Oleksandra Kuzmenko
Oleksandra Kuzmenko
© Ryan Durgasingh


User Names in Online and Offline Role-Playing Gaming


  • Vita

    Universitäre/Wissenschaftliche Tätigkeiten

    • Former Senior Lecturer of the Department “Linguodidactics and Foreign Philology”, SGU; Sevastopol
    • Taught courses: Practical Course of the English Language, Practical Course of the Spanish Language, Foreign Language (English), English Language Grammar, Third Language (Spanish).
    • Translating and Interpreting Practicum (Sevastopol National Technical University)
    • Teaching practicum (Sevastopol National Technical University)
    • Practicum (introductory and on-job-training at the secondary school №43, Sevastopol)


    Akademischer Werdegang

    10/2020 Aufnahme in das Promotionskolleg Empirische und Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Münster
    2016 - 2020 Research teaching fellow, postgraduate study in Linguistics and Literary Studies (Germanic languages), Pushkin Leningrad State University, Russia
    08/2020 ICOS Summer School in Methods of Onomastics, Finland
    2010 - 2011 MA (Honours) Translation, Sevastopol National Technical University, Ukraine
    2005 - 2010 BA (Honours) Philology, Sevastopol National Technical University, Ukraine
  • Dissertationsprojekt

    User Names in Online and Offline Role-Playing Gaming

    Anthroponyms in Linguistic Worldview Formation from the Point of View of a Player-Computer Interaction in a Game as a Media Text and a Piece of Fiction, and Their Implementation in Players’ Interaction (Online Discourse, Webcasts)

    The present study is aimed at exploring in-game and self-selected anthroponyms of non-player and player characters, paying special attention to their role in the formation of a post-apocalyptic worldview and their functioning in online communication. The study is novel in studying self-selected anthroponyms and their implementation in online discourse.

    Role-playing games, like the Fallout Series (Wasteland 3, Cyberpunk 2077, the Outer Worlds), are considered a media text, with interactivity playing a special role in the organization of the text, and a piece of fiction within a post-apocalyptic genre. The main features of a post-apocalyptic genre are the exploration of the game world that presupposes interaction with game objects and game characters. It has been proven that the game world is restricted to a number of objects that have their names. Thus, it is hypothesized that in-game anthroponyms play a vital role in the formation of a post-apocalyptic worldview. However, the game interactivity is bi-directional. Consequently, gamers must influence the game in a similar way. It is hypothesized that self-selected anthroponyms are built in patterns similar to in-game onyms or according to a given sociocultural situation. Moreover, in-game and self-selected anthroponyms are expected to be implemented in online communication.

    My previous study, “Onyms as means of game worldview formation”, explored the role of anthroponyms, pragmatonyms, zoonyms, and toponyms in creating a post-apocalyptic worldview of a role-playing game. It has been noted that anthroponyms are the main means of preserving onomastic background knowledge. While the role of the naming of places in games has been sufficiently studied, there seems to be a lack of independent investigation into anthroponyms and their implementation in online discourse.

    The key to understanding the process of anthroponyms implementation in gamers online communication lies in the allocation of specifics of such communication using conversation analysis.

    Thus, we hypothesize that the in-game anthroponyms are the main means of formation of a post-apocalyptic worldview of a role-playing game and the means of ensuring ‘player-game’ interactivity. Consequently, the self-selected anthroponyms influence the game world and other player characters. It is hypothesized that the webcasting interaction of a team playing the game is structured with certain patterns according to the material environment. This involves queuing, pausing, and addressing each other with real names or nicknames in a game. Moreover, we hypothesize that the names of other in-game objects are used in online communication with certain changes. In online communication, conversation rules violation and, expressions of dominance are likely to take place. It is of interest to trace them, paying attention to the sociocultural peculiarities of a definite group of players. Furthermore, it would be necessary to explore the alleged cases of non-verbal communication in online discourse.

    Therefore, our research questions are:

    1. For what reason are the game names used?
    2. Are the self-selected anthroponyms built according to the formation patterns of the in-game anthroponyms?
    3. How do names influence players? Is it a one-way impact?
    4. What are the additional means of introducing the game characters?
    5. What is the role of the sociocultural characteristics of the community in adopting names? How do names function in players’ communication? What are the specifics of such communication?

    Answering these questions will help us discover the specifics of gamers’ online communication, paying special attention to cases of addressing, reaction to other in-game objects through names and the usage of references. The findings of this study will contribute to onomastics, linguistics, and stylistics, revealing the specific naming patterns for obtaining a certain stylistic effect.

    Appropriate application of this research would involve the production of a manual that assists game designers in the creation of names according to a given genre and given objectives.