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Gaming Language and How It Is Characterized

A Study of Gamers' and Non-Gamers' Differences in Lexicon


  • Catarina Hsu

Summary, in English

Language is a social act and the fact that social communities create new or change existing words that are known in daily standard language, can make the lexicon difficult to comprehend for the ones not involved. The communication that belong to a specific social group can be classified as a jargon, and in this present study we look at gaming language as an example of how social communities’ lexicon can be manifested.

Gaming language is used between gamers when they talk about gaming. Briefly explained, gaming is the act of playing videogames and is a phenomenon that the past decades have expanded rapidly in step with the swift development of IT and access to the internet. In modern times, it is common to play videogames online together with other players. Gamers have formed their own social community and language similar to other social communities, creating a specific jargon. The present study aims to investigate how gaming language is characterized, focusing on how gamers describe videogames to other gamers or non-gamers, and what this lexicon looks like. To test this, an elicitation study was conducted and participants were recruited into two groups of Gamers and Non-Gamers, who described 20-30 seconds long clips from well-known recent videogames like Overwatch and Fortnite to each other. From their descriptions, content words were classified as either a gaming or non-gaming term based on a couple of criteria.

The results from the study proved that there is a difference when a Gamer speaks to another Gamer or a Non-Gamer, and Gamers adjusted their speech depending on the listener’s knowledge of videogames. As for the gaming terms, it was shown that its semantic meaning could differ from its daily standard use. This study also suggests a level of specialization regarding gaming language and its lexicon.






Examensarbete för kandidatexamen


  • Languages and Literatures


  • gaming
  • lexicon
  • vocabulary
  • jargon
  • sociolinguistics
  • ludolect
  • semantic field


  • Johan Blomberg