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Glossary of Video Game Collecting Terms

0 - C

  • 3 Screw:  NES cartridge assembled using 3 screws (Rev-A/Revision-A)
  • 5 Screw:  NES cartridge assembled using 5 screws (No Rev-A)
  • Altered: A game that has been modified using original parts using apparent techniques
  • Artist: The creator of the original artwork used on a game's box
  • Baggie:  Clear plastic bag in which many cartridge games were originally packed in
  • Black Box: Eponymous name for Nintendo's first line of NES game boxes
  • Board:  Circuit board inside the cartridge that contains the game program
  • Box:  Outer packaging in which a video game was originally sold in stores
  • Cart:  Game cartridge; plastic "shell" containing the program board
  • Certification ID:  Number that corresponds to a specific game certified by Wata
  • CIB:  Complete In Box or Cart, Instructions (manual), Box; an opened game with its original components
  • Clamshell: Plastic game box type that snaps open and shut
  • Code: Refers to a specific code on a game component
  • Color touch:  Ink applied to a video game box or manual post manufacturing to cover up defects
  • Competition Cartridge: Special version of a game used in a competition, usually limited to a specific country or region
  • Component grades:  In the case of CIBs, each component is assigned a grade which is disclosed on the Wata label. The CIB's overall grade is weighted as follows: Cartridge (30%), manual (20%) and box (50%)
  • Console:   A home video game system, usually played through a TV
  • Counterfeit:  Game components created by someone other than the original publisher to closely resemble the original with the intent of selling the item deceitfully as an original
  • Country of Origin: A game component's location of production
  • Crease:  Fold in a manual or box that may or may not break the color printed on the fold

D - G

  • Database ID:  Number that corresponds to a particular game in the Wata database
  • Details: Basic historical significance of a game listed on Wata's matrix code and printed on games with 3D labels
  • Disc: Alternate medium of a cartridge game; one that is contained on a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/etc
  • Donor/Recycled: Used original game components salvaged for use in another project, usually a homebrew or reproduction game
  • Dust cover/Sleeve: Piece that comes with some cartridge games used for storage and to prevent dust and damage to the pin connectors of the exposed circuit board
  • Endlabel: Part of the label on some cartridge games the wraps around the end and makes the game title visible when stacked
  • Error: A factory flaw or mistake that is not a variant, but is unique and  unintentional
  • Exclusive: Variant of a game that is only available though a specific channel
  • Factory Sealed/Sealed:  Video game which remains in the same sealed condition as it was when it left the factory
  • Fiber (%): Recycled material percentage listed on some Nintendo boxes creating a minor variant
  • First- party: Game components made by the company who manufactured the system the game is made to play on
  • Foil:   Metallic printing on certain variant game components
  • Game Component: Main pieces that compromise a CIB, the Cart, Manual and Box
  • Game Specific Insert (GSI):  Insert, such as a poster or map, that is specific to only one game. GSIs are not required but are desirable, as they add value to a CIB
  • Grade Details: Information listed on Wata's matrix code and 3D labels containing component grades, seal rating, and other notes pertinent to a game's condition
  • Grading/Certification:  Process of impartially and professionally assessing a game's authenticity, contents and condition and assigning a grade using fair, objective standards. Grading includes component grades for CIB game submissions
  • Grading Scale:  Numerical scale used to quantify the condition of a video game. Wata's scale goes from 0.5 to 10.0 with 23 levels
  • Greatest Hits/Platinum Hits/Player's Choice/Etc. : Refers to low price reprints of a system's best selling games to drive more sales, creating unique variants

