Parents baffled by children’s gaming slang

Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent
·3-min read

One of the UK’s biggest gaming YouTubers has created a guide to video games slang after research suggested nearly three-quarters of parents in the UK do not understand terms used by their children when they play.

Research from TalkTalk found that 72% of parents were confused by gaming terminology such as “noob” and “nerf”.

In response to a drastic increase in game time during the pandemic in 2020, and with video games being popular gifts over the Christmas period, the network provider enlisted professional gamer Ali-A to help explain the 10 most commonly heard gaming slang terms.

Ali-A has more than 17 million subscribers to his gaming YouTube channel and is best known for his Fortnite commentary videos.

According to the research, a third of parents see video games as a good way to bond with their children and are keen to better understand some of the language.

It found that the most commonly heard term was “noob”, which refers to a new or inexperienced player, followed by “bot”, meaning a player who is so bad they are compared to a low-skilled computer-controlled player.

The list also included “lag”, referring to when a game is slow because of a poor internet connection; “nerf”, which is when a weapon is weakened by a game’s developer because so many players are using it to gain an advantage; and “face roll”, which means an easy victory.

Gaming journalist Ellie Gibson said parents and children gaming together should be encouraged, and improving parental understanding of the culture is a good way to help make this happen.

“As a parent I understand the world of gaming can be daunting, but it’s worth learning the lingo and getting involved, as there’s so much fun to be had,” she said.

“Play is a hugely important part of kids’ development, and gaming together has loads of benefits. It’s a great way to connect, and some of my happiest memories with my sons are from playing games together.

“A fast, reliable internet connection is helpful for making gaming sessions run smoothly. If only it could also help me beat my nine-year-old at Mario Kart.”

The top 10 slang terms heard by parents also included “twink” – meaning when a player deceives other gamers about their ability – and “Easter egg”, in reference to a hidden message in a game.

“Tank” – for a player who takes all the damage in a team game – and the signoff “GG”, which means good game and is a polite way to end a session, completed the top 10.

“One of the things I love most about the gaming community is its never-ending ability to come up with a new word or phrase for every facet of gameplay,” Ali-A said.

“While it may seem intimidating, gaming can be very sociable, and I’d encourage every parent to give it a go.

“Finding new ways to connect online has never been more important and I’ve loved teaming up with connectivity provider TalkTalk to help parents make sense of gaming language.”