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Glossary of Gaming Terms and Abbreviations

March 26, 2012 IADT Detroit, Game Design and Production, IADT General 0 Comments

Game Production and Gaming TermsChances are you know at least one gamer. The presence of video games on the Internet and in pop culture is growing, making it impossible to escape the constant barrage of gaming jargon. To find out why your friend keeps calling you a “newb,” check out the following glossary of gaming terms and abbreviations. Or if you think you’re an expert gamer, test yourself using this list to find out whether you’d be a good candidate for a game design and production program.

Multiplayer—a game that allows more than one person to play at once, either in person or against other players on the Internet

MMO—stands for “massively multiplayer online,” which is any game that allows thousands of players to play the online game at one time

RPG—abbreviation for “role-playing game,” originally used for games in which a player makes decisions to become a certain type of character. Now it is also used for action games that have a level-up system, so that the player’s progress in the game is affected by their decisions.

MMORPG—stands for “massively multiplayer online role-playing game.” WOW, or World of Warcraft, is the most famous example.

First-person shooter—a game format in which you assume the point of view of your character, seeing through their eyes rather than seeing them travel across the screen

Platform game/ platformer—a game in which the character travels through the game by jumping across solid platforms to avoid enemies

Side-scroller—a game in you progress through the levels by traveling from one side of the screen to the other, typically from left to right. Some side-scrollers prevent you from moving backward.

Boss—the catchall term for any major enemy that usually appears at the very end of a level or of an entire game. You have to defeat the boss to “beat,” or finish, the level or game.

Damage—the general term for a character getting hurt in a game, often displayed in a percentage or a health bar

Drop—an instance in which treasure or loot is released in a game and up for grabs

Level/leveling—to advance in a game, you often have to complete distinct levels before you move on to the next. To “level up,” on the other hand, means gaining the experience needed to move your character to the next level, which will improve their skills or statistics. “Leveling” means doing a certain activity within the game that will help you level up.

Beta—a prototype version of a game that hasn’t been officially released to the public. Betas are usually released to a select group of gamers for testing or feedback purposes.

IRL—abbreviation for “in real life,” as opposed to activity in a game or on the Internet

Lag—refers to the disconnect in timing between when a player makes an action and it reaches the server, a problem due to a slow or suddenly changing Internet connection. In online games, lag can hurt the outcome of a game because players are vulnerable to attack when they can’t immediately participate in the action.

Newb—Also spelled “n00b” or “newb,” the term derives from the term “newbie” and is used to refer to new or inexperienced gamers or computer users. The term is usually used as an insult.

Pwned—supposedly a misspelling of “owned” that caught on in the gaming community, used to describe someone who is dramatically overpowered

This article is presented by IADT-Detroit. Contact us today if you’re interested in developing marketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from IADT-Detroit.


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