Have you ever played “The Sims” or heard someone mention “reticulating splines”? This curious phrase has become a part of popular culture, but what exactly does it mean?
“Reticulating splines” is a phrase used in the popular computer game franchises created by Maxis Games starting with “SimCity” but continuing with “The Sims”. The phrase was used to indicate that the game is loading, it has no actual meaning or purpose in the game and was included as a humorous nod to technical jargon often used in computer software. The phrase has since become a popular inside joke among players of the game and is often used in a playful or sarcastic manner to refer to the process of loading or repairing software.
So, where did the term “reticulating splines” come from? The word “reticulating” means to form into a network or interlacing pattern, while “splines” are mathematical curves that are used to represent smooth shapes in computer graphics. The term was likely chosen as a nod to the technical jargon often used in computer software and game development.
It essentially means “arranging lines”, but in context on a loading screen – “please wait”.