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

Conflicted

Halycon said it quite well in a comment he left about the skill point trading proposal for skill point changes. He is conflicted in many different ways.

So am I.

Somedays, I don't want to be open minded. I do not want to see other points of view. I want to not like things and not feel good about them and it be okay. That is something that is denied me for now. I've stated my opinion about the first round of proposals to trade skills.

I don't like them.

That isn't good enough. I have to answer why. Others do not like it as well. I cannot escape over to their side and be unhappy with them. I am dragged away and challenged about my distaste.  Some of the people I like most think the change is good. Other's think it has little meaning. They want to know why I don't like it.

When this was proposed at the CSM summit, I swiveled my chair and asked if they realized that they were undoing the basic structure that characters and game progression worked under. They said that t…

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…

Nothing and Everything Changes

I can mark the passage of time from Eve with Intuition's age. He turned four last month. Today, Corbexx sent me a chat on Steam and we spent hours chattering about this and that as if it was yesterday. That is friendship.

One of the things we noticed is that our NDA is about to expire. That and the leavings of several people left us gossiping up a storm. The NDA was never a good NDA but we chose to respect the spirit of it even if the letter of it had the strength of  wet tissue paper.

Life is fine. The husband got a promotion at the start of the year. I am up for one at the end of the month that will be a fascinating life change. We also got our rental property goals started. For any that wonder how much of a basement dweller I actually am. My husband has the entire basement of the new house.

I think of Eve quite often. For one, I have it in my reddit feed. I mostly skim the titles and skip the topics. The general mood has not changed even if the people saying it has.

I saw that …