Key for Parents: Internet and Gaming Term Definitions

Key for Parents: Internet and Gaming Term Definitions

Dr. Diana Yang, L.Ac., DACM, former Video Game Addict


Internet and Video Gaming both have distinct terms and concepts that make them unique cultures of their own. This blog's readers are tech users, gamers, internet addcits, and their parents. Earlier this week I promised my readers who are parents a list of key terms used in this motivational article for video game addicts.

The following is a list of terms used in articles of this blog, and will be updated correspondingly.


Best in Slot

In games which involve obtaining items, characters have "slots" that the player needs to fill with items. The best and most powerful items available in game are usually referred to as "best in slot," abbreviated to BIS. Often obtaining all BIS items is extremely hard to do and takes massive dedication to the game.



In some games, players are given ranks to classify people by skill. Bronze is considered a very low skill level. The popular game League of Legends is one game which utilizes this system, with the following ranks in order from lowest to highest: Unranked, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Masters, and Challenger. Gold players are roughly the top 30%, Diamond players roughly the top 2%, and Challenger players are the top 200 players, roughly 0.01%, and usually popular professional players some may know by name. 



See Bronze.


Carrot on a Stick

Literally refers to a carrot hanging from a stick. Invokes the image of someone sitting on an animal's back, motivating it to move forward with a carrot it will never catch. This is a term regularly used in games, referring to everything from game design to items named "Carrot on a Stick," as seen in World of Warcraft



In games where players are organized by rank (See Bronzies), players can be demoted when moving down a tier, such as in the case of moving from platinum to gold. The opposite of being promoted, such as in the case of moving from gold to platinum. 


See Bronze.


See Bronze.


Stands for "In game." The opposite of "In real life," abbreviated IRL. Is a term of differentiation between the game world and the real world. Can refer to many concepts, including IG friends, IG money, IG girlfriend, etc. 


Stands for "In real life." The opposite of "In game," abbreviated IG. See IG.


Short for "mobile." Refers to something that is mobile in the game world. Generally refers to a creature to be killed for a small amount of profit in a game, often an unimportant monster with no unique attributes.


Stands for "Overpowered." Refers literally to an aspect of a game that may be inexplicably difficult to play against. Games update often, slightly changing how powerful some types of characters are. Depending on the update, some champions or abilities may be considered "OP." This term is often used as a complaint.


Stands for "Player versus environment." This can be a combination of killing monsters and navigating terrain, among other challenges. Refers to games where a player plays against game challenges and not other players. The opposite of "player versus player" (PVP). Games can often offer both, or be either one or the other.



Stands for "Player versus player." See PVE.



In order to participate in some activities in games, the player needs to let the game know he or she is ready. Each game is unique, but the general term for lining up for an activity in game is to "queue up" for it. If a queue fails due to someone not being ready, queuing up a second time is termed "requeue."



See Bronze.


See Queue.


After a player's character dies, it needs to reappear somewhere. This reappearance is known as "respawning." Can sometimes be interchanged with "spawn," with varying appropriateness between games.



See Bronze.


Stands for "Too long didn't read." Term used often as a complaint by a reader to say that something is too long, too wordy, or too boring. Has since been adapted to be a summary of an article, often added at the end highlighting important takeaways only.

The Cake Is A Lie

A reference to the famous video game Portal. The main character is a human lab rat in a maze at the mercy of an artificial intelligence called GLaDOS. GLaDOS tries many ways to manipulate the main character, including suggesting that there is a cake as a reward at the very end. At one point there is cryptic graffiti on the wall stating, "The cake is a lie." The existence of this cake is highly ambiguous, and has becomes a popular reference in video game culture when referring to questionable reward systems.


In some games, players make attempts to take down challenging monsters. Often these attempts involve careful orchestration of multiple players. A "wipe" is a failed attempt characterized by all players in an attempt dying.


Granite Cliffs over the Mist Trail at Dawn. Photography by Diana Yang.


Dr. Diana Yang, L.Ac., DACM is the founder of Limbic Acupuncture in San Francisco. Limbic Acupuncture is the first clinic in the United States to specialize in acupuncture for Internet Gaming Disorder. A former intern at Restart Life, she is a licensed acupuncturist and life coach. She is a firm believer that gamers are some of the most brilliant people in the world, and that the way to win IRL is to “Think Outside the Skinner Box.” Follow her on Facebook.