewhere in the world. Individual Latin American and EU realms tend to attract groups of players from particular areas -- Brazilians on one server, Hungarians gathered on another, Italians dominating still another.

Many players welcome the language barrier as an opportunity to polish their language skills. Still, how do you coordinate your way through a tricky pull with someone who doesn't speak a word of your language?

Let's crowdsource this issue. We've compiled a list of common terms you might use in a PUG. We'd like you to list your translations in the comments, if you are fluent in another language. We're not going to cover Russian, Korean or Chinese, since those players generally do not cross paths with Western players. Please keep your suggestions brief; simplicity trumps elegance. If you'd like to see phrases we didn't include, feel free to suggest them, but keep in mind we're sticking with the basics. We'll compile the list and create a starter guide in next week's Rookie column.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

WoW Rookie: Gaming terminology 101

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Probably one of the top requests WoW Rookie gets from new players is a plea for an explanation of WoW and gaming terminology. Even a casual skim of WoW Insider's front page can prove challenging to new gamers. Example: what to experienced players is a routine update on new PTR schedules can be an exercise in frustration for readers who are still sorting out WTT from WTF. ("PTR? WTF?!?")

It's not just WoW-specific abbreviations and acronyms that puzzle new players. Add in gaming lingo and internet chat terms, and you have the recipe for a truly intimidating mix.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: Rerolling our roots

The question arose in the WoW official forums "Why do they call it 'rolling?'" This is of course in reference to creating new characters. The original poster pointed out that there really is no rolling involved just selection. I'm sure its obvious to most of us that the terms comes from pen and paper role playing games where we roll dice to determine character statistics and sometimes other attributes. But it got me thinking of terms that we use for WoW that came from other games:

  • The battleground Zerg comes from Starcraft's Zerg race which was kind of a fast, battle driven faction.
  • DKP is short for Dragon Kill Points, a term that dates back to EverQuest when the main bosses were dragons.
  • Nerf means to make things less powerful, and refers to the Nerf brand of spongy toys.
  • For some reason we refer to instances as dungeons, despite the fact that Stockades is the only actual dungeon that comes to mind. Though I have to admit, even in D&D dungeon crawls were typically done in caves or castles.

It's surprising how terms seem to stick with us even when they're obsolete. Speaking of rolling, when was the last time you actually rolled down a window in a car?

It's good to go back and remember out gaming roots. I'm sure there are many more crossover terms, and terms from the World of Warcraft lexicon like Leroy Jenkins, will out live Azeroth. For the life of me I can't find the etiology of the term "twink." What else am I missing?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Forums

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