Gaming Terms 101

So it’s come to my attention that most people don’t know much about gaming, and it’s true. After all, the stereotypical gamer is hunched over locked in a room with the lights off while eating his feeling with Doritos and Mountain Dew. Why do you think Call of Duty is all over that every year? Anyway, it’s not the stuff people think of when pursuing a new hobby. Nor is the community always the most welcoming. Insults come very quickly in typed form, there’s accusations going around about the gaming community being sexist, or the journalists surrendering their integrity for the sake of some extra money. Whew that’s all a subject for another day. 

But for now let me be a light and teach a little bit about some of the terms I may use in my posts or elsewhere. 

  • Developers – a collective term referring to those who make the game. This could be concept artists, those who code, musicians, or writers. Another way to think of it is the film crew for a movie. 
  • Publishers – the folks largely responsible for marketing, shipping, and manufacturing. This can in some cases refer to the developers as well. Publishers are like the movie studio (I.e. Paramount) letting the creators know what they would like to see. 
  • Gameplay – this is a term used to describe how a game is played. It’s about how the player interacts with the world that is presented and how limiting or freeing it can feel. 
  • Controls – different from gameplay, this is about what the player must do to interact with the world. For example, pressing one button to aim and another to shoot. If the player feels awkward or feels like they have to play twister with the controller/game pad, the game can have bad controls. 
  • Graphics – refers to the game environment the player inhabits. They can be detailed and realistic like the ones in Dragon Age, or they can be as simplistic as Tetris. Graphics can help service a story and create dazzling environments, but just because you can make a grizzled Tetris piece, doesn’t mean you have to. 
  • DLC – an acronym meaning downloadable content. This is content that is being added to a game after it has been made available for purchase. 
  • Platform – the system you wish to play on. This can be in reference to any of the consoles, mobile devices, or computers to play a game. It’s important to make that distinction as a game available for, say an iPhone may not be available for a Windows phone.  
  • Couch co-op – a style of game where 2 or more people can sit on a couch with 1 system and play the same game together. Usually refers to consoles you can connect to your TV. 

There’s a few terms to get us started. Feel like I should’ve added more in? Let me know and I will do so on another post! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (look at the side bar!) and on Twitch for my game streams. Class dismissed. 


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Just a 20-something living in the Omaha metro with a devoted boyfriend, posting musings about life and my favorite hobby, video gaming. Expect posts about anything that comes to mind.

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