Virtual worlds are persistent implementations of a space or container that can contain both player objects (the gamers) and tangible objects (weapons, health packs, magic spells, bases, houses). Virtual worlds have their own properties such as physics, weather, communication, colour and terrain.
Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming Terms & Definitions
MU – Multi-User
Any multi-user text based virtual world is referred to as “a MU”, this term is similar to the term *NIX meaning Linux, Unix, HP-UX or AIX.
MUD – Multi-User Dungeon
Sometimes also referred to as a Multi-User Domain it is a game. The name is derived from the first virtual world to be successful . Often with a role-playing element, the term is more specific than MU because it refers to a specific genre of games rather than any (not necessarily game-oriented) virtual world.
MUSH – Multi-User Shared Hallucination
Many virtual worlds have developed, over time, straying from the role-playing game genre to be come more socially oriented or fantasy oriented, allowing players to act out a fantasy be that pretending to be a dwarf for a week or settling down with a family and having children.
MM – Massively Multiplayer
Technically any game that supports more than 32 players3 is considered to be Massively Multiplayer. For the purposes of this paper a Massively Multiplayer Game must support more than 500 players at any one time in one virtual world.
MMOG – Massively Multiplayer Online Game
Massively Multiplayer Online Games are Massively Multiplayer by nature, online by the fact that they are played by multiple gamers at any one time whilst connected to a network of some form4 and games as they have some aspect of fun or enjoyment to them.
RPG – Role Playing Games (“RPGs”)
Role Playing Games are games which ask the player to immerse themselves in another role. It does not have to be an online game, board based RPGs like Warhammer5 were popular long before computer games became popular. This site refers regularly to MMORPGs – Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.
FPS – First Person Shooter
First Person Shooter is a computer game only term, relating to games which are viewed from the “virtual” players eyes and generally using some kind of projectile weapon to “shoot” other players, be they computer or human controlled. This site refers to MMOFPSs – Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooters
Mobiles or NPCs – Non-Playing Characters
Mobiles and Non-Playing Characters are computer controlled artificial intelligences, designed to mimic the actions of human players. Their purpose is to provide some challenge to the players or to populate some otherwise unpopulated virtual world.