FPS Meaning & Definition

1. Short for frames per second, fps is a measure of how many full screen, still images are captured or displayed in one second of video recording/playback or video game play. In videography and video gaming alike, the quick succession of still images is used to create the illusion of motion; the higher the fps, the smoother the motion appears. In general, the standard minimum frames per second needed to maintain realistic motion is 24 fps. While a high fps (60+) makes animation appear more realistic and can improve the appearance of slow motion effects, it can also create an unreasonably large file size and cause playback to lag.

2. When capitalized, FPS is an acronym for first-person shooter, a genre of console and PC gaming. These types of games are characterized by their first-person perspective, which allows the player to navigate the landscape of the game with only their character s hands holding a weapon in frame to situate themselves. This creates a more immersive experience for the player instead of allowing them to play from an omniscient third-person point of view. The first major FPS game, Doom, was released in 1993, spurring countless imitations and the rise of FPS gaming as it s known today.

Compared to the early days of FPS gaming, today s games feature more complex narratives, higher quality imagery (thanks to a higher fps among other factors), and a stronger push toward fantasy world-building. It is important to note that FPS games have long been criticized for their violent themes and the ethical dilemma that comes with killing characters in a video game, although studies have refuted arguments that violent actions by players in video games directly lead to real-world instances of violence. Most notably, debate about the violence of FPS gaming rose to the national spotlight following the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, when the aftermath of the tragedy revealed that the shooters had been frequent players of FPS games like Doom and Quake.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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