The history of POG

(and why it’s poggers)

The history of POG

Sam Jourdan, Staff Writer

Pog/Poggers (pahg / pahg ers) adj 1. response to something causing excitement or delight. “Dude, that was pog!” 2. play of the game

The word Pog originates from a schoolyard game labeled “Milk Caps,” played with flat circular cardboard tops. Players make a stack of these caps, and take turns to drop a heavier “slammer” object onto it, causing the caps to scatter. Each player keeps any face-up caps and re-stacks the face-down ones, repeating the process until none land face-down, at which point the player who collected the most caps wins the game. The game was soon trademarked as Poggers, under which it was sold commercially in the 1990s. The name originates from Pog, a brand of juice made from passionfruit, orange, and guava; the use of the juice’s caps to play the game preceded the game’s commercialization.

Not long after the game gained traction, another term arose, being the title of a winner in a game of Poggers. This too, quickly gained popularity in the form of “Pogchamp” brought about by YouTube series “Counter Cross TV” Featuring Ryan Gutierrez and Mike Ross, in which they competed in a game of Poggers to win a Madcatz brand joystick. 

During an outtake of that same video, Gutierrez makes an exaggerated expression when one of the camera crew bumps some equipment, which later becomes known as the PogChamp emote, most popular on Twitch, named one of the most popular emoticons ever used on the site. Before its removal, PogChamp had been used on Twitch over 813 million times according to global data collected by StreamElements. 

On January 6, 2021, Twitch decided to ban the PogChamp emote after Gutierrez published tweets “encouraging further violence” following a riot at the US Capitol,  leaving the twitch fanbase enraged, staging boycotts and many other efforts to bring it back, which were unsuccessful. 

Even though the word has seen so many forms, meant so many things, and been used in so many ways, it lives on in the hearts of gamers across the globe. With an interesting history and no sign of burning out, Pog remains one of the most popular and contagious pieces of slang known to modern mankind.