Gaming dictionary for newbies
In any language of the world, a neologism is a newly created word that has been adapted and introduced among the existing ones in order to be able to express or define new concepts that did not exist before or that have acquired new meanings.
This phenomenon occurs in abundance when a new field becomes popular or develops. Since the end of the 20th century and until now, video games have provoked a growth in the global lexicon.
There is no doubt that the video game industry is living a moment of splendour. It has long since ceased to be a simple medium of entertainment and a generator of popular culture icons such as Mario or Sonic.
As happened to cinema years ago or television series’ a little less, video games have gained in development and depth to levels of complexity that make many titles real geniuses that provide hours of fun, challenges and exciting stories.
And it's such a big world that you need your own jargon to work, because when you talk about gamer culture, you're talking about more than just video games and consoles.
Each genre or subgenre, the different hardware that comes to market, the elements within the game itself and the entire design and development process (which can range from something very simple to an avalanche of technicalities) are part of this world and are important to those who decide to take an interest in it.
From the most experienced person, those who accumulate hours and hours with a remote in their hand, to those who have not even passed the first screen of Tetris, the culture that has emerged around videogames can become overwhelming.
And since we don't want anyone to get lost or frightened, we present here a small dictionary with some of the most important terms in the gamer world, both those referring to video games themselves and the more technical aspects.
The bug is a programming error in the game, and produces a malfunction of the same: characters that disappear or fly away, deleted games... The glitch is also a fault in the game, but unlike the bug does not spoil the experience of the player and is an error that he himself can benefit by getting more money, experience, or even crossing an area.
A trick that many people use to complete a game in the shortest time possible? A speedrun.
In video games that have multiplayer mode (especially in shooters), campear is the action of staying at a specific point on the map where you are not seen or that is difficult to access waiting for the rest of the players to start shooting. It is a very bad seen practice in the community that often causes many annoyances and that some titles even penalised.
In today's video games it's an essential resource if you want to tell a story. It's about those small video sequences in which the player can't interact, designed to advance the plot or simply to highlight a particular fact.
Titles such as The Last of Us or MGSV: The Phantom Pain take cinematic techniques and great care in the details to get cinematics that captivate.
One of the most controversial concepts. It is popularly believed that it is that moment in which our character goes through any object or element of a stage.
Clipping is really a technique that consists of hiding elements. In all the games we have a "hidden camera" that records our position and angle of vision, and depending on that hides objects that we do not see to provide more resources to the graphics engine and can load the elements that are in the player's field of vision.
This term derives from the English word 'craft', which means "to elaborate or to construct".
When we refer to it in the world of video games, crafting is the player obtaining objects from different materials. It has become a very common resource in games of all kinds and often requires collection and specific skills to get better weapons, armour, consumables or even Macguffins to advance the plot.
In the development of a game, at certain moments of production or even pre-production, some companies wish to show the public an alpha version (still very early development) of their game.
In some cases the game has not yet been tested on the consoles where it is going to be released and it is likely that what they show us has some textures and a resolution that eventually does not reach the consoles.
Precisely, when the development studio has to reduce the textures and part of the graphic quality of the game to work to a proper frame rate is what we know as "downgrade".
How many times have you found the gun of your dreams but you didn't have room in your inventory to take it with you?
The action of dropping or getting rid of an object is called 'dropping', a term that comes from the English word 'drop'. It is sometimes used to refer to objects that non-playable characters drop when they die, called loots.
Another element that seems directly drawn from real action role-playing games and more specifically from Dungeons&Dragons. A dungeon is a level of labyrinthine structure, plagued with enemies and usually requires exploration, puzzle solving and final bosses. Games where all levels are dungeons are called 'Dungeon Crawlers'.
One of the best known techniques to improve our character. The farming consists of repeating certain actions or mechanics of a game, for example, repeating an area in which you can get many coins or experience to raise the level.
If you play online games or games designed to play a large number of hours, you will always encounter an enemy who is challenging and you will be forced to do so.
Not to be confused with the First Person Shooter already mentioned. They are the frames per second, inherited directly from the cinema. In video games the speeds that are handled are 30 and 60 frames per second, being the second preferred by all due to the sensation of fluidity. However, in the competitive game (Counter Strike, Quake Champions) the 120fps are necessary since they allow an almost millimetric precision in the shot.
This is a business model in which players can access video games for free. The benefits are obtained through advertising or through additional content such as aspects, weapons, new areas or missions and additional argument arcs that are obtained through the payment of microtransactions. An example? Fortnite.
