What does the word "chunky" mean in the following sentence from the description (not available online) of the game RuneScape:

Jagex is the creator of both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, the latter of which is maintained for admirers of the game’s chunky late-’00s incarnation.

The meanings "thick" and "in chunks" do not seem to be relevant here.

Wikipedia says that "when Old School RuneScape launched, it was originally an August 2007 build of RuneScape." But there is nothing in this information that can help me figure out the meaning of the word "chunky".

Any suggestions or inputs?

2 Answers 2


As computer game technology has increased, graphics have become higher in resolution. Terms like 'chunky' and 'blocky' have often been used to describe computer graphics using larger pixel sizes, either in comparison to contemporary graphics of the time, or by modern standards.

Back in the 1980s, game designers often had to make a choice between a wide colour template, or higher resolution graphics - some micros of the day offered different resolution modes, so you could have reasonably high-resolution graphics but perhaps only in 2 colours (monochrome), or have lower-resolution graphics (ie bigger 'chunky' looking pixels) but more colours. Because some regions had quite a number of competing micros with varying graphics abilities, games across formats were often compared and as a micro-user during this decade and can recall that terms like "blocky" and "chunky" were often used to suggest that a game on one format had lower resolution than on another.

Sometimes 'chunky' graphics can be a style choice - Minecraft being a good example of a modern game that looks like it is much older. However, in your example, it is referring to an older incarnation of the game and describing it as "chunky" - presumably because of the lower-resolution graphics of the time in which it was made.


I think you will find the pointer is provided by the word incarnation. Thus making the relationship to appearance.

I would suggest that it relates to the graphics. Chunky is a rendering tool used in Minecraft and hence the association with graphics in the world of Computer gamers.

How to make renders - A Detailed Chunky Tutorial

Thus Chunky not only meaning in chunks, block like, but block like graphics.


a particular physical form or condition of something or someone that is changing or developing


  • 1
    "Chunky" found use in descriptions of games and computer software long before Minecraft. And a "chunk" in Minecraft is more than an allusion to blocky graphics: it's the name given to a 16x16 region in the game's world data storage format.
    – TypeIA
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 6:19
  • 1
    @TypeIA Thanks for the info, No doubt you are correct. I was just making a connection between Chunky and Graphic's that was easy for anyone to relate to. The technical details of games, I believe are addressed on another Stack Exchange site.
    – Brad
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 7:12
  • In terms of software, chunky can also mean large, slow and/or cumbersome. I think Minecraft may be a poor/misleading example because the word has a different and special meaning in that context which doesn't relate to other games/software. I'm not familiar with RuneScape so I don't know exactly what's meant by the OP's description.
    – TypeIA
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 8:10
  • I would suggest the technicalities of software are not directly applicable in this post on ELL. I just tried to make a vague connection between Chunky and graphics.
    – Brad
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 8:21

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