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The Online Gaming Glossary for Educators


Online gaming, especially Massively-Mulitplayer Online Roleplay Gaming, can be rather confusing for people just getting started.  In fact, there's almost a subculture with its own unique language that has evolved around the online gaming community and particularly World of Warcraft.  Acronymns and "hacker-speak" abound!  Throughout this site, the lessons, and the comments, you are likely to see some unfamiliar terms.  Let's take a moment to define some of them.  If you have some you would like to contribute simply add it to the list, alphabetically, please! :)




Avatar - Computer generated character that represents the player in the game world.


Capturing Software - software that allows the user to take pictures of or film the screen of the computer.


DPS - Damage Per Second - a measurement of the amount of damage a player character, non-player character, or an environmental source deals per second.


Instance - a virtual area that is limited to only the players in your group. No other players may enter the instance. These can also be referred to as dungeons.


Integrated Lesson - a lesson plan or activity that addresses competencies from another subject area; for example a math lesson on multiplying fractions could be used for teaching recipe conversions (increasing ingredients) in Foods and Nutrition.


MMORPG - Massively-Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game


Mob - a group of NPCs that can be attacked or controlled.


NPC - Non-player Character - A character controlled by the game (or program).


PAT - Patrol - A NPC roaming around freeley. Commonly used while doing instance's.


PC - Player Character - A character controlled by a player.


PvP - Player vs. Player - Gameplay that involves combat against other player characters.  In World of Warcraft, there are servers designated as PvP servers for individuals who prefer this play style.  These servers function in such a way to allow and encourage this sort of interaction. All World of Warcraft servers allow PvP interaction at some level.


Quest - a task or set of steps that must be completed in order to gain a reward from the quest giver. Common types of quests include hunting certain mobs, gathering items, or traveling to new areas.


Quest Chain - a series of quests that are connected together; where the completion of one stage opens another quest.


Raid - a type of instance that involves 10 to 40 people and content that is significantly more difficult for the group.


RP - Roleplay - A style of play that involves the player acting and speaking as his or her character (avatar) would in the game world.  In World of Warcraft, there are servers designated as RP servers for individuals who prefer this play style. 


WTB -  Want to buy - A abbreviaton for selling item's. Generally used in a "Trade" or "Region" chat.  Example - WTB level 9 sword.


Comments (3)

Doug LaVigne said

at 4:38 pm on Dec 11, 2009

Mob = A single NPC character or monster that you can attack. The name is usually attributed to the old MUD (multi user dungeon) games coding name of "Mobile" for units that moved around and could be attacked.

WTS - Want to sell
WTT - Want to trade
LFG - Looking for Group
- And really, aggro and/or threat management are some fascinating areas of discussion. Knowing how to do as much damage (or healing) as you can, without exceeding the threat level of the tank is a fun balancing act. I am sure there are some math conversations that could spring from these topics.

Lucas Gillispie said

at 4:59 pm on Dec 11, 2009

@Doug - With your level of access, are you able to click the Edit option at the top? If so, feel free to add and edit as you see fit. That's the beauty of the wiki! Thanks for the contributions!

Tad said

at 5:06 pm on Dec 11, 2009

This might be a good time to introduce add-ons (if you allow them). Threat meters admittingly are more important in raid environments, but it gives you a great inside look on the math behind threat (how it is calculated) and gives great visuals on what classes (I'll use tanks as an example here) can generate and maintain threat, how to lose threat, and other fundamentals of group play.

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