ClassicRadar: What does your gamertag say about you?

Category: ALL CAPS


We found this group the easiest to diagnose. The incessant use of capitalization for EVERY SINGLE LETTER isn't so much a CRY for attention as it is a DEMAND. Believe us, if these tags' owners could forcibly pull your eyeballs in their direction, they would.

You have no choice but to notice their presence... every time they sign on, every time they sign off and especially every time they bag a kill. The large uniform text is like a virtual spotlight. What these folks might not realize is that their questionable aesthetic choice is so off-putting to the rest of us that it masks any other message or joke they were attempting to get across with their nickname. Too bad, because we're sure that whatever it was, it was totally NOT obnoxious.

Dr. Frederiksen: "Assuming the cap lock on your keyboard isn't broken and you know how to use it, these tags can signal a need to draw attention to yourself. HEY, LOOK AT ME! Sometimes hiding an underlying insecurity or need for attention and recognition is common in tags from other categories as well."

Category: LEETSPEAK (13375P34K)

Examples: l31ade, b0ngzi11a, D34dly N1nj4, H34DRU5H, XxSWEETN3SSxX, KLZ g3rMzZ, Wh1TeSn4Ke, R1Pt3h5Y5T3m, xREL3NTL3SSx

"Leet" or "leetspeak" is a coded writing system that originated with computer hackers in the 1980s and has since been adopted as a popular form of communication among online gamers. It includes, but is not limited to, the substitution of numeric digits or special characters for alphabetic letters.

... And just by giving you that definition, we're out of the club. See, the last thing a leetspeaker wants is for the layperson - aka the n00b, aka their Dad - to understand what the hell they're talking about. They've elected themselves into elite, exclusive and altogether imaginary society where only the truly hardcore can mingle.

Ironically, all it usually takes to decipher this secret language is a slight squint of the eyes and a vague tilt of the head. Even more ironically, the gamers who use leetspeak are often the youngest and, therefore, the least experienced.

Dr. Frederiksen: "Exclusion is the foundation of this category. We know something you don't. By setting yourself apart as a member of an exclusive group that has specialized knowledge you can feel different and special. It is sort of the gamer's equivalent of the 'secret handshake.'"

Originally posted: Mar 1, 2007

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  • adrenaguy - March 7, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    adrenaguy. I like Adrenaline, and I'm a guy. It really is about as simple as it gets :L recaptcha, I know you're doing your best, but you cn't just stick in the greek letter for "nano" whenever you feel like it. recaptcha used: dopih medicine
  • awinnerisjew - March 7, 2011 4:52 a.m.

  • poopaloop1 - March 6, 2011 11:04 p.m.

    A lot of the names in the animals category look a lot like they came from the automatic name generator on Xbox Live
  • 04whim - March 6, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    bobdangles... where do i come into this? D:
  • trojan12 - March 6, 2011 7:39 p.m.

    Most (not all) who fall under "Leetspeak" can also be categorized under "Douchebag", seeing as how they are usually all n00bs... Also, I'm not too sure where trojan12kelley falls under these guidelines.
  • TheLastRGP - March 6, 2011 5:35 a.m.

    My GT is Stakes Are High (360) and RunNYC (PSN). So I guess I'm in the Pop Culture category. Cool Article.
  • Y2Ken - March 4, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    Mine is Y2Ken (or KenY2Ken where the former is taken). Because my name is Ken, and I merged that with Y2K, which was partly as I started using it around the year 2000, and partly from Chris "Y2J" Jericho as I was a big wrestling fan at the time.
  • CH3BURASHKA - March 4, 2011 5:35 a.m.

    I too remember this article. I also remember how shitty it made me feel. When I created it, I tried writing it with an 'e' but some asshat had already taken it. So I went with a 3 and capitalized all the letters so that the name looked uniform, 'cause that's what I like (I 'justify' all my writings, for example). Then this Charlie fellow comes around with some behavioural psychologist and tells me that, no, that wasn't an aesthetic choice, that was an unconscious choice representing me desperate need for attention. And I'm all like, "Oh gawd, what if he's right?!" Then I crawled into bed, put the covers over my head, and fell into a coma.
  • Yarok - March 4, 2011 2:58 a.m.

    Y4r0k, simply because Yarok was taken by some idle guy. Sometimes a cigar just happens to be a cigar (though this cigar still pWn5 d3m n3w85)
  • Ausoi - March 4, 2011 2:40 a.m.

    Owned. I'm not in there with Ausoi, and you will never guess the meaning.
  • bugcatcherjason - March 4, 2011 2:28 a.m.

    I do get messages like, "UR A POKEFAG POKEMONS FOR FAGS," though <333
  • bugcatcherjason - March 4, 2011 2:24 a.m.

    ^ I honestly think I have the best PSN ID. EVER. I also wonder how the people that use all caps in their names think of this article. You know, since it's kind of naive to the point of cute. That's what I got from that section.
  • j5k44t6 - March 4, 2011 2:22 a.m.

    actually i guess i fit into the pop culture category because my tag is a mix of my initials and the song "5446 was my number" by toots and the maytals (and later sublime). in the song he says right now somebody else has that number. i guess he was right.
  • y2kpikachu12 - March 4, 2011 2:08 a.m.

    Hahaha good stuff, happy birthday GR! Mine doesn't really fit with any except animal but it's for a sports team.
  • j5k44t6 - March 4, 2011 2:02 a.m.

    i use j5k44t6 on ps3, 360 and just about everywhere else because it was what i named my save file on star wars battlefront 1 and 2. i guess it just stuck.
  • NullG7 - March 4, 2011 1:47 a.m.

    Dont fall into any categories myself.
  • mysterioso2006 - March 4, 2011 1:15 a.m.

    Mysterioso2006 Yeah, not one of those categories fit mine....
  • waffman11 - March 4, 2011 1:13 a.m.

    Combination of waffles and a guy who loves them. Basically, the best part of the internet that your parents let you see.
  • paganpoet - March 4, 2011 12:23 a.m.

    Mine is RidiPagliaccio I guess the closest it comes to one of these categories is pop culture...although we're talking about a line from a famous aria from a 120 year old Italian opera. I don't think that quite qualifies as pop culture, no matter how famous it is...
  • lovinmyps3 - March 3, 2011 11:34 p.m.

    My gamertag doesn't fit into any of these categories. MarvelousOnePak. What does mine say about me? Probably not much since I accidentally chose it when LIVE was showing me suggestions.

Showing 1-20 of 84 comments

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