What does NPC stand for? If you are an avid gamer, then you probably already know what this acronym means. If you just started gaming or are not a gamer then that is the reason you are probably on this page because you are wondering what it means after hearing other players mention the term. Here you will find the meaning of this term, information about its origin, and other meanings that this acronym can represent. You will also find some example conversations that highlight the usage of this phrase in the hopes that it will help you to better understand its definition. Finally, you will see some synonyms for the acronym or the phrase that it represents most popularly.
- NPCs in video games are characters not controlled by the player or AI.
- Originating in tabletop role-playing games, they serve various roles for enhanced gameplay.
- The term “NPC” has evolved, becoming an internet meme representing those who do not think for themselves.
What Does NPC Mean?
This acronym represents the phrase “non-player character” or “non playable character.” It is used to describe a character in a video game that appears like the other characters but its decisions and activities are built into the code for the game and are not made by an actual person playing the character.
Origin of NPC
Many people are familiar with these types of characters from playing video and computer games. However, what many people don’t realize is that this term was used long before the invention of video games. The term was first used to describe characters in tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons where certain characters were controlled by a gamemaster or referee. This means the term has been used at least since 1972 and possibly even longer.
Related Terms to NPC
When discussing non-player characters (NPCs) in the context of video games, it is essential to touch upon some related terms to provide a better understanding of their role and function.
An NPC is a video game character that is controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence (AI) rather than by a gamer. They serve various purposes, such as advancing the storyline, providing information, or offering side quests for the player to complete.
On the other hand, the player represents the individual controlling and interacting with the game world through their chosen character. This character is often referred to as the player character (PC) and is the main focus in most video games.
AI or artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in video games as it governs the behavior and interaction of NPCs. It allows NPCs to respond to player actions, engage in combat, or perform specific tasks within the game world. Some complex AI systems can create more realistic and dynamic interactions with NPCs, enhancing the player’s immersion and overall gaming experience.
In contrast to NPCs, CPU (central processing unit) characters are computer-controlled characters designed to act like real players. They usually have more advanced AI and are often implemented in games as opponents or rivals to test the player’s skills and abilities.
Video games are the primary medium where NPCs are found, with genres ranging from role-playing games (RPGs) and first-person shooters (FPS) to strategy games and adventure titles. Each genre can utilize NPCs in different ways, but they generally provide depth to the game world, support the main plot, or serve as a challenge for the player.
This term can also stand for some other phrases too. Some of the other phrases that this term can represent are “not politically correct,” “non-psychotropic cannabis.” and “National People’s Congress.” The term can also be used as a descriptive standalone word to describe a social justice warrior or a liberal. It denotes someone who appears not to have the ability to think for themselves and just “goes along with the crowd.” The term can also be used to describe an extra in a play or movie to fill in a crowd of people.
Other Ways to Say “NPC”
There are a few other phrases that you can use in place of this acronym and the phrase it represents. Some of the other phrases that you can use include:
- game controlled character
- algorithm controlled character
- computer-controlled character
Texting and Social Posts
In texting and social media posts, NPC, or non-player character, often refers to individuals who seem to lack independent thought or blindly follow trends. In the context of video games, NPCs are characters controlled by the computer rather than a human player. They are designed to play a specific role or purpose within the game world.
For example, in role-playing games, NPCs may serve various functions such as merchants, quest givers, or allies, helping augment the player characters’ experiences. They often react to the player’s actions and decisions, creating an immersive and dynamic game world.
When referencing NPCs in texting and social media posts, people might use the term to describe someone who does not exhibit unique interests or opinions but instead conforms to popular views or behaviors. This usage has its roots in the idea that, like an NPC in a video game, this person’s actions seem to be scripted or programmed.
Here are some examples of how NPC might be used in texting or social media posts:
- “I can’t believe how many people are wearing the same outfit today. It’s like a bunch of NPCs.”
- “Why does everyone always post about the same TV shows? Are they all NPCs or something?”
- “He only listens to music that’s on the radio. Such an NPC.”
In these examples, the term “NPC” is used to emphasize the perceived lack of individuality or critical thinking. While it is important to remember that this usage might not be an entirely fair or accurate representation of a person’s character, it illustrates how the concept of NPCs in video games has been adapted for use in everyday communication.
A text message exchange between two friends.
- Friend 1: Hey, question?
- Friend 2: Hey, answer.
- Friend 1: HaHa! Is there a way to go through level 5 of this game without having to talk to all these NPCs? It is quite time-consuming. They talk so much!
- Friend 2: Unfortunately, no there isn’t. You just have to grin and bear it. It’s because some of them have vital information you need to pay attention to for later levels in the game.
- Friend 1: Oh, okay!
An online conversation between two users on a game forum.
- User 1: Can anyone tell me where the NPC is that I need to talk to to get out of this forest and go into the kingdom?
- User 2: I don’t know exactly where you are, but you will find the NPC you need to talk to by the gates to the farm from earlier in the game. You are looking for a merchant looking person in robes.
- User 1: Okay, I will head in that direction. I was going the opposite way. Thanks!
NPC Meaning Infographic
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of an NPC in video games?
Non-player characters (NPCs) serve various purposes in video games. Controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence (AI), they can advance the storyline, provide assistance to players, act as partners, or populate open-world environments to add depth and authenticity.
How is the term NPC used in memes?
The term NPC has been used in internet memes to represent individuals who appear to lack independent thinking or original opinions. In this context, an NPC is portrayed as someone who blindly follows trends and uniform beliefs without questioning or critical thinking.
What does the slang term NPC imply?
As a slang term, “NPC” implies that someone behaves like a non-player character in a video game, lacking independent thought or creativity. In this context, it can be used to criticize a person for seeming robotic or unoriginal in their opinions and actions.
Can you provide examples of NPCs in gaming?
In gaming, NPCs can range from shopkeepers, quest givers, and sidekicks to enemies, townspeople, and other characters that interact with the player to provide information, assistance, or challenges. Some examples include Navi from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” shopkeepers in the “Elder Scrolls” series, and quest givers in “World of Warcraft.”
How does the term NPC apply in roleplay situations?
In roleplaying games (RPGs), an NPC is a character controlled by the game master (GM) or dungeon master (DM) who is not controlled or played by a player. NPCs serve as supporting cast members, providing information, opposition, or assistance to the player characters in the story.
What is NPC energy?
“NPC energy” refers to the vibe or behavior of someone who has the characteristics of an NPC from a video game. This term implies that the person exhibits a lack of originality, independence, or personal depth, displaying behaviors that are robotic, monotonous, or driven by routine.
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