Video Game Jargon

Ever since video games became mainstream, gamers have used their own lingo to communicate with one another more effectively. This has led to the creation of words such as l33t pronounced “leet”), a shortening of the word elite, and yoink, a term describing an instance in which another player steals a kill. The use of words such as these allow gamers to communicate easily with one another with video game-specific jargon. This language-of-sorts was created to expedite communication in situations when time is of the essence such as first person shooters.

Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain Click on image for original.

This terminology originated from early games like Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. These games led to terms such as 1-UP, meaning an extra life, and boss. Boss, in video game terms, refers to a powerful enemy at the end of a level or area. This allowed players to refer to characters and gameplay in conversation without defining everything individually. Video game jargon ushered in a whole new part of gaming culture.
In modern gaming culture, jargon is used during gameplay, especially multiplayer, to help players communicate effectively. This communication is not just gameplay-specific language, but also extends into speech used to refer to other players (e.g. “noob,” which is used to describe novice players). Although this language isn’t always helpful to gameplay, it is a part of the culture. This list of words is constantly growing and is sometimes hard to keep track of, but a helpful dictionary of these terms can be found here.

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