Skip to main content

NERF

Nerfing is an entire thing among itself when it comes to games. To NERF something is to soften it up, change it, downgrade it from deadly to less deadly or tame or fuck it up completely depending on how it is done.

That is why this article from news.yahoo.com amused me. It was even cuter when they referenced MMOs near the end.

From: 5 things you didn’t know about Nerf

A stalwart of toy store shelves for over four decades, the soft, safe foam of Nerf has proven a huge boon to indoor active play, saving countless fragile ornaments from being smashed to bits by kids who ignore the whole "don't play ball in the house" rule. But who came up with the squishy stuff in the first place? What's the best Nerf gun around? And just where does that strange name come from? Read on, and find out.

What does Nerf mean, anyway?

Styled in Hasbro's trademarks as "NERF," this monosyllable is actually an acronym. And tempting though it is to think up creative guesses for what the letters actually stand for, the truth is a little more prosaic. It's actually "Non-Expanding Recreational Foam," after the supple, air-bubble-filled plastic foam that gives Nerf its characteristically cushy feel.

It shares an inventor with Twister.

Inventor Reynolds Guyer struck upon Twister in 1965 while working on an ad campaign for children's shoes. It was an immediate hit. Flushed with success, he then came up with a caveman-themed game involving hiding money under rubber rocks, and throwing said rocks at other players. Predictably, players found that chucking rocks was far more fun than hiding money, and Nerf as we know it was born.

So the story goes, anyhow. The details are a little sketchy, but this much is certain: the Nerf line started with a four-inch ball marketed on its safety for indoor play, and was a massive success; four million were sold in its first year of availability. Over the last 40 years, the range expanded to include sports toys, water guns, video games, and toy swords, but these days it's all about the award-winning Nerf toy guns.

What's the best Nerf gun?

Fortunately for fans, this is one hobby where getting the best isn't all that expensive; even the fanciest of Nerf shooters stays well under $100.

But for our money the most impressive Nerf shooter is easily the Vulcan. Battery-powered, tripod-mounted, holding 25 darts, and with both single-shot and full-auto fire modes, it's every bit as potent as its butch, action-movie looks imply. Just make sure you have plenty of ammo, because it'll blow through all 25 shots in just over eight seconds. If you're standing at the pointy end of this behemoth, you'll know.

Today's Nerf gun is tomorrow's TV prop.

Nerf guns sports seriously cool looks. So much so, in fact, that they've shown up as props in at least one big-budget TV show: alongside the dinosaurs and time-traveling shenanigans in last year's Terra Nova. Both altered and unaltered Nerf weapons were used as futuristic firearms in various episodes of the show, although the production team at least went to the trouble to paint the day-glo toys black. Perhaps they didn't want to startle the dinos. It's part of gamer slang.

In the confusing lingo of massively-multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The Old Republic, "nerf" has taken on a new meaning. Used as either a noun or a verb, it refers to a deliberate change to the gameplay that substantially weakens a powerful weapon, character type, or ability. In other words, it's been "nerfed" -- rendered as harmless as a Nerf weapon, or nearly so.

Unsurprisingly, it's a divisive practice, with opinions on whether or not a particular nerf was good or bad depending largely on whether or not you were one of the people benefiting from the imbalance in the first place.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Charm of the Familar

With a few picked up a shifts at work due to the holidays. I pondered logging in but I didn't have the energy to do so. Being able to say no to logging in is pleasant. Just as my youngest puppy interrupts me every fifteen minutes to pee, going to sleep instead of staying up is also pleasant. I had a lot of short slept nights when I was active in a corporation.

My next plan has been to learn how to scan again. The new map is in and I need to refresh my scanning skills. My hold is full of probes. My ship appears to be reasonably set up. I remembered how to hit my F key to cloak. In fact, I hit it a bit to fast. I need to get the ebb and flow of the tic back down.

I am also rusty in my paranoia. I idly switch to another window to research breadbowls and the soup I want to make later. Then I remember I am sitting, decloaked, off of a gate somewhere. Whoops. I did figure out a breadbowl recipe and soup as well.

The question was where do I relearn to scan? I need somewhere off the beate…

TCS: Sugar's Non-Technical Guide to Her Low Sec Market

Gevlon shocked me by featuring my store in his blog, yesterday. My entire project has been something I mostly scraped together and have bumbled through to the best of my ability and sense. Early on, I started a naming dynamic to my posts so that people could avoid the blogs about the store. These blogs are titled TCS. Also, if you search for TCS those particular blogs are available.

I decided to create a more cohesive naming strategy because someone said, “I don’t know how interested your readers will be in your market posts.” I didn’t either. I wasn't going to not write them because I write about whatever interests me. It seemed that a naming convention would correct the situation. However, I’ve started to receive a trickle of eve-mail and e-mail about what I am doing. Sometimes people ask me for advice on how to approach their own low sec market or what they should pick and choose or just how to pick and choose.

Cheradenine Harper asked me about moving forward into the wider mark…

CSMX - Post #20

Summer is here and CCP is very much out of the office. Sion made a good point in wondering why everyone leaves Iceland when it has its best weather. What it means is that all is mostly quiet on the dev blog front. There are some things happening but the dev blogs and news announcements have not yet happened. The skill points were delivered on Tuesday so yay for unallocated skill points.

Over in CSM chat, there has been a lot of back and forth about sov and measuring the impact and success of things so far. I can say that CCP and the CSM are watching it. The pros and cons are coming in pretty hot and heavy. Some are being looked at now. Some have to see how things are going and if and how the direction needs to be tweaked.

In my corner, I'm starting to gather things together. The summit is in seven or so weeks. In between then and now I need to gather up my question list and write down a few topics of discussion. I'm starting now because I have personal vacation at the end of A…