AWSL has become the most popular bullet chat on Bilibili.TNS
Video-sharing websites are not only about movies and TV programs. For many viewers, danmu, which literally means “bullet screen”, are an emotional shot to the heart.
On Dec 4, “AWSL” was named “2019 Bilibili’s Bullet Chat of the Year”. By Dec 4, it had appeared about 3.3 million times in 2019.
According to Bilibili, AWSL is an acronym for “A, wo si le” in Mandarin, which means “Ah, I’m dead” in English.
The term represents a mixture of emotions related to happiness and excitement, and the strong emotional experience of “being hit hard” when someone expresses a deep fondness for certain things and ideas.
However, the popularity of “AWSL” across Bilibili bullet chats is not accidental, according to Gao Hanning, a post-doctorate at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Literature. “Snippy and spontaneous, AWSL reflects contemporary youth culture, a great medium for online interaction,” Gao said.
Bullet screens have become an increasingly important way for young people to express themselves in China, particularly among people born between 1996 and 2010. Over the past 12 months, the number of bullet screens people send has grown from 1 billion in 2018 to 1.4 billion in 2019.
“People have a highly interactive and enjoyable viewing experience that allows users to make connections with others online who may share similar aspirationsand interests,” Beijing-based tech media Pandaily noted.