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A guide to gaming lingo for parents

You might be thinking the kids are talking in a different language sometimes when they chat about their games. Use this glossary to get to grips with gaming terminology and get sorted on the lingo. And remember, you don’t need to be a tech expert, you just need to know enough to be able to have some great conversations!


Gaming Types / Modes


  • App gaming – gaming applications on mobile phones
  • Browser games – game played using a web browser such as Google Chrome, Safari, Internet explorer
  • Console games –gaming device such as PS4
  • MUD (multi user dimension) – multiplayer real time virtual world
  • Player versus environment -online role playing games in a progressive virtual environment, can be played alone, versus other players or versus artificial intelligence
  • Player versus player – players against other players where the players can ambush and kill each other (multiplayer interactive conflict)

Gaming Genres (some games fall into several of these)


  • Augmented reality – interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by the computer – can be on mobile device (pokemon go)
  • First-person shooter game(FPS) – multiple players –show the game played from the characters point of view (fortnite)
  • Massively multiplayer online game (MMO) – 100’s to 1000’s of players, players can compete with other players around the world (friends and strangers)
  • MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game) – role play in a virtual world
  • MMORTS (Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy) – large number of players interact with others in a virtual world
  • MMOFPS (Massively multiplayer online first-person shooter) - large number of players interact with others in a virtual world
  • MMOSG (Massively multiplayer online social game) - social games focus on socialisation instead of objective-based gameplay
  • Multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA) – player is part of a team battling another team (Apex legends
  • Real-time strategy game (RTS) – players take turns when playing
  • Third-person shooter games – camera behind the character so the character is visible on the screen



Features of Gaming


Computerised graphical representation of the player’s character in the game, they can be 2D or 3D and are created and edited by the players

Digital currency

In gaming, this is a currency that can be used within a certain game, e.g. VBucks in Fortnite. Sometimes it can be bought with ‘real money’, sometimes it is earned within the game.


A free text and voice chat app that is popular among gamers so that they can chat as they play games

Loot boxes

A loot box is a random selection of virtual items, such as weapons, armour or customisation options for a player's avatar. The unknown element of the purchase have raised concerns that it is encouraging a form of gambling for sometimes very young players.

Microphone and headphone

Allow users to chat with other players


Some games will have text options or text only for chat with other players


A live streaming platform on which you can watch other people play your favourite video games

Read our blog to find out more

Virtual economy

An economy in a virtual world where virtual goods can be bought and traded using in game digital currencies (these could have been purchased with real money or earned).

Virtual goods

Objects such as weapons that can be bought to use within the virtual world of the games

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) allows individuals to put on a special headset and step into a virtual world. Read our blog to find out more

 Virtual world

Environments in games where the players play, this can be alone or against other players