Gaming is a commodity that can be quite difficult to escape. With the rise of new consoles and powerful devices, gaming has spread from a group of teenagers huddled around a TV screen in the basement to an omnipresent part of life, ranging from portable consoles to every 10-year-old playing “Fortnite” (Really, Samsung? Pick a better game to pitch your phones on). And aside from people with their eyes glued to their screens, gaming has also snuck its way into modern-day lingo. Here’s a list of eight common gaming slang terms to help you understand, or even impress, your gamer friends.
1. OP: overpowered; very strong or advantaged
Overpowered, generally abbreviated to OP, originally referred to video game characters or moves that were deemed unfairly or annoyingly strong. Later, OP expanded to refer to anything strong or advantaged.
“Wait, your IB 35AC class has all its tests online and fulfills bio and AC?” “Yeah, it’s OP; I pretty much had to take it.”
2. Broken: ridiculously strong to the point of being mandatory for success
Think OP on steroids. Broken originally referred to a character or move in a video game that had an accidental bug or error allowing it to be insanely good — or bad. But the definition grew looser over time, and broken soon became synonymous with OP, although things that are broken in games often end up being fixed.
“That cheat sheet for my classics class was so broken. I didn’t have to go to lecture once!”
3. Nerf/Buff: to weaken or strengthen, respectively
In order to keep online games relevant and balanced, gaming companies often release patches to weaken and strengthen characters. Those that receive changes helping them are buffed, while those that are weakened are nerfed. Buffed comes from an obvious background, but nerfed developed because Nerf guns use soft, and thus weakened, bullets. But because real life is not patched like video games, nerf/buff never consolidated themselves outside of gaming as much as other phrases.
“Man, I’m so mad that my favorite character got nerfed; I was finally getting good with her.”
4. Grind: spending hours to improve or get better (get your minds out of the gutter)
As often as we send snaps about “grind szn,” grinding regarding effort and unreasonable amounts of time dedicated to things originally came from RPGs (role-playing games — think Pokémon). Games that involve levels require experience to get stronger, and what better way is there to get experience than to spend hours doing one thing repeatedly?
“I pulled an all-nighter grinding for my chem midterm. I may want to die right now, but at least I pulled off a B-.”
5. DLC: downloadable content, or extra content that can be purchased for a separate price
You might not hear people necessarily talking about DLCs as much as other gaming phrases, but DLCs have been a part of our day-to-day life in tempting forms such as microtransactions, screen protectors and boba with mango green teas.
“You know, if you really think about it, textbooks are just DLCs we have to buy for college. Both should be included in the base price, and both should be pirated.”
6. Tilting: when you make a couple mistakes, which frustrates you into making more errors, leading to more frustration
Tilt is a fairly common term found in gaming that can easily be applied to everyday life. Both personal and external mistakes can lead to tilt, so feel free to blame your friends when they frustrate you into making more mistakes. PSA: If you’re tilted, take a break and come back a while later. You’ll feel better and do better than if you continue while irritated out of your mind.
“Why’s he yelling at his computer screen?” “He’s tilted because he wasted three hours trying to find a bug in his coding.” “Did he find it?” “No, lmao.”
7. GG: good game
You’ll hear GG in two different situations online: either at the end of a good match or in the middle of the match when people give up. In real life, you’ll only hear the latter. Angry that you can’t ever understand physics homework? Say GG and throw your homework in the trash (then pick it up later because you really can’t afford to skip one more assignment).
“I failed my CS midterm; there’s no way I can pass the course now.” “Rip gg.”
8. Free: really easy and simple; light work
Free comes from gamers playing matches so easy that they are free to do whatever they want because victory is guaranteed no matter what they do. In real life, essentially swap any synonym of “easy” with “free.”
“Dude, my Math 1B midterm was so free.” “You’re not funny.”
As the world grows more and more tech-dependent, the lines separating reality and virtual reality grow less and less distinct, and what better way is there to join the trend than by picking up gaming lingo? Apply these terms to your daily life, and you might just see the world in a (digitally) brighter way. GLHF — good luck have fun — and go Bears.
Contact Sambodh Mitra at [email protected].