IRC Quote Database IRC Quote Database - Banner is home to the QDB (Quote Database) - a huge compendium of (generally humorous) quotes from IRC chat logs. Some are unintentionally funny moments, some are staged encounters, some are ancient jokes and punchlines that happened to be recited across a text interface.

For those not familiar with IRC (internet relay chat), it is the ur-technology and ur-culture to the increasingly pervasive instant messenger networks such as AIM, ICQ, and MSN. While modern IM clients generally default to point-to-point windows, however, the default mode of IRC is based on multiple participants entering and exiting named rooms. Whereas most IM clients use buttons, control panels, and dialog boxes to handle the status, scope, and privacy of their conversations, in IRC these were traditionally handled at the command line, with lines of dialog and status commands mixed and typed at the same line.

From a digital text art perspective, IRC is interesting both because it is a native environment for many bots, and because it is closely related both functionally and historically to MUDs and MOOs, and by extension to IF.

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Because the archive holds many authentic voices of precisely the kinds of people who spend a lot of time on internet chat, chatbot authors might enjoy browsing the archive to brainstorm dialog and routines for their bots.

The logic are good examples of the IRC culture of humor

#10958(morganj): 0 is false and 1 is true, correct?
(alec_eso): 1, morganj

while some meta-dialogs read like scripts for typical interactions

#23396<Donut[AFK]> HEY EURAKARTE
 <Eurakarte> RETORT

Particularly fascinating is the kind of dialog that is only possible or only makes sense while occurring within the IRC architecture.

One example is taking simply taking advantage of the visual rather than auditory nature of the conversation, as when punctuation and spaces are used to visually recreate a game of Pong - that is, use text to recreate in an Atari video game recreation of a physical game of ping pong.

#9322<tag> Ouroboros: lets play Pong
<Ouroboros> Ok.
<tag> |    .
<Ouroboros> .    |
<tag> |  .
<Ouroboros>    . |
<tag> | .
<Ouroboros>      | .
<Ouroboros> Whoops

This interaction wouldn’t make as much sense in other digital text dialogs without a live streaming log (e.g. email). In real-time text, there is an element of performativity - like triggering a sequence of emoticons by saying the word dance.

Chatbots are particularly interesting in multiuser space as they can become part of group interactions and system dynamics. In one bot prank, a visiter to a Bible chat room triggers a chain reaction by asking the reference bot about Numbers 22:21. The reference bot automatically displays the full text, and is then automatically kicked out of the room by a script which detects profanity - in this case, the use of the word “ass.”

Finally, some interactions occur at the slippage between how the software works and how it is perceived to work. In one example, a user asking for advice on installing software is told to “first, shut down all the programs you aren’t using.” The user promptly closes IRC, accidentally cutting off any further instructions. Another example involves convincing a user that there is a disjunction between what they see and what other see:

#244321<Cthon98> hey, if you type in your pw, it will show as stars
<Cthon98> ********* see!
<AzureDiamond> hunter2
<AzureDiamond> doesnt look like stars to me
<Cthon98> <AzureDiamond> *******
<Cthon98> thats what I see
<Cthon98> yep, no matter how many times you type hunter2, it will show to us as *******
<AzureDiamond> awesome!
<AzureDiamond> wait, how do you know my pw?
<Cthon98> er, I just copy pasted YOUR ******'s and it appears to YOU as hunter2 cause its your pw
<AzureDiamond> oh, ok.

Of course, this isn’t in fact how IRC works - and the final “copy and paste” explanation is just silly. However, given that a basic operation of IRC is to handle private messages that appear in your transcript but not in the public transcript, even new users understand that their individual textual experience is somehow processed separately from that of the group. With that as your paradigm, the concept of automatic password screening does not seem so far-fetched.

For more impromptu textual performances, check out

[ recommended by chatoyn]

3 Responses to “IRC Quote Database”

  1. 1 bloke in a box

    and don’t forget either ;)

  2. 2 Jeremy Douglass

    Thanks for the recommendation. A few excerpts from the o.w.n.e.d. IRC quote database at i-rox:

    IRC has a certain reputation for being full of pranksters and troublemakers. Even though one is to a certain extent shielded from bad behavior by the text-only mode of communication, users can still be tricked into sending scripted commands to their own clients - for example, these users were tricked en masse into sending a quit command:

    [Kryton]: /exit and /quit jumps off a cliff, /exit is a feather and /quit is a brick, who will hit the floor first?
    Quit: (Prinze) ( (Signed off)
    Quit: (iAo|LexoN) ( (Signed off)
    Quit: (PFS-EnZymeR) ( (Signed off)
    Quit: ([TS]-miiilo) ( (Read error: Connection reset by peer)
    Quit: (MacGyver^^) (~topfragge@Fisher` (Read error: EOF from client)
    [… and 9 others quit …]
    Join: ([TS]-miiilo) (
    Mode: ([TS]-miiilo) sets (+b *!KyleSumner@[snout]
    Kick: (Kryton) was kicked by ([TS]-miiilo) (DONT POST ANYTHING LIKE THAT AGAIN! :banned)

    Of course, users don’t have to choose to quit a channel - they can be kicked out of channels either by a moderator or when a script detects violation of a policy, such as profanity, or forbidden expressive actions (e.g. hugging). While putting on a performance of a terrorism themed first-person shooter game (Counter-Strike), one member simulated a beeping bomb… and was automatically kicked from the channel for making repeating statements (often a sign irritating or abusive behavior). The kick was then folded back into the story - “the bomb has been defused.”

    [NukNuk] lets play some css
    [Qwertywasd] Ok
    [Qwertywasd> lets
    [Qwertywasd] Alright team lets move out!
    [Qwertywasd] The Bomb Has Been Planted
    [NukNuk] Fire in the hole!
    [theGreenBunny] it all makes sense now
    [Qwertywasd] Lets Go Go Go!
    [b3nn1] Beep
    [b3nn1] Beep
    [NukNuk] beep
    [Necro^Sick] Enemy Spotted!
    [Qwertywasd] You Take The Point
    [b3nn1] Beep *faster beep*
    [b3nn1] Beep *faster beep*
    [b3nn1] Beep *faster beep*
    * Andrew sets mode: +b *!*
    b3nn1 was kicked by Andrew (Repeating (3r in 10s), 15m tempban! <76>)
    [Maxi^] The bomb has been defused
    [Qwertywasd] lmfao
    [Maxi^] Counter-terrorists win

  3. 3 Toko Online

    Interesting post. Thank you for this recommendation…:)

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