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.

What is a Stylus, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: Stylus = A thin plastic “pen” sometimes used to operate touchscreen devices.

What It Means: Stylus. Styluses. Styli?! It’s a familiar looking object for many – ever signed for an Amazon order on the little machine? The pen thingy you used to scrawl your moniker is properly called a stylus. And if you or your children own a device from the Nintendo DS family of handhelds, it will come packaged with a dinky little stylus slipped in the back.

Nintendo3DS_SwitchingOn_Stylus

Why You Care: Not all styluses work with all touchscreen devices. There are, at present, two main kinds of touchscreens, capacitive and resistive. Capacitive screens, like the one on your iPhone, need a soft-tip stylus with a rubbery nib, whilst resistive screens like the DS need a stylus with a hard nib. Fingers (or toes, if you are very flexible) will always work on both kinds of screen. Using the wrong stylus on the wrong screen might damage it, particularly if your dearest one is pressing a bit harder than needed, as they are sometimes prone to doing. Perhaps gently remind them that it is a touchscreen, not a stabscreen, and you might save money on screen repairs. The problem of where the stylus is when you need it, unfortunately, is one we can’t solve. They are endlessly losable. Maybe check the inside of the hoover?

stylus rainbow

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