Assuming Control

Assuming Control

Part of a series on Mass Effect. [View Related Entries]

Updated Dec 25, 2011 at 10:13PM EST by James.

Added Feb 22, 2010 at 09:07PM EST by Topo.

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“Assuming (Direct) Control” is an expression typically used as an interruption device in forums and comments, in similar vein to Hypnotoad and Mauled By Cougar. Originally heard in the popular action RPG game Mass Effect 2, the phrase began as one of the most often heard quotes during gameplay and quickly evolved into a playful interrupter.


The Quote

The phrase originates from the sci-fi action RPG game Mass Effect 2 that was originally released in January 2010. In the game, one of the primary enemy units known as “Harbinger,” a highly advanced mechanical warship capable of mind-controlling certain enemy units, frequently says things like “I am assuming control of this form” or “direct intervention is necessary.” Similar to other gaming-related phrases like you must construct additional pylons and cake is a lie, “assuming direct control” quickly gained notoriety within the fanbase and the very deep, unintentionally comical voice by Keith Szarabajka. This idea grew into a fad among many forum posts, where someone would interrupt a sentence to say one of Harbinger’s lines.

The Interrupter

Several user accounts have pointed to 4chan’s /v/ board as the birthplace of “assuming (direct) control” as an interrupter, but it still remains debatable without any support of visual evidence.


Commenter: Yeah, I don’t know, the combat in Mass Effect 2 was good, but it felt like so-I AM ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL.


“Assuming control” began to gain traction as a catchphrase circa February 2010, particularly on gaming-related forums like 4chan’s /v/ board, IGN boards[1] and GameFAQs[2]. The Urban Dictionary entry for assuming control[3] was registered on February 21st, 2010.

A Facebook group[4] in tribute to the phrase was launched on March 4th and one of the earliest Reddit[5] threads in reference to the phrase was posted on March 9th, 2010.

On 4chan

One of the earliest documented threads on 4chan dates back to May 2010:

On YouTube

Search Interest

Google Insights results for “assuming direct control” shows a significant spike at the beginning of January 2010, eclipsing with the release date of Mass Effect 2. However, its accuracy and relevancy remains debatable due to the prevalence of the phrase “assuming control” in financial news articles:


Assuming Direct Control vs The Prize

Techno Remix feat. “Assuming Control”

External References

[1]IGN -- ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL / Posted on 2-12-2010

[2]GameFAQs -- Wtf is up with this assuming control BS? / Posted on 2-13-2010

[3]Urban Dictionary -- ASSUMING CONTROL / Registered on 2-21-2010

[4]Facebook -- ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL Group / Launched 3-04-2010

[5]Reddit -- I’m admiring it now. / Posted on 3-09-2010

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