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Video Game Culture
"Videogame community? What's next, 'the necromancy community'?" note
— Jack Thompson
The game behind the games. Like any other medium, gamers have a culture all their own, replete with jargon and its own brand of social maneuvering. Be warned: The stuff in here will inescapably ruin your eyesight
, twist your spine
, and keep America from winning the war
, as it documents scarily obsessive gamer jargon that barely resembles English.
A piece of commercial software that's not for sale anymore.
- Achievement System
How close are YOU to 100% completion? Gotta achieve 'em all!
- A.I. Breaker
Using a particular aspect of the computer's AI to "cheat" at a game.
- After Action Report
A type of Fan Fiction for strategy games that involves a blow-by-blow description of a campaign.
- Allegedly Free Game
Although advertised as "free", the game actually has restrictions that you need to pay to override.
A malady that causes a player to compulsively create alternate accounts for a game.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore
When a Japanese game gets to America, the packaging and ads have to look Darker and Edgier or just angrier.
- The Anime of the Game
When a popular game is adapted into an anime.
- Arcade Perfect Port
The highest acclaim a port of an arcade game to a console or computer could get.
- Ascended Glitch
When a glitch or bug is enjoyed so much it gets treated as a legitimate gameplay element.
- Attract Mode
The display a game shows when nobody is playing.
- Awesome: Video Game Bosses
- Awesome: Video Game Levels
You know that part, where you have to jump that bit, and then ride that thing, and oh man, it's awesome!
- Beta Test
The video game testing process.
- Button Mashing
Don't know which button to press? Completely new to a Fighting Game? Mash the keys and pray!
- Capcom Sequel Stagnation
Publishers with an annoying tendency to release one game, and then release it again several times with minor changes before any wholesale sequel ever comes along.
- Casual-Competitive Conflict
Is it just a game and we should really just relax, or should we squeeze all we can out of it? Careful which one you choose.
- Catharsis Factor
We kill stuff in video games to let off stress!
- Challenge Gamer
A gamer who focuses entirely on improving his skills in a game to the point of insanity, and often showing off about it.
- Character Tiers
Where fans argue about which characters are the best in a competitive game.
- Checkpoint Starvation
There are long periods of time between checkpoints or save points.
- Cherry Tapping
Purposely using weak attacks to bring down a powerful opponent, often for humiliation's sake.
- Cheat Code
- Complacent Gaming Syndrome
The phenomenon where players stick to the settings or characters they are used to no matter what.
- Console Wars
The competition between electronics companies to increase their video game market share.
- Copy Protection
Ways of ensuring you own the game you're playing.
- Country Switch
Where the same game is released in different locations, and programmed to act differently depending on where it's being played.
- Cross Player
A person whose online avatar is of the opposite gender.
- Daddy System
A situation in which both a "next-gen" console and its predecessor are both still being made, sold, and developed for concurrently.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory
Where you're used to playing with a particular control scheme, then start another game that uses one that's almost the same, and you keep getting killed because you're pressing the wrong button.
- Default Setting Syndrome
The game offers a wide variety of modes, options, and characters, but none of that matters because everyone's too lazy to use anything other than the defaults.
A computer art subculture which specializes in producing demos, which are audiovisual presentations that are run in real-time on a computer or other platform.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything
Games which try and predict absolutely everything the user will try.
- Digital Distribution
Selling (or giving away) games entirely as Downloadable Content.
- Disappointing Last Level
Where a game suddenly has a huge dip in playability and rise in frustration as you near the end.
- Downloadable Content
Game data that is downloaded into the game that wasn't there originally.
- Doujin Soft
Independently-made games released at Japanese conventions.
- Dueling Games
A list of games that are considered imitations of each other.
- Dummied Out
Data, levels, characters etc. that are still in the game code but are normally inaccessible.
- Effortless Achievement
When a game give you an achievement for essentially doing nothing but starting the game, creating a character or just something you would have done anyway.
The stir created in the video game community when a high-profile game receives an unexpectedly high or low score from a major reviewer.
Running an emulator, which is a program that can play games on a platform or PC designed for other platforms.
- Expansion Pack
Extra material produced for an existing game, either by the game's original production company or by a third party.
Electronic Entertainment Expo, a major gaming event held in California every year.
- Fake Balance
When concepts are used which, on paper, make a game apper to be balanced, but in reality, it is not.
- Fake Difficulty
When developers use things like Luck-Based Mission and Trial-and-Error Gameplay to create the illusion of a challenge. Or, when it IS challenging, but for the wrong reasons.
