I’M BY DEFAULT POLITE – POLITENESS AND POSITIONING IN MMORPGS

Birgit Kramer

Abstract

MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games) like World of Warcraft® require gamers to communicate in English regardless of their language competence in it. Therefore, English becomes the lingua franca of many gamers. Furthermore, gamers have to communicate effi ciently with one another in high stress situations causing another linguistic challenge. These conditions do not lead to the assumption that politeness is of any relevance in MMORPGs but rather that these games are hostile and impolite environments. A survey investigating the language usage of gamers, including a questionnaire and a selfcompiled corpus, sheds light on the language usage and politeness of gamers. This survey asks how and why gamers coming from different language backgrounds using ELF in MMORPGs utilize politeness to position themselves.

Keywords

politeness; politeness theory; gaming; ELF; MMORPG

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https://doi.org/10.5817/DI2013-1-41


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