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Video Game Basics

Video games can be pricey, but the resident deal experts here at DealNews know how to find the best deals on indie titles and AAA games alike. We've compiled a list of related articles as well as terms you should know when shopping for video games.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get a digital or physical video game?

Both have their pros and cons, but how you get your games is mainly about personal preference. Note that many games require an online connection to play, regardless of whether you have a digital or physical copy.

  • Digital games can be downloaded immediately upon release or purchase. Digital collector's editions typically only include in-game items. Digital games don't take up physical space.
  • Physical games offer a backup in case something happens to a digital copy of a game. Physical collector's editions can come with physical keepsakes. Physical copies of games can be resold or traded.

What does GOTY mean?

“GOTY” refers to the Game of the Year editions of a video game. While this can refer to a game being re-released after receiving many awards and accolades, most games — especially AAA titles — will receive some kind of award from somewhere. While the GOTY designation may be suspect, these editions of a game tend to be the better buy, as they almost always include all of a game’s DLC.

What is DLC?

DLC is downloadable content, or additional content for an already released video game. This can include additional assets like character skins or weapons, or full-blown expansions that add new quests and locations to a game. DLC is rarely free; it’s best to purchase DLC in a bundle with a GOTY edition.

What is a AAA game?

The term “AAA” is an informal name used for games produced by mid-size or major publishers. They typically retail for $60. “Deluxe” or “collector” editions include digital or physical extras, and can easily cost $100 or more.

What is an indie game?

Indie games are titles created by smaller teams (or even individuals) without the backing of a bigger parent publishing company. It can also be a general term referring to games that buck mainstream trends — even if the publisher is pretty big. In general, indie games are cheaper than AAA games; expect a list price between $15 and $30.

What do the ESRB game ratings mean?

The Entertainment Software Rating Board is a self-policing trade organization of game publishers, serving a role similar to the MPAA . The ESRB system assigns letters to denote the appropriate audience for a video game.

The ESRB ratings are:

  • Everyone (E): Content is generally suitable for all ages.
  • Everyone 10+ (E10+): Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up.
  • Teen (T): Title is appropriate for ages 13 and up.
  • Mature 17+ (M): The game is unsuitable for ages below 17, and may include graphic content.
  • Adults Only 18+ (A): The game is intended for ages 18 and up, and may include very graphic or explicit content.
  • Rating Pending (RP): The title hasn't received a rating yet. This term is only used in advertising, marketing, and promotional materials related to the video game in question.
By: Julie Ramhold, Senior Staff Writer

Julie joined DealNews in 2015. Her work has been featured on MSN, Business Insider, Lifehacker, The Motley Fool, GoBankingRates, and Moneyish.

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