With every generation of games it seems that game companies throw around a bunch of important-sounding but ultimately meaningless words meant to coerce unsuspecting consumers into buying whatever they happen to be peddling at the time. Try as I might to forget, the words “virtual reality” were thrown around a lot during the early ‘90s. Unfortunately this led to Nintendo releasing the Virtual Boy in 1995, a red-tinted, head-and-neck pain-inducing atrocity that was mercifully sent to an early grave less than a year later.
Fast forward fifteen years and things aren’t much different, especially after this year’s E3. In fact, one could argue that instant access to information via the internet can make things extremely confusing. Wherever you look, there are 20 different opinions on every single gaming topic, big or small.
So let your old pals at the PlayStation University help you cut the crap. We present to you, our dear readers, our 100% definitive, internet-certified Gaming Buzzword Glossary, for you to use at your leisure.
Industry definition: The absolute peak of immersion, bringing you into your favorite games and movies like never before. The future is here.
Real-life definition: A time-honored method for the film industry to squeeze more money out of moviegoers, making yet another comeback with the release of James Cameron’s Avatar last winter. Now TV makers are literally pushing the tech home with expensive sets and glasses, dragging the video game industry with it. The future has been coming for a very long time now, even having a “golden era” over 50 years ago. Will this time be different? Who the hell knows, but don’t expect anything you buy today to be future-proof.
[kazh-oo-uhl] / [hahrd–kohr]
Industry definition: Two separate, but equally important demographics; casual gamers like to dabble in the hobby from time to time with easy-to-pick-up games, while the hardcore live and breathe the industry while playing their thumbs to the bone.
Real-life definition: N/A.
This is pretty simple really, and I’ll use my older brother as an example. When I was growing up, the two us would spend countless hours playing each other in NBA Jam and Super Mario Kart. Once he reached high school, though, he stopped playing games extensively. Though he has an Xbox 360, he only plays GTA IV on it, and only once or twice a week for about 30-60 minutes at a time. With GTA being considered a “hardcore” franchise, does that make my brother a hardcore gamer? Absolutely not.
Conversely, what if someone comes home from work and plays Mario Party 8 for 3 hours every day, without fail? That’s the kind of devotion one would expect out of a hardcore gamer being put into what’s considered a casual game.
Further blurring the line are games like Tetris, Plants vs. Zombies, and Puzzle Quest – easy to pick up, even easier to lose hours at a time playing.
The lesson, as always: words are for jerks. Take it from the word-writing guy.
See: Outside the box, maaaaan!