- Fake Longevity
Things that pad out a game's length so they can brag about having "100 hours of gameplay!"
- Fan Remake
A (generally freeware) game created by fans of the original game, which attempts to recreate the original game experience.
- Fan Sequel
Where the fan community creates a sequel to a work when the original creators won't.
- Fan Translation
The translation of games that only appeared in other languages (almost always Japanese) into the player's native language (almost always English).
The set of theories based on that material which, while they generally seem to be the "obvious" or "only" interpretation of canonical fact, are not actually part of the canon.
Replicas of video game items or other relevant props that come packaged with a game.
- Fighting Game Community
A congregation of gamers primarily focused on competitive fighting games.
You can pay to upgrade your Free account to a Premium account with more perks.
- Four Point Scale
A derisive term for the (supposed) inability of professional game reviewers to give any game a score under 6.0, even if they're nominally using a ten-point scale.
- Gaiden Game
A game that's part of a series but not a main entry: a side story or Perspective Flip.
- Game Breaker
Using some natural feature of a game in an unnatural way, resulting in a huge advantage or benefit.
- Game-Breaking Bug
A bug that seriously cripples or destroys the ability to continue with a game.
- Game Genie
A cheating peripheral most prominent in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Game Mod
Alterations to a game that were not made by the game's license holder.
- Game Maker
A software "toolkit" that usually contains a pre-designed framework for a particular type of game, allowing that game to be made more easily by fans.
- Game Music
Video game soundtracks.
- Game Over
PRESS 'R' TO TRY AGAIN
- Gameplay Derailment
When a bug or feature is found after a game is released which seriously changes the way it is played by a large segment of players.
- Gameplay Roulette
A franchise where every game falls into a different gameplay genre.
- Game Shark
A console cheat device most prominent around the turn of the millenium.
- Gamer Chick
The lone female in a male gaming clan, who's often portrayed as tomboyish, confrontational, and self-aware of her gender (in worst cases, to the point of flaunting it around unnecessarily), and often can whup the other gamers' asses.
- Gaming Clan
A team of people that play multiplayer games together.
- Giant Bomb
A Review, industry news site with an open-source gaming wiki.
Guy In Real Life
- God Modders
Relative newcomers to a game who nevertheless act as if they know everything about it, and often rely on cheats or exploits to win.
- God Mode
- Good Bad Bugs
A bug in a video game which ends up being fun or useful.
- Good Bad Translation
A translation which is So Bad, It's Good, and ends up being so popular that better-made remakes will refuse to correct it.
- The Great Player Versus Player Debate
Whether it's better to allow players to attack each other anywhere, only in certain areas, or not at all.
- The Great Video Game Crash of 1983
A sad day in history.
A particular species of troll who exists to ruin other players' fun.
- Hit-and-Run Tactics
Defeating a strong but slow enemy by repeatedly moving away and throwing weak long-range attacks at him.
- Hollywood Game Design
Where TV and movies do not do the research when they depict video games being made.
- Import Gaming
The trials and tribulations of getting a game meant to be played in one country to be played elsewhere.
- Indie Game
A game developed without the backing of a major publisher.
- It's Easy, so It Sucks
I miss all that Fake Difficulty, dangit!
- It's Hard, so It Sucks
RAWWWWWWRRRR!! Games are supposed to be fun, and frustration isn't fun!
- It's Short, so It Sucks
Any game less than 100 hours can't be worth the money I paid for it!
- It Gets Better
Games that start out very slow, with lots of exposition.
- Just One More Level
The game is quite addictive. Really, really addictive.
- Killer App
A game that's so good it's a reason to buy the system it's on.
- King Of Games
A character that is a master of multiple types of games.
- Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game
Shoehorning a sexy woman in a commercial to trick players into buying the game ie assuming most gamers are perverts.
- Leeroy Jenkins
An inexperienced gamer who has no patience for complex plans and prefers to rush in and kill something, generally screwing up the plan entirely.
- Loot Drama
An item that's so rare, powerful, and unique that gamers will do horrible things to get it.
- Lord British Postulate
If it exists as a living creature in an MMORPG, someone, somewhere, will try to kill it.
Movies made with images from game engines.
Like Machinima, above, but of static images instead of movies, in a Web Comic format.
Some part of a game that carries over between multiple playthroughs or multiple players.
- Madden Curse
Whoever appears on the cover of the latest edition of the Madden NFL series will either not be up to snuff in the upcoming NFL season, or will suffer a major injury and be sidelined for a year.
- Manual Misprint
The game manual is wrong. Hilarity ensues.
- Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.
