Toons, a slang term commonly used in online gaming, has its roots in two distinct areas of gaming culture. The term’s origins can be traced back to the naming of personal characters after cartoon characters, as well as its use in referencing characters from a table-top RPG named Toon back in 1986.<h3>Personal Characters Named After Cartoons</h3>
Many gamers have a habit of naming their personal characters after famous cartoon characters from their childhood. This trend began in the early days of gaming when character creation was more rudimentary, and players had to use their imaginations to bring their characters to life. This practice evolved into a trend of using the term “toons” to describe these characters, as they were often playful and reminiscent of the animated characters they were named after.
In some cases, toons may also refer to a specific character in a game that has been designed to resemble a cartoon character or exhibits exaggerated cartoon-like features. These types of characters often have a comedic or lighthearted tone and are designed to appeal to players of all ages.<h3>Table-Top RPG Toon</h3>
The other origin of the term “toons” in gaming comes from a table-top RPG named Toon, which was first released in 1986 by Steve Jackson Games. The game was designed to be a satirical take on classic cartoons, where players would take on the role of cartoon characters and engage in silly adventures.
The game was well-received by players and quickly became a popular addition to gaming groups across the world. As a result, the term “toon” became synonymous with the characters in the game, and eventually, players began using it to describe any character they played in online games.<h3>Usage of Toons in Gaming</h3>
Today, the term “toons” is widely used in gaming culture to refer to any character a player creates or controls in an online game. This includes characters in massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) such as World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV, as well as characters in popular mobile games such as Genshin Impact and Fate/Grand Order.
The term is also used to describe the act of creating new characters or “alts” (alternative characters) in games to try out different play styles or engage in specific activities. For example, a player may create a toon specifically for player versus player (PvP) combat, while using their main character for other aspects of the game.
Additionally, some gaming communities have embraced the term as a way to build camaraderie and humor among players. Players may refer to themselves and their fellow gamers as “toonsters” or “toonies,” and use the term as a way to signify their love for gaming and the shared experiences they have with other players.<h3>Conclusion</h3>
Toons, a term that has its roots in the naming of personal characters after cartoon characters and the table-top RPG Toon, has become a staple of gaming culture. Its usage has evolved to encompass any character a player creates or controls in an online game, and it is often used to build camaraderie among players. As gaming continues to evolve, it is likely that the term “toons” will continue to play a significant role in the language and culture of gaming.