Kusoge (literally translating to “shitty game”) is a term that refers to video games that have poor design, bad gameplay or hideous graphics, and yet are embraced by the gaming community, although, the term can refer to well-designed games as well, which are filled with glitches and bugs and thus making the game unpleasant and impossible to play.
A “Kusoge” game is the epitaph of the “so bad, it’s good” phenomenon, as players manage to find satisfaction and enjoyment in them, despite the terrible realization done by the creators of the game.
The word “Kusoge” was created by the collision of the two Japanese words “kuso” and “ge”, with the former meaning “crap” and the latter “game”, literally translating to “shitty game.”
The initial utilization of the term is accredited to Japanese video game journalist Jun Miura, who used kusoge as a phrase first in one of their articles in 2002. Since then, gamers – especially fans of Japanese culture – began embracing the term on sites like Reddit and 4chan.
Despite the fact that “Kusoge” originates from 2002, it had not been known broadly among peers of the gaming community until 2011, when a number of lists started to circulate on the web that compiled games that are “so bad they’re good”.
In 2013, the term was added to the British encyclopedia website Encyclo.
YouTube also contributed to the popularization of the term, with lots of content creators featuring “Kusoge” games in their videos throughout the years.