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Introducing: A course in gamer talk for noobs! By Lauren Bergin.
A fun fact about me is that I come from a magical place called Glasgow, Scotland. While there are many attributes that make this city stand out from its other Scottish counterparts — including the distinct lack of kilts and wild haggises — the main one is our accent. Many of my international friends have expressed to me that the Glaswegian accent is a marvellous conglomeration of words spoken at a thousand miles per hour. It’s one that even my fellow Scots seem to have trouble with. Sometimes I find my friends staring blankly at me, nodding vaguely in the correct place and hoping that I don’t notice (FYI for my friends: I do notice).
But it’s okay, I understand. I can’t imagine what it must be like to communicate with me, because not only is my accent Glaswegian born and bred, it’s interlaced with RuPaul’s Drag Race quotes with a sprinkle of gamer talk. While, no tea no shade, I’m sure many of you would absolutely love for me to write a RuPaul’s Drag Race guide, I have a feeling that you’re more interested in a crash course on the latter of these two dialects: the speech of gamers. Well, today you’re in luck or, in my words, you’re a winner, baby. Let’s get started!
GG — This phrase is at the core of gamer speech, and therefore it makes sense to start our quest here. GG is an acronym found consistently across all gaming verticals. It stands for ‘good game’ and is usually typed in the chat at the end of a game as a congratulations to both the team’s players and the opposing team.
e.g: “GG team.”
Noob — This is another one of the more commonly used phrases in the gaming world. This refers to a player who is new to the game and, as a result, is yet to garner much needed experience. Often this leads to internal team frustration, which in some cases can prompt verbal aggression. Importantly, it can also be utilised as an insult to a seasoned player’s skills, so it is important to ensure that you understand the surrounding context in order to respond correctly.
e.g: “Hi guys, I’m a Mercy noob!” or, as an insult: “Lol, look at that noob Tracer player.”
Ez — A particularly contentious term, Ez is most common among players who are extremely competitive. It is utilised when a player is dominating their enemy, often as a form of trash talk to try and bait the enemy into making ill-thought out plays. It can also be utilised at the end of a match where a team has been especially commanding.
e.g: “Lol, this game is ez.”
AFK — AFK is an acronym for ‘away from keyboard’ and is one of the most commonly used gamer terms. It usually symbolises that a player needs to complete a task away from the computer.
e.g: “I have to AFK guys I have a parcel coming soon.”
AFKing — Although derived from the similar root word ‘AFK’, AFKing has inherently negative connotations. It is therefore imperative that these are not confused, otherwise the consequences may be catastrophic. AFKing refers to a player who has loaded into game but is not actively participating, or a player who may be losing in the game and chooses to no longer participate, damaging their team’s morale and decreasing their chances of winning.
e.g: “This game sucks, I’m AFKing.”
The above list represents some of the more common terms in gamer language. The next few words are more obscure, but by no means less useful. In fact, they’re the ones I use the most often!
Inting — This is my personal favourite of the gamer terms that we will be learning today (mainly because it is found largely in League of Legends). ‘Inting’ is a more peculiar phrase, and is short for ‘intentional feeding’, which means to provide the enemy with easy opportunities to kill through premeditated poor play. This, in turn, strengthens the enemy team and demoralizes the player’s teammates. Similarly, it may also be used in exasperation when a player is having a sub-par performance.
e.g: “Can you please stop inting? I want to win this game” or, for exasperation: “Remember that time G2 inted the world finals against FPX?” (I wish I could forget!)
Popping Off — This is one of the biggest compliments that exist in the gaming world. It’s almost as complimentary as that scary four-letter word (L-O-V-E) so be sure to only use it sparingly! This term is used when a player is having a particularly good game, either in terms or racking up lots of kills or, alternatively, being influential in helping others achieve their goals.
e.g: “Wow Lauren, you’re really popping off this game!” (Said no one, ever.)
Tilted — This phrase has particularly negative connotations, but effectively portrays the inner anguish associated with losing a game. To be ‘tilted’ is to have attracted such bad luck that you no longer want to play the game anymore. This can often be followed by AFKing, inting or verbal aggression. Importantly, ‘tilted’ so beautifully encapsulates raw emotion that it is transferable to daily conversation.
e.g: “Ugh, my support is tilted so hard right now” or, in real life situations “wow, this lecture is so boring I’m tilted.”
Smurfing — No this does not refer to the small cartoon characters as my mother always says. Smurfing is when a high-level player creates a new account either to hide their identity from peers or, alternatively, to play against lower level players to enhance their in-game statistics. Yet, it can also be used as a compliment, implying that a player is having an exceptionally good performance.
e.g: “Oh, sorry you didn’t see me earlier, I was smurfing on some noobs” or, as a compliment: “dude you’re smurfing!”
Ding-ding! Achievement unlocked! You have completed step one of your quest out of the noob world! You can now use these terms to your advantage; but utilise them with caution. In many gaming circles a slight misstep can be disastrous, and may end in a Mortal Kombat style fatality. Make sure that you follow my advice to guarantee that you’ll be a winner.
GG noobs, I can’t wait to see you popping off while you smurf on the competition.