Glossary Of Terms

ASCII -- Acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. ASCII consists of basically the alphanumeric keyboard characters with a few additions.

ARPA/DARPA -- The Advanced Research Projects Agency, later the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The U.S. Government agency that has funded much of the research in computer science in the U.S.A. since World War II.

Articon -- A series of ASCII symbols presented as an artistic embellishment or to signify a sentiment much in the same manner as a hieroglyph. For example: @-->-->--- looks like a rose if you look at it sideways.

BBS -- Electronic Bulletin Board.

Cyberspace -- The domain of interactive electronic mediation in all of its forms: telephone, and telegraph networks, computer-generated environments and networks, all forms of radio, television, and even the virtual space occupied by computer games when they are played.

Cyborg -- A cyborg is defined as 'part man, part machine.' This can have two connotations. The first is that - as a disembodied entity in a MU* - one can be considered as a form of cyborg. The second, is that in a MU* it is possible to create automated replicas of one's self that will perform certain tasks. These automaton selves are known as cyborgs or, more commonly, as 'bots'.

Dataglove -- An input/output device that fits the human hand, and which is represented in the virtual environment as a hand, with the capability of bending and otherwise moving to manipulate objects and / or make inputs by the use of gestures.

Emoticon -- An ASCII symbol used to denote emotion or other none-verbal social cues. For example, if one wishes to wink at a person via a text-based interface, one might type: ; ) which appears to be a smiley face with one eye shut when viewed sideways. A frown might be represented as: : (

Flaming -- This is when someone shouts at another person in a vain attempt to convince them that whatever that other person said or believes is unconditionally wrong or stupid. Shouting over a text-based interface LOOKS SOMETHING LIKE THIS!!

Graphic User Interface (GUI) -- A graphic user interface is a computer interface that allows one to receive visual data (i.e. pictures, maps, etc..) rather than merely text.

Lag -- Due to the processing time required to handle multiple players' computer commands, sometimes there is noticeable delay between the time a player enters a command and when it is processed by the computer. This variable delay is called lag. Object-Oriented Programming -- A form of computer software that encapsulates sets of data so that they can be acted upon as a whole and used as building blocks for specific applications programs.

Player Killing -- In many adventure style MUDs, player killing means literally killing off someone's character (e.g. chopping off their head, clubbing, etc..). However, in other MU*s it can merely be symbolic since many MU*s don't enable players to terminate other player's characters.

Spamming -- This tem is derived from a famous Monty Python sketch and refers to the flooding of appropriate media with information (such as repeated very long sentences). Intentional spamming is considered very rude or a form of aggression and is akin to filibustering.

Teleconferencing -- The linking together of two or more people in a cyberspace, usually in such a way that real-time interaction is possible and all parties are perceived visually as well as by voice, although sound only networks also meet the definition.

TinySex -- A term used to describe test-based virtual sex, wherein two individuals type the scenario out to each other in real-time. For example: "Joe kisses Joan. Joan smiles coyly." etc...

Virtual environment -- A computer-generated, interactive computer graphic, usually three-dimensional in nature, that provides the illusion of being present within an artificial reality. Also a form of database.

Virtual reality -- A form of human-computer interface that relies upon spatial imaging and the illusion of being present within a computer-generated environment.

Whuggles -- Whuggles are a term of affection that is a MU* cross between a hug and a warm snuggle. They are used in the following manner: "Joan whuggles John" or "Whuggle John".

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