H - P

  • Hack: A game that is created by altering an existing game's code, usually to create unique characters or levels with the same basic gameplay mechanics
  • Handheld: A portable video game system, convenient for travel.
  • Hangtab:  Video game box manufactured with die cuts on the back to hang the game on a hook for display or sale, characteristic of early NES boxes. Also refers to a thick plastic sticker placed on the back of a game for the same purpose
  • Homebrew:  Video game made by an individual or small group as a passion-driven endeavor. Homebrew games are released in limited quantities through non-commercial/retail channels
  • Incorrect Married Part (IMP):  A game component that is from a different title or print variant than the one it is included with
  • Inner Box: A structural or centering piece that holds the contents inside a game's box
  • Insert:  Various pieces originally included inside a game's box outside of the cart, disc or manual. 
  • Kiosk Demo: Game used at store kiosks for demonstration purposes
  • Label:  Sticker placed on a cartridge to identify a game. Also used to describe the information portion of a Wata holder
  • Licensed: Game made under licensed and approval of the console's manufacturer
  • Loose:  Cartridge only; without other game components
  • Longbox:   Box variant type named for it's extended length compared to most standard box sizes
  • Manual:  Instruction booklet included with a game which explains how the game is played; also called instructions
  • Married:  CIB game with one or more components which came from different copies of the same game
  • Mock-up:  Item made by a game publisher to preview the finished product for internal review or promotional purposes. Typically refers to a box
  • NES: Nintendo Entertainment System
  • NES- GP: (Game Pak (NES-GP) variant designation seen on the back of NES Black Box games
  • NES TM/R: Variant designation referring to the trademarking of the word "Nintendo Entertainment System" on the front of NES Black Box games
  • Not For Resale (NFR): Specifically branded game or box, usually intended for kiosk demos, system pack-ins, or promotional use
  • Pack- in: A game variant that was made specifically for inclusion with a game system or other peripheral  
  • Pedigree: A game that comes from a recognized collection with exceptional provenance, quality, size or other unique outliers
  • Population: The number of known examples of a game or specified variant, usually filtered by state or grade
  • Port: Conversion of a game originally developed for a different console
  • Promotional Copy: Game designated as a premium for a specific reason as a giveaway or redemption option
  • Prototype:  Cartridge made by a game publisher for internal development and testing purposes
  • Publisher: Company that releases a game for sale; may be the same or different from the company who developed the game
  • Publisher Specific Insert (PSI): Insert included by a game's publisher for a series of games that they have released

R -Z

  • Ramp: SNES cart design directly below label on front, open face
  • Rating: An evaluation of a game's content by the ESRB, the VRC, or other game rating board to act as a buyer's guide for parents and consumers
  • Raw:  A video game that has not been certified
  • Region:  The country of release and compatibility for a game, not to be confused with country of origin or where the parts were made
  • Reproduction (Repro):  Game components created by someone other than the game's publisher to offer a cheaper substitute for the original, or fantasy pieces of games not released in different markets. All have minor differences from the original.
  • Restoration:  Video game component with material added (including color) to improve its appearance or repair damage
  • Rev- A: Revision A, denoting Nintendo's change from a 5 screw cartridge design to a 3 screw design on NES game components
  • Seal Rating: Wata's grade assessment for a factory seal that covers a game's box
  • Seam (Description): The characteristic type or method used in the manufacturer's factory seal for a given game (H-Seam, Y-Seam, V-Seam, etc.)
  • Shell:  Casing of the cartridge which houses the circuit board that runs the video game's program
  • Slab:  Certified video game in a case or holder
  • Slot: SNES cart design directly below label on front, slotted
  • SNES: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • SOQ:  Seal of Quality; usually relating to Nintendo's various forms of them used on NES games (Round SOQ, Oval SOQ TM, Oval SOQ R)
  • Standard Insert: Insert that is included by the manufacturer inside games both published by first and third party companies across many titles
  • State: Wata certifies games in 3 states:  Sealed (factory sealed), CIB (complete in box), or Cart (loose cartridge)
  • Sticker Seal: Alternative method of sealing game rather that shrink wrap, the box is sealed with a small sticker
  • Styrofoam Block:  Piece of Styrofoam inside a video game box that ensures the contents do not shift
  • System: Console, portable or platform on which a game is compatible to play on
  • Test Cart: Non-retail cartridge used by repair sites to test video game components
  • Third- party: Game components made by a company other than the manufacturer of the system the game is made to play on
  • Unlicensed:  Game made without the approval or licensing of the console's manufacturer
  • Unreleased: Game that was partially or fully developed, but never commercially released, either in a specific region or at all
  • Variant:  Many games were produced over several years. Minor and even major changes were made to game components over time. Each one of these changes is a variant. Some games have no variants and others can have 10 or more known variants.
  • Year: Original year of release for a game title, filtered by Region and Publisher