map

Detail of the original map of Greyhawk, the first D&D milieu.pl. n. maps; adj. map-like, v. to map, mapping, mapped
1. n., in general usage, a representation or diagram, usu. inscribed on a flat surface, of the layout of the relative locations of things, usu. representing the Earth’s surface or the celestial firmament as viewed from the Earth’s surface; other locations, structural interiors, objects, and even concepts can be mapped; Middle English mapemounde, Old French mapemond, Medieval Latin mappa mundi “map of the world,” Latin mappa “napkin, cloth” (on which maps were drawn); c. 14th Century CE.
2. in wargames, tabletop role-playing games, and other hobbyist games, a flat representation of the area in which exploration or combat is to take place, often drawn on graph or hex paper or a mat.
3. in computer role-playing games, first-person shooters, and other computer games, a representation of the player character’s surrounding terrain and/or enemy units, updated in realtime, often a pop-up display or permanently located in a corner of the screen. See automap. See also fog of war.

Addendum: Maps are a big deal in hobbyist games. Role-playing games and wargames revolve around them; and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the majority of board game playing boards are maps.

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