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
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.