Good Game, or Was It?

By Ginku and McMeghan. Art by ZapDraws.
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It doesn't really matter what part of the community you're involved in; if you're reading this, chances are you've read and used the phrase "good game" before without thinking much about it. Whether it was because you actually enjoyed the game (not that this actually happens in this day and age) or because everyone else does it—it's simply the norm, a harmless formality at the end of the game. Unfortunately, the end of a game of Pokémon can be quite heated, making this harmless formality the cause for conflicts of all kinds, be it a small argument on the ladder or hours of drama in official tournaments. With insults thrown and wars fought over it, the correct or incorrect use of these two letters has become an important part of the game; over time, a variety of different gg-types with notable differences in meaning and impact have developed, which we'll go into detail about in the following.

The Standard gg

As the most basic and common form, the standard gg is usually delivered without any capitalization or added remarks; the game is over and there's nothing else to be said about it. While the original meaning is Good Game, this really only means the game is over and doesn't say much about what the user actually thinks, causing some people to skip it altogether (this indifferent silence is not to be confused with the angry silence, a form of the Not gg, but more on that later).

Considering the lack of actual meaning, it's best to just say your own gg and move on. Unless, of course, you disagree with it being a good game, in which case firing a volley of insults at your opponent is the preferred course of action.

The Genuine gg

With the slow but steady decline of value in the Standard gg making it nothing more than a formality, the need for a way to let your opponent know that you actually enjoyed the game, as unlikely as it may be, arises. So, when someone does find a way to have fun playing the beautiful game that is Pokémon, the Genuine gg steps in, usually accompanied by some sort of compliment, such as "well played, it was fun".

This generally only happens after close games with barely any relevant instances of luck and never if your opponent doesn't like you, making it a rare sight. Since you won't see many, you should try to appreciate it instead of just proceeding as usual; a bit of sportsmanship can never hurt. For every game with a happy end however, there's more than enough filled with drama, which leads us to the next type.

The Not gg

The opposite of the Genuine gg in both meaning and frequency, the Not gg is the loser's way to make sure everyone knows that it was indeed not a good game and they should not have lost, making the phrase's normal use inappropriate for the situation. It can be delivered in multiple ways, be it through calculating the chances of the game's outcome, a "bg", or simply not saying gg when confirming the loss, but the meaning stays the same: they should have won, they are angry, and they want everyone to know. Everything is fair after a game of Pokémon, so don't be surprised if you're called a "classless ****" or "talentless trash" if you end up winning a Not good game. A variant of this is the Sarcastic gg, where the user voices their disapproval through finishing the game in an overly friendly tone, outright praising the one who just flinched their entire team to death, or with a simple "'gg'".

The reasons for the game being as Not good as it was can range from hax over simulator bugs to counter-teaming, which may or may not have had an actual effect on the battle, and the user will generally fend off any claims of a deserved victory with ease—if you disagree with them, chances are you don't know how to play the game. Should you find yourself in this situation, there are multiples ways to get out of it. The easiest one is by simply ignoring the onslaught of insults and moving on, but you could also try to calm them down with a Modest gg; for fearless readers, a more unorthodox way of dealing with it is going for the Offensive gg they just set themselves up for, provided you can take the heat.

The Bluff gg

Another rare and particularly sneaky variant, the Bluff gg is an attempt to turn a lost game around by luring the opponent into a false sense of security. The user simply says gg when the game seems over, usually to try to convince the opponent to go for the faster but risky way to win the game, thus throwing their win away, only to reveal their last Pokémon's fourth move to take the game. Particularly cruel individuals will do this when it's not even necessary just to raise the opponent's hopes before crushing them, and some might even go as far as sacrificing half their team only to win anyway with what's left. However, this is widely regarded to be a dick move and thus only done between friends or by people who just don't give a damn, such as the legendary Blightbringer.

The reaction to this varies greatly depending on the particular situation. More experienced players are likely to notice the bluff and acknowledge it as a desperate but valid strategy, while newer players might perceive it as a cheap trick to steal their win and subsequently lash out at the user. The best way to deal with it is to simply end the game in a way that works no matter what the opponent says; there's no need to mistrust everyone, but there's also no harm in winning safely. If you find yourself losing a game to it, you should probably take it as a lesson and move on, unless of course you decide to go with the classy option of calling your opponent out on the utterly undeserved win they just robbed from you.

The Modest gg

The Modest gg is essentially an apology, and serves as the counterpart to the Not gg. After all, you can't just tell your opponent that it was a good game after you crushed their hopes and dreams with your 100% burn rate Scald, so you have to let them know that you're not all that happy about how the game ended, even though you probably are. Considering the circumstances and depending on the opponent, executing a Modest gg can be somewhat difficult, although simply apologizing for any unfortunate circumstances usually works.

Due to the nature of the game, a Modest gg is usually a futile attempt at defusing the situation; expect it to be outright ignored or met with claims of dishonesty, as nobody could ever feel negatively about getting lucky. Despite this, trying it is usually the best way to end the game; otherwise, for example, by explaining that you could or would have won either way, whether you're right or not, you risk your Modest gg being mistaken for the worst of offenses: The Offensive gg.

The Offensive gg

An Offensive gg is what happens when the winning player says their gg before the loser or before the game is over. This usually isn't a big deal and both sides move on, but if the loser happens to disagree, prepare for drama. It doesn't really matter what happened in the actual game. The Offensive gg is the opposite of sportsmanship, the definition of a douchebag. It's the one line nobody should cross. If it is crossed, the reaction is rather violent. Research is still being done about why these two letters can lead to arguments of this scale, but what matters is that if it comes down to it, you have to think carefully about what you're going to do.

Dealing with the Offensive gg is naturally very different depending on the side you are on. If you are Offensive gg'd by your opponent, it is important to rethink carefully if this is actually the case or if you're overreacting before doing the inevitable and lashing out at them anyway. If you're being accused of it, the situation is usually similar to dealing with a Not gg; clarify your intentions and move on, or play their game and go through with it. If you actually are soulless enough to deliberately use the Offensive gg, whether it was intended from the start or adapted to later on, make sure that it actually has the intended effect, or you end up looking like a douche without even getting a laugh out of it. An interesting twist to this is when the "winning" player says their gg when the game is still going and then ends up somehow losing. The effect of this is ridicule rather than drama, but that's still a good reason to avoid it; Offensive gging just shouldn't be done.


After reading this, you might find yourself wondering what we should learn from this, and we honestly have no idea. It could be that we shouldn't take this game or two letters said after it so seriously. It could be that we should forget our anger for a second in favor of sportsmanship and just be nice to each other. It probably is that none of those are going to happen, so we might as well make it more interesting. Who knows? The lesson that everyone can take away from this, though, is to think twice about the worth they see in two simple letters, and we hope that this article helped you understand the correct use of this crucial part of competitive play, should it ever come down to it.

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