Gib (video gaming)
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Gibs, short for giblets (pronounced "jibs" or "gibs"), is a humorous term referring to the variably-sized body parts ("guts"), fragments, and offal produced when non-player characters or game players are damaged or killed in video games. According to John Romero in IGN's interview, Adrian Carmack has been credited for coining the term "gibs". To "gib" one's opponents is to hit them with such force (often with explosives) that they rupture.
Use in games
Gibs feature prominently in many shooter games where gameplay generally focuses on killing large numbers of enemies. One of the first games in which gibs appeared was Narc (1988), although they were also a feature of the pioneering first-person shooter Doom (1993) and have been a mainstay of gaming titles ever since.
The use of "gib" is reserved for instances when a game character has been killed with such force that their body is reduced to chunked body parts, and perhaps a slurry of flesh and blood. In some games, the resulting gibs disappear after a short period to improve game performance by decreasing the number of objects that the game engine must render.
As well as describing the fragments as gibs, the word may be used as a verb, and killing a game character in this manner is to "gib" them. "Gib", and the related term "frag", are most commonly used in multiplayer deathmatches, where human player characters primarily kill one another rather than non-player characters. Introduced first in Unreal Tournament, some games feature an Instagib gameplay mod or mutator in which a hit on an opponent results in instantaneous "gibbing". When a "gibbing" happens in the past tense it is known as being "gibbed" (e.g., "He got gibbed!").
There has been a decline of the use of simple gibs in games due to the development of ragdoll physics, which is better able to represent the effects of high-powered attacks. Many modern games that retain gibbing use dynamic ragdolls that can separate bodies into gibs that the physics system can then control. Some games even include jointed limbs as gibs to add to the dynamic effect of gibbing.
- NARC, the 1988 arcade game by Williams, was one of the first games to feature gibbing when enemies are attacked with the rocket launcher, sending limbs flying on screen.
- Smash TV (1990) was an early game to include gibs. When enemies that are equipped with explosives are killed by the player, they would be gibbed. Similarly, when the "Rapid Fire" power-up is used, all enemies are immediately gibbed when hit.
- Doom (1993) was one of the first games to include gibs within a 3D environment. Enemies in Doom had sprite animations that would ordinarily crumple to the ground when killed, bleeding heavily but otherwise more or less intact. However, attacks significantly more damaging than a simple kill – most often explosions – would reduce enemies to a blood-soaked pile of barely identifiable flesh, accompanied by an appropriately gruesome sound effect. Monsters that had such an alternate death animation would die this way if the attack that killed them brought their health down to less than the negative of their spawn health.
- Some fatalities in the notoriously violent Mortal Kombat series would produce gibs. Notably, fatalities in Mortal Kombat 3 often produced multiple rib cages, skulls, and femurs exploding from the same victim.
- Rise of the Triad: The HUNT Begins, Rise of the Triad: Dark War (1994, 1995) was the first 3D game to feature flying gibs, flashing a prompt at the upper left corner of the screen that proclaims "Ludicrous gibs!" whenever an enemy is badly gibbed.
- Quake (1996) was the first FPS game where polygonal gibs flew in all directions when an enemy is mightily shot. Enemies can also be gibbed by using non-explosive weapons.
- Cruis'n World (1996) – Colliding with animals present in certain levels such as Australia and Kenya will result in chunks of animal parts flying in front of the player's vehicle. This was removed in the Nintendo 64 version.
- Blood (video game) (1997) – Players can use the decapitated heads of enemy zombies in a manner similar to footballs. Players can kick them with high enough accuracy to even direct them at specific targets. All explosives-based weapons in the game left an impressive amount of gibs and blood.
- Quake II (1997) allowed the corpses of allies and foes to be gibbed. This introduced tactical advantages in certain levels since one enemy, the Strogg Medic, could fully resurrect the corpses of its fellow Stroggs. Gibbing the corpses before the Medic could reach them was the best way to prevent enemy resurrections. A mod for Quake II also introduced instagib gameplay.
- Baldur's Gate (1998) uniquely featured gibbing in the isometric RPG format. When characters or enemies are killed by critical hits they explode into a shower of gibs.
- Unreal (series) The instagib mutator provides all players with a modified shock rifle that upon impact reduces whatever it hit to gibs. Gibbing also happens quite often even without this mutator.
