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GG is an internet slang acronym which stands for “good game.” The term is typically used in competitive online multiplayer games as a gesture of good sportsmanship, either to acknowledge one’s own defeat or praise the opponent’s superior skills. Outside the context of online gaming, the term can be also used as a sarcastic response to accounts of foolish acts or self-defeating behaviors in message boards.
The acronym was referenced online as early as October 1999 in an article on the Internet Chess Club website about gaming etiquette. The author explains that receiving a “GG” when playing chess can be a touchy subject because chess players are often sore losers.
Some people get extremely annoyed at those who were raised with good manners. I confess I am one of them. But why should my blood boil after someone sends me a, “gg” or a “tx”? Isn’t the person just showing good sportsmanship? Like many chess players, I am a very sore loser. The last thing in the world I want to hear is “good game”. Was it really a good game? Did I not just hang my queen? How was this a good game? Thanks for letting me know what a good game it was for YOU, buddy.
“GG” soon became widely adopted by gaming communities through early-era multiplayer competitive games that were released in the late 1990s, ranging from first person shooter games like Quake and Half-Life to real-time strategy games like StarCraft and Command & Conquer. The term appeared in the FAQs section of the Half-Life as early as 2000. In the following year, GG also appeared in a terminology guide for the action role-playing game Diablo II. The acronym has also appeared in several guides for the real-time strategy game Starcraft_, including ones on eHow, GameWinners and Starcraft Millennium.
On January 18th, 2003, GG was defined for the first time on Urban Dictionary. That August, another definition was submitted to the Online Slang Dictionary. Use of the acronym has also been discussed on the Chess.com forums, the World of Tanks game forum and the Uber Entertainment forums. In June 2010, GGButton.com was registered, selling a real-life button that emits a GG noise when pushed.
As of July 2012, there have been 227 questions about the definition of GG on Yahoo! Answers, however some of these questions refer to the definition “genetic girl,” which is used in the Trans* community to describe non-trans* women.
Due to its particular association with international Starcraft gamers, the term has gained a significant level of recognition outside the English-speaking web as well, most notably among South Korea’s professional gamers who have taken the acronym as an obligatory closing statement to be issued by the defeated player. The winning player is also expected to reply with “GG” as a sign of mutual respect.
Google’s Zerg Rush
On April 27th, 2012, Google implemented an easter egg that appeared when one searched for Zerg Rush, a mass attack by the Zerg race in the Starcraft series. When the term was searched for, a playable game launched with small “o” characters that would destroy search results if they are not clicked with the mouse pointer. If the player was able to defeat the “o” characters, a GG appeared on the page at the end of the game.
BG: Bad Game
The antonym of GG, BG (Bad Game) is used when a player feels that he or she has been outmatched by an overwhelming score or the game has taken an unfavorable turn. Beginning in 2010, the phrase became commonly used in the action game League of Legends, as well as World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Call of Duty.
GLHF: Good Luck, Have Fun
While GG is usually said at the end of a match between two or more players, GLHF (Good Luck, Have Fun) can be used as a polite greeting at the beginning of a match.
Uber Entertainment – Sportsmanship: Is “gg” always a polite thing to say?