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A gaming clan is basically a team of people who play multi-player video games as a team. They compete in matches against other clans and may even enter cash tournaments.

As with teams in other sports, they vary widely in their style, level of formality, membership requirements etc. Many in the First-Person Shooter business will use military styles and may award "medals".

The term "Clan" for gaming teams likely came from BattleTech, which featured ritualistic warring factions known as clans. With the release of multiplayer functionality with Mechwarrior 2, amongst the first Deathmatch styled PC games, players formed groups based on them as a way to act out fantasy battles. Completely original clans popped up soon after.

A common feature of all of these is the "clan tag", which players will display when they are playing in a match or on a general server. It's basically a uniform. If a clan was called Sabre Knights From Miami, their tag might be SKFM. In certain games, these may have other names, such as "squadrons" or "guilds".


Examples:

Real Life

Fictional

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