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These are like normal smilies, but read the right way up (apparently).  There are a few web pages about them around the place:

Here are some used on the Wiki (and which were confusing me a lot - you try searching Google for "^^;;;;"):

^_^    Normal smiling face (also ^.^ )
Y'see, I originally thought that anything with a ^ in it was some sort of "I am a cat" thing (pointy ears).  Particularly when SunKitten wrote it...
I think so too - though I thought of smiley cat eye's rather than ears.
^^;;;; Not a scuttling beetle, as I first thought, but an "embarrassed smile/cold sweat", apparently.
Each semicolon represents an anime sweatdrop.  You try coming up with a better ASCII character for it ^^;;
That's not ASCII, though it is in Latin1?.
*^^* Blushes
-.-    Sad face, frown, downcast look  (can also have ; sweatdrops appended)

I'm pretty sure that any smiley incorporating a carat can be interpreted as: "I play too much StarCraft"
Nyuhuh?  Anyone want to elaborate on this?  --AlexChurchill
It's a part of the 'oh god I hate those llamas on BattleNet?' culture.  If there's anything more sure to annoy a gamer than being thoroughly thrashed by a kid who doesn't speak english, it's having that kid continually spam the chat channel with kitty smilies.
Oh... okay.  *shrug* I met one or two such during my days on BattleNet?, but not particularly notable numbers. I had a few fun games against French kids though, dusting off my GCSE French.  Still, the use of Japanese smileys is extremely widespread on the net (as I'm sure you know?), so the association with StarCraft might be a bit confusing to most people...  --AC
It seems (to me) to be limited to anime/manga sites (obvious) then spread to gaming sites (via the aforementioned StarCraft vector) and is just now infiltrating WebComics.  Evil.  Then again, I mostly avoid blogs and mainstream sites generally avoid smileys of every sort.  Note - I don't, nor have ever, played StarCraft - but there was a lot of "Argh what does this mean, is he insulting me?" (only, you know, written with less grammar and more l33t) on the net about it ;)

^-^  - Kitty    ;actually, I thought that was a very smug smily - SunKitten
Other feline smileys include  =^.^=  ,  =>^.^<=  , =^+.+^=, =^..^=
^^  - Bunny (what about /_/=+.+=\_\ ..? - MoonShadow)
This is also the "abbreviated" version of the normal ^_^ or ^.^ smiley.  Like the difference between :-) and :) .
That got confused - /_/=+.+=\_\ as an abbreviation ;)  Big bunny art is just going too too far.  Adding whiskers to the kitty is still small enough to be smiley though, I think.
^x^  - exceptionally cute or dead kitty (you can't tell the difference? You'll never make it as a vet... :)

>.< , >_<  - ouch, pain
<_< , >_>  - "eehhhhh", "yeswell", "let's just ignore that"... can anyone provide a better description in words of these rather expressive symbols?
^.~ , ^.-  - wink

OK, then, people.  Well, possibly just AlexChurchill, who wrote it - what the heck does o.O;; mean? (Found on PlushyToaster page)
Hmm.. one eye small, one eye big and sweatdrops.  Incredulous and Surprised I guess.

o.O - raised eyebrow, questioning look
o.O;; - raised eyebrow, lots of sweatdrops

So... incredulous and feeling threatened by PlushyToasters? --M-A
Nope, feeling threatened by the abuse of the english language, I'd wager.  --Vitenka
I thought it meant something like 'Mind boggles' - Tsunami

*.* - starry-eyed smile.  Usually demonstrated by girls in shoujo manga, over either a particularly handsome guy, or something cute and fluffy, or [in Petra's case, "pretty guns"].

Wikivic's smilies (in case anyone is confused by the ones I use ^_~ )

^^ = smile

^_^ = bigger smile

^_~ = wink

XD = big grin

_ = conspiratorial or annoyed eyes

>.< = ouch, pain, stress etc.

:3 = anticipatory or cutesy smile

o.o = eep/embarrassed

o.O = as above

o_O; = as above

-_- = sleepy

Just imagine the smilies you could make with LinearB and similar[fonts]...


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