Where a character's crossover appearance in a game will be exported before the character's actual original appearance, confusing people as to where he/she actually originated.
- Master Console
A means to issue commands or change game settings, which can ostensibly allow cheating.
- Media Watchdog
A government-appointed body whose job it is to field complaints about media and censure or penalize the creators if deemed necessary.
- Banned in China
If a repressive government doesn't like it, it's gonna get banned.
- Moral Guardians
Groups of people who want to protect children from being exposed to some level of sex, violence, etc.
With competitive games, the collection of strategies in common use; how everyone else is playing.
You can spend real-world money for individual pieces of in-game content.
- Mission Pack Sequel
A sequel that's really just extra levels or content for the original game.
- Most Annoying Sound
If Baby Mario doesn't stop crying right now there is going to be some major child abuse going on.
- Most Wonderful Sound
- Most Gamers Are Male
Bring on the fanservice.
- Most Writers Are Male
A game is developed for release on multiple gaming platforms.
A player who plays the game to "win" at any cost, even if that isn't the point of the game.
- Murder Simulators
The allegation that (for example) because games feature killing, they are the cause of increased homicide amongst video game players.
A change to a game that weakens a particular item, ability, or tactic.
- New Game+
Once you finish a game, this is the ability to unlock special abilities or endings when starting it over, using the same save file.
- Non-Linear Sequel
Although called a sequel, the second game may not share much with the first other than shared setting and references.
A novice at a particular game, usually with negative connotations.
- Noob Bridge
A point in a game where a unique and unusual aspect of the controls is necessary, frequently leaving inobservant gamers stuck.
- No Scope
The act of shooting a Sniper Rifle or other scoped weapon without a scope. Requires considerable skill in some games.
- Not the Intended Use
The player equivalent of Fake Difficulty.
- Obvious Beta
A rushed piece of software that is full of bugs.
- Perpetual Beta
A piece of software receiving regular support that remains full of bugs.
- Oddball in the Series
One game in the series which is the "odd man out" for whatever reason.
- Old Man Murray
A vastly influential critical video game website.
- Open Roleplaying Decay
As MMORPGs get more players, the game eventually mutates into something the original members don't like.
- Pause Scumming
Abusing the pause button by pausing at a specific time or pausing repeatedly.
- PC vs. Console
Similar to the Console Wars, this is the never-ending fight between PC gamers and console gamers.
- Pick-Up Group
Where an MMORPG player broadcasts a request for other gamers to join him and form a party to go adventuring.
- Pinball Spinoff
When a company creates a pinball game based on a successful franchise.
- Player Generated Economy
Where games have a trading system that the players develop.
- Player Killing
The act of killing another player's avatar in a multiplayer game, generally used in cooperative games to denote "unnecessary" kills.
- Player Tic
You keep doing things in video games even when they aren't necessary.
- Player Versus Player
Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Play Every Day
Some games would rather you play a few minutes today, tomorrow, and the next day than ten hours right now.
- Polygon Ceiling
When a series goes from 2D to 3D, it often has issues.
- Polished Port
When a game is ported from one platform to another, things go wonderfully right.
- Porting Disaster
When a game is ported from one platform to another, things go horribly wrong.
- The Problem with Licensed Games
Games based on existing licensed properties suck.
- Product Facelift
When an older system is revamped into something physically smoother and sleeker to boost sales.
- Quicksand Box
An Wide Open Sandbox game that fails to give you any indication about what to do next.
- Rage Quit
When you're about to lose, you just quit the game in anger rather than actually see the Game Over screen.
- Rainbow Pimp Gear
When players equip their characters with gear solely based on stat bonuses without consideration to how it will look on them.
- Random Drop
The item you need for that quest has a 0.005% chance of dropping when you defeat the boss of this area. Good luck, and see you in four years... maybe.
- Rated M for Money
Developers include blood, guts and sexual content to target the hardcore gaming market.
- Reformulated Game
When a game changes radically between its various versions.
- Region Coding
The assignment of a number representing a geographic region to a DVD or console.
- Remade for the Export
Where a game that was never released in a specific region is remade or ported to a new system specifically to be localized.
- Replay Value
A measure of how fun a game is after you've beaten it.
- Retro Gaming
An interest in playing older video games.
- Revenue Enhancing Devices
Design features that seem solely designed to ensure increased profit for the manufacturer without adding any value for the consumer.
- Compilation Re-release
Where publishers bundle several previously released games on one disc and sell it as a compilation.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition
A better, souped-up edition of the original, with added bonuses.
