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 are skins what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: Skins = The appearance of the player’s character.

What It Means: In games which permit a player a character or avatar to represent them on the screen, the appearance of that character is referred to as it’s “skin.” The word skin is a useful one to know, as it gives non-gamers and gamers alike an interesting insight into the “magic behind the curtain” of games creation. The appearance is referred to as a “skin” because when it is saved by the game, all the layers of clothing, accessories, colours and illusions of shapes are saved down as a completely flat 2D file, a literal skin. When that skin is used in the game, it is exported and wrapped around the 3D “mesh” that forms the body of the character.

Why You Care: Many games allow players to customise their character with new outfits, facial expressions, skin tones, accessories and more and this is referred to as customising the “skin.” Players will often enjoy creating skins for the characters of their favourite games and downloading the creations of other players. A word of caution: parents of teenagers may wish to perform a cursory check to ensure that any downloaded skins are wearing an appropriate number of items of clothing…

Minecraft’s blocky art style makes the concept of “skins” easy to grasp. Like folding up a box from a 2D paper template, these skins start off flat and become 3D images in the game.



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