...you talk about CN-speak in a major sociolinguistics paper and get full marks for that particular section.
Cyber Nations is a very unique gaming community in that, unlike conventional MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) where the game shapes the characters and the character progression, 98% of the game is actually shaped by its players. With this in mind, even the game mechanics themselves have spawned their own terminology. For example, players devised two ways to save CN “money,” and both of these are relative. Improvement-swapping is when a nation will alternate five improvement slots (one is garnered for every 1000 in population) between income-increasing banks (when collecting taxes at the end of a variable-length cycle, whose maximum length is 20 days) and bill-decreasing labour camps (for the rest of the cycle, when one pays bills daily but lets tax money build up). There is more to the process than just this swap, but the swap is the most important part by far. The second method is often done in conjunction, but only when a nation ruler wants to grow his or her nation. An infra-jump is when someone completes the final bill collection of a swap cycle, but instead of buying banks, the ruler will buy factories instead, which reduce the cost of buying infrastructure. Then, if they have enough cash in reserve, they will buy infrastructure until the amount of tax they can collect exceeds the amount they pay in bills once again. This is useful, because infrastructure takes a marked price jump in both purchase and upkeep at various points in a nation’s growth.
Now have a look at this bit of text, which could easily be something I would say either in text or over Skype: “I ordered one of our newbies to ZI some n00b rogue for tech-raiding one of our applicants. He asked for peace and offered to pay reps, so we went easy on him, but warned him that any further attacks on our AA would be met with a much harsher response. Of course, the guy he attacked was pretty choked. He was tech-dealing with a member of IRON.” (Aside: this section got a comment "Wow!" on the paper. )
This text is full of CN-isms. The first one is a little harder to pick up on, but CN will contrast the terms newbie and n00b, with the former meaning a simple neophyte, and the latter being both a derogatory noun in the mould of idiot, imbecile, moron, et. al., and a similarly derogatory adjective. ZI (which varies in pronunciation – speakers of American English say /ziˈaj/ while speakers of other variants of English say /zɛˈɾaj/) started off as a noun, an acronym meaning “zero infrastructure.” Eventually, though, it became a verb meaning “to reduce someone’s nation to an infrastructure level of 0.00.” Other CN-isms in this passage include tech-raiding (the practice of attacking a nation to steal its technology, not always a kosher practice), reps (short for “reparation payments”), AA (alliance affiliation, an in-game feature), and tech-dealing (the practice of a larger nation sending CN money, usually three million dollars, to a smaller nation, and the smaller nation buying technology and sending it to the larger nation ten days later). There is also an alliance acronym in there. Most alliances have a short form of their name. For example, my alliance, The Order Of Light, is known as TOOL for short.
I got 44/50 on the paper in total, but 6/6 for this section.
Now I obviously over-simplified some things, but this was a paper on my personal speech and what motivates it, not a paper strictly on CN. Anyway, I should be back to writing IC blogs come next Sunday.