(Formerly "Calling a Player a Smeerp". Rolling Updates
A game trope, where players are given a fancy title which ties into the game's theme.
Usually, this appears in games involving players being cast in the role of one of a special group of people with a special talent. The most common use of said talent is for battles with each other, which is what matches of the game represent. They could be epic battles with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, or it could be just as much of a game in-universe as it is out-of-universe, in which case you will likely see characters who take the game way too seriously
. If people in positions of power take the game that seriously, it can be both at once
One use of this trope is to emphasise that you and your opponents are playing as yourselves. If the game has a single-player campaign, its protagonist will be toward the higher end of the scale of Player and Protagonist Integration
, somewhere between Heroic Mime
and "you are you."
Another reason a game uses this trope is to create a sense of cameraderie and inclusion among players. When you buy this game, you're not just buying a game. Your purchase serves as your initiation into an exclusive group, and your starter set is your ticket to a new world of friends and adventure beyond the dullness of everyday life. You're not just Bob anymore. You're Bob the Planeswalker
. You're one of us!
Or at least, that's what the marketing department would have you believe. The game's advertisments and packaging will refer to the game's players by the title, as will characters in adaptations, to drive the point home.
This trope can appear in non-game media, if an in-universe game or sport uses it. If a series featuring a game like this becomes popular enough and the game itself doesn't exist in Real Life
, you can expect someone to make it
eventually, technology permitting.
- Pokémon: You are a Pokemon Trainer, who leads a team of Pokemon into battle against friends in playful competitions, and enemies for the fate of the world.
- YuGiOh: You are a Duelist, a person who plays Duel Monsters. To most people, it is just a Children's Card Game, but a select few know its true mystical origins.
- Magic: The Gathering: You are a Planeswalker, capable of travelling through the Blind Eternities to all the various planes of the Multiverse. The game also has Planeswalker cards, which allow you to summon the fictional planeswalkers who play more direct roles in a set's storyline to fight alongside you.
- The original Starcraft single player campaign would call the player Magistrate, Cerebrate or Praetor depending on which race's storyline you were playing through.
- Blood Bowl calls the in-universe team members "players" and the real-world players "coaches" to avoid ambiguity.
- Capsuleers from EVE Online.
- Angelic Layer: The series is centered around a game where players control fighting dolls called "Angels". The game's term for a player is "Deus". The early episodes play up the "initiation" angle in fine detail, with Icchan taking Misaki to buy a starter set, and Misaki going through the Angel-creation process upon arriving at her new home.
- Robot Wars called its contestants "Roboteers".
- League of Legends calls the Player a Summoner.