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.
Gib is short for "giblets" - which are chunks of meat, or more specifically:
the edible offal of a fowl, typically including the heart, gizzard, liver, and other visceral organs.
This term was quite popular among the early id Software games, Doom and Quake in particular, where a particularly damaging blow to an enemy or another player usually yielded a rain of unspecified meaty hunks, rather than an "intact" monster or player corpse.
Wikipedia has a longer definition along with a list of notable gaming gib implementations:
The use of "gib" is reserved for instances when a game character has been killed with such force that their body is reduced to a slurry of flesh and blood.
This article also credits Adrian Carmack, one of the founders of id Software, with coining this term, although this statement is unsourced.
As gibs are an integral part of the shooter experience, there are nearly as many examples and implementations as there are shooter games themselves. A few notable examples besides "classic" Doom and Quake gibs are things like:
- In Fallout 3, particularly explosive VATS kills can yield some gruesome gibs
- In Left4Dead, zombies frequently explode or fall apart when shot. Boomers even tend to gib themselves!
- Unreal Tournament popularized "InstaGib" where any shot, regardless of power, will kill and gib an enemy player.
- TF2 has a "birthday party" mode where everyone explodes into presents, party hats, streamers, etc instead of chunks of meat. Outside this mode, it's common to see a chunk of your former body pointed out in the killcam with an arrow and a message (ie, "Your spleen!") pointing to it.