Yeah, I thought that too when I first ran across the term, but no- "character" in this case refers to a device that can be accessed with no buffering/caching by the OS (as opposed to a block device). In other words, a data stream can be fed/read to/from a "char" device on a character-by-character basis as opposed to on a block-by-block basis. Serial ports (USB or traditional), keyboards, and mice are all examples of character devices.
Also, every device in Linux is given a major and minor device designation, hence the "char-major-188" designation. A full list of devices and their major/minor designations can be found in your /usr/src/linux/Documentation/devices.txt file.