Gaming Parlance: Nuke
I’ve been noticing more and more how gaming terminology is normalizing things that should otherwise be very extreme or grotesque. One term I recently noticed was “nuke”, which is a common phrase in the MMORPG genre. It essentially means to do as much damage to a target as possible as fast as you can. Typically there are certain characters, classes, or playstyles which enable you to “nuke,” most commonly they are mages or long ranged skills/spells.
Nuking is something that comes into play after proper defenses are setup to ensure that the people doing the “nuking” are safe to dish out as much damage as possible. That is because of “agro” is built up for the person doing the damage, which makes them the target of the enemies ire, and “nuking” classes aren’t known for their vitality or resilience.
So now that you know how “nuke” (or “nuking”) is used in the gaming parlance, I’d like to discuss how the term is coming off in my eyes (or ears). A nuke is short for nuclear bomb, which isn’t something people go throwing around much these days. The two dropped in Japan during World War II killed well over 200,000 people. If you haven’t seen Barefoot Gen, it is a powerful piece of animation that was inspired by those ghastly events.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to say we should never use the term “nuke” out of respect for the dead. Nuclear bombs are a main source of tension in the international community. Both countries that “can’t be trusted” with them , and the fact that the U.S. still has a massive stockpile of them “just in case” is something very real that people should remember.
At the end of the day I'm just getting older and things like this are jumping out at me. I love gaming and hate how polarizing the gaming community can be. Ultimately this is a drop in the bucket, in terms of things gamers do that belittle the medium they love, but I just can't help but hear that phrase for what it is, not for how they mean it.