One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.
HUDs Up! …possibly?
What It Is: HUD = Heads Up Display
What It Means: HUD stands for Heads Up Display, an overlay that appears around the corners of the game’s screen, providing the most important information to play effectively. For racing games, this will be a dashboard, with accelerometer, speedo, fuel gauge etc, just like in a real car. A shooting game’s HUD might show the player a mini-map and an indicator showing when to reload. Some games do not have a HUD, instead showing vital information though visual or aural cues like flashing lights or warning bells. Learning to read a HUD is a crucial skill in gaming.
Why You Care: Parents often tell us that one of the reasons they dislike or are uncomfortable around games is the amount of “visual clutter” on the screen. It’s hard to relax and enjoy a game if you feel like your eyes are being constantly distracted by bells and whistles decorating every corner of your view. Skilled players are constantly reading the HUD, taking in it’s information and seamlessly adapting their strategies in response. New players find their eyes jumping between the “main action” and the HUD, slowing down their reaction times and confusing their fingers. Some games allow the player to turn off, resize or restyle items on the HUD to the player’s preferences, but this is not a common setting.