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Update (3/1/2011): Indie game developers Incredible Ape releases a voice-activated, scroll shooter arcade PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew!
Pew Pew is an onomatopoeia commonly associated with the sound effect of laser-beam guns portrayed in popular sci-fi films, TV shows and videogames. In the realm of massively multi-player games, “pew pew” has become synonymous with the verb to own, a leetspeak term often used to indicate one’s absolute dominance over another player.
While the sound effect of laser-beam has been imitated by sci-fi movie fans for decades (most notably in Star Wars films), popular usage of “pew pew” in online conversations began to surge in mid-2005, around the same time when lolcat & lolspeak phenomena started gaining grounds on 4chan.
The earliest definition of the phrase “pew pew” appeared on Urban Dictionary in August 2005:
interj. 1. Used to imitate the sound made by firing a gun; specifically a laser gun (esp. a Stormtrooper rifle).
Spread & Usage
An alternative definition of “pew pew” (as it is used in the context of MMORPG chat) was submitted to Urban Dictionary on on May 28th, 2006:
1. Sound made by lasers, usually related to Star Wars.
EX: “wow those lasers sounded like pew pew on the surround sound”
2. Owning a person, usually related to World of Warcraft.
EX: “less QQ, more pew pew.”
Derivative: Less QQ, More Pew Pew
“Less QQ, More Pew Pew” is a popular catchphrase used in vein of “less talking, more walking”, often pointed towards incessant whiners on massive multi-player gaming platforms like World of Warcraft and EVE Online. In this context, “QQ” can be read as an emoticon indicating “sadness” due to its resemblance to a set of crying eyes, although its original meaning as defined in Urban Dictionary is considerably different.
A term directed at whiners to stop crying and start doing something. Derived from wow mage forums, which are notorious for housing cry babies.
On March 1st, 2011, Portland indie game developers Incredible Ape released a video clip demonstrating how to play their upcoming voice-activiated scroll shooting arcade game “PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew”, which involves a team of two players using two microphones to control one jet-pack equipped shooting space-man. According to their website, PewPewPew will be available in XBOX Live Indie Games: