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Michael Duetzmann

Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to video games: Emote

Emote is a collection of icons or animations used in multiplayer games to communicate. Emotes were originally used to display a player’s current emotional state on their character. They have since expanded to include:

Hearthstone
  • Communicating basic game information (winning, losing, special attack available)
  • Basic strategy (Hide, Attack, [Pointing to go in a particular direction])
  • Celebration
  • Humor

Emotes are a simple and effective way to communicate in a situation where written and spoken language is limited, either from a diverse player base not sharing a common language or from a fast-paced game where a simple set of symbols or animations can communicate entire sentences of text.

Astroneer

Finally, Emotes are a tool often used in games to limit communication in a standardized way that avoids vulgarity and abuse, and in a way that does not require direct communication from player to player.

What started as a simple method for communicating in multiplayer games, has become a rich language of its own. Emotes now provide character and charm to the game as well as communicate.

Examples:

  • Well played Icon in Hearthstone
  • My Ultimate is Ready voice line in Overwatch
  • Dances in Fortnite
  • Praise the Sun (Dark Souls)
  • Astroneer (dances for fun or to interact with playing two player)

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You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to video games:

Battle Pass


A Battle Pass is a collection of rewards and cosmetics that slowly becomes available through play over a set period of time. These collections are often available either through real-life or in-game currencies and are often paired with rewards that are free for all players. 

Battle Passes reward players who consistently play throughout the month, with rewards that renew on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Battle Passes are often priced so that they can be purchased using real or in-game currency.

Fortnite Battle Pass

The Battle Pass’s name originated in Fortnite, but most major free-to-play multiplayer games have integrated some variation of a Battle Pass into their play and reward offerings.



Examples:

  • MTG Arena Season Pass
  • Fortnite Battle Pass

So, what do you think? Are Battle Passes a good way to keep players engaged and coming back for more? Or are they just another ploy by developers to get more of our hard-earned cash? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out our other blog posts for more great content like this.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

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Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to video games:

Metroidvania

Metroidvania is a genre of games that features an interconnected map where shortcuts or entire portions of the map are locked away. These inaccessible areas are opened by in-game keys, or with new abilities acquired by the character during play.

This term comes from its first popular use in the SNES title Super Metroid and the PS1 title: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The interconnected nature of this design encourages exploration without tedious backtracking.

Metroidvania-style games often fall in the action/adventure genre of video games, but exist in other genres as well.


Metroidvania games will often include abilities and items that encourage players to rethink and re-explore places that have already been traveled through during the first part of the game.

The player will often encounter branching pathways where one or more exits are made inaccessible by being too far, too high up, or too hazardous to access.

These games will often have maps that loop back on themselves after unlocking more of the map through a key or new ability, which creates this feeling of an organically expanding world instead of a series of curated experiences.

Some examples of these types of abilities are:

  • Missiles (Metroid Series)
  • Double Jump (Symphony of the Night)
  • Cut/Surf (Pokemon Series)
  • Pollo Power (Guacamelee)

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

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The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to video games: MMO

MMORPG is the acronym for Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. This describes a role-playing game that requires a large online player population in order to operate. It typically features dedicated servers and a constant internet connection to play.

MMO games often feature mechanics and narratives that encourage both competition and collaboration between players, to some degree. They will often include encounters that put a fixed number of players into a situation or story meant to provide smaller and specific content to those players without interrupting the play experience of others.

These games can be free to play, available after a one time fee, or can be played through a subscription to the service. The cost and payment style varies depending on the game.

Examples

  • World of Warcraft
  • Star Wars the Old Republic
  • Final Fantasy XIV

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to both video games and roleplay games: Class

Class refers to a collection of attributes and abilities that define the overall play experience for a character. Class descriptors can either come from within the game itself using its own story and language to provide definition, or the descriptors can come from the community of players. A game that has classes will often include different, but connected styles of play that are encouraged by a choice of class. Class not only describes what a character is, but defines what that character does, and suggests a specific style of play and interaction with other characters.

