Games are the future. Already they have done a great deal to shape the way we speak, learn, and work with other people.
I love the fact that gamer terminology has made its way into the mainstream. Along with more general online lingo, I hear more terms such as "noob" and "pwned" being used in meatspace than ever before.
Are you up to date on your games terminology? If not, have a look at the glossary below, and also have a look at some of the videos below (some are very basic introductions, other offer more advanced terminology).
Game Genres & Types
To start, let's first look at the terms used to describe the most prevalent game genres and types.
Action games - involve overcoming obstacles via timing, quick reflexes, and dexterity; these include fighting games, maze games, pinball games, and platform games
Action-adventure games - combine action with strategy and include stealth games and survival horror games
Adventure games - games in which a player progresses by solving various puzzles and interacting with his or her surrounding environment
Augmented reality games - employ the use of augmented reality, hence game elements are layered on top of real-life scenes as displayed through a gaming or mobile device with a camera
Casual games - games that can be played in short increments (commonly played on mobile phones or in web browsers as a short break)
Console games - games played on a dedicated videogame console, such as an Xbox or Playstation
PC games - games played on a personal computer
Pervasive Games - games that take place across several media; also known sometimes as transmedia or alternate reality games
Role playing games - RPGs - games in which gamers choose and play through characters with defined and unique skill sets (characters typically progress by accumulating experience points)
MMORPGs - RPGs that are played out in online worlds in which many different players can interact at once
Music games - games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero that involve challenges to follow musical rhythms and patterns
Party games - games designed to be played by a larger group of friends that typically consist of small challenges and mini-games
Puzzle games - require players to solve various puzzles or navigate mazes
Serious games - games that have a serious goal (such as learning a new task or solving a real problem) as their underlying purpose
Shooter games - games in which the primary focus involves the use of projectile weapons
Simulations - games that replicate aspects of real or fictional reality (including the development of restaurants, theme parks, and entire civilizations as well as raising pets, dating, and the design of peoples' entire lives)
Sports games - games simulating various real-world sports
Strategy games - games that are won via careful planning and strategizing (including wargames and digital versions of real-world strategy games such as chess)
Trivia games - games that test players' knowledge of various subjects
Vehicle simulation games - games which revolve around the operation of various vehicles, ranging from cars to trains and spaceships
An Introduction to Basic Games Terms
These are some game terms used by players when referring to various aspects of a game.
Bads - Terrible players
Barrelstuffed - Someone who has been barrelstuffed has been killed by someone stuffing the barrel of a gun in their abdomen and wasting them forthwith
Boomstick - A shotgun
BFG - A large gun (big f#$%ing gun)
Buff - To enhance the power of a game element or (temporarily) a character in a game (one may also be debuffed, thereby losing some abilities)
Camper - Campers are players who steak out a spot in a game and continue to kill mobs or other players from that spot in a cowardly manner
Cheat - An element built into a game by software developers that bestows a player with special abilities or unlocks special features (not typically shared in game manuals)
Gamemaster - A guide (who helps newbies) with higher rank and some admin privileges
Gamer - Someone whose hobby is to play games
God mode - An invulnerable state attained by finding a cheat that unlocks it
Group - To temporarily join with other players to overcome a common obstacle or reach a shared goal
Guide - Someone who helps noobs
Easter egg - A feature hidden within a game by game developers (often without managerial knowledge)
Exploit - The use of a software glitch in a game to one's personal advantage
Fail - Used as a prefix (e.g. fail stick)
Frag - To kill another player (and to telefrag is to kill another player- and oneself- by teleporting to his or her exact location)
IRL - In real life
Jackin & Jillin - When two players are grouping too close
Kicked - To be kicked is to be banned from a game for rule violations
Mobs - Monsters or "mobile objects"
Mule - A secondary character used to provide storage space for a player's primary character
Ninjad - As in getting stabbed in the back before knowing what hit you
Nerf - to change a game element in such a way that renders it less powerful or utterly useless (like turning a real gun into a nerf gun)
NPC - Non-player character (a game character controlled by the game's software; also known as an AI- artificial intelligence) - as opposed to a PC (a player character - controlled by a person)
Nub / noob / n00b / newbie - People (can also be used as an adjective - like nubbage)
Nukeboosting - A term specific to Modern Warfare II
Patch - A software update applied to fix a bug
PKing - Killing another player in a game (usually this is used within the context of such killing not being the natural course of action in that particular game)
Pwned - Owned. As in dominated / defeated
Quest - A set of tasks which, when completed, will result in some sort of reward
Rape - Gamer slang for serious winning; obviously more on the politically incorrect side
Roleplaying - Someone who is roleplaying speaks in character - not as themselves
Sauce - (used as a suffix) to provide emphasis to the end of a word (sort of like "isimo" in Spanish) (e.g. awesome sauce! awkward sauce!)
Spawn point - a location in a game world where mobs appear (players may camp near spawn points in order to kill the mobs immediately)
Trackstar - Somebody who is always running away from fights in a game
Zone - to move from one area of a gameworld to another
What's your favorite gamer term?
Maria on August 27, 2013:
That is so nice of you to list all the post from the past year and I'm glad to be checking them all afawretrds. Thanks for sharing and I hope that all of us will have a great year! Angel Collins recently posted..
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on June 22, 2011:
Thanks, Aris Budianto and Penny Circle! Glad to know my own notes can be useful to others :D
Aris Budianto from Lying along the equator Country on March 18, 2011:
useful indeed, you do it well, new video gamers have to read this.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on March 18, 2011:
Thanks vox vocis! I had started my own personal glossary, so I figured I might as well publish it, hahaa.
Jasmine on March 18, 2011:
This article can definitely be described as useful. Great idea for a hub!