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Earlier this week, I received an email advertising the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on the Nintendo Switch. I usually ignore these emails, but the subject threw me off.

It said:

The hunt for this G.O.A.T. game on Nintendo Switch is over

I am unfamiliar with the term G.O.A.T, and it seems to be an acronym of some sort. There was nothing within the email that indicated what this meant, and in my search, the only things that came up were goats in Witcher 3 and the Goat Simulator game.

So what does G.O.A.T mean in this context?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on English.SE if anywhere. – LessPop_MoreFizz Oct 8 at 23:13
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    I'm against closing it (especially based on the proposed argument): the acronym was found within a gaming context, and was directly used as an adjective for a game. The first "what does this word mean" question I found on Arqade targets 'squelch', which is also from outside (and before) gaming. – Joachim Oct 9 at 10:02
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    Lack of research effort should not be a closing reason either, since then we might as well delete half of Arqade. It is kind of silly this question got such a tremendous amount of upvotes, though. – Joachim Oct 9 at 22:33
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G.O.A.T. means Greatest Of All Time.

It's a general superlative, and not specific to gaming, but IME you'll see it most commonly in marketing for games or music. Dictionary.com suggests it's also often used for athletes.

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    How 'bout that. Thanks for the quick response! I figured it may have been a gaming term, since it was within a gaming-related email, but guess I was wrong :) – Wondercricket Oct 8 at 16:02
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    I'd actually argue it's more common for athletics and sports. I most commonly hear the term in reference to athletes and their respective sports. E.g Michael Jordan is the GOAT of basketball. They're almost always opinions (backed by statistics or not) – n_plum Oct 8 at 16:57
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    While I would say that sports have heavily adopted it, likely to a higher degree than gaming, it seems as though gaming may have adopted it "first" (although not necessarily for the definition in this answer). If you search Google Trends, from 2004-present, Fallout is in both the top and rising results. If you adjust the dates to cover something more recent (such as past 5 years) Tom Brady is in both top and rising results. But this is by no means an exhaustive search on my part, or a search for the very first use. – Broots Waymb Oct 8 at 17:24
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    @BrootsWaymb the use of GOAT as an acronym predates the existence of a gaming industry by decades; it’s widely credited to Muhammad Ali, the American Boxer in the 60’s and 70’s. There’s also an LL Cool J album by the same title from the 80’s... etc. – LessPop_MoreFizz Oct 8 at 23:15
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    @LessPop_MoreFizz The complete phrase is widely credited to Muhammed Ali. However the acronym is very much more modern. This link grammarphobia.com/blog/2016/07/goat.html puts its first usage at 1993, from a De La Soul rap, and then 2000 from an LL Cool J album, and then this link ftw.usatoday.com/2017/08/… traces its first use in sports writing to 2011. – Graham Oct 9 at 12:55

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