Oracle is the term used to refer to a person who serves in a support position for a RLSH individual or team.
In popular culture, "Oracle" refers to the name the former Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, took on during the period of time she lost the use of her legs, thus necessitating a scaling down of her physical crime-fighting activities.
This role has also more recently been dubbed "the guy in the chair," as referenced by the character Ned Leeds in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
There is an excellent article about other fictional characters in the role here (which includes both Barbara Gordon and Need Leeds): "The 15+ Best Guys In The Chair From Popular Fiction"
Due to the heavy influence of comic books on RLSH, "oracle" became a term used to label individuals who perform a similar role to the fictional Oracle. There are varying degrees to which someone can be an oracle, depending on the usage of the term as members of the Real Life Superhero community have different perceptions of what the definition is.
There are RLSH who refer to themselves as oracles or oracle-type RLSH as their primary focus is to gather and collate information, as well as coordinate various other background activity needed for patrol. RLSH who identify themselves as such tend not to work alone, but as members of teams or partner up with other RLSH.
"Oracle" can also be used to describe a specific position in a team setting, in which members can rotate who is to be oracle for that patrol. In this case, the person serving as oracle tends to stay back, serving as the dispatcher for the team out in the field.
Depending on the usage, the term oracle can be a noun describing a specific position or a verb to encompass all the actions the position entails.
The Oracle Project:
New York Initiative co-founder Zimmer created The Oracle Project as a repository of information that could be referenced by anyone in an oracle position.. The site has gone dormant since wikispaces now require paid subscriptions.
Paradox Core co-founders Wolf Paradox and Knightfox ran the Oracle Program, for which Paradox Core members filled an oracle role for other RLSH teams. According to Knightfox, the Oracle Program could be used to:
- Listen in on police/emergency frequencies in case of mass disasters in your areas or places that you need to avoid.
- Look up laws and facts pertinent to a given area
- Give real-time directions
- Access Watch Dog to keep up to date on local offenders
- Make use of a crime map database to reference where local crimes occur
- Possibly fulfill other functions as requested.