A Gaming Glossary
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About the Glossary
I got the idea for this feature while watching GDQ. It struck me that although gaming communities tend to be highly internationalized, lots of game knowledge can still be “siloed” behind language barriers. As an English monoglot (more or less), I feel a little sad when I watch a speedrun in, say, Portuguese and see a particularly fascinating trick, only to have no idea how it’s executed. Thus, I want to do my bit to make sure that English gaming jargon isn’t a hindrance for those who come from other language backgrounds. Readers who speak English natively and play lots of games will find some of these terms familiar or self-explanatory. I hope, though, that this glossary will be useful to English language learners who may know the ordinary meaning of certain terms but not what they mean in a gaming context. If it helps native speakers who are curious about the difference between “Any%” and “Low%,” so much the better!
When I got started on this, many gaming terms had found their way into general-purpose dictionaries (like Wiktionary) or community wikis, but it still seemed like there was room for a resource that was 1) focused specifically on gaming terminology and 2) illustrated with examples to make it more user-friendly.
Like any other harmless drudge who tries to put together a dictionary, I’ve surely introduced some personal biases in my choice of words to define. That said, I’ve tried to focus on terms that apply to many games, if not an entire genre or playstyle. When I’ve included a term specific to a single game or series (like BLJ or lemon), I feel that the term is prominent enough that it might easily be encountered out of context by someone watching a run or playing the game casually.