Nope, not swearwords. We're talking the verbs, nouns and adjectives that strike an irksome chord with every gamer. Companies with notorious histories, cultural watch-words, error messages shared by a generation. These are gaming's dirtiest words...
Widely-used but regularly misunderstood term referring to a category of display resolutions. Now most often employed as a ruse by shifty electronics salesmen in order to flog this week's latest stock of flat screen TVs to uninformed saps with more money than sense.
"It's got to be 1080p, Mr Jones, just got to be. Think how upset your children will be when they hear daddy can't give them the Full HDTV Experience(C)(TM)(R)!"
3rd Party Peripheral
Disparaging expression intended to imply lack of quality, reliability, visual attractiveness, relevance, usefulness or any combination of the above. [Alternatively: Pay As You Go, Emerging Market, Stocking Filler]
"That Wii Zapper thing has a hint of the 3rd Party Peripheral to it, don't you think?"
Traditional missile in any PAL vs NTSC forum argument, 60Hz (the standard refresh rate for US NTSC TV sets) has long been seen as the Holy Grail of televisual refresh rates by tech geeks, the majority of whom have now been seduced by the more flexible charms of the HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray format war.
"Ah, but does it have a 60Hz option? No? Pah! 2/10!"
term cunningly used in press release guff to repel any accusations of simplicity, shallowness, dullness or a complete absence of traditional gameplay in any given product. [Alternatively: Casual Gamer, someone who plays Bejewelled at work and got a Wii for Christmas in 2006]
"Wii Mini-Game Hand-Flinging Madness 5 is the latest in the popular casual gaming series, giving casual gamers exactly the casual gameplay their casual needs demand - lots of casual arm waving!"
Disc Read Error
Common PSone/PS2 error message euphemism loosely translated as "rub the disc a bit with your jumper, turn your console upside down, try again and pray really, really hard".
"Why's your console perched upside down on the cat at a 45 degree angle, Tom?"
"Disc Read Error"
Or just EA. The pantomime villain in gaming's ongoing stage show. Now cleaning up its act, going all 'New IP' and generally surprising gamers the world over. [Alternatively: Sequel Factory, Annual Updates, Yearly Iterations]
"So do we have to stop hating on EA now?"
"Nah, I think it's all got to be some evil kind of double bluff"
Gaming culture's trainspotters, commonly spotted engaging in nuclear-strength arguments on comment threads of aggregation sites or forums. Generally split into three camps: Sony soldiers, Xbox zealots or Nintendo nutters. Note: Level of console commitment is inversely proportionate to grammatical and vocabulary ability.
"Did Joey see the new Zelda?"
"No, Frank! He's a Sony fanboy, if you showed him that he'd be physically sick!"
A perverse form of one-upmanship involving obscene amounts of cash and lengthy discussions with loved ones patiently detailing exactly why upgrading from a perfectly good SDTV to a shiny new HDTV LCD flat screen monolith is worth the negligible sacrifice of never going on holiday again. [Alternatively: In-built Obsolescence, Keeping Up With The Joneses]
"But, honey, why do we need this HDTV whatsimathing? Is our TV broken?"
"Well, no, not exactly, but, you see, it's important and... Yes. Yes it's broken"
The heavy, expensive thing that you bought a console to avoid having to use.
"What? So I bought this 20GB hard drive for my 360, and I can only use 60% of it?"
In Game Advertising
Responsible for turning gruff assassin Sam Fisher into an Airwaves-chewing, face-cream using knob, In Game Advertising is the reason videogame industry money men wake up panting with pleasure in wet sheets.
"In Game Advertising, gentlemen. It's the future of exploitation!"
Specifically, those products or videogames that technically have nothing to do with their source material whatsoever, aside from the title plastered over the box, from Gears of War novelisations to Burger King mini-games. [Alternatively: Spin Off]
"All three exclusive Burger King games are inspired by BK brand icons, such as the King and Subservient Chicken, into visually rich, three-dimensional environments that give players of all ages an entertaining, interactive experience on one of the most popular video game platforms in the world"
A one man crusade to remind us all to 'think of the children!'. Jack Thompson's disciplined and rational methods include branding Bully a "Columbine simulator', mailing explicit gay pornography to Judge Adalberto Jordan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and pissing off the Florida Bar Association.
