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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 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.
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 and GameFAQs. The Urban Dictionary entry for assuming control was registered on February 21st, 2010.
One of the earliest documented threads on 4chan dates back to May 2010:
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”