Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Stylus

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

Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Tycoon Game

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 tycoon game, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: Tycoon = Business Strategy Simulation

What It Means: A tycoon game is strategy game where the player builds a business of some kind, balancing finances whilst trying to achieve growth.

Why You Care: Tycoon games are a well-beloved sub-genre of strategy games. The player takes control of an enterprise and tries to grow it, turn a profit and keep customers and investors happy. Titles you may be familiar with include Roller-Coaster Tycoon, Airport Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, Game Dev Tycoon and Hotel Tycoon. Very popular in the ’90s and ’00s, the genre seems to have waned a little in recent years, for reasons that are unclear.

Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: k/d

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  k/d, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: k/d = Kill to Death Ratio

What It Means: K/D or k/d is a shorthand statistical measurement of a player’s effectiveness in online multiplayer games, tallying their number of successful kills against the number of times they have been killed.

Why You Care: k/d is only used in games where it is appropriate – multiplayer online shooting games such as Counter-Strike Source, Team Fortress 2 and games in the Call of Duty franchise. k/d is a tangible measure of a players skill –  a good player kills more than they die, a poor player the opposite. Players will invest considerable time in honing their skills in order to improve their k/d ratio over time, and will aim to improve with practice.

Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Twitch

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.

Except, this week, it’s happening on a Tuesday because I got confused by the 24hr clock and set it to publish on the wrong day! As I can’t sack myself, I’ve put myself on reduced chocolate rations for the rest of the week in punishment. Sorry about that ladies and gents!

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

What It Is: Twitch = A video-game streaming platform.

What It Means:  Twitch is a popular service which allows users to play a video-game in real time whilst simultaneously broadcasting what they are playing onto the internet.

Why You Care: Twitch allows players to share the games they are playing with other people around the world online. This is something parents should be aware of, as it allows kids and teens to see the content of games they might not be allowed at home. We’ve seen this used a lot of times by kids as a crafty bolster to their “but all my friends have it” claims.  When they can describe the game’s content, perhaps embellishing a little here and there, kids can sometimes cleverly convince their parents that they have played it at a friend’s house, and that as “everyone has it” they should be permitted to own a copy too. Try to turn these streaming services to your parental advantage by using them to pre-check a game’s content to see if it meets with your approval. Don’t get the wool pulled over your eyes by suspiciously well-informed youngsters!

Got more queries about Twitch and similar web-casting services? Drop us your questions:

Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: MVP

It’s Monday, and Words Worth Knowing is back! 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  an MVP? What do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: Most Valued Player = MVP

What It Means: MVP is a term used in online collaborative multiplayer gaming, as well as in offline sports such as football or rugby. It can be bestowed based on any number of statisical measures, or simply as a compliment. It is a measure of which human player contributed the most to an overall team effort.

Why You Care:  MVP is a coverted status, like any award of trophy, and occurs in recognition of an outstanding individual contribution to an overall team effort. It might be a simple count of Most Kills, Most Goals, Most Loot Collected or some other numerical measure, or it can be much more ephemerous  – the  player who spoke up to another about unreasonable behaviour, the player who solved a puzzle that was out-smarting the others, the player who gave a pep-talk to a dejected team, or volunteered to train and mentor a newbie. MVP is a status indicator, showing that the player works well with others as well as being skilful in their own right. MVP status usually lasts a single match, round or tournament, recognising good play “on the night.”

 

Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Buzzfeed Ran A Quiz

Buzzfeed ran a quiz. And, to be honest, it wasn’t too bad. Though clearly written for kicks, it isn’t as straight-up nasty as I feared it might be. “Parents don’t know what these complicated, highly specialised acronyms mean, ha ha ha” is not a great premise for an article, but they do make an effort to explain the words, which is appreciated, and the eye-rolling is kept to a minimum. I just feel a bit unsure about how helpful this kind of content is. Mere information is not enough – now you know, but you were made to feel stupid in the process. Empowerment, feeling good about your new-found knowledge, should also be part of it, and that feels pretty lacking here. So, ho-hum. Could be better, could be worse.

We asked our parents to guess what these gaming terms mean
I score this Buzzfeed quiz a 6/10. Could be less patronising, but could also be a lot worse.

Words Worth Knowing, our Monday gaming term explanation column, will return in February 2016 after taking a New Year’s rest. So if you don’t know your AFK from your DLC, stay tuned.

Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: DLC

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  DLC, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: DLC = Downloadable Content

What It Means: Downloadable Content (DLC) is additional content released for a  game by the creators, after the original, main game has already been sold. DLC can be either free or paid, and can add anything from a few mall outfits or vehicles to huge new levels, storylines or modes. DLC adds brand new content, it should not be confused with a patch, that fixes broken existing content.

Why You Care: In-App Free DLC adds new content to the game which has been created and approved by the studio that made that game. Some DLC is free, but most DLC will cost real-world money to purchase. DLC can be cheap, at a few pence, or it can cost the equivalent of a brand new game: £10, £30, etc. DLC can make a great gift – by buying additional content for a game the player already owns and enjoys, the giftee can be more confident that their present will be gratefully received than taking a chance on a brand new game. GameHub Concierge often advises parents and grandparents to consider a gift of DLC for a much loved game they already own if you feel nervous about trying to choose a new game title.