It seems like these days kids spend as much time playing computer and console games as we used to spend our free time playing outside! We aren’t going to debate the potential social and health outcomes in this article, we will just accept that it is so, and try to understand it better.
The gaming phenomenon is huge, and let’s face it, the kids really love it! Thinking of hiring a clown to come to your kid’s birthday party? Think again, oldster! The “in thing” now is to hold a kids gaming party where everyone can play together on big screens and beat the heck out of each other, or race cars in a virtual environment- at least nobody gets hurt this way!
Furthermore, if it sounds like your kids are speaking a different language than the Queen’s English, they are! To help poor befuddled parents make heads or tales of the conversation around the console or the home computer, we have compiled a basic handbook of “Gamespeak” so you can get with the program!
AFK – This is an acronym for “away from the keyboard,” which you type into game chat when you need to go to the bathroom or grab a snack.
Avatar – This is not a tall blue humanoid alien, although there might be a game out there where it is, the term denotes a player’s character in the game. These are usually customizable to allow some self-expression. Come to think of it, tall and blue-skinned sounds kind of groovy.
Crafting – Basically this is an activity that players can make their characters do that will either make them richer in-game currency or result in some kind of improvement to their powers or gear. My kid was so proud of the Mithril chain mail he spent all weekend crafting for his dwarf warrior that I didn’t have the heart to ask how homework was coming along.
Grinding – This is a highly repetitive game activity with various goals such as levelling up (becoming stronger and better) a character or obtaining valuable game items like new gear or crafting resources. My kid’s dwarf warrior did a lot of grinding to gather all that mithril!
Hacking – You have probably heard of this term in relation to your Facebook account that is now trying to sell all your friend’s sketchy online products without your knowledge. Here it’s cheating by using either third-party software or changing the game code to acquire unfair advantages.
Smurf – A high-ranking, highly skilled player using a new low-level account to smack the heck out of unskilled noobs (new players).
Troll – This is a player who is in the game just to muck up everyone else’s fun, usually a creepy older dude who lives in his mum’s basement and will never have a girlfriend.The gaming industry is so popular even the Australian government is promoting it! They are sure to find a way to tax your game loot, so watch out!
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