PC gaming terms and their true meanings

Let Ek1

Early Access: A way to get access to your future favourite games long before they’re any fun, and be sick of the sight of them by release. And often pay more for the privilege.

Episodic: With the exception of Telltale games and very few others, a guarantee that the game you just bought will never be finished and you should not get too attached to anyone.

E-sports: A growing craze in which prodigious expert gamers can make millions and earn the acclaim of the world, before old age takes them in their mid-20s.

Emergent: Action coming from the interplay of systems rather than being scripted, though quite often with nudging behind the scenes to make cool stuff happen.

Escort mission: The art of making any game suddenly excruciating by putting the player’s success in the hands of an uncontrollable, useless, usually suicidal AI idiot.

Exclusive: Game everyone will be able to play in a year, max.

Exploit: A cheat that you’re not supposed to use, especially if it reveals developer sloppiness. Can result in a ban if online, often more out of pique than actual damage done.

Fall damage: Because the designers hate you and your stupid legs.

Field of view: At high settings, lets you roleplay being an owl that thinks it’s human. An owl with an Uzi.

Farming: The art of standing around and gathering the same item or killing the same monster to progress through the game without having new experiences or fun.

Finished game: See beta.

Fog of war: The unseen battlefield/world, even in games that let you play with futuristic units and satellite systems, or games like Beyond Earth where you arrive from space.

Free to play: A delightful sweep of games, their goals ranging from simply getting lots of players in and hoping some pay up, to pay mechanics so hostile that they might as well swear at you every time you put in your credit card number.

Games For Windows Live: A painful reminder of torture survived.

Ghost: A live replay of Patrick Swayze’s best performance. Can you beat it?

God game: A genre of enjoying ultimate power over little worlds of inevitably abused subjects. Ironically died out after everyone lost faith in the market.

God mode: Invulnerability to most or all things that might cause injury; also spelled ‘IDDQD’.

Griefer: A player in an online game who gets their kicks by trolling, blocking, killing, and annoying other players. According to Dante, future inhabitant of the Fifth Circle of Hell.

Grinding: The art of turning a good eight hour game into an excruciating 20 hour one by padding out fun with calcified not-fun.

Health potion: A thing that can recover you from the brink of death, if not beyond, yet nobody ever remembers when a character gets hurt in the course of the plot.

Immersive sim: Games in which you shoot, level up skills, talk, hack terminals, use vents, eat out of bins and read countless diaries of the recently deceased.

Indie game: A game claiming to be indie, be it from one person working in a shack to a company funded by newspaper magnates or discovered leprechaun gold.

Instance: A section of a multiplayer world cut off for just you and any members of your party to adventure in and explore without those pesky other humans getting in the way.

JRPG: Japanese Role-Playing Game. Plays like a novel that needed an editor with a machete broken up by fighting, cool music, and ridiculous hair.

Kill streak: Sometimes just a commendation for multiple kills in one life, other times a bonus for being better than everyone else, which helps make you even more better than everyone else.