Thursday, May 03, 2007

Generation PWN

While a coworker and I were discussing the relative merits of the Facebook groups "A grizzly bear would pwn an anaconda in a fight" and "An anaconda would pwn a grizzly bear in a fight," an elderly colleague walked by. I considered, for a second, the possibility that this guy would realize we were not discussing work-related issues and pwn us in front of our boss or something. But this was clearly paranoia: our generation is indecipherable to its own members; I'm sure those on the outside just don't even bother. This guy probably thought we were talking about computer cables ("a series of tubes") or something. What n00bs!

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Blogger Scantron said...

I think that the best the older generation can hope for is something like this scenario: Without actually learning what PWN3D means, they can learn what the *emotion* conveyed is. Thus a typical old boss guy's thought process might go something like this:

Consideration: "Hmm, I see these young jackanapes are using this strange 'pown' language. They usually means they are in a jovial and confident mood."

Direct action: "Yeah, fellas, how about that pwnage?!"

Or, similarly:

Consideration: "They're saying 't, t, t' again. That usually carries a negative connotation."

Direct action: "Oh yeah, 'dudes', that shit is totally 'TTT'!"

As you can see, this is a sort of metalanguage which is semantically empty but pragmatically robust, sort of like John Searle's "Chinese box" problem. Truly the way of the future.

11:27 PM  
Blogger josh said...

The fact that you chose to blog about that experience is a further manifestation of our generational gap. Can you imagine explaining this entire situation to your parents… or grandparents:

My friend and I were discussing who would pwn who in a fight between a grizzly and an anaconda. So we each decided to create a facebook group, arguing our respective sides; mine had 10 members within the hour! Some old dude started giving me the POS (parent over shoulder) treatment, which kinda wigged me out. Later, I decided to share my thoughts on the encounter with my friends, so I posted an entry on my blog.

To peepz over 50, this would prob sound like gibberish. But to us it makes perfect sense.

9:40 AM  

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