There are a lot of terms associated with video games: power-up, frag, HP, and so on. And maybe some of them are becoming a little too associated. On this week’s episode of Channel F, listener dull focus asked us what word we removed from video game writing, and one immediately sprung to my mind: “rift.”
I’m not sure why, exactly. But as soon as we started talking about it, I realized that the word “rift” is in practically every fantasy or sci-fi video game that has ever been made. Think about it. In Destiny, Warlocks cast rifts to empower their allies. In Warframe, the character Limbo enters the “rift dimension” to evade foes. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, one of your primary goals is closing the many rifts which have opened into the world of the Fade. A location in Genshin Impact is called The Forsaken Rift, and another in Final Fantasy XIV called “Interdimensional Rift.”
Moving onto game titles, there’s this year’s Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. There’s League of Legends: Wild Rift. There’s an MMO that celebrated its tenth year this March simply called RIFT. An upcoming base-building game is called The Riftbreaker. The Oculus Rift!
Maybe I’m just prone to noticing the word everywhere because I grew up playing a tabletop RPG called Rifts — which incidentally had an NGage-exclusive video game tie-in called Rifts: Promise of Power — but it’s not like there aren’t a lot of other options here. Why not try out “breach,” “cleft,” “rent,” “tear,” or “fracture?” Warframe uses “fissure” for one of its mechanics, which is a nice change of pace. I implore game developers: let’s let “rift” rest for a while. We can come back to it in a decade or so, when the word “lacuna” has become omnipresent.
You can listen to the full conversation and hear which words Danielle and Steven would excise from gaming in the player below on episode 126 of Channel F, The Jedi Who Force-Ghosted Me.
So, what one word would you banish from video games forever? And what other examples of rifts in games did I miss? Let me know in the comments.