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

I found the term "run’n’gun" in an article about video games. What does it mean in that context?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, Hellion, Nathaniel, Jim, ermanen Dec 16 '15 at 3:32

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm not a gamer, but my son is. Most of the video games he plays contain characters with guns trying to shoot other characters with guns or characters who are constantly running from one side of the screen to the other trying to avoid being crushed or blown up by dropping or floating or flying bombs, boulders, bricks, and other baddies. – user21497 Oct 19 '12 at 11:27
You might want to try looking this up in a dictionary or two, and editing your question to add what you find (or more likely, don't find). Otherwise, you risk downvotes for "does not show any research effort". – Marthaª Oct 19 '12 at 13:26
another popular term is "COD", which refers to the popular game Call of Duty, where "run'n'gun" is the main style of game play. You'll often see gaming rules that read "No COD allowed". Meaning to play slowly and carefully. – ThinkingMedia Oct 19 '12 at 14:34
While your following Martha's advice (which I hope you'll do), I hope you'll also either provide a link to the article, or an excerpt of the paragraph where you found the phrase (or both). You've hinted at the context, but more specific info would be helpful. – J.R. Oct 19 '12 at 16:09

Exactly what the name implies, the opposite of sniping, sneaking or camping. Shooting while running — remaining in motion to be a harder target, confusing opponents by brash (suicidal?) tactic, spraying bullets while in motion.

Many games introduce accuracy penalties (on top of naturally increased difficulty) for this tactic, encouraging stopping, aiming precisely and using terrain for cover, while in others it's essential, as immobile targets become overly easy to hit. This is frequently where "dynamism" of a gameplay comes from — classic Quake 3 Arena would have you killed within seconds if you stop, while in Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl "run and gun" is bound to get you killed as you run into a hard-to-see anomaly or get swarmed by enemies, while sniping, stealth and careful dodging is the way.

An official use would be in Fallout: New Vegas perk:

The Run 'n Gun perk reduces accuracy penalties with one-handed ranged weapons (Guns or Energy Weapons) while walking or running.

You should also note a specific, related term kiting, denoting running backwards while shooting a chasing opponent (who is only equipped with a melee or short range weapon). It's a common necessity in many games and requires a good knowledge of the layout of the game, as you don't see where you're going.

share|improve this answer

This may seem tangential to the focus of the question, which is on the meaning of "run'n'gun" in the context of video games, but I want to point out that the term "run-and-gun" originated years before video games, in the context of basketball.

A team that used a fast-break offense to score points as quickly a possible—instead of a methodical half-court offense based on a "pass-first, shoot later" approach to the tempo of the game—had what was called a "run-and-gun offense." The term also implied that the team quickly launched a lot of long-distance shots if it failed to get a fast-break layup at the beginning of a particular possession of the basketball.

A Google Books search for "run and gun" turns up matches from as early as 1963–1964. From "Bears Stun Patton," in Midwest High School Cub Reporter (1963–1964), reprinted in Ecological Psychology: Concepts and Methods for Studying the Environment of Human Behavior (1968):

The slow, control Midwest team of last year turned run and gun, and showed promise for a good year with a stunning upset over the Kaws of Patton, 66-64.

Robert Chapman & Barbara Kipfer, Dictionary of American Slang, third edition (1995) has this entry for run-and-gun:

run-and-gun 1 v basketball by 1970s To play in an aggressive single-handed way, for high scoring: ...as a big city ball player looking to run-and-gun—Philadelphia 2 adj: ...the Lakers' run-and-gun offense—Newsweek

It is very likely, I think, that the gamer use of "run'n'gun" was an appropriation of the standing term from basketball, taking advantage of its existing familiarity but adding a literalist twist to it.

share|improve this answer
A similar phrase was also used in (American Gridiron) football: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run_and_shoot_offense – cobaltduck Dec 15 '15 at 20:48

Little late for this reply but I noticed no one included that a Run N' Gun is a real training/recreational event in which you carry your firearms/gear over distant areas with cover of varying stances and targets. Its the best training. Second only to live fire exercises (your fellow soldiers fire in preset locations/situations in a controlled setting but you can die accidently) and combat itself. Nutnfancys youtube channel covers Run N' Gun events.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.