- One Game for the Price of Two
Take one game, split it into two, and put a few exclusive collectibles in each version, while the rest of the game is identical.
- Pre-Order Bonus
Where those who preorder a game before it's released get special exclusive bonuses.
- Updated Re-release
When a bigger, badder, better version of a game is released a year or two after the original, sometimes as an enhanced port on a different console.
- Video Game Remake
Where an older game gets a graphical update, possibly some gameplay tweaks, and is re-released, generally on a newer platform.
- Reviews Are The Gospel
Video gamers tend to place more stock in professional reviews of works than fans of any other medium.
- Rule of Fun
It doesn't have to make sense, as long as it's fun.
Fetish videos about defeating or beating up female characters in fighting and survival games.
- Save Scumming
Save the game often, and if you do something wrong, just reload the save.
- Scrappy Mechanic
A gameplay mechanic in an otherwise fun/enjoyable game that generates a sizable hatedom.
- Script Breaking
Doing something which is technically allowed but messes up the assumed order of events, often resulting in an unwinnable game.
A player of a competitive videogame who adamantly believes that his or her "house rules" should apply to everyone to promote his or her view of "fair play". Most of the said "house rules" are things he or she makes up on the spot and his or her view of "fair play" is "as long as I win 95% of the time".
- Self-Imposed Challenge
A playthrough of a game wherein the player plays under an restriction not required by the game itself in an attempt to increase the difficulty and replay value.
- Sequel Displacement
Where one sequel ends up being considered where a series "begins" and earlier games tend to be ignored or forgotten.
A subculture that is so jaded by Sequelitis and Capcom Sequel Stagnation that its members are predisposed to dislike any product that is a sequel, regardless of its actual value.
- Sequence Breaking
Where you can do things in a different order than intended, skipping past "required" events or items.
Software that's so low-quality, you'll wonder how (and why) it was released at all.
- Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer
A mini-game or secondary quest that's so addicting and fun, you forget about the main game.
- Song Association
The seemingly endless repeats of songs heard in a video game makes a song distracting in other environments because of the association with said video game.
- “Stop Having Fun” Guys
An expert player who always plays to win and can't understand why anyone would play the game to have, you know, fun.
- Spiritual Successor
A type of sequel that is not part of the same world or story as its predecessor, but is nonetheless considered to be a successor because of shared creators or themes.
- Strategy Guide
A printed guide stuffed full of information on a game and purty pictures.
- Succession Game
A form of multiplayer gameplay where, instead of competing against one another, the players take turns controlling a single faction.
- Super Title 64 Advance
The title of a game that indicates what system it's released for.
- That One Achievement
Why must it be so hard to get this achievement???
- That One Boss
Dear God, how the heck do I beat this guy?!?
- That One Level
Oh God, the level with the lava and the spikes and the Medusa heads and AHHHH!
- That One Player
Someone who's so skilled at a game that whenever anyone plays with or against him it's no longer any fun.
- That One Sidequest
Yeah, there's that great sword... but seriously, less than zero seconds on a Chocobo race?
- The Tetris Effect
The game draws you in so much, you begin see its elements in Real Life.
- Tournament Play
Professional video game players in national or international competitions for real money.
- Translation Style Choices
The various ways that companies can choose to approach the finicky business of localization.
- Treasure Hunter
A player who's more interested in the monetary value of items than their actual impact on gameplay.
- Try Everything
EXTRA! Frustrated gamer throws up hands, just tries using every single inventory item and skill to continue!
Using a high-level character to make life easier for a low-level one.
- Unexpected Character
A strange or unknown character makes an appearance in a video game adaptation of a franchise.
- Urban Legend of Zelda
A video game rumor that seems almost plausible and just won't die.
Computer or video game software or hardware that's constantly hyped but never seems to actually be released.
- Video Game 3D Leap
When a Video Game series makes the leap from sprite graphics to Polygonal Graphics.
- Video Game Caring Potential
The game presents characters in such a way to make you care about them past their utility in the gameplay.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential
The potential a video game has for the player to do awful, horrible things to enemies or even friendly and neutral NPCs.
- Videogame Demake
A game is voluntarily remade to look and play like it comes from an older generation.
- Video Game Perversity Potential
The tendency of some players to use a game's editing tools to create porn.
- Video Game Movies
An index page of all of the video game movies with their own pages.
A document that shows how to play through a game and win.
Websites & Communities:
- Game Cola
A website devoted to observing video games in a clever and humorous light.
One of the largest video game FAQ, cheat, and walkthrough websites in existence.
- Operation Rainfall
A website campaigning for localizations of Japan-only games.