Sometimes a game’s community management strategy involves giving the players a collective name. Creating an identity for them… binding them together with nickname glue…
It’s very common in large multiplayer games with robust community management teams. But today I was looking at my Steam library and I noticed a couple smaller singleplayer games doing it as well. It has penetrated community management good-practices completely… now, even tiny indies are doing it.
- Epistory, a typing game which came out in 2016, still actively communicates with its players and calls them Fox Riders
- Hundred Days, a smallish wine-themed strategy and puzzle game, calls its players fellow winemakers
- Shelter, a much-bundled short indie adventure game from 2013, still communicates about new games in the series to players via the Steam page, and calls those players Badgers
I found it extremely amusing to quickly go down my Steam library and just note down every game that has a nickname for its playerbase. I don’t hate the practice, but sometimes it feels like a stretch, and seeing what some folks choose to name their community is very funny.
Some, for example, just slightly alter the name of the game.
- Terraria players are Terrarians
- Hurtworld players are Hurtworldians
- Furi players are called, in the singular, “Furist”
- Subnautica players are called Subnauts
Others describe precisely what the player does in the game.
In some genres, this leads to similar games having similar collective names for the playerbase. In Dyson Sphere Project and Factorio, players are engineers; in Monster Crown and Temtem, both Pokemon-alikes, they are Tamers.
Some games name the player some lore-friendly term from the world of the game.
- In Against the Storm, which I’ve been playing a ton of lately, the players are Viceroys. This is the name of their role in the game as well.
- In Industries of Titan–a game I wrote for–the player is called Founder in the plot as well as in the community management materials.
Some of the names are just silly. Here are some of my favorites:
- Goat Simulator calls the players goats
- Buoyancy, a waterworld-style citybuilder, calls its players Buoyancies (???)
- Nebudchadnezzar, an in-dev citybuilder, calls its players rulers of Mesopotamia
- I still cannot get over the fellow winemakers from Hundred Days. It says so much about the intended vibe
My least favorite is Going Medieval calling its players medievalists. No!! They are not!!
My current list is here. I just browsed around until I found fifty games on Steam that do this–and it took me only thirty minutes! I’m sure my library has many more that I didn’t find.
In the end, however, I found maybe twice as many games that do not do this. Most of the games in my library begin their comms with some variation on “hey all,” “hello everyone,” or some highly direct call-to-action about some DLC or ingame event. “Prepare for the Halloween Event,” etc.
Do you know any other games that use the collective name technique? Do they have any particularly funny names?