Like any hobby, gaming contains some jargon that outsiders may not fully grasp or understand. Some of these terms are spoken between players during a game. Some of them are spoken ABOUT a game. And some are just general terms that relate to the hobby of playing video games. If gaming is not one of your hobbies, then you definitely do not know or understand these terms. Luckily, we're here to help.
Understanding video game slang can make or break a game, especially in an era where the medium is communal and perpetually online. These are twenty gamer slang terms that nobody else understands.
Smurfing is not highly regarded in the gaming community. This involves a high-ranked and experienced player starting a new account. They can do this for a number of reasons. Sometimes they want to experiment with new gameplay strategies without having to worry about their record or stats. Or maybe they just want to dominate new players for the fun of it.
19 Leeroy Jenkins
You've probably heard the LEEEEEROOOOOY JEEEEEENKINS joke at some point, as it's one of the most famous internet jokes. You may also hear players call each other a "Leeroy Jenkins." This is a reference to the internet video, which saw one player charging into a dangerous situation alone and ruining the whole thing for his team. Therefore, Leeroy Jenkins often refers to a player who tries to be a hero, but who fails more often than not.
A scrub is basically an even worse term for "noob." While a "noob" tends to denote someone who is new at the game, a scrub is someone who just generally sucks, even if they're new or not. A scrub can often refer to someone who thinks they're good but really aren't. And don't we all hate those people?
17 Git Gud
If you're trying to get help or tips regarding a new game, you may be told to "git gud." This derives from the Dark Souls community, and it basically means what you think it means. To "git gud" is to get good at a game. As in, stop asking questions, and just "get good." That'll solve all your problems.
"Aggro"-ing is something you do in a single player game, often an MMORPG. It involves pissing off a random NPC to the point that they get mad and attack you. For example, talking down and/or insulting them or simply attacking them to the point that they fight back. Either way, it's not a very nice thing to do...
"Aimbot" is another term that basically explains itself. An aimbot is a bot, or a piece of programming, that helps with a player's aim. This often involves automatically snapping to an opponent's head, all-but guaranteeing an instant shot (and win for you). These are often done in first-person shooters, and they are both highly illegal and frowned upon.
You may have heard the term "camping" before, as it is very popular. Just like in real life, to "camp" is to stake a claim in a piece of land and remain there for a period of time. This involves hiding in a corner or in a building and picking off enemies as they come to you. It's another gameplay tactic that is often frowned upon, and is often linked with being a "noob" or a "scrub."
Farming is often linked to MMORPGs and RPGs, as both types of games require very specific things of the player. To farm means to accumulate certain items (like health), or to run through previously-cleared areas in order to gain experience points and boost your level. It's a little boring, sure, but sometimes it's a necessity!
While we're talking about experience points, we may as well mention XP. "XP" is shorthand for "experience" or "experience points," which are often used to strengthen and/or level up your character. Therefore, to "gain XP" is to "gain experience" so you can become a better player. They're necessary, even if getting them can be a pain in the butt.
Sometimes even hearing the word "gank" is enough to drive certain players into a frenzy. A "gank" is when a gang of players team up and attack one solitary opponent, all-but ensuring their win and their opponents' defeat. It's a cowardly way to win! And it is incredibly frustrating when you are on the receiving end of one.
A griefer is someone who brings grief to others' experience. Of course, there is not one specific way to be a griefer. ANYTHING that involves tormenting your teammates or opponents and bringing them to a state of annoyance or anger is enough to label yourself a griefer. But it is something you do not want to be!
Machinima is basically a movie made out of a video game. That does NOT include cutscenes, as those are meant to be watched like a film. A machinima is when players use gameplay and a pre-rendered gaming engine to create a cinematic movie. The Red vs. Blue series is a fantastic example of a machinima. The word is a portmanteau of "machine" and "cinema."
8 Meat Shield
Players with high stamina or strength or often relegated as the meat shields. A meat shield is an especially strong player who goes ahead of the team to absorb damage and reveal enemy locations. Think of them like a tank - they barrel through obstacles and people while the rest of the team runs behind them and picks off the survivors.
A tank is very similar to a meat shield, with a few key differences. A tank is someone with incredible strength and power, meaning they can take a lot of damage before falling. This is different from a meat shield in that a "meat shield" is often used as just that - a shield for other players to hide behind. A "tank" is simply someone with exceptional strength and durability, regardless of teamwork.
"Nerfing" takes its name and meaning from the popular Nerf toys that you undoubtedly know so well. To "nerf" means to make something, often a particularly powerful and poorly-balanced weapon, less powerful through a patch. The name is taken from the popular toy brand, as "nerf" products are foamy, less dangerous versions of the real things.
On the opposite side of the coin, we have "buff." To "buff," of course, is to make a particularly weak and pitiful weapon MORE powerful. The name obviously derives from the fitness subculture, as a "buff" person is someone who is strong, muscular, and physically intimidating, conveying the message of the term quite clearly.
Like many of these terms, "splash" comes from its real world counterpart. In "real life," a splash is the by-product of someone jumping into a pool, the water that is displaced and thrown into the air and to the sides. Likewise, a "splash" in gaming terms refers to a weapon that deals a wide range of damage, like a grenade or a missile. To be caught in a grenade splash is to indirectly perish from a grenade not necessarily meant for you.
"Noob" is one of the most famous slang terms uttered in gaming. It refers to a new player, often one who is not very good at the game. Therefore, you may hear other players call the crappy player a "noob," as they tend to play like an inexperienced, or poor, player. It's not a particularly nice term, that's for sure.
This one is admittedly a little old, but it's nevertheless a classic. To "pwn" means to totally dominate in a game, therefore "pwning" your enemies. It is derived from the word "own," which of course implies total domination or ownership. To "pwn" is to win, and winning feels good.
You may often see the letters "AFK" written in a game's chat and have no idea what the heck it means. You may also notice that one of the players are suspiciously standing still and not really doing a whole lot. Of course, the two are connected, as AFK stands for "away from keyboard," meaning the player's avatar will not really be doing a whole lot in the proceeding minutes!