The Ultimate Guide to Essential Gaming Terms

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The Ultimate Guide to Essential Gaming Terms

Gaming lingo is constantly evolving, and, for some gamers, it can be difficult to understand the difference between MOBAs and roguelikes. For a more thorough understanding of common gaming terms, check out the guidelines detailed below:



The 1980 PC game Rogue has influenced a generation of game developers to make their games as difficult and rewarding as possible. This catch-all term is often used to describe dungeon crawling role-playing games in which the act of dying isn't necessarily a bad thing. In most roguelike games, the player has to decide if the risk of dying is worth soldiering on deeper into the dungeon in search of treasure, loot, or experience points. With each death, characters becomes stronger, but so do the enemies they encounter as they progress through the game. The roguelike genre continues to be a favourite amongst "hardcore" gamers.



Nintendo's Metroid hooked gamers in the late 80s with a world designed to keep the player coming back to areas they had already visited. This Nintendo capability allows for the unlocking of a new item or weapon in one portion of the game followed by the return to that previously inaccessible door or ledge. The pairing of this style of exploration with the side-scrolling, platform-jumping action of Konami's Castlevania series ultimately ensures the development of an award-winning game. Notable Metroidvania games include Guacamelee!, the Xbox 360's Shadow Complex and La-Mulana.


FPS (Frames Per Second)

The never-ending arms race between graphics card manufacturers Nvidia and AMD is great for consumers, because it means bleeding-edge visuals can be had for bargain prices. One of the benchmarks used to analyze which GPUs are superior is frames per second, or FPS for short. One of the biggest debates amongst gamers these days is just how important frames per second really are, with some people refusing to play anything that clocks in below 60 frames per second. Meanwhile, others swear that the difference between 60 fps, and the more common 30 fps isn't enough to warrant spending hundreds of dollars on a video card upgrade.



"The Cloud" is the biggest buzz phrase in technology right now, and the gaming industry is guilty of wearing it out as well. The cloud is basically just another term for "the internet". Over the last couple of years, console makers Sony and Microsoft have taken strides to connect their consoles to the so-called cloud. If a gamer wants to take a saved game from his or her Playstation Vita and play it on the PS4, it can be easily uploaded to the cloud and then downloaded from another location. Essentially, the term "cloud" is a fancy way of saying, "store information in one place and download it to another."


Procedurally Generated

Some games feature meticulously designed levels that have been play tested and refined for months, all down to the slightest detail. Other developers opt to let complex algorithms create the levels for them, without a drop off in quality. These procedurally generated levels or environments ensure that there is an unlimited number of creations available online. Hello Game's No Man's Sky -- one of the most ambitious games currently in development -- features entire galaxies of procedurally generated content, allowing users to explore the game world until their own universe ceases to exist.


MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)

League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients 2 (more commonly known as DOTA 2) are so popular, they've spawned worldwide competitions that have been televised on ESPN. These games are part of the booming Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre, commonly found on the PC. Why are these games so successful? For starters, most of them are free-to-play, meaning anyone can download the game and give it a try. And the depth to the combat, as well as the sheer number of strategies that can be used, ensure that no two games are ever the same.


Couch Co-op

Despite the world being more connected than ever due to social media and smartphones, sometimes it seems as though genuine face-to-face human interaction is rare. Recently, there has been a resurgence of games featuring local multiplayer modes and couch co-op, in which partners work together at the same time, in the same room, to accomplish their gaming goals. The rise of local multiplayer has been attributed to the popularity of games such as the Playstation 4's Towerfall Ascension, the Xbox One's #IDARB, and the Jackbox Party Pack.



Sure, anyone can beat The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time if they take it slow. But only a select group of people can break the laws of gaming time and space to complete it in under twenty minutes, by using glitches to fall through the world, manipulate physics, and otherwise trick the game into bending to your will. Speedruns give new life to old games and have become this generation's version of shooting for the high score at the arcade.

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