Another concept whose definition is diffuse. The gameplay is actually our concept of gameplay; in other words, it is the accumulation of all its components (accessibility, controls, game modes, duration...)
The meaning that has come to us through the networks is the gameplay as the playable part of a game, which is not a cinematic or a script, the moment in which it is played itself. And this has transcended in the gameplay as every game recorded and uploaded to the Internet.
Although similar to farming, grinding is specifically used when we dedicate ourselves to kill enemies repeatedly to raise our attributes, get equipment, etc..
Surely we have heard it when we have seen some video of the most famous FPS (First Person Shooter) as Battlefield or Call of Duty. The gunplay refers to all the sensations that a weapon gives us when we play (recharge time, pointed, shot, weight of the weapon, trajectory of the bullet) and that give realism to the game.
Hack 'n' Slash, which literally means "cut and slice" in Spanish, is a video game genre in which the player carries a blunt edge weapon (axe, sword ... to the liking of the consumer) with which he faces numerous hordes of enemies.
It seems to be an evolution of games like Martianitos or Space Invaders and one of its clearest references is the Devil or Devil May Cry saga.
‘Loot' is the name given to the objects that dead enemies randomly release and can be picked up by the player. Looting is the action of killing many enemies for the sole purpose of collecting the loot released, either to get a particular item or to sell it later. A looter is the person who collects the objects.
These are the tools and rules made available to the player to integrate into the game. An example of rules: if you shoot a zombie in the head, the head explodes into a thousand pieces and you get more points than if you shot in another area of the body, but you can not shoot humans. Another mechanic could be: your tools are a weapon in your right hand and spells in your left hand to paralyse or teleport you. When the tools and rules are original or work well with each other, we can say that the game has good mechanics.
Massive Multiplayer Online games are, as the name implies, those cooperative games in which players from all over the world share history and can interact with each other in real time. There is a variation called MMORPG that combines this online system with the features of the RPG among which we could highlight the mythical World of Warcraft.
You've seen them a thousand times even though you might not know they were called that. Non-Playable Characters are all those beings we find in video games that the player can't handle or control in any way. These can range from the merchants who sell you items to your allies or enemies.
Sometimes as we move through a level certain objects appear suddenly when the game should have loaded them progressively as we approached it. The graphics engine has a limited amount of memory and, being at the limit, if it tried to load something else it would cause a slowdown in the game. In 3D GTAs or any driving game, when we drive our car and we arrive in a city, instead of glimpsing a building slowly on the horizon, it suddenly appears before us.
The roguelike games are those that, with RPG features, stand out for the fact that the player's death is irreversible and the dungeons or levels to be overcome are generated randomly each time, maintaining a sense of freshness and rejugability. The name comes from the video game Rogue, published for PC in 1980 and that set the standard for this subgenre.
In this context, RPG derives from role-playing games. Popularly known as role-playing video games, their main feature is the control they give the player by putting him in the skin of a character who can design and modify in different ways to suit his style of play. They derive from role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons and usually have a very wide atmosphere and many options for the player.
It takes its name from the sandboxes in playgrounds, where children build their worlds to play in. Sandboxes are video games that give the player freedom of movement and decision on both the path he wants to take and when he wants to advance in his story. To this is added the option of designing the scenarios in which to play.
Although in principle it comes from the cinematographic script, a script is an action or already programmed sequence that is going to be executed independently of our actions in the game. It's a broad term that covers any type of game, from a sequence in which the hero jumps off a cliff to those games in which our decisions supposedly influence the course of the story, but the end is the same for everyone. If you ever read that, "this game is heavily scripted" it means that the course of the game is very closed and does not give the player the freedom to have their own story. The famous cinematic games (Uncharted, The Last of Us, Heavy Rain...) are the bastion of these last two terms, although the playable component has as much or more weight.
A genre of video games in which giants such as Call of Duty would be included. It would include all those titles of action that focus on the confrontation against enemies using firearms and remote attacks. There are many variants but the main difference lies in the point of view with which you play: first or third person.
It consists of completing a game in the shortest possible time. To achieve this, most professionals (speedrunners) train by looking for and/or forcing glitches or bugs in a particular game, and then break records in the best known speedruns competitions. One of the most popular is the Games Done Quick.
This term is more familiar to us on the PC. When our monitor refreshes (updates the image) and the number of frames is not synchronized with that of our computer or console is translated into a vertical cut in the middle of the screen. In PC it is solved by activating the vertical synchronization, or better known as v-sync.