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.

  • I'm going to follow this up with a how do you pronounce "gib" question. May 7, 2012 at 23:45
  • In my mind it's always pronounced "jeeb" even if I know it's wrong...
    – Kappei
    May 8, 2012 at 12:51
  • I think it'll end up being like the pronunciation of GIF, with people on all sides. May 8, 2012 at 15:22
  • @DoozerBlake well for GIF at least we have the Word of God for the pronunciation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_Interchange_Format#Pronunciation
    – Kappei
    May 9, 2012 at 9:59
  • > Gib is short for "giblets" > > This article also credits Adrian Carmack, one of the founders of id > Software, with coining this term, although this statement is > unsourced. I believe the term 'Gib' was the class/object name of the particle in id Software's shooter series. (This should probably be a comment, but I cannot comment yet) Mar 30, 2015 at 4:56

1 Answer 1


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.
  • Sanctum even has an option to 'disable gibs', which means it no longer shows the 'chunks' of enemies killed by explosions.
    – GnomeSlice
    May 7, 2012 at 18:43
  • 16
    Can't forget the Unreal Tournament's "InstaGib" with low gravity settings. May 7, 2012 at 20:13
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    TF2 also now has Pyrovision, where Gibs are replaced with rainbows and sparkles. Yes I am serious.
    – Zibbobz
    Jul 29, 2014 at 17:04
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    @Zibbobz and presents! don't forget the presents!
    – Kappei
    Aug 28, 2014 at 9:44
  • 1
    Serious Sam games had a "child-friendly" mode where people bled flowers and gibs were replaced with burgers, if I remember correctly.
    – narb
    Apr 1, 2015 at 18:35

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