In just about any field out there there’s a list of words and phrases that only the ‘in-group’ understands. In most cases, this is called jargon; A collection of words used only by a certain group that is difficult for outsiders to grasp. For those of us that enjoy video games or consider ourselves in one way or another ‘gamers’, the same applies. In fact, just have some non-video game fans over to your house and start explaining your weekend gaming activities and their blank looks will tell just how much they don’t understand. A lot of these words have become a little more mainstream than others, however, there will always be those few that nobody except your online gaming buddies gets. Usually, it’s then up you to explain what the acronyms, abbreviations, and sayings we use almost every day (and usually without thinking about it) mean.
Here are three of my favourites:
Metroidvania – This is a little controversial because everyone seems to have their own specific rules as to what exactly makes a game a “Metroidvania” or Metroidvania-like. However, simply it is a game that is similar in playstyle or mechanic to either Metroid and/or Castlevania (from where we get the name). Usually, that means a large area that you need to explore, with diverging paths. Along the way you gain abilities which allow you to unlock secret pathways and areas and often require you to return to areas you have previously visited.
GG – The almost universal gamer’s online signing-off phrase when playing online. Stands for ‘Good Game’.
Grinding – Prevalent in Role Playing Games (RPGs) where a player will repeat a certain task again and again in order to earn points/XP/money needed to improve a character’s attributes/skills.
(There are some pretty good extra ones in these articles: The Language of Video Games and Learn The Lingo: Common Gaming Terms You Should Know)
So that’s the question for this week – What bit of gaming jargon do you constantly have to explain to your non-gaming friends? (Does anyone want to tackle “Souls-like”?) Let us know in the comments section below – and be sure to provide a small explanation too – so we can build up our very own SA Gamer’s Dictionary.