Part of a series on Internet Slang. [View Related Entries]
PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
PROTIP (sometimes spelled Pro Tip) is an Internet slang term commonly used in online communities and social networking platforms to preface a piece of advice or suggestion that may either be genuinely helpful or self-explanatory in nature.
The term was initially popularized in the mid-to-late 1990s by American video game magazine GamePro, which used "protip" as the title of a recurring sidebar element that offers gameplay strategy tips in reviews of various video games (shown below).
Doom PROTIP Parody
On March 7th, 2004, Andrew Stine, the co-founder and former webmaster of Doom fan community Doomworld, created a parody image of the GamePro lingo by compositing an in-game screenshot of Cyberdemon, the most powerful and hostile monster character featured in Doom's E2M8: Tower of Babel map, with the caption, "PROTIP: To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it until it dies." Carefully edited to look like a digital scan of an actual GamePro article, the image was subsequently uploaded to the Doomworld forum.
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:
Although Stine created the image as a satirical commentary on the oftentimes redundant language used by video game journalists in gameplay tips and walkthrough guides, many members of Doomworld and other video game fans soon began passing it around as if it were a digitally scanned image from an actual GamePro article. On October 12th, 2004, Urban Dictionary user Shifty Eyed Goat submitted the earliest known entry for "Protip," defined as:
To distill important knowledge about a subject and share it with those new to said subject. Often used in internet forums to criticize new members if they break the forum rules.
By the early-to-mid 2000s, the term "protip" had become adopted by a wide range of online news publications as a catchall in advice columns and troubleshooting articles, not to mention its widespread usage as the name of online resources that offer computer and IT-related information, including protips.co, protipoftheday.com and ptotd.com, all of which have since gone offline. On September 21st, 2007, the popular webcomic series Penny Arcade ran a cartoon strip titled "The Protip."
On December 28th, 2008, Urban Dictionary entry was recognized and featured by the staff as "Urban Word of the Day." In June 2010, Google introduced a tutorial widget named Protips.apk for its Android mobile operating system.
References in Video Games
In addition to its practical usage in online conversations, the term "protip" has been referenced in a number of first-person and third-person shooter video games in homage to Doom, such as Uber Entertainment's 2010 third-person shooter Monday Night Combat, which features an array of "protips" in the loading screen, and id Software's 2016 reboot of Doom, which features a special achievement called "Shoot It Until It Dies" that can be unlocked by killing the Cyberdemon.
On June 27th, 2016, not long after the release of the Doom remake, Andrew Stine updated his original response to the 2010 Doomworld discussion thread to reveal that the image had been a photoshopped hoax all along:
Sigh, ok. For posterity, the fake protip was created on March 7, 2004, and originally posted in this post here. It was not actually an "April Fools prank", and it wasn't even a "prank" per se – I made a couple of what I thought were obviously fake protip images and posted them in a thread for people to have a sensible chuckle at. I didn't think anything more of them, until a couple of months or years later when I started seeing the Cyberdemon one spreading around the internet and turning into what we nowadays would call a meme (although no one called it that back then). At that point, there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle. So that's basically the whole story.
 Doomworld – Andrew Stine's Original Post
 Encyclopedia Dramatica – PROTIP
 Penny Arcade – The Protip
 Penny Arcade – The Protip Blog Post
 PTOTD.com – Pro Tip of the Day (defunct)
 ProTipoftheDay.com – Pro Tip of the Day (defunct)
 Protips.co – Pro Tips (defunct)
 Tumblr – Protips (defunct)
 Reddit – /r/protips
 Twitter – Hashtag Results for #Protip
 Tumblr – Tagged Results for 'Protip'
 Facebook – Hashtag Results for #Protip
 Instagram – Hashtag Results for #Protip
 Imgur – Search Results for 'Pro Tips'
 Vine – Hashtag Results for #Protip
 YouTube – Search Results for 'Pro Tips'
 Doomworld – What issue did that infamous "PROTIP" come from?
 Reddit – Why are so many people commenting "protip" on YouTube?
 BunnyYears – The truth about 'To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it until it dies'
Jun 29, 2016 at 06:32PM EDT
Tahrdan Ismeh Wu-Temporis
Aug 17, 2011 at 10:58AM EDT
+ Add a Comment
Add a Comment