For questions that ask what a gaming-specific term means.

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68
votes
3answers
6k views

Where does the concept of “Mana” as a resource come from?

In today's field of gaming, the humble mana bar has become nearly as widespread as the health bar. Everywhere from MMOs to flash games, to traditional turn-based RPGs, Mana exists as a finite ...
68
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are bosses called 'bosses'?

There were bosses in games ever since 1975, and I don't think I really have to define 'boss' here. But how did the word get stuck? And when was the first time when the challenging enemy was referred ...
63
votes
9answers
19k views

What exactly is a “cheese” in Starcraft 2?

I seem to see commentators mention "cheese" with regards to Starcraft 2, but I'm not quite sure what they mean. If a particular build/tactic is called a "cheese", does that mean it is a considered to ...
61
votes
4answers
13k views

What is kiting?

What does the term 'kiting' mean when used for games? I've seen the term thrown around here and there in reference to a few different games. Are there specific types of games that it applies to?
58
votes
5answers
35k views

What does 8-bit / 16-bit actually refer to?

When talking about retro games, terms like "8-bit music" or "16-bit graphics" often come up. I myself often use these terms, but I'm not exactly sure what they refer to. What do they mean?
46
votes
3answers
8k views

What is a “pixel shader”?

I have noticed that some games quote the requirement for "pixel shader 3.0 or better". What is a pixel shader and is it some software requirements or hardware requirements?
46
votes
6answers
19k views

What is ping, and why is it important?

I've seen the term used in many online games. What does it mean? Also, is higher or lower ping better?
43
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the purpose of MMO “maintenance”?

In massively multiplayer games, the servers are routinely restarted, for example EVE Online performs "maintenance" daily, and World of Warcraft performs it weekly. What goes on during it, and why ...
36
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and bots in video games?

An NPC refers to any character that is not controlled by a human player, e.g. a fictional character portrayed by a human gamemaster. In the context of video games, what is the difference between NPCs ...
36
votes
5answers
40k views

What do those abbreviations mean in League of Legends?

I'm quite new to League of Legends (LoL) but try to improve through reading guides. All too often I stumble upon abbreviations I am not sure what they mean. Some of those are: AD AP ArPen AS bot ...
33
votes
3answers
1k views

What does it mean to “savescum”?

I play a roguelike now and then and the term "savescum" comes up fairly often. What does it mean, and where did the term come from?
31
votes
3answers
54k views

What is the Destiny Cloud Fist build?

What is the Destiny Cloud Fist build? I've heard SC2 players talking about it.
29
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the meaning of the term “gib”?

Especially while talking about FPS, the term "gib" is quite common. While I get it's related to a sudden and gruesome death, I'd like to know its actual meaning and where it comes from.
29
votes
1answer
9k views

What does the term “aggro deck” mean?

I think I understand what aggro means in the context of an MMO and explicitly in World of Warcraft. Arqade even has a good answer to What does "Aggro" mean? What I am not understanding from the ...
29
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the UP in 1-UP stand for anything?

I'm curious. Is it literally going "1 up" or does it stand for something else?
28
votes
5answers
2k views

What defines a game's “replay value”?

I've heard the term "replay value" thrown around a lot in many game reviews and some publications. As implied from the question, what does it mean? What actually defines it? Is it how long it takes ...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

What does the term “rail shooter” mean?

What does it mean when a game is referred to as a "rail shooter"? When looking at some articles about the upcoming game Rage, I saw that it had been referred to as "not a rail shooter" for console but ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

What does it mean to have map control?

I hear people talking a lot about having map control (mostly tzenes). What specifically does a good player consider map control? Is it simply having decent visibility of most of the map so that you ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

What does a “timing push” mean

I've heard this term used many-a-time in StarCraft 2 (and 1) replays on the web. At first, I always assumed it meant the player was sending out an attack force at a specific time in the game that's ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

What does Metroidvania mean?

I've been hearing the term Metroidvania thrown around in recent years to describe games such as Cave Story and Megaman ZX, but have never quite understood what it actually means. What does ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

What do those abbreviations mean in Diablo 2?

After Diablo 3 gets delayed further and further I recently started playing Diablo II online again after aaages. Thanks reddit ;p Since I never was deep into multiplayer in D2 I have now some problems ...
23
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the source for calling your characters “Toons”

I've seen that in games where a player has an "arsenal" of several characters and each time he plays with one of them, like MMORPGs and the Diablo series, people refer to their characters as "toons". ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

What does it mean for a game to be linear?

I hear stuff like this all the time: "X game is so much more linear than Y." "Is X a linear game?" "It was a good game, but X was just way too linear." What does it mean for a game to be linear? ...
21
votes
8answers
2k views

What is “ganking”?

