As time passes and generations change, so does our vocabulary. In this world where online gaming communities are packed with individuals from all walks of life, more terms and words are popping out every day. For parents, it can be hard to keep up.
AFK is one of the most common abbreviations used by many, gamers. Here we will crack the code and look into its meaning to determine if it’s safe for your children to use. Read on to find out more!
The Meaning Behind AFK: Cracking the Code
In the online and gaming community, AFK simply means “away from keyboard”. It’s a term that lets other people know that you aren’t in front of your computer at the moment.
It’s very similar to another term, BRB or “be right back”. This means you’re taking a quick break and you aren’t at your desk.
While BRB is used in any online conversation, AFK is commonly associated with online multiplayer computer gaming. It used to confirm that you won’t be able to play the same for a short while. But while associated with gaming, anyone can use AFK online.
Why AFK Matters: Insights into Gaming Communication
AFK has been around for more or less the same time gamers have been able to chat online, which dates back to the early 90s. Here codes were used to save time and prevent messages from being too long.
Gamers use the term to let their teammates know they won’t be at their desks. Simply put, they won’t be around to play or reply to their messages until they return.
For users who have English as their second language, getting into English-speaking communities gives them much wider access to more gaming groups. The use of such code can also make it easier for gamers to understand what is happening.
Teen Slang Unveiled: AFK’s Role in Online Gaming
As we mentioned earlier, AFK means the user is not on their desk to answer messages and to continue gaming.
It’s a quick and simple term to type in to let friends and other players know that you’re stepping away from your desk. Crucially, it also means you won’t leave completely and won’t be signing off, so they can expect you to return in the near future.
Users often type in AFK when they need to take a quick break. This is usually to answer calls, grab something to eat, be called away by their parents, or even for a bathroom break.
For online users and gamers, this is an important way of communicating because you won’t see the other person behind the monitor. You wouldn’t know what happened to them if they just suddenly stopped responding to your questions or if they suddenly froze in-game.
Additionally, AFK is a polite way of excusing yourself from the group while letting them know you intend to return. It’s just like excusing yourself during dinner when you need to take calls or have a bathroom break.
You don’t need to spell it out, nor do you need to wait for a reply. Also, the person you’re saying AFK to already understands you might be unable to reply immediately. It’s a simple and effective method of communication.
AFK vs. IRL: Comparing Slang Usage in Gaming and Reality
Before the internet became commercially available, chat rooms were common in the 1990s. During these times, shortening words when typing on devices became the norm. With less writing, talking became more efficient and faster just like we used to do with text messages.
This led to a rise in acronyms, with another being IRL, which means “in real life”. This can be used in many contexts online, such as “just got a problem IRL” which may mean they’ve been interrupted at home and can’t join the online community just yet.
Of course, many of these acronyms have bled into real-life conversation too. It’s a good idea to know what these terms mean so your children can’t talk around you in code!
Gaming Lingo Insights: What AFK Reveals About Online Culture
Throughout the years, it’s undeniable that the internet played a huge part in the evolution and growth of gaming terms. Even now, new terms are being created, modified, and used for conversations on various platforms.
Aside from this, meme culture has become extremely popular in recent years. It too has produced tons of catchphrases used by gamers to express themselves better when communicating with other users.
Gamers have always found ways to quickly express themselves or communicate. Often with these games, time is of the essence, and you don’t have time for long conversations. Using their one language also heightens the sense of being part of a community.
From LOL to AFK: A Journey through Common Gaming Abbreviations
Any online gamer is likely to see terms like ‘GGWP’, ‘MMORPG’, ‘LOL’, and ‘AFK’. Gamers’ conversations involve a dictionary of unique words and phrases when chatting in-game. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used terms.
- GGWP – Good Game Well Played (or just ‘GG’ for a good game)
- GLHF – Good Luck, Have Fun
- LOL – Laugh Out Loud
- OMG – Oh My God
- IMO/IMHO – In My Opinion/In My Honest Opinion
- MMORPG – Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
- NPC – Non-Player Character
- LFG – Looking for Group
- DPS – Damage Per Second
- HP – Health Points
- MP – Mana Points/Magic Points
- XP – Experience Points
- SMH – Shaking My Head
- BTW – By The Way
- JK – Just Kidding
- FYI – For Your Information
- AF – As F*** (e.g., “That game was hard AF”)
- RNG – Random Number Generator, often used to refer to luck-based mechanics
There are many terms out there for parents to worry about, but AFK isn’t one of them. If you’ve seen your child use this in a chat, there is nothing to fear. It’s just a quick message to their gaming buddies that they aren’t available right now.
Some code words are meant to deceive parents, but AFK is a short, sharp message that ensures their friends aren’t pointlessly waiting for them. There are no implications here, and no double meanings to be worried about.
Family Orbit: Empowering Parents in Gaming Monitoring
While AFK may be a harmless acronym, others can be more serious. Also, with anonymity, you have no idea who your children are speaking to with online games. Due to this, using a tool such as Family Orbit can be a wise move.
This enables you to monitor their chat from a distance without it feeling as though you’re intruding on their privacy.
While many gaming communities can be a safe space for children to socialize and have fun, Family Orbit allows you to keep a watchful eye in case they start speaking to the wrong people.