PC gaming terms and their true meanings

Let Rz1

Replay value: A thing no game ever has as much of as it claims to.

Real-time strategy: A genre in which the goal is to build refineries very quickly.

Retrogaming: Going back to play games, usually from childhood, and then realising the controls are rubbish.

Rocket-jumping: A one-time Quake physics glitch turned standard gaming ‘leap really far’ technique. Unlikely to work on a real battlefield, but has anyone actually tried?

Roguelike: A game that probably has nothing much to do with the original Rogue anymore, save permadeath, randomisation, and a difficulty measured in giga-aaarghs.

Romance: A heartfelt series of interactions where two lost souls find each other by means of one checking an FAQ to see what they want and giving them twelve of them.

RPG: Role-Playing Game. A genre that lets you explore fantastical worlds of pure imagination, which almost inevitably turn out to be a bit like a Rennaisance Fayre with set character archetypes and big spiders. Sometimes take place in space instead.

Simulator: A joke game. Formerly a simulation of something that people might actually want to simulate, like flying, or running a theme park.

Season pass: In which a publisher that’s convinced you to gamble on their new game being good gets you to double-down by agreeing you’ll definitely want more of it afterwards.

SLI: Scalable Link Interface. An NVIDIA technology for combining the power of two graphics cards. Finally at the point where it no longer feels like punishment for being tight-fisted.

Sliding block puzzle: A declaration of creative bankrupcy from a developer, and permission to hit them in the face with a banana-cream pie at the next available opportunity.

Speed-run: The art of using in-depth knowledge of games and glitches to break them over an expert’s knee and finish them faster than you can say “Good grief, the final level alrea-“ Sometimes assisted by tools and scripts, other times mastered by players for whom hitting a button at the correct eighth of a second is no big deal.

Stealth mission: Frustrating exercise where you know you could just take out everyone in your way, much like you have in every single encounter up to this point and after, but aren’t allowed to because Reasons.

Strategy: Big-picture decisions; something your entire team ignores. See Tactics.

Survival Horror: A genre devoted to making you think that death could come at every minute, until that wears out, when it usually resorts to lots of jump-scares. Boo!

Tactics: Small-scale decisions, such as jumping, lying down in mid-air, landing on your stomach, and shooting someone in the head in one motion. See Strategy.

Theorycrafting: Replacing the magic of a game’s world with hardcore maths and an army of people who will tolerate nothing beyond the current One True Build in their teammates.

Touchscreens: The first step to getting greasyscreens.

Twinking: Handing down high level gear to low level characters to help them along their journey, much to the envy/annoyance of others.

WASD: Conventional controls on a US/International keyboard, where W is up, A and D strafe, S goes backward, and most other keys are chosen at random.

Wallhack: A common cheat that allows one player to see enemies through walls, or sometimes shoot/attack through them without so much as a “Here’s JOHNNY!”

Zombie: Ferrous metal which is constantly pulled toward the electromagnet you swallowed.