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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Interesting additions, definitions, and omissions from PlayStation's "ultimate list of popular, gaming-related terms"

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What do you think?

In a move that maybe KoopaTV should've done a long time ago if we wanted to fish for a lot of page views and clicks (but now we never will), the marketing team at Sony Interactive Entertainment (and it looks like someone in their UK office? Cheers to you!) put together and published this editorial glossary of PlayStation's ultimate list of popular, gaming-related terms. They claim that these are “the definitions of some of gaming's most popular words, terminology and slang phrases.”

That right there is a contradiction. If it's really an ultimate list, then it shouldn't merely have “some” of gaming's most popular terminology, but all of them. After all, surely we know that “ultimate” ought to mean “everyone is here”... so it SHOULD be an exhaustive list. Ultimately, it's not (though there are some words I didn't expect would've appeared), some of the words have... strange definitions (likely because this is a major corporation publishing the list), and some phrases that you think should legitimately be there ain't on there. I'll give you my thoughts on all of those areas in this KoopaTV article!

Interesting terms that made it to the list

I've never heard of some of the terms they've used—and I believe that in my decades in the gaming scene, that if a phrase was popular, I'd know about it by now. These include “ADS” (or Aim Down Sights), though it's exclusively a first-person shooter term and I don't play those or lurk discussions on them, so alright. I can see, when searching for it, that it's fairly popular and I'm just ignorant. Moving on...

I've never heard of the term “judder.” I've heard jank. I know people say a game might stutter. Or shudder. It's not a term that gamers invented, at least. That either means I'm culturally ignorant, or it means that gamers don't all use that loanword. As for something interesting in the glossary—that I DO know the meaning of already—they put in “T-pose”... I just didn't expect that.

Interesting definitions of what got on the list

By “interesting”, that includes “wrong.” My biggest issue is their definition of exploit, which is “ A way of breaking the usual constraints of a game by finding gaps within the programming or logic that allow you to manipulate the game in unintended ways. Also known as 'glitching'.”

As any Super Smash Bros. Melee competitive player will tell you, exploit and glitch are not synonymous. Specifically, they'll correctly tell you that movement options like wavedashing (what happens in Melee's physics engine when you directionally air-dodge into the ground... you end up sliding) are an exploit of the game's physics. But it's not a glitch. Exploits aren't intended player behaviour by the developer, but glitches are outright bugs and don't always have a beneficial effect for the player performing them—a Super Smash Bros. Melee example would be the black hole glitch. (In some cases, glitches are just funny or can wipe out your game data... AKA the definition Sony uses for “bug.” They don't have an entry for “glitch” since they seem to think that's equivalent to an exploit.)

They also defined “FF” as a shorthand for “forfeit”... and... I mean, surely most of the PlayStation audience and gamers in general think of “Final Fantasy” when they read FF, right? In the first edition of this list, they actually defined FF as an acronym of “friendly fire”... which now has its own definition. So I guess it's a work-in-progress, but the fact they're taking one acronym and defining it different ways at different times shows that maybe it's very subjective....

I object to their definition of “noob” portraying a newbie and a n00b as having the same meaning. n00b is supposed to be derogatory, and not even necessarily referring to a new player (but someone who might play like they have no basic concept of what they're doing when they should know better). A newbie is an actual new player who should have a grace period of basic respect and dignity among the player base as they're trying to learn.

I'm also just going to leave this without commentary:

“Git gud - A deliberate misspelling of 'Get Good', 'git gud' is an injunction to raise one's own skill level in response to a particularly difficult challenge. Players complaining of unreasonable difficulty in a game are often encouraged to 'git gud', persevering with the game and overcoming the challenge through patience and learning.”

Interesting omissions not on the list

Going back to that FF from the section above, there are no franchise-specific terms on the list. There are lots of acronyms in gaming, but none show up here.

They define hit box, but never define its companion, the hurt box. They define wrecked, but omit pwned. There is no mention of Leeroy Jenkins. There's no Wombo Combo. They have several definitions for genres (and several for various RPG flavours), like FPS, visual novel, and even walking simulator; but they're missing TPS (third-person shooter) and something as fundamental as platformer. I think “smurfing” should be on the list.

But likely the biggest omission, and this goes to a Sony strategy thing, is AR. They have the definition for VR—virtual reality. But no augmented reality. And, yes, that's because Sony is trying to push PlayStation VR to be the next big future of gaming. But they have no AR strategy... so they'd rather pretend the technology just doesn't exist. AR vs. VR is a big debate in the industry, of course; you might remember that Reggie Fils-Aime recently made statements strongly supporting AR as a future foundational technology and downplaying VR. Despite VR being there, “metaverse” is not a definition.

What stuck out to you about this glossary? Whether it's something that was there or was omitted altogether. Let KoopaTV know in the comments section, or comment about what caught Ludwig's interest.


  1. Another company showing how out of touch with actual people they are. And in other news, the ocean is rather wet and American politics continues to become more polarized.

  2. Leeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrooooooooyyyyyyy Jenkins! As much as I love the phrase, it has sort of fallen out of style. I mean it’s been what, over a decade now? As much as I also enjoy Leet Speak, It really only gets used to mock other people in memes. R U @ N00B 2?

    Interesting that they gave Git Gud a positive/Neutral definition. Usually it’s very negatively viewed by the gaming media. Some even think of it as hate speech.

    1. Am I supposed to read this comment in connection to Lheticus Videre's comment about being out-of-touch, and the fact that I regularly keep saying "pwned" in writing and conversation means that I'm more out-of-touch than Sony is?

    2. I didn’t read Lheticus’ comment, but I don’t think KoopaTV is out of touch. But even if it were, no one is more out of touch than big corporations like Sony. They try to chase the latest trends but don’t see the cognitive dissonance that generates such controversy.

    3. When I grow up, I'll be an out-of-touch big corporation, too! ^_^


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