Examples

  • Healer: In many games these are spell casters who focus on healing magic.
  • Fighter: These characters are proficient in a weapon or many weapons. They focus on taking damage and/or causing damage.
  • Mage: A spell caster, often their spells can be used offensively.
  • Rogue: These characters tend to be sneaky and do well hiding in the shadows.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


Video games are often launched in an incomplete state prior to a full release in order to gauge player response and fix problems that would only arise from a large player base that would be otherwise difficult to find. These “Beta Releases” are often defined by whether it is “Open” to all comers or “Closed” and restricted to invitation only.

Fighting Games like Street Fighter and Smash Bros, will often feature a beta test before launch to test online connections and overall game feel from their player community.

Another wildly successful example is Fortnite. It has been around for years at this point, but is still technically in Open Beta.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to video games: MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)

MOBA is a strategy game where teams battle in a predetermined lane or area with heroes/allies. Their ultimate goal is to destroy the other team’s structure/tower

League of Legends

This genre that features short, team based, multiplayer matches with computer controlled allies and enemies. Players create teams from a selection of playable characters, with mechanics and character abilities encouraging a balance of playstyles and teamwork. Character abilities and maps are public knowledge, and computer controlled elements operate in a repeated, predictable fashion. With that public knowledge, strategy and optimization are considered an additional layer of play that carries over between the individual fast paced encounters.

Examples:

Skytear
  • League of Legends
  • DOTA (Defense of the Ancients)

The MOBA style exists in a board game

Example:

  • Skytear: A Card driven board game


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to both video games and board games: Casual Game

Casual Game: A game designed to be played with little to no game skill or knowledge ahead of time. Qualities of a casual game include a wide range of playability by age, an intuitive and recognizable game play experience, and a steady and slow rate of increasing complexity as the game progresses. Casual games will often develop advanced styles and methods of play among more experienced players, but these developments never impact the initial, approachable game experience.

Casual board games have very few simple rules and are easy to pick up and play. Often party style games are casual games too, since their rules are streamlined.

Examples of Casual Video Games

  • Tetras
  • Mario Cart 8 Deluxe
  • Many mobile games, such as Candy Crush

Examples of Casual Board Games

  • Codenames
  • What Do You Meme, Family Edition
  • Cinco Linko (formerly known as OK Play)

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

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Every other week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to BOTH video games and can also be applied to board games, tabletop RPGs, and even collectible card games.

Aggro (often shorthand for Aggressive)

In board games, tabletop RPGs, and collectible card games, Aggro describes a style of play featuring consistent and fast actions. It describes a character, game object, (or constructed deck) that is designed to be played with the intent to win in as few turns as possible.

Red Decks in Magic the Gathering are often Aggro Decks, built mostly of low-cost spells that deal direct damage and low-cost creatures with haste or high power.

Aggro characters in tabletop RPGs focus heavily on offense and try to eliminate opponents quickly and efficiently.



In video games, Aggro is used to describe the behavior of a player or enemy character in a game. A character who is aggro will often directly attack non-allied characters and follow them to within limits of play. Computer-controlled characters will often display visual and audible cues before “becoming aggro” and will often change behaviors when the non-ally character travels a certain distance or specific area of play or is eliminated.

Multiplayer RPGs like Final Fantasy 14 will feature monsters that actively seek out players as they enter their field of vision in order to attack. “Aggro’ing” too many monsters is often a dangerous or unwise choice for the unprepared.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


Spawn Location

The areas where players, threats, or resources return to play after being either defeated or collected. Spawn Locations are sometimes marked if they are commonly used during play.

Spawn Camping

Spawn Camping is the behavior, sometimes unintended but often malicious, of staying near or directly on a Spawn Location in an attempt to gain an advantage, either in defeating players or collecting resources.

Spawn Camping in multiplayer games is often considered bad sportsmanship by players.

Example:

There are dedicated spawn locations on Overwatch maps that change as objectives are completed.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

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