PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
PROTIP is a term often used in forums and comments to preface snarky, obvious, counterintuitive, or sometimes genuine advice for the novice. Its usage is derived from the laughably obvious and even inadequate gameplay suggestions originally found in video game magazines published in the 1990s. While it implies an offer of friendly suggestion similar to FYI, “protip” is commonly used online as a false preface to obvious or sarcastic comments that are generally unhelpful. To a lesser extent, “protip” has been also used in providing genuine advices out of good will. The most famous of these is from a column article on Doom:
Comically inadequate tips & instruction articles have been published in newspapers and magazines long before the arrival of gaming blogs, as shown in this self-defense tips & tricks below:
The term “Protip” appears to have originated from the publication GamePro, a gamer magazine known for featuring “PROTIPS”, a series of short columns providing useful tips on videogames accompanied by screenshots of gameplay. Here are scanned copies of Protip column found in July 1995 issue of GamePro magazine:
- The Urban Dictionary definition for “Protip” was first registered on October 12th, 2004; It was featured on homepage as “Urban Word of the Day” in December 28, 2008.
- The term “Protip” has been referenced across various websites, including ZDNet, MTV, The Register and Apple.
- The meme has also inspired the creation of at least three websites: protips.co, protipoftheday.com, and ptotd.com. It has also inspired a Tumblr.
- The usage of “PROTIP” remains prominent on forums such as Reddit.
- Google’s Android Tutorial widget is named “Protips.apk”.
- “Protip” is used for displaying in-game suggestions in the PC/XBOX game “Monday Night Combat,” shown during almost every loading screen.