Glotmorf on 10 Apr 2003 03:24:01 -0000

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Re: [spoon-discuss] A name for... things

On 4/9/03 at 4:51 PM Daniel Lepage wrote:

>On Wednesday, April 9, 2003, at 04:17  PM, Orc In A Spacesuit wrote:
>> We have many things in the ruleset.  Players.  Gremlins.  Societies.
>> Entities.  Objects.  The Yeti.  Etc.  One thing that would help with
>> standardization would be a term that could be used for "Anything that
>> acts on its own/does stuff/performs actions".  This would include
>> players and gremlins and societies and such.  And an adjective to put
>> out front would be good, to show those that are on the grid.
>> I have searched long for such a term.  In the Uber, I defined "entity"
>> as having that meaning.  But I have found a term that may be better,
>> whether in the Uber or not:
>> Volitional.
>> That means, roughly, "acts of its own volition".  A definition I found
>> elsewhere, is: "An object that has the ability to move, and/or talk.
>> Usually it refers to humans, and other sentient and sub-sentient
>> races, but it could also refer to a talking statue or a walking
>> enchanted table."
>> So... it's a long word, but considerably shorter than "player,
>> gremlins, the Yeti, Barney..." etc lists all over the ruleset, list
>> that will have to change every time a new type of volitional pops up,
>> if they don't use a standardized term.
>> What do you think?  Should we define certain kinds of things to be
>> "Volitional"?
>I tried to define such objects as 'entities' once, and that got shot
>down. But if you'd like to try, go ahead. I'll vote for it.

I don't think Barney, the Yeti and the gremlins would qualify as "volitional".  They're not capable of taking independent action, after all; they only take action in response to specific game-context events, such as the beginning of a certain nday, the proximity of other objects, etc.  Otherwise a magnet would be volitional because it can attract or repel things.

If you're going to try to define certain things as "volitional", I'd prefer that they be things that are capable of performing actions independent of game-context events.  That'd include players and societies, but not gremlins or Barney.

Gremlins and Barney would be things that, while not capable of performing independent actions, nevertheless do perform actions in response to game-context events.  Perhaps they could then be classed as "reactional".

That leaves "usable" for objects that take no action at all, but can be a part of actions taken by volitional or reactional objects.  And perhaps "targetable" for objects that can be the target of actions.

Note, however, that these four classes may not be mutually exclusive.


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