From tired Chuck Norris jokes to racial slurs that would make a Grand Wizard blush, public chat channels in MMOs are often filled with more filth than a backed up toilet at the local Denny’s. But, like watching a train crash in slow motion, there remains something fascinating about witnessing our socio-cultural standards run right off the rails. Tales From Public Chat attempts to chronicle what happens when people on the internet stop being polite, and start getting real.
Oh, Global Agenda. You see, there’s something unique about the way the game handles player interaction that makes it perfect for this column’s inaugural edition. While each instance of the world’s hub — called Dome City — has its own version of Local Chat (which, according to the veterans, is best used by noobs to embarrass themselves as little as possible), most communication is done in the one-size-fits-all splendor of City Chat.
There are no separate servers, factions, or language barriers segmenting the playerbase. There exists a singular City Chat for the entire population. That’s it. Everyone gets to participate in this one, giant mosh pit of poisonous proclamations. Oddly enough, despite the banal discourse, individuals exhibit an extraordinary (read: above 5th grade) level of education, a condition that can likely be attributed to the fact that Global Agenda is still something of a niche title and thus far has been able to repel the majority of the sludge spilling out of the intertubes on a daily basis.
And even when someones does butcher the English language, it can be probably be blamed on the large amount of exuberant foreigners who play the game.
But just being able to spell doesn’t mean you can write like Hemingway or philosophize like John Locke. A game like this has the habit of attracting the usual “lulz” crowd of hardcore PC gamers that otherwise spend their time tweaking fellow /b/tards (denizens of 4chan’s most infamous board — i’d explain better, but I had a hard time finding any link remotely safe for work) or “Gooning” it up on the Something Awful forums. If you have little experience with either of these communities, all you need to know is this: trolling people is always in style.
That said, most of them are sheep and couldn’t come up with an original thought if it meant escaping a trip to the party van. So between catcalls of “UMADBRO?” and “MAGMALANCE IS EZ MODE!” your average City Chat slob’s favorite pastime is either asking the question, “What was the first MMO?” or answering it. Continue Reading