- The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. acronym may have a variety of associated meanings but is usually a reference to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game universe which forms the setting for a trio of first-person shooter games developed by GSC Game World.
- The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. acronym is a contraction that represents Scavenger, Trespasser, Adventurer, Loner, Killer, Explorer, Robber, and is tattooed onto the forearm of the protagonist Marked One in the first game of the series.
- Any human visitor to The Zone where the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games are set is referred to and classed as a Stalker. This only applies to the sentient visitors and excludes the previously sentient Zombies.
- The unfortunate victims that have become heavily exposed to radiation and other elements in The Zone - the Zombified Stalkers form a separate faction as far as some games are concerned.
- The film Stalker lent atmosphere to the GSC development, and several S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Lost Alpha locations draw from this resource for building design.
- There are three canon games, all developed by GSC Game World, set in the The Zone, these are (in order of development and release):
- For the wiki definition see here
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
- All of which have their wikis at the quoted links.
- Although the X-Ray engine that forms the basic operating system supporting the physics and dynamics of the underlying Game Space has some deficiencies; and has been through a significant number of revisions, this has not discouraged a multitude of 'modders' from altering the original games and deriving a plethora of 'Modifications' or Mods.
All of these mods interact at some level with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe.
- Within the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Lost Alpha definition of the term, readers should note that some of the purported meanings of the "Tattoo" acronym's constituent characters carry over into game development files:
- Loner(s) are freelancing explorers, also referred to as Loners.
- Killer is used in the gamefiles to represent and define the Mercenaries.
- Explorer is often connotative with the Ecologists.
- Robber may be attributed to the Bandits or their progenitors the Renegades.