A munchkin is an immature player, to whom is ascribed every vice of the egoistic, unsophisticated gamer. The term has no fixed definition, and appears to be applied to every younger generation whose play style is different to those who came before. One common description of a munchkin is a player who thinks that role-playing games can be won and who therefore seeks victory at any cost. It is this use that led to the creation of the Munchkin parody card game by Steve Jackson Games.
The term comes from The Wizard of Oz, in which a munchkin is a little person from a faraway land.
Uses throughout the hobby
The older generation of wargamers applied the term to younger, perhaps very young, players who invaded the role-playing game hobby with their improvisational, powergaming attitudes, Monty Haul style campaigns, and fascination with their own characters. In short, the original munchkins eventually came to dominate the RPG world with their interest in theatrics, heroic PCs, fun-oriented play style and interest in elaborate backstories. The term carried forward a generation, and is still used to label those whose gaming style is deemed, on whatever basis, to be immature and inferior.
Ironically, younger players in the 1990s and 2000s, joining the game through Dungeons & Dragons and other tactically oriented games, earned the label of munchkin from older gamers who like to play storytelling games in which they are immortal, inconceivably powerful, and stylishly evil characters such as vampires wielding katanas, riding bikes, and possibly thrashing on guitars.