Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

Blueberries, Apes, and Golf Balls: Creation and Use of Language in Destiny 2 

Blueberries, Apes, and Golf Balls: Creation and Use of Language in Destiny 2 

Casey Carter

Communities of all types and sizes have a natural predilection to create and adapt language to suit the needs of their community. Online communities, specifically those that form in and around online games, have a unique language structure that is formed cooperatively among the game’s players. The specific online game that I dissect and discuss within this paper is Destiny 2, an online role-playing and first-person shooter game. The focus of this paper is to look at how the community of Destiny 2 players both adapts existing language and creates its own language. The language that is used widely throughout the Destiny 2 community, once learned, is almost ubiquitous in conversation about the game. The primary way that I tested and observed the effects of the player created language on the player-base is through the cooperative “looking for group” system on the Xbox console network. Streamers and YouTubers are also a key part of the spreading and popularization of language within the Destiny 2 community, and to analyze this aspect of the community I spent many hours watching three of these career players. This language can also be used intentionally by players to keep new and inexperienced players away from their in-game team, which can lead to the gatekeeping of high-level activities by the game’s own veteran player-base. For better or worse, the communities surrounding popular online games such as Destiny 2 will have some form of language creation and it is important to understand this language formation and its effects in our increasingly online and interconnected world. 

April 20, 2022 - Posted by | abstract

1 Comment »

  1. I love your idea to analyze the language in a virtual world. Your paper sounds very unique and I would love to read it!

    Comment by Patience | April 23, 2022 | Reply


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