Good luck, have fun: A polite salutation at the

beginning of a game. The accepted response

is “u2” often with an emoticon signifying

happiness. // Your swords say hello. It’s nice to

meet you. You pull off your gauntlets and shake

hands. Someone rolls out a red carpet. It is the

tongue of a sea monster. It is the insides of ten-

thousand different soldiers.



Because of the popular game company Valve’s

default setting, this is traditionally bound to the

“e” button on your keyboard. Pressing this key

will perform the most predictable action on any

of the virtual world’s entities. When you press

e while facing a sink, the faucet turns on, while

facing a treasure chest, it creaks open, while

facing a person, they speak to you. // You once

read that if a female and a male are facing

directly at each other, they are about to either

fight or fuck. Look, you are facing everything

around you.



The process of game design concerned with

matching what the player sees (graphics and

textures) with what the player can touch,

move through, and stand on. It is, in effect, the

game’s entire physical world. Designers sculpt

a complex rendering out of a simple geometric

shape in order to match a picture of the desired

character or object. “Bad clipping” results in

invisible walls and matter. Many games allow

the player to turn clipping off with a cheat

such as “noclip.” This allows the player to walk

through walls, floors, doors, trash-cans, fire

extinguishers, scientists, you name it. // There

is a only a slab. “I saw the angel in the marble

and I carved until I set him free.” And the angel

started many wars. Every world depended on

you. On the day the angel was slain, all the

cathedral ceilings crumbled. Our air rushed in.



Away from keyboard: A state of inactivity

usually caused by the player not being at the

computer or controller. Can be used figuratively

in the sense of “I do not want to play this game

anymore.” Players can actively “go afk” by

remaining near their keyboard and refusing to

move their character. // You are staring at the

statue of a lion. When the light hits it, he may

take a step. You are staring at the statue’s

eyelid. Open, please.



In real life: Used to distinguish between actions

of the player and character: “i need to go shop

irl” and player relationships: “we know each

other irl.” // The time before putting on your

socks in the morning, and the floor shocks cold

into your heels. You’ve left the shower on for a

couple minutes to steam your shirt and tie. You

are standing in a cloud. After, shedding your

clothes, you slump to the ground.



Non-playable character(s): Those the player

may not control, but who interact with the player

and often advance the storyline, similar to minor

and supporting roles in a film // You go to the

store and talk to the mannequins. You drag

them through the aisles, through the checkout.

Sirens. Only they know how it ends.



An attempt to ruin the game for other players.

The most common form is killing members of

your own team but can be things like stealing

items, playing the game incorrectly, barring

paths, and simply following someone against

their will. // There is no gas in the car and you

are late for work. All the lights are green, but the

driver in front of you stops to butcher a deer.

Now they are red, the whole world is red. Sir,

would you kindly come with us?



Learn to: Impolite suggestion that another

player should learn anything from basic skills

to game-centric skills. “l2p” means “learn to

play” Other more extreme endings can be

substituted: “l2uninstall” or even “l2killyourself.”

// You always thought everything would fall. The

bike teeters, your foot scrapes the corner of the

balance beam. You are holding your first child.



For the win: A celebratory incantation of

praise that can be attached to players or game

circumstances. As an army of ghosts walk on

screen, a player may say “ghosts ftw,” but it

may also be used ironically. As an ally charges

to his death, players may say “leeroy jenkins

ftw” // You are leaping over a puddle and

everyone on the other side is made of smiles.

When heels wet, they lock their hands on your

forearms whispering, “You could have died.”



Well played: Often coupled with gg as part

of the surrender or end-game ceremony. It

is considered good manners to say this with

your gg // The scene with the motorcycle gets

you the most. The T1000 is chasing him. You

remember what it felt like for your dad to let you

ride. But when the lava is melting through metal,

you know that they will both die. You bury your

face in the couch cushions because this is the

way it has to be.



Good game: The official white-flag of gaming.

When said by the losing player it means

“I surrender.” When said in response by

the winning player it means “I accept your

surrender.” When the player who is winning (or

thinks they are) says it before the other player,

it is then a taunt and is often considered bad

manners. // You exit the building waving white

blankets. They board your ship. They throw

your journal overboard. People run through the

streets shouting this. They carry flags. The flags

trail behind them, blood. Cheers rise up. The

whole city undulates between the g’s.