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What are gibs? A brief history.
In most first-person shooter games, if you attack with great force, enemies will fall into pieces. These are called gibs, and have been used in computer games for a "realistic" death effect. For many years, once the enemy got killed by the player, its "lifelike" model disappeared, and was immediately substituted by a bunch of fragments that fall to the ground. These fragments were different models – gib models specifically, designed to look dead, and not part of the original enemy. Glossed over with special effects, this does approximate the process of exploding a body, but is in fact just a replacement – in video games, there is no continuity between life and death.
Where to start
The centrepiece of Gibs Wiki, the database table, is located at 3D Gibs in 3D games.
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Why create wiki about gibs?
The phenomenon of gibs is important because they were the first in-game objects to receive their own mechanics of unscripted interaction. Within the rudimentary, pre-ragdoll physics simulation, players could shoot or kick to place the gibs into any arrangement, or even weaponise them against opponents. This had no use with regards to the narrative, story or objective – it was just for amusement, but the fact of contributing time to create a breakthrough mechanic just for these purposeless acts has opened a long tradition in first-person shooters. They are also the only objects which were intended to be seen from all sides.
How you can help
Established in 2016, this wiki is happily open to all contributors. Gibs Wiki's aim is to create a comprehensive database of all gibs, starting with the earliest and most primitive ones. However obscure, earlier games will be treated by admin with priority. The recommended research method is an archeological one. Instead of archeogaming, which means playing games with an archeological mindset, I propose archeomodding, which concentrates on scavenging for models directly within game archives, using modding tools to navigate the plethora of obscure file formats and fan-created software – without in-game insight into what we're dealing with. Attempts to catalogue items will remain quite close to real excavations, in which we can only deal with decayed material remnants of a culture without ever having access to its reality. This method also welcomes mistakes like believing that ancient Greek sculptures were white, instead of vividly painted as we know now, leading to a misconstrued but nonetheless fortuitous phenomena like the style of neoclassicism. Read About the Gibs Wiki Method for full guidelines.