- Sacrifice (2000) used the term "gib" to refer to the possibility that a unit could be subjected to so much damage by a lucky attack that it would explode in a burst of green goo; its soul would immediately be free to claim and did not have to be subjected to the normal sacrifice process. Mousing over any individual unit would reveal that unit's personal record both of "foes killed (but not gibbed)" and "foes gibbed," though it was very rare for normal units to achieve gibs. Certain high-level spells served to automatically gib a single target.
- State of Emergency (2002) allowed the player to pick up the limbs of a gibbed enemy and to use them as weapons.
- Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 (2006, 2008, 2011) Gibs are very commonly displayed in all three titles. Often the result of a close up shotgun blast, grenade, mortar, and many more. It is actually very uncommon to see a player die and not have a "gib" take place. Also notable is the physics engine, as stated above, that allows the chunks of persons be moved with the momentum of the occurring strikes. Gears of War 2 is also notable for having a level where the player is inside a Riftworm and the aim is to slice its hearts to pieces. Gears of War 3 has a mutator named "Instagib Melee", which causes any melee attack to instantly kill most enemies and turn their bodies into gibs.
- Team Fortress 2 (2007) A player will gib when killed by an explosive weapon. The player's body parts are often specifically labeled on his deathcam, e.g. "Your spleen!". When a player is equipped with Pyrovision, gibs are replaced with gag items, including a unicycle wheel, among other things.
- Call of Duty: World at War (2008) The "Gib Factory" challenge awards multiplayer experience points for dismembering opponents with heavy guns during multi-player matches. The gore in this game has been described as disturbing to some. Players are able to decapitate enemies, shoot their arms and legs off and even completely blow away their torso, exposing their rib cages and pelvic bones. This was a first for Call of Duty and would only be done in Treyarch developed games.
- Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 (2008, 2010, 2015) Shots to specific body parts – such as the head, torso or limbs – can result in the dismemberment of said body part, as can attacks with bladed weapons. In some cases, the shot may cause the body part to explode into chunks. The "Bloody Mess" perk greatly increases the chances of this happening, and can sometimes result in an enemy's entire body exploding into gibs.
- Dead Space (2008) Dismemberment in this game becomes a vital tactic, even encouraged by in-game messages. There are several reasons for this:
- Dismemberment instantly reduces enemy mobility, allowing the player to disable other targets before turning attention back to the now-crawling half-dead enemies. This is essential when swarmed by large groups (i.e. The Pack).
- Any corpse left intact may get up again and resume assaulting the player.
- Some enemy types cannot be killed by center-of-mass shots or headshots, and must be dismembered to stop them. The "Ubermorph" in particular cannot be killed at all, but can only be temporarily immobilized by dismemberment.
- Using the Telekinesis ability, the player can pick up the sharp limbs of enemy corpses and use them to impale other enemies, saving ammunition and instantly immobilizing or even killing them.
- Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 (2008, 2009) Gibbing occurs extremely frequently as weapons blow holes through and dismember the Infected (enemy "zombies"), leaving quite detailed remnants. This caused a censored version to be released in countries such as Australia and Germany which removed all gibbing effects. A special gameplay mode dubbed "Mutations" features a Mutation called "Gib Fest", where the four player character are all carrying M60s with infinite ammunition. The gun itself is specifically designed to gib the Infected into pieces of over-the-top gore with a single shot.
- In Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012), Gibs, as were a staple of Treyarch Call of Duty games, are now also a statistic that can be seen on the leaderboards in the Zombies game mode.
- Serious Sam 3: BFE (2011) Gibbing occurs with almost every enemy in SS3: BFE. For example, the player can equip a hammer and dismember small enemies with that. There are graphic melee kill-moves, for instance ripping the still-beating heart out of an enemy known as a 'rocketeer', which is a decapitated human with an AI mind replacing the head. Some weapons also result in excessive gibbing, such as the double-barreled shotgun and the cannon.
- Dirty Bomb (2016) Gibbing is the term referring to killing a player after they have been 'downed'. When a player is downed, their teammates can help them up, whereas if they are gibbed, they are out of the action until the next spawn wave.
Gibbing in computer and video games, mostly in first-person shooter titles, has raised legal issues for child protection and led to titles being age rated in accordance with video game content rating systems. In most games containing gibs, the ESRB rating is an "M" for Mature, and is recommended only for audiences aged 17 and above. In Great Britain, some games featuring gibs are rated 15, but more realistic ones are rated 18.
- "We Play Doom with John Romero". IGN. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Pyrovision Goggles – Official TF2 Wiki | Official Team Fortress Wiki". Wiki.teamfortress.com. Retrieved 2016-09-14.