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Both terms are used often in the gaming world and people tend to use "p2p" for abbreviating both. What are the correct abbreviations and usages?

Peer to Peer generally means a multiplayer game that is hosted on one of the player's machines.

Pay to Play is obviously when you pay a fee to play a game, such as WoW.

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Why can't it mean both? –  Seamus Sep 23 '10 at 14:41
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strangely related: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/671/… –  tzenes Sep 23 '10 at 17:12
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1 Answer

This is a contextual acronym, and neither is incorrect nor misused. It's the same that fps stands for "First Person Shooter" when you are talking about game genre, and "Frames Per Second" when you are talking about framerates. You simply have to read which one is in use.

Generally, p2p for communication is more widely known because it is an older acronym used in a lot of contexts outside of electronic gaming. For payment, it is diametrically opposed to Free To Play, or f2p, and is a lot more exclusive to gaming. Note that if Pay To Play was ptp, that would entail a separate conflict with ftp as File Transfer Protocol, so it's not like there's a "nice" alternative.

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+1 for the fps example –  Elpezmuerto Sep 23 '10 at 14:53
    
Or CSS / CSS / CSS –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Sep 23 '10 at 15:59
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@BlueRaja: Cross-site Scripting is usually referred to as XSS. –  user2974 Sep 23 '10 at 16:27
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@Powerlord: Yes, I know - I have, however, heard it referred to as CSS from time to time, especially when discussing cross-site request forgery, which is confusingly labeled CSRF –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Sep 23 '10 at 16:47
    
@BlueRaja: Years ago, I had a very awkward conversation with a "security professional" who used CSS to mean both, sometimes in the same breath. I shudder now that I remember it. –  ZoogieZork Sep 23 '10 at 17:05
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