How To Talk Gaming: Key Terms Defining The Industry

For the latest influencer marketing news, resources, and case studies, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Gaming Terms: Everything Marketers Must Know To Understand The Industry

By 2021, global PC and mobile gaming revenue is expected to reach $132 billion. Both in the U.S. and abroad, the gaming industry is incredibly lucrative. Take for example the cross-device video game Fortnite, which is making a reported $2 million a day on iOS alone and as much as $2.7 billion a year across-platforms. One of the web’s most popular gaming influencers, Tyler Blevins — aka Ninja — is making upwards of $500,000 a month from playing Fortnite online.

Video games are most popular among young American adults, with 6-in-10 people between the ages of 18-29-years-old reporting they play video games often or sometimes. Broken down by gender, across all age groups 47% of American men report playing video games often or sometimes, compared to 39% of women. Interestingly, when considering mobile games exclusively this gender disparity reverses. Today, 63% of mobile gamers are female and 37% are male.

The gaming industry is projected to continually grow in the coming years and attracts users far and wide who are willing to spend, non-dependent on factors like age and gender. As such, the industry has become one that marketers can’t afford to ignore. In the following post, we’ve broken down the most crucial gaming terms that marketers should understand to take advantage of the gaming industry’s growing value.

The 19 Gaming Terms Every Marketer Must Know

Gaming Genres

First Person Shooter (FPS) — The acronym FPS refers to shooting games that are played from the first-person perspective. This means that the person playing a game can only see the character’s hands holding a weapon on-screen. Popular FPS games include Call of Duty and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.


Role Playing Game (RPG) — A game type in which a gamer controls a fictional character within an imaginary world and seeks to complete a series of quests. Players complete challenges, collect weapons and artifacts, and level up throughout a journey. Examples of well-known RPGs include EverQuest and Titan Quest.

Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) — In this genre of game a large number of gamers interact with each other in a singular virtual world, often in the pursuit of achieving a collective goal. Today’s popular MMORPG games include Archeage and Closers.

Video Game Mediums

Console — Refers to games that are played on a dedicated gaming console such as a PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox. Many of today’s videos games are available across-platforms, with gaming consoles being just one medium they can be played on.

Mobile Game — Refers to games that are played on Apple or Android devices. Candy Crush and Clash of Clans are among today’s top-grossing mobile games. The former may earn as much as $819 million in yearly revenue.


Related Post: The 5 Best Mobile Game Marketing Examples With Influencers

PC Game — PC games are those only played on a hardwired laptop or computer. On livestreaming platforms like Twitch, gamers commonly stream PC gameplay.

Gaming Monetization Models

Free To Play (F2P) — Free to play games are those that are accessible entirely for free and absent of advertisements or in-game purchases of any sort. The mobile game Stranger Things: The Game is one well-known example of a F2P game.


Freemium Model — Not to be confused with free-to-play games, freemium games are those that offer a base level of free play. However, a user must make in-game purchases or play a flat fee in order to get a complete experience of a given game. Many freemium games are free to play but supported by advertisements, with the option to pay a fee to disable the ads. A few examples include Clash of Clans and League of Legends.

Up-Front Model Refers to games that are available for a single purchase that gives a user access to all a game’s features at once. Assassin’s Creed is one popular game available for up-front purchase today.


Mixed/Hybrid Model — Hybrid model games are those that are available for one up front purchase but also contain optional in-game purchases or downloadable content. Star Wars Battlefront II is an example of a mixed/hybrid game which generates revenue through the purchase of loot boxes and other microtransactions. 


Subscription — Some of today’s video games follow a subscription model in which users pay a monthly subscription fee in order to continually access the game. Popular titles following this model include World of Warcraft.

Common Gamer Lingo

Troll — A troll is a gamer that plays multiplayer games in an effort to cause trouble or disrupt the gameplay of others. Below is one of the most legendary examples of a gaming troll, in which one player “Leeroy” disrupts the mission of his fellow comrades while playing the MMORPG game, World of Warcraft.

K/D Ratio — K/D stands for kills divided by deaths and is a metric often used to measure a gamer’s prowess or ability. Gamers with a low high number of kills and a low number of deaths are regarded as having a strong K/D ratio.

Noob — The term “noob” refers to an inexperienced gamer.

Loot Box — Often referred to as a loot crate or a prize crate, a loot box is a type of microtransaction, an in-game purchase used to monetize a game for developers. Players buy a virtual loot box that contains an unknown array of virtual items, such as weapons, armor, or customized uniforms that a player can use in the game.


Tilting — Tilt is a state of emotional frustration due to poor performance during a competitive video game. A player on a losing streak starts to lose strategic focus and play increasingly worse. The term “tilt” originates from playing poker.

Ganking — A hybrid of “grab” and “yank,” ganking refers to a high-level player or group of players ganging up on a much less powerful player. Ganking is essentially bullying within a virtual video game world, where a player kills and loots a significantly weaker opponent, often attacking them by surprise.

Tank — A tank is a heavily armored character that purposefully takes the brunt of enemy attacks in order to protect other members of a team. Tanks build up their immunity and armor in defense, positioning themselves to divert enemy attacks to shield other team members.

Farming — Farming is a gaming tactic in which a player performs a repetitive action to gain experience, points, or in-game currency. Players frequently “farm” by repeatedly battling non-player characters (NPCs) to advance within the game or unlock treasures. Farming is often called “grinding” or “treadmilling.”

Also See Our Posts On:

Twitch vs. YouTube: Which Platform Is Best For Influencers?

The Top 10 Twitch Influencers Dominating Online Video

How KFC, South Park & More Partner With Top Twitch Influencers [Case Study]

The Top 20 Gaming YouTubers Online Today