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Usage of this word has increased in certain segments of the population due to its presence in role-playing games and computer games, such as those in the first person shooter genre. Melee originally refers to confused, free-for-all combat among a group of fighters, as in a medieval tournament, as opposed to single combat. The term has been adopted and popularized by gamers to encompass all hand-to-hand fighting. For instance, gamers will refer to "melee attacks" as opposed to "ranged attacks".
In such games, a melee attack will only hit its target when at extremely close range. It often uses no ammunition, and to create game balance, these attacks may be faster or more powerful than ranged weapons for which ammunition is abundant. Due to the difficulty of approaching and attacking an opponent at extremely close range when ranged attacks are available to players or enemies, a successful melee attack is often considered elegant or skillful, and the game may reward players who manage to successfully utilize such attacks.
Other game genres in which this term is used are role-playing, action, and tactical games in which it is considered as any non-magic attack used at close range.