"Is it 'cos I is Jack Thompson?"
Kane & Lynch
A faintly ridiculous and at-all-times inexplicable event, comprising mainly of contrasting statements, ungrounded accusations (and subsequent counter accusations), out-of-the-blue developments, conspiracy theories and, for good measure, a few pornographic tie-ins or promotions. [Alternatively: Hoo haa]
"Come on, it wasn't that big a deal. Don't make a Kane & Lynch out of it"
Depending on allegiance, either the saviour of gaming (Xbox fans), the nonsense-headed tyrant of gaming (PC gamers) or an object of uncontrollable fury (Sony fans).
"Microsoft? Didn't they invent the Blue Screen of Death?"
Method of extracting money from gamers - either through downloadable content, buyable game items or cheats - akin to the habit of schoolyard bullies holding the smaller kids upside down by their feet and shaking them vigorously to release loose change. [Alternatively: Nickle and diming]
"Making me pay to unlock a character already in my game is one microtransaction too far!"
A term invoking two opposing reactions - shudders and pre-emptive kickings from gaming fans and journalists, but madly spinning money signs in the eyes of the grinning money men.
"And we expect the Man Eating Cactus movie tie-in videogame to synergistically launch with the movie, maximising customer provocation at the market coalface"
The only remaining global corporation that still manages to lose Europe under a bit of rogue paperwork when drawing up release schedules, only to 'discover' the major consumer market in time to release last year's titles this year.
"I swear Nintendo has forgotten Europe actually exists. Who makes their maps?"
What happens when a publisher realises that three different consoles means three times the revenue. Usually employed in cynical conversation to refer to inevitable upcoming Wii version of best-selling Xbox 360 game complete with rush-developed motion control features.
"So do we port Super Next Generation Shooter to the Wii and target the casual audience, Tristan?"
"Do bears shit in the woods, Tarquin?"
Foppish, effeminate and thoroughly unpopular surprise lead character in Metal Gear Solid 2. Now used to refer to any experience of a game pulling the digital carpet from under the feet of your expectations, dropping you onto the arse of shock as your mouth of unhappiness belows "Him? I have to play as him?"
"I heard Rachel led you on just to set you up with her ugly mate?"
"Yeh. She pulled a Raiden on me"
Obligatory press release word sometimes abused by lazy journalists. Original meaning (to revolutionise) now watered down so far as to indicate something is 'probably maybe going to do something perhaps a tiny bit differently, but not too much'. [Alternatively: Redefining, Never Before Seen, Original]
"Pokemon Battleface Stuff-'Em-All-In 7 will boast revolutionary 'One-On-One' combat, and genre-redefining 'Movement' and 'Level' based gameplay"
Terminal and inexplicable death knell for your Xbox 360. Can - apparently - be solved by wrapping your console up so warm that part of it actually melts, which sounds less like a solution to us and more like adding insult to injury.
"Ahhhhhhghghgh! I gots the RROD!"
Schizophrenic console-spitting corporation that brought us SAPS, The Third Place, and a heavily-endowed girl in a pink bikini sitting on a toilet, but also the spectacular own-goal-alicious All I Want For Christmas Is A PSP. Note: Throws lavish parties patronised almost exclusively by hairdressers.
"Has Sony got a clue what it's doing right now?"
Developer euphemism for 'the game wasn't quite finished, but we had to release it, and anyway with Live and PSN you can just download the game you should have been sold in the first place'. Also a compulsory software tart-up for your console that will always come along at the wrong time. Or brick your console. [Alternatively: Patch]
"But, sir, there's a terrible bug in the game that'll delete the player's save!"
"Don't worry about it, Johnson, we'll just fix it in the patch. Sorry, I mean update"