There is definitely a unique language that comes with playing games – especially online. But there are a few words that have taken on completely new meanings that I want to highlight because… well… they’re weird, and have become a mainstay in games today.
A ‘stage’ is a single challenge or series of challenges in a game that must be ‘beaten’ (see below) to progress. This is pure conjecture but I believe the origins of this term come from Super Mario Bros. 3 being designed as a staged play, made up of multiple scenes. That might be nonsense, but let’s go with it because it’s a nice story.
Leveling-up means absolutely nothing in real life, but in most games, it’s the single greatest achievement for a job well done. It basically means your character (or building, weapon, skill etc.) has been promoted, or has moved on to the next challenge. If only I leveled-up at work as often as I do in games…
Beat a challenge. Beat a level. Beat a game. Standard vocab for a gamer, but a bit strange out of context. It comes from the days of boss battles being the finale of a game – “I beat the boss”. But now the word ‘beat’ is synonymous with completing any activity within a game. A bit aggressive for my liking, but this term isn’t going anywhere.
Games are touted as escapist fantasy… so maybe early game devs considered their bosses to be the baddies and labeled them accordingly. True or not, games call the biggest villains ‘Bosses’ and that’s pretty great.
Nearly extinct from normal daily vocab, the word ‘potion’ is vital to many games franchises – like my personal fave, Diablo. When consumed, it usually restores your…
AKA Hit-points or health. This is usually a number that when reduced to zero, you die. I guess it’s quite logical that when you run out of ‘life’ you die, but it’s a strange sensation to continuously pop potions to top up your life!
Farming / Grinding
Two perfectly normal verbs. However, in games, they each mean repeating the same task over and over, to slowly improve or collect items that are needed in great volume. These ones slip into my normal vocab and garner some odd looks from time to time.
I’m just here grinding away the next blog post, farming for more hits on the site…
These are just a few examples that give me a good chuckle or head-scratch, but there are plenty of others. And then there are the words invented by gamers such as ‘n00b’ and ‘pwned’, but that’s for another day! For now…
Best wishes y’all.