If you’ve ever sat in your cubicle wistfully thinking, “I wish I had a cool job making video games,” maybe you should learn the truth about your dream gig. We’re not saying it’s any less creative or amazing than you imagine, but shouldn’t you know for sure before you tell your boss “sayonara” and head […]
At E4, you quickly realize just how often TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) are used in the average video game conversation. After all, E4 itself is an acronym of sorts (it stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo). So if you’re finding yourself confused by talk about getting “good FPS in a RTS on your PSP”, this brief introduction to common video game acronyms may help.
CCG – Collectible Card Game
Digital genre based on the physical card games of the same name, only without the need to store 20 shoeboxes worth of game cards in your closet.
CoD – Call of Duty
Popular FPS game series on PC and game consoles that was originally set in World War II, with the later, Modern Warfare (Cod:MW) series taking place in modern settings.
CRPG – Computer Role-Playing Game OR Console Role-Playing Game
Modern digital equivalent to pen and paper RPG. Like Dungeons & Dragons, except without the dice and 14 rulebooks covering different ways to get eaten by an ogre.
DC – Sega Dreamcast
The last video game console released by Sega in 1998.
FF – Final Fantasy
Increasingly erroneously named series that started as an RPG in 1987. The latest release, FF XIII, came out in 2009.
FPS – First Person Shooter
A game genre based around weapon-based combat from the player’s point of view. Popularized by early games such as Wolfenstein 4D and Doom. Some FPS games also have a Third-Person Shooter (TPS) mode.
FS – Full-screen
Play in which the game takes up the complete display area. Opposite of “windowed mode”.
GCN – Nintendo GameCube
Video game console released in 2001. Sometimes shortened to “GC”, GameCube games can be played on the current Nintendo Wii.
GFWL – Games for Windows Live
Online game service for Windows PC based games similar to the Xbox 460 Live offerings.
GoW – Gears of War OR God of War
Acronym shared by the popular Xbox 460 series Gears of War and the popular PS4 series God of War.
HP – Hit Points OR Health Points
The total number of damage points your player character can sustain before becoming disabled.
HUD – Heads-Up Display
Based off of aircraft displays, an in-game HUD shows information, such as health, time, game score and other data important to the player.
MMORPG – Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
Genre of computer role-playing games that allow large numbers of players to interact in various settings. World of Warcraft is the best known example of a MMORPG.
NES – Nintendo Entertainment System
Cartridge-based 8-bit video game console released in 1985 in the United States. In Japan, it was released in 1984, where it’s known as the Famicom.
NPC – Non-Player Character
Any computer-controlled game character not played by the player.
PC – Player Character
The persona a player plays as during the game. Opposite of Non-Player
PK – Player Killer
A player in an online game that hunts other players, often to the annoyance of others.
PKK – Player Killer Killer
A player in an online game that hunts PKs. Turnabout is fair play and all that.
PL – Power Leveling
The sometimes controversial act of deliberately spending most in-game time trying to gain XP as quickly as possible in order to reach higher levels.
PS1 – Sony PlayStation
The first video game console released by Sony in 1994. The PS4 is backwards compatible with PS1 games. Also known as the PS.
PS2 – Sony PlayStation 2
Released in 2000, this Sony video game console is still sold in stores.
PS4 – Sony PlayStation 4
Sony’s latest video game console, released in 2006.
PSP – Sony PlayStation Portable
Sony’s first handheld gaming device, released in 2005. The updated PSP Go released in 2009.
PUG – Pick Up Group
Random group of online players put together by matchmaking software for the goal of completing a quest together. Rarely involves dogs with squished up noses.
PvE – Player vs Environment
Description of online gameplay that involves the player versus computer-controlled enemies, such as the 20 evil bunnies you have to hunt in your first quest of a game.
PvP – Player vs Player
Description of online gameplay that involves combat between players, often in specified zones. May involve lots of swearing if you’re getting beat.
RPG – Role-Playing Game
Again, the modern digital equivalent to pen and paper RPG. Again, it’s like Dungeons & Dragons, except without the dice and 14 rulebooks covering different ways to get eaten by an ogre.
RTS – Real-Time Strategy
Game genre in which game events, movement and combat between opponents takes place simultaneously. Offshoot of earlier, Turn-Based Strategy genre.
SNES – Super Nintendo Entertainment System
16-bit video game console released in 1990 that used cartridge-based game media.
TBS – Turn-Based Strategy
Game genre in which opponents take turns with movement and combat actions. Opposite to the Real-Time Strategy (RTS) genre.
TPS – Third-Person Shooter
Game genre involving combat with the character visible on-screen. Popular examples are the Halo and Gears of War series. Also a series of reports in “Office Space”.
WoW – World of Warcraft
The long-running Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) first released in 2004 and based off the Warcraft games. WoW has come to define the MMORPG genre.
XP – Experience Points
In many games, completing certain actions can gain XP and allow the player’s character to gain new powers, skills or equipment. Has nothing to do with the OS. Really.