chapter  15
18 Pages

Lag, Language, and Lingo: Theorizing Noise in Online Game Spaces

WithMia Consalvo

About once a week in Vana’ diel,1 the world stops spinning. I am in a group with five other people (based around the USA, or the world) killing monsters; I am casting my spells, and with little warning, the action stops. My avatar is standing there, my party members are standing there, and sure enough, the monster is still there. We are not frozen like a paused Tivo image, but the battle has stopped, and so has the text stream on the bottom of my screen. And I know, with certainty, that the battle is continuing somewhere, just not in front of me. My computer is disconnecting from its Internet connection, and I am going to have to reboot my game before I can rejoin my party, hopefully before they either all die, or (worse) replace me.