RIUpedia, Day 5: Gamers Gonna Game

One of the non-tournament events that Run it Up Warriors are looking forward to most is the Game Night. It's been a few days since the Arcade Night, where players got the air hockey and Space Invaders out of their system. But tonight's game night, featuring more traditional board games and the like, is always a treat. "Analog" games of many types are experiencing a resurgence recently, as people grow fonder of personal face-to-face interaction and the "retro" flavor of poker, Dungeons & Dragons, and traditional board games.

Games and gaming terms seep into each other, from eSports into poker, from poker into regular games, and so on. Here are some terms that have traversed their way from one game into many others and have permeated popular culture:


"Tilt." The bane of every poker player."Tilt" is basically what happens when a player becomes emotionally affected by a downswing.

Nowadays, people who play League of Legends or Hearthstone are also familiar with "going on tilt," since the term crossed the bridge to those games from poker. But poker was not the originator: Back in the 1930s, along with games like roulette and poker, pinball was illegal in many states and considered gambling! In fact, The Purple Gang (the top gang in Detroit, and one of the main reasons Al Capone never made it in Motor City) dealt heavily in the illicit pinball trade. As pinball games evolved, they eventually added a "tilt monitor," typically a mercury switch, to prevent players from slamming the sides of the cabinet to gain an edge. Often, when a ball went off course, the player would become mad, hit the pinball machine, and activate the "tilt." From there, as poker was also played by the same gamblers and ruffians, it was picked up. And the rest is tilt history!


"RNG" is "random number generation." RNG is a device designed to generate a sequence of numbers that cannot be predicted better than by a random chance. Most games with any amount of chance use random number generation, but RNG also comes into play in regular day-to-day life in things like password protection, statistics, and even art.

In eSports, complaining about randomness is the most often usage of RNG. But if you don't want any randomness in your game, you can certainly play chess!


"Tempo" is a term that comes from Magic: The Gathering to describe the pace at which one applies pressure and responds to pressure. In poker terms, it means the relative pace at which a player uses their chips. Players who are aggressive on specific boards, take advantage of specific spots or players, or who "shift gears" from tight to loose are attempting to apply tempo, the point of which is to put your opponents off-balance.


Being "on the grind" means to work hard, always be hustling, or otherwise engaged in money-making activities. The term has so influenced poker that not only is "the grind" synonymous with poker, but 3-time WSOP bracelet winner Michael Mizrachi is nicknamed "The Grinder." Since then, players of World of Warcraft have been known to "grind EXP," and gamers use the term to refer to doing repetitive tasks.

Resource Management

In organizational studies, resource management is the efficient and effective development of resources. It's a term that originated in business, but has been applied to games like Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, or poker. As everyone receives random cards from the same 52 card deck, meaning all players are expected to win the same number of hands over infinite hands, poker is a game of maximizing your wins and minimizing your losses. That's resource management in a nutshell.

Don't hate the player... hate the game!