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Your Banned List Of Gaming Words


As you will all know, I'm in charge of things. All things, all over the world. And as such, it's well within my powers to ban certain words. So today I have a list of words banned from gaming discussion. Please amend your dictionaries and vocabularies accordingly.

You may well find examples of words in the following list appearing on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. That's because while I'm in charge of things, I'm certainly not in control of this crew of badduns. That's Graham's job. Of course, should they appear again hereafter, the person responsible will be chummed and fed to sharks.

Visuals Oh how I detest the word "visuals". It's such an awful way of saying "graphics". Or even, "What it looks like." No one talks about a game's music or sound effects as its "audibles", and if anyone did they'd be rightly flayed alive. So logic dictates that skin should be painfully stripped away for its eye-based counterpart. There are so many superior alternatives, from "aesthetics" to "artwork" to just plain "looks". But 99% of the time, "graphics" is the word you were after.

Objectivity I add the "ity" to avoid confusion with a game's having objectives. An verbal overlap that only further argues against its use. We've explained at length why this is a word that has no place amongst discussing artistic works. But let's put it this way: do you disagree with this ruling? Well, it's objectively correct, so you can't.

Eye Candy As in, "the visuals in this game are real eye candy." Eurgh. No. And not just because it's an ugly and horrendously over-used term, but because it's also woefully unimaginative. At least play on it. "Eyeball sweeties", "Ocular pudding", "Optic dessert". Come on, imaginate.

Addictive Addictive is a word that finds its relevance when used regarding substances like heroin, and methamphetamines. It has nothing to do with videogames. For that we need the term "problematic use", and you can read huge detail about that here. Unfortunately, its inclusion here isn't because of that more semantic detail. It's for when it's used as a positive. It is not a good thing for something to be addictive! Using the term to explain how much you liked something is a bit like saying, "Wow, I love this game, it's so debilitating!" So stop it.


Visceral Viscera are the abdominal organs in your body. A game being visceral would be quite the thing. "OH BUT JOHN," you say, "you know full well that the word has another meaning." Yes! It means to be "characterised by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect." Which is in no way meaning, "It's really like real-feeling and gross and stuff!" as the word is inevitably used. So let's all stop using it, for the sake of clarity.

Gameplay Oh, the behemoth of evil wording. It means absolutely nothing. And yet it's somehow a word that major gaming sites will use as a scored category when judging a game. It's the gaming equivalent of saying "moo-cow", except without actually describing a cow. The closest it comes to defining anything is "how a game feels to play", which is about as helpful a thing to tell someone as what a pair of trousers sounds like. Others try to understand it as "what you actually do in a game", which would render it as the most superfluous word ever spoken. What you actually do in a game is not something that either warrants nor sensibly can be scored. "In this game you run down the corridors and shoot the robots - 7/10." "In this game you build a base and fight the invading orc army - 4/10." It is an awful, awful word, and it must never be uttered anywhere, by anyone, ever again. Entirely verboten.

Gamer Ha ha only joking!

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