A Glossary of Common Gaming Terms

A Glossary of Common Gaming Terms

The world of gaming certainly has its own language and if you are new to gaming or have only dipped your toes in it, it can be hard to catch on. At Retro Gaming of Denver, we believe that gaming is for everyone. You shouldn’t be left to decipher this language on your own. Which is why we have put together a brief glossary of some of the most common gaming terms to get you started.

Ratings Breakdown

First thing first, let’s breakdown game ratings. The Entertainment Rating Board or ESRB is responsible for rating video game content in North America. You are no doubt at least a bit familiar with this system if you have ever browsed the game section in a store. On the very front of the packaging and on the back, you will see their official rating as a letter, with some of the specific content types listed on the back. This lettering system helps you determine who the intended audience is for a particular game. Here’s what those letters mean.

EC- Early childhood. These games are intended for young children, usually educational in nature.

E- Everyone. These games are appropriate for all ages. Originally labeled K-A (Kids to Adults) until 1998.

E10+- Everyone ages 10 and up.

T- Teen. These games are aimed towards those aged 13 and up.

M- Mature. Suitable for ages 17 and up.

AO- Adults only. These games are meant for those 18 and up. Most traditional retail outlets do not carry games with this rating.

RP- Rating pending. This means that the final rating for the game is not assigned yet. The rating will be finalized and replaced before the game’s official launch.

Genre Breakdown

The world of gaming is vast and varied. There are many different gaming genres. Action, adventure, and sporting games are easy to get sense of, but there are even more genres in between those. Here’s some of the gaming genres that you may come across.

Platformer- Focuses on a character jumping around the environment, negotiating hazards and obstacles in either a 2D or 3D environment.

Roguelike- A game with randomly generated elements that makes you start over completely if you fail. No two runs are ever exactly the same. If some kind of progress is carried over between runs, you may instead have a Roguelite on your hands.

SIM- Simulation. A game that aims to recreate a real-life experience to a very realistic degree or provide an extremely granular and emergent simulation of scenario.

RTS- Real Time Strategy. Usually involves commanding a group of units in real-time, meaning all parties act at once and do not pause to take turns.

RPG- Role Playing Game. Usually contains some combination of player choice, character customization, and lots of interaction with the world and NPCs. Often combined with other genres (e.g. Action RPG).

MOBA- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. A very contained and competitive game that places players in relatively short matches with straightforward goals that require strategy to complete. Games like League of Legends and DOTA 2 dominate the genre.

MMO- Massively Multiplayer Online. Huge online worlds meant to be played with numerous people over long periods.

FPS- First-Person Shooter. Places your perspective behind the eyes of a gun-savvy character. If you were gaming in the 80s, you probably started off calling them “Doom Clones”. If shooting isn’t a big part of the game, it may be a First-Person game of another genre.

CCG- Collectible Card Game. Has you collecting, deck-building, and playing matches with digital cards that have assigned rarities.

TPS- Third Person Shooter. Like an FPS, but the camera is placed behind your character, often in an over-the-shoulder perspective.

4X- eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate. Grand, strategic games that usually involves guiding an entire civilization.

In-Game Term Breakdown

Once you know what kind of game you want to play based on ratings and genres, let’s go over some terms that you may come across in-game.

Adds- Refers to additional monsters or enemies that attack you while you are fighting a larger boss.

Aggro- Aggro is short for aggravation and refers to when a monster is focused only on damaging your character and no one else. You might have a team member “draw his aggro” while you complete an objective.

AoE- AoE stands for area of effect. It refers to powers and abilities that work over a certain area instead of just affecting one enemy, such as everyone within a circular radius around your character.

Buff/Debuff- These terms basically refer to an action having either a positive (buff) effect on a target, or a negative effect (debuff) that lasts for an amount of time.

Camp- To camp means to stay in one place, such as hiding in a high vantage point to snipe other players.

CD- CD stands for cooldown. It refers to the time it takes for an ability to regenerate after it has been used.

DPS- DPS stands for damage per second. It refers to the maximum damage your character and weapons can put out within the span of a second.

XP- XP stands for experience points. Some games allow you to level up with experience points and get better abilities or items.

Grind- To grind means to do something repetitively in order to make incremental progress or gain resources.

Loot- Loot refers to items given out as rewards for completing activities or defeating enemies.

Mod- Mod stands for modification. Players may create and distribute their own code or assets to change or expand on an existing game.

NPC- NPC stands for non-playable character. These are characters that are built into the game and not controlled by a player. They typically will be things like shopkeepers or quest givers.

QTE- This means a quick time event. Usually involves pressing specific buttons at proper times to progress through an otherwise scripted cutscene.

Raid- Raids are challenging, often long events that large groups of players fight through in order to gain rare and desirable loot.

Roll- A roll refers to the attributes of a randomly generated item. For instance, if a weapon ends up having all the most desirable stats and traits, it might be referred to as a “God Roll”.

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive or complete guide of all gaming terms, but these are some of the most common terms that you should know to help get you started playing. What are you waiting for? Stop by our shop and pick out a game and get started gaining XP and storing up loot!

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