Despite the combined efforts of William Shakespeare and a litany of foul-mouthed MCs, it can often feel as though there aren't really enough words in the dictionary. Consider the word 'love'. Did you know that the French have over three billion words for it, in all of its beret-wearing diversity? English has only one - so just keep that in mind the next time you decide to regale a Gallic chum about your 'love affair' with chocolate ice cream - he might think you're a bit mental. From time to time we've all come across those distinct situations or subtle concepts that for seemingly no reason at all lack a single, simple signifier - some word, phrase or term that gets your point across with a minimum of fuss.
Of course, video game, being the relatively young medium that they are, remain absolutely chock full of these obstinate concepts, everyday occurrences that simply refuse to be branded. I say it's about damn time we did something about that. Here then, is my big stupid list of suggested terms to make chatting about games just that little bit simpler. It's an act of kindness, honest.
The spasm of pure, whimpering rage that accompanies an unfathomable gaming failure. Often brought on - or exacerbated by - the feeling of gross injustice. Rage-rattlers are known to contort their faces into pained gurn-like expressions, and communicate their sense of disapproval via screeching, quasi-demonic baby-talk. Some believe this behaviour stems from an unwillingness to go 'full-psycho' and instead bottle up one's fury - resulting in an implosion of barely contained, albeit oddly comical madness.
'Clarissa handled the encounter with utmost professionalism, until a lucky strike downed her avatar in a single, devastating hit. She proceeded to channel her emotions via 'rage-rattle', a sight not dissimilar to the viewing of an exorcism.'
Not to be confused with the feature-length spandex advert 'Flashdance' (1983). Flashdash refers to the technique of forcing a recently injured (and temporarily invulnerable) avatar through harm's way. Often performed by design, most instances of 'flashdashing' represent an opportunistic attempt to surmount the same obstacle and/or enemy that landed the initial hit.
'Rupert endured a vicious claymore blow to the groin, only to find himself flashing for all the world to see. Thinking quickly, he decided to flashdash to the nearest available checkpoint.
'Flyingfluke' (I don't give a)
To complete a difficult scenario at the first time of asking, with success adjudged to be dependent upon luck rather than personal skill. Often referred to as 'being a totally jammy bastard'. Instances of 'flyingflukes' are typically accompanied by a great wave of personal relief. Bowels may be voided.
'Mildred bungled her way across the entirety of stage 7-9, besting several enemies under highly auspicious circumstances. I'd never before seen such a 'flyingfluke' in action.
A term denoting the sudden loss of form commonly associated with frustration, lethargy or over-familiarity with a particular level.
'Sebastian continued to play despite losing all feeling in his brain. He could no longer accomplish simple tasks or recall the basic sensation of joy. He had entered a profound state of stupoor.'
i. An unreleased Beastie Boys cover by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
ii. A term describing the sudden, unwelcome sensation that accompanies a player's awareness of his or her own mounting success. Typically encountered in games that offer combo meters, 'flabotage' results in rapid, nigh-unconquerable spikes in anxiety, causing those who were otherwise 'on a roll' ('flab') to self-destruct in spectacular fashion ('sabotage').
'Demetri had almost aced the section when he became suddenly aware of his own impending success. Sweating profusely, he flubbed the final few moments and failed the stage. His brain had committed full-on 'flabotage'.
The act of restarting a checkpoint, level or encounter due to embarrassingly poor play. Note that the player is more than capable of completing said section but chooses to attempt it all over again, so as to do it 'properly'. Where restart functions are unavailable, players may decide to allow their enemies to dispatch them or commit on-screen suicide.
'Sandy attempted a showy manoeuvre only to find herself being thoroughly schooled by several low-level grunts. Unwilling to live with the shame of her defeat, she committed 'redo-icide' and slaughtered them all at the next attempt.'
Describes the circumstance in which a thumb begins to lose its grip on an analogue stick, requiring its opposite number to jump across and 'make the save'. Often occurs when changing direction suddenly, without the time necessary to reorient said digit. The situation is made all the more difficult by twin-stick titles, forcing the player to make a decision as to when to vacate stick A in order to 'save' stick B, resulting in an appropriately nail-biting scenario.
'Peter's passion for eating handfuls of mayonnaise was almost his undoing, as his greased up thumb came perilously close to sliding off the pad entirely. Fortunately for Peter, his other, less greedy thumb jumped in to steady the ship, performing a last gasp 'rescueticle' worthy of any Hollywood set-piece.
From the Latin 'esplungicus', splunge refers to the build-up of residue inside of and around the seams of a video game controller. Scientists continue to debate the exact makeup of this 'splunge', though most seem to agree that it contains some combination of ectoplasm and crystallised human shame.
'Courtney tried to clean out her controller with a toothpick, but the splunge count was far too high. She stopped for fear that the toxic goop had somehow gained sentience and would attempt to fight back.'
A term describing the agonising wait to discover if a video game has indeed crashed. Glitches, slowdown and uncommonly lengthy load times may all masquerade as a 'true crash', forcing the player to wait them out before diagnosing the issue. Typically, a period of 10 to 15 seconds is required in order to do this, giving players ample time to panic wildly and/or speculate as to their lost progress.
Todd's digestive tract fired like a brown geyser upon seeing his screen freeze. He hadn't saved the game in hours. His entire being was filled with 'crapprehension'.
A term for the rewarding of failure. 'Suckcess' can be attained in many forms - from sucking enough to be dropped down an entire difficulty level, to finding oneself resurrected at the next, as-yet-unreached checkpoint. Often intended as a helping hand for younger, less able gamers, these shortcuts - where offered - can prove intensely maddening to a more seasoned player, patronising poor play and effectively comparing them to a cack-handed child.
Billy didn't enjoy being talked down to by a game, though it was a small price to pay for his enormous level of 'suckcess'. It was as if the whole game had lain down and died for him. In a way, he was a bona fide gaming god in a way
'Thicktory' ("Thicktory is mine!")
i. A heavyset member of the British conservative party.
ii. Describes hitting upon a puzzle solution through dogged trial and error, with little-to-no effort made to actually engage with or solve said puzzle logically. A victory for thickheaded types, 'thicktories' may actually prove to be more time-consuming than their alternative, and can often represent the player's unwillingness to adopt a slower form of gameplay.
Clarissa had been shooting goons for only half an hour when the game forced a boring puzzle upon her. Incensed at the interruption she attacked the obstacle with determined tunnel vision, eventually securing a random 'thicktory' and a swift return to shooting squishy things in the face.
Mindlessly trying to complete a game long after any sense of enjoyment has passed. Marked by a sharp increase in player haste, plaste occurs when a gamer attempts to get a game 'out of the way', so as to move on - and more fully commit - to their next queued title. Some do so out of habit, while others act out of a desire to attain 'full' value. Psychologists characterise both behaviours as being 'totally bonkers'.
Julian hadn't seen the sun in weeks, yet still he felt compelled to complete the 80-plus hour adventure. Torn between attaining his goal and achieving proper nutrition, social interaction, and a life beyond the game, he attempted to quicken up his pace considerably, playing with great 'plaste'.
There it is, the first draft of the dictionary that will one day see me viciously beaten at the hands of jealous Websters employees. In the meantime, scroll on down to the comments section below to suggest some strange words and vague situations of your own. Ciao.