Glossary

Some videogame-specific terms and definitions. We’ll be using this mostly for the Spanish-language part of the site, since the game criticism lexicon is pretty Anglophone-centric for our taste.

  • A
  • AAA
    High budget. Subject to high expectations of technical quality. Belonging to the highest sectors of the First World multimillion game industry. Not to be confused with the Alianza Anticomunista Argentina.
  • art game
    Any videogame with artistic intent, either because it presents itself as a work of art or because it deliberately seeks a particular emotional or reflexive response in its audience.
  • B
  • boardgame
    Game designed to be played among several people in a shared physical space, mostly by manipulating a number of objects designed specifically to that end (boards, pieces, dice) and generally involving less physical activity than most sport games.
  • D
  • distro
    Operating system made from a software collection based upon the Linux kernel, including certain software packages meant to target the needs of a specific group of users.
  • DUVAL (United Latin American Videogame Developers)
    Open community focused on Latin American game making and communication between Latin American game developers, which currently operates mainly through its Facebook group.
  • F
  • FPS
    First Person Shooter, a popular and violent game genre defined by gun and projectile based combat experienced through the eyes of the player’s character. Very often played online, competitively.
  • FundAV (Argentinian Videogames Foundation)
    Argentinian foundation meant to foster the local videogame industry in all its forms and expressions.
  • G
  • gamer
    Person who plays videogames and identifies with videogame culture and its idiosyncrasies (however they define them). In other contexts, just “person who plays videogames.”
  • gamification
    Applying game design principles to non-ludic contexts, in order to motivate the people involved to perform useful yet inherently unfulfilling tasks.
  • I
  • indie
    Person who develops videogames independently, or game developed by them, free from certain economic or creative restrictions generally associated to working with a publisher or big company.
  • M
  • Magnavox Odyssey
    First videogame console in history (launched in the US in 1972). The cartridges it used did not contain the games, instead they rearranged the circuitry inside the console to execute the game shown in the cartridge.
  • minion
    In works of fiction, lowest ranking henchmen in the ranks of the main villain. They’re generally non-violent or easy to defeat by the hero, but functional as a generic unit in a massive army or similar individuals that allow the villain to operate on a large scale.
  • P
  • party
    Group of characters adventuring together in a game, usually with each having a specific purpose of ability.
  • party game
    Game designed to be played among several people in the physical presence of each other at a party or reunion, aimed at facilitating interaction and providing entertainment and recreation in the social event. It tends to involve more speed and physical activity than conventional board or digital games.
  • power fantasy
    Fictional scenario designed so the audience feels they’re accomplishing a personal fantasy through the main character’s actions or circumstances.
  • R
  • role-playing games
    Game or cooperative narrative activity where players or participants assume the role of the characters in a fictional world, and determine their behavior acting as them or describing their actions. The results of their actions can be determined by a Game Master according to a pre-established rule system, or convened among players informally.
  • U
  • Uncanny Valley
    Representation level of the human figure, close yet different from photographic hyperrealism, that tends to provoke uneasiness or rejection.