In reading about "griefing" and "smurfing", the term "ganking" came up...is there a good definition for it?
21
votes
6answers
10k views

What does “Aggro” mean?

I have heard "aggro" said in commentaries in a few different contexts and I have no idea what it really means. I can figure out what the commentator means, but I don't understand that word.
21
votes
2answers
2k views

What is bunny hopping?

I hear the term bunny hopping thrown around a lot. What is it? Can it actually help me in some games?
21
votes
2answers
2k views

What does it mean when a game is a 4X game?

I've seen the term 4X game used to describe games, primarily strategy games. What does this term mean?
20
votes
3answers
3k views

In CS, what does it mean when someone gets accused of being an `interp`

I've been playing for a while, but I've never managed to get an answer other than "NOOOOOOB" to the question "What does interp" mean. Does anyone know what interp is? Is it a hack? and if so, why ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the term “carebear” mean in Eve Online?

I've recently re-activated my account. I've seen this term used in the online chat and wondered what it means.
19
votes
3answers
6k views

What is a hit box?

What exactly is a hit box? Is there any way that knowing about hit boxes could help in a game?
19
votes
1answer
2k views

What genre of video game does Diablo belong to?

I've recently played Diablo 1 and 2 and I'm totally hooked. Now I've been wondering what genre this game belongs to, so it would help me find similar games.
19
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between a “carry” and a “fighter”?

I have been rather confused about this for a while, mainly when someone says they will play their Champion as a carry when the Champion is not classified as one. So, I suppose I am also wondering the ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

What does it mean to Maynard an SCV?

What does it mean to Maynard an SCV in StarCraft or StarCraft 2. It comes up a lot in the casts.
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How can a game be 2.5D?

I've noticed some games be described as 2.5D. How can a game be 2.5D? Dimensions are discrete entities, aren't they?
17
votes
4answers
4k views

What is “quickscoping”?

I often hear people talking about "quickscoping" in the context of First Persion Shooter games. My understanding is that it means looking down the barrel of a sniper rifle quickly in order to get a ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What does “frags” mean?

While playing League of Legends, I read the word "frags" in chat. It was during the heat of battle so I couldn't ask my teammates, and I couldn't find anything on the League of Legends wiki. What ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What is metagame?

What is so called meta-game in StarCraft 2? What other games have this meta-game?
17
votes
2answers
655 views

What is Griefing?

I previously asked what is Smurfing and got an explanation that it was a subset of griefing. So now this begs the question.... What is griefing? Is Griefing really the major classification of ...
17
votes
4answers
10k views

What is an Enrage timer?

I've seen it mentioned that some of the Diablo 3 bosses have an enrage timer? What exactly does that mean? Are there any bonuses for killing one that is enraged?
17
votes
5answers
16k views

What does SS stand for when an opponent is missing?

When someone from the opposing team is missing I have noticed people writing "SS bot/mid/top" to indicate to the rest of the team that they don't have visual on one or more of the people in there ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “console port” mean in relation to games?

I read some reviews about Crysis 2 and some people complain that it's not a great PC game because it's a console port. I'm trying to figure out (without success) what console port means. Of course I ...
16
votes
6answers
8k views

What is Smurfing in online games?

What does Smurfing mean when applied to online games?
15
votes
3answers
3k views

What do 'hitbox' and 'hurtbox' mean?

I've heard of hitboxes, then I heard of hurtboxes. They seem most relevant to fighting games. What do each of them mean and how do they differ?
15
votes
3answers
9k views

What is an AAA game?

I have seen some games being called "AAA". What does it mean?
15
votes
3answers
3k views

What does Snowballing mean?

I heard Snowballing in a lot of league of legends gameplay videos and I don't know what it means. For example I hear Renekton can snowball really hard.
15
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “W+1” mean with respect to the Pyro?

There's a more or less subtle reference I'm missing in comics 79, 87 and 131 (pictured below) of Nerf Now!. What is it about? [...] There are moments w + 1 is very effective and I dare to ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

What does 'SCV' mean?

It's most likely an acronym, but what does it mean exactly? (In German it's WBF, bonus points for that one).
15
votes
1answer
3k views

What is corpse hopping?

I've seen the term "corpse hopping" used regarding some behavior on the higher difficulties of Diablo III. What does that mean, and how is that done?
15
votes
1answer
823 views

What kind of weapon is a “hitscan” weapon?

I've seen shooters refer to their weapons as "hitscan weapons". What does this mean?
14
votes
6answers
9k views

In some games, the rank above A is S. What does S represent?

In some (generally Japanese) games, the best rank is S. For example, this question talks about getting an S rank on story battles. Metal Gear Solid 4 ranks their weapons on an SABCDE scale. Does S ...