Brush Up on Gamer Slang or Risk Being an NPC

Linguist Adam Aleksic explores how it's infiltrating the language in a Washington Post op-ed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2024 6:35 PM CDT
Inevitable: Gamer Slang Is Infiltrating the Language
Looks like he had a gg.   (Getty / Gorodenkoff)

Phrases like "home run" and "strike out" migrated from baseball to everyday language years ago. The same thing is now happening related to gaming culture, writes linguist Adam Aleksic in the Washington Post. It's no wonder, he writes, given that an estimated 70% of adults say they play video games on at least one platform—more than follow baseball. It's the main reason why phrases such as the following are popping up in everyday life:

  • gg: good game
  • noob: newbie
  • NPC: non-playable character (You don't want to be labeled an NPC, for the record. It suggests you're a predictable, unimaginative sort.)
  • speedrun: getting something done quickly
  • sidequest: an unexpected adventure
"In the same way that baseball slang gave us more ways to talk about success and competition ... video games help us describe our conscious experience through comparisons with their virtual storylines," writes Aleksic. Read his full essay for more examples. (More slang stories.)

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