Words, words, words
What's up, platypapooses? Wait, you don't know what a platypapoose is? Pffft, nerd. Okay, actually I made it up--it's simply the combination of two words that I really enjoy: platypus and papoose. See, combining two words--or flat-out making up new ones--is all the rage these days. Hop on the bandwagon while it still has gas, or you're gonna miss out on some prime word-making real estate.
You see a lot of this wordsmithery in advertising. Toothbrush manufacturers will often try to convince you that their new MegaBrush 3000 has Ultra FlexTek Technology for maximum plaque purification. Video game publishers and developers often rely on the same tactics, creating some pretty inventive words to describe complex processes--simulation techniques, AI research, etc--that would otherwise sound boring. It's just that, more often than not, those words end up sounding incredibly silly. What time is it? Example time!
Transfarring (Kojima Productions)
Know what would be really cool? If you could link your PSP or PS Vita to your PS3 via a physical cable, then use a convoluted system of menus to transfer the save file from your PS3 version of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker to your handheld and pick up where you left off. All without the pesky, wireless hassles of cloud storage. Thanks to Transfarring--a word coined by one Hideo Kojima, who cleverly replaced the 'e' in "transferring" with an 'a' because why the hell not?--you can.
Transfarring was an exciting prospect for a time, as playing a game without being restricted to a single device is just plain awesome. And then Sony's cross-save feature came along, offering the same exact solution but for more IPs than Kojima Production's renowned MGS franchise. Oh, and you don't have to use any wires to transfer data, so that's pretty cool.
Drivatar (Forza Motorsport 5)
When the term "Drivatar" got dropped like a six-pound, four-ounce infant during Microsoft's Xbox One reveal, the entire audience cringed so hard you could practically hear their pain. Thing is, "drive" and "avatar" go together about as well as toothpaste and orange juice. Still, that Frankenstein's Monster of a word is a flippin' aphrodisiac compared to the not-so-aurally pleasing phrase: "learning artificial intelligence."
Even if Drivatar doesn't exactly tickle your eardrums, the concept its meant to convey is undeniably cool. Race a few tracks in Forza Motorsport 5, and your habits and quirks are uploaded to Microsoft's magical cloud database, where that data is used to create an avatar that mimics your driving abilities. That avata--er, Drivatar--can then race for you in your friends' games, and vice versa, meaning no one race will ever contain generic AI opponents, unless you're racing offline or have no friends. Awesome idea, goofy phrase.
Blast Processing (Sega Genesis)
Fact: The Sega Genesis was loaded to the gills with a little thing called blast processing. But what does that even mean? Well, if this early '90s Genesis commercial is to be believed, it means you could strap a 13-inch CRT television to the back of a racecar and play Sonic the Hedgehog while driving at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, no questions asked. And if you were unfortunate enough to be one of the second-hand citizens that owned a Super Nintendo, all you could do was strap said TV to a rundown van and play shitty Mario Kart.
Really, though, Blast Processing was a made-up marketing term. Yes, it did refer to an actual thing--a process called Direct Memory Access (you can read more about that here). But its effect on gameplay was hardly the Holy Grail that Sega made it out to be. It was, however, useful for tricking the console-buying masses into thinking that the Genesis had a crazy powerful hardware advantage over Nintendo's SNES.
True Step (Madden NFL 25)
Never heard of Madden NFL 25's True Step technology? It's a locomotion overhaul that replaced Madden NFL's recycled running animations with a system that calculates weight and momentum, making for a more realistic football experience (so says EA). I don't play football games, but I assume it must be pretty amazing, considering it has some stunning endorsements from famous celebrity figures.
For starters, the renowned rapper Unk sang a whole song about True Step, securing the number five spot in the top 40s song charts. Famous actor Channing Tatum lent his rippling muscles and smooth moves to the hit film True Step Up and its smashing tour de force sequel, True Step Up 2: The Cleats, both based on EA's work. Even timeless historical figures have posthumously published works regarding True Step as a modern marvel. American patriot Benjamin Franklin wrote: "True Step technology has fundamentally changed the ways in which I think about my virtualized football career. It's a modern marvel."
Levolution (Battlefield 4)
Ugh, "evolution" is an excruciatingly boring word. Try saying it out loud a few times. Chances are, you'll find the process of articulating its many vowels far too arduous. In fact, scientists have agreed that reciting the word even a single time has an 80 percent chance of rendering those who utter it terminally unconscious. Add an 'L' in front of it, however, and there's a 100 percent chance that you'll feel the insatiable need to spend 300 hours playing multiplayer matches in Battlefield 4.
DICE uses "levolution" as a blanket term in reference to every manipulatable thing in BF4's multiplayer maps: door shutters that close, elevators that move, metal detectors that go off when you walk through them, giant skyscrapers that collapse after soaking up tons of damage. All of these things sprinkle an extra coating of magic over the sprawling infantry and vehicle battles, even if levolution is a loutrageous word. Ehhhh... Loutrageous just sounds dumb.
bounceTek (NBA Live 14)
Here, let me introduce you to NBA Live 14's "bounceTek" concept the same way I first heard about it: through the power of poetry. "Release, return. THE PHYSICS OF THE DRIBBLE IS RELEASE, RETURN. So this release marks the long awaited return[?] of that cross-over bounce pass that leaves ankles and calves. This release is the return of art, to the science of dribble by [bask-iots?] who dip the ball in acrylic, take it to the paint, and turn Staples Center into Sistine Chapel, where hard physics meets art exhibit meets advanced analytics like look ma, both hands! No coding tricks or motion scandals, the game of basketball can finally handle my handles."
Got it? That's the power of bounceTek, baby. Still confused? Oh, I definitely thought that poem would clearly communicate EA's research into make dribbling in basketball games a more realistic endeavor.