Jargon Busting Video Games Part One

Abbreviations, Jargon

When we talk about jargon, we often come up with a certain type of business that probably involves wearing suits. However, that is definitely not the case because even the entertainment world has its jargon. I grew up playing video games, so there are a lot of slang terms that are part of my vocabulary, but there there are also many that I haven’t even encountered. For today, I thought I’d offer some jargon busting of the video games slang that I do know:


Gran Turismo. A series of driving simulator games first launched in 1997 and the most recent released late 2013.


Grand Theft Auto. A series of (often controversial) crime-based games that have also been around since 1997.


Full Motion Video. Sometimes referred to as cut-scenes, FMV are sequences within a game that are videos with no game-play. They are typically used to mark a major event in the plot and traditionally feature better graphics than the main game, however advances in technology are changing the quality of in-game graphics to match the FMV sequences.


Final Fantasy VII Cloud Strife

Final Fantasy. Probably the most popular series of role playing game, Final Fantasy‘s life began in1987 and has spawned fourteen main games, plus several sequels and spin-offs (and personally my all-time favourite gaming series!)


Two Dimensional. In gaming, if the graphics are described as being 2D or two-dimensional then they are basically flat – like paper – and are not a true representation of what the object would look like in real-life.


Three Dimensional. In basic terms, if a game is 3D the graphics are not “flat”, instead they have shape and 3D tends to be more realistic in terms of the size of objects in comparison to each other.


Artificial Intelligence. The idea of a piece of technology being able to make its own decisions. In gaming, AI is a term used to describe a character – or even the whole game – that is able to think in a way that is very much like a human.


A Boss is a monster or character that you need to defeat in order to advance the game. Boss Fights are typically harder to defeat than standard fights, and often require specific tactics in order to defeat them.


Sometimes referred to as a Glitch, a Bug is sort of like an error or defect in a piece of software. In video games, bugs come in a variety of forms. For example, sometimes a character may be able to walk through a wall that they shouldn’t be able to, or they might suddenly start floating randomly. Sometimes, a bug in a game may create an unplanned – by the games company, at least – cheat, in the game.


Quite often bugs are humourous (especially in older games) or useful, but sometimes they can make a game unplayable.


Health Points. Health points appear in most games that feature fighting, and usually both your character and the ones you are fighting against will have a set number of points that you need to reduce down to zero, in order to win.

Usually, you can use potions to restore your HP – as can the bad guys – and, it is sometimes possible to use revival potions to bring dead characters back to life.


Magic Points. In some games, magic is used as a form of attack, and unlike physical attacks you can only use magic a number of times, which is determined by your Magic Points. A magic spell will have a set number of points that it takes to use it, and everytime it is used those points will be removed from your characters overall Magic Point tally. Once they reach zero, you will no longer be able to use magic, until you have used an item to restore their MP.


A combination of moves that are performed together are usually referred to as a Combo. Normally found in beat-em-up style games, a combo often gains extra points or knocks more HP off the opponent.