Anyone who has played online games for even a little while would have been exposed to the vast amount of communication involved in playing them, and the vast amount of colloquial, informal language that players use. For those of you that haven’t played these online games, you’ll just have to take my word for it – online games rely on communication.
From that notion, an interesting perspective comes out of the academic journal Recall. A research piece written by Mark Peterson finds that English as a second language learners that play online video games find it easier to wrap their heads around some of the more difficult aspects of learning a new language, such as “greetings, leave-takings, informal language, small talk and humour as a means to build rapport.”
It’s an interesting perspective to consider, and one that almost seems obvious when it’s been made apparent. A medium that relies on language to build rapport, and one to one communication to succeed, is bound to teach a non-english speaker a thing or two about the language.
With that in mind, hopefully new English speakers aren’t running around yelling ‘rekt’ to everyone they see.