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"Video game 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.

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  • Abandonware: A piece of commercial software that's not for sale anymore.
  • Achievement Mockery: Achievements awarded for doing something stupid or for playing poorly.
  • 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.
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  • Allegedly Free Game: Although advertised as "free", the game actually has restrictions that you need to pay to override.
  • Alt-itis: 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.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: When breaks are built into the game, or the game reminds you to take one.
  • 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 turned into a legitimate gameplay element in an update or a sequel.
  • Attract Mode: The display a game shows when nobody is playing.
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  • Awesome: Video Game Bosses: Squeeeeeeee!
  • 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!
  • Balance Buff: Something weak in the original game is made better in a sequel.
  • 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.
  • Child's Play: A charity started by Penny Arcade that organizes worldwide toy drives to children's hospitals, distributing toys, games, books, etc.
  • Classic Cheat Code: Cheat codes from one game are referenced in another.
  • 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.
  • Defunct Online Video Games: The servers of an online video game have gone down, or the game itself has been removed.
  • Demoscene: 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.
  • Developers' Foresight: 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.
  • 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.
  • 8.8: The stir created in the video game community when a high-profile game receives an unexpectedly high or low score from a major reviewer.
  • Electronic Entertainment Expo: A major gaming event held in California every year.
  • Emulation: 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.
  • Fake Balance: When concepts are used which, on paper, make a game appear to be balanced (competitively or otherwise), 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 Game: A fan-made original video game based on a property.
  • 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).
  • Fanon: 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.
  • Feelies: 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.
  • Freemium: 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.
  • GameShark: 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.
  • G.I.R.L.: Guy In Real Life
  • Godlike Gamer: A gamer who is a naturally talented ace when it comes to gaming.
  • 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: Cheat-based invincibility.
  • 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 Video Game Crash of 1983: A sad day in history.
  • Green Boy Color: The use of a specific shade of green, meant to evoke old Game Boy games (and nostalgia).
  • Griefer: 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!
  • 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, i.e. 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.
  • Machinima: Movies made with images from game engines.
  • Machinomics: Like Machinima, above, but of static images instead of movies, in a Web Comic format.
  • Macrogame: 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.
  • Metagame: With competitive games, the collection of strategies in common use; how everyone else is playing.
  • Microtransactions: 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 Wonderful Sound: DADADA-DAAA-DA-DA-DADADAAAAAH!
  • Most Gamers Are Male: Bring on the fanservice.
  • Most Writers Are Male: Er... ditto?
  • Moved to the Next Console: A video game is announced for one console generation, but eventually released for the next generation.
  • Multi-Platform: A game is developed for release on multiple gaming platforms.
  • Munchkin: 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.
  • Nerf: 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.
  • Noob: 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 Export for You: When a game is released in one country but not another.
  • No Port For You: When a game is released for one platform but not the other, even if nothing's technically keeping it from being ported.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Scrub: 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.
  • Sequelphobic: 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.
  • Shovelware: 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.
  • Sideways Compatibility: Games for one system can be played on another system.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Games that start out very slow, with lots of exposition.
  • 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, themes, or gameplay elements.
  • 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.
  • Temporary Online Content: Online content that the creators of a videogame add for a while and then withdraw. Cannot be recovered by Save Scumming or starting the game over.
  • 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 to 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!
  • Twinking: Using a high-level character to make life easier for a low-level one.
  • Two Gamers on a Couch: A work where two video gamers discuss life on a couch.
  • 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.
  • Vaporware: Computer or video game software or hardware that's constantly hyped but never seems to actually be released.
  • Version Exclusive Content: The practice of making certain content in a Video Game exclusive to particular versions or players, usually as a means to encourage connecting with other players (who have the other content).
  • 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.
  • Video Game 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.
  • Waggle: Trying to shoehorn motion controls into a game just because they're the hip new thing is a sure-fire way to make it suck.
  • Walkthrough: A document that shows how to play through a game and win.

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