English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

From the description of the game called Natural Selection 2: 'Choose to play as a bootstrapped Marine or a beastly alien in the action-packed battle for ultimate survival. Natural Selection 2 flawlessly combines a multiplayer first-person shooter with real-time strategy elements for a game that is addictive, immersive and exciting! The tightly designed shooting mechanics combined with intricate maps create a competitive challenge for all players.' The text comes from: http://www.humblebundle.com/

share|improve this question
I wonder whether the copywriter got confused and really meant "strapping". – Marthaª Dec 3 '13 at 20:45
I have put here the whole game description, and the source, maybe then it would be easier to guess the meaning. – user58801 Dec 3 '13 at 21:03
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'm familiar with this game so have some context. Since the game is about marines deployed on alien planets or infested human colonies, and the fight to survive, I think the use of 'bootstrapped' is meant to confer a sense of self reliance, or self initiative. The marines are in it alone and can only rely on themselves to survive.

share|improve this answer


  • Verb: To promote and develop by use of one's own initiative and work without reliance on outside help
  • Adjective: Undertaken or accomplished with minimal outside help.

By these definitions, it sounds as if they're trying to say the soldier is an individual who 'does things on his own, without any outside help'.

It's an awkward construction to be sure, but given the context of it being a Marine in a video game, and it being a player character, them being 'all on their own' seems very likely.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.