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Latin Names (Polinomials)

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1 Latin Names (Polinomials) on Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:12 pm

It seems like the Latin polynomial has so far been treated like "flavor text" or fluff so far, but I would be very interested in using it as a method of categorization. For example, many card games currently have explicit groups (to use an ancient example, the tribes and breeds in Rage) or definitional groups (like "all cards with Monster Truck in the title"). Why couldn't we use the polynomials for exactly this type of thing? As long as it's information on the card, no real abstract thinking is needed to match.

For example, let's say the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) benefits from the presence of fruit trees (even though their food chain numbers are not adjacent). We could assign the benefit based on a class (say, Magnoliopsida or similar) or genus (like Mangifera).

I propose this would be both more educational (since it actually encourages people to read/learn the Latin names) and make gameplay more meaningful. Given the potential for an explosion of species in the game, it doesn't make sense to pigeon-hole ourselves by referencing specific species names for in-game effects unless that's both relevant and factually accurate. For example, the Whalesucker (Remora australis) could have a Mutualism or Commensalism effect with any organism of Order Cetacea (though we are not currently displaying order or family).

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2 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:19 am

Using the latin names for something other than just flavor text would be a very good idea. Unless they are of value in terms of gameplay, it would be very easy for children to simply bypass the latin names an never worry about them.

a simple "Receives X bonus when played adjacent to X Genus Species" line would almost be enough to make them worthwhile.

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3 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:44 am

I completely agree that this should be implemented and I think we've seen steps in that direction. Part of the problem, as has been alluded to above, is that there are many, many levels of grouping organisms (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, not to mention all of the many levels that scientists have sliced in between). Each level has an increasingly large number of constituents, meaning that there will be (and should be!) a lot of diversity in the Phylum names, for example. Do we really expect the kids to learn all of the phyla we have represented? Being able to search the website will help, but it's still a lot to process, especially if we don't indicate which level of classification the term is referring to.

As of right now, the cards display specific and generic names as well as Kingdom, Phylum (Division for plants), and Class. The problem with this is, for mutualisms and predations and things, these classifications are generally too broad. You wouldn't have a remora attach to any mammal, and yet we don't have a way of specifying cetaceans other than to list each species individually. Genera might work, but that's a bit too specific. Even families are too specific in some cases (there are lots of frog families, for example).

This is a tricky problem to work out, and unfortunately I don't seem to be able to do much more than point out the troublesome points... Perhaps we could replace phyla with orders?

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4 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:33 pm

Perhaps the Latin names could be used in an evolution type game or one that focus's on related animals. Maybe even including cards of prehistoric animals that share relations to today’s animals, such as Andrewsarchus which is related to modern whales (or horses, some sources are unclear). Children as do most people have a natural fascination with such extinct creatures.

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5 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:45 am


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6 Significance of Latin Name to the Game on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:00 am

The glossary asks "...is there a way to include this knowledge in a game?"

Create a new event card called "Science Summons".
It could work basically the same way as "Increase Biodiversity", but to "summon" back a discarded species, you have to be able to call it by its latin name from memory. Considering that playing this card takes more skill than "Increase Biodiversity" this should be a more powerful event. I'd recommend that the person playing the card should get three tries in a turn, and can summon up to three species in one turn before discarding the event card.

Of course, this could simply be an optional rule instead of a card, but the card brings it to attention and limits it.

By the way, imagine how magical it would sound to see players vocalizing species by their latin names. This rule could emphasize that science is a true kind of magic.

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7 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:14 am

Also, I agree that the cards should show Order and Family classifications.
The glossary says "we have chosen the three major ones (for space reasons). These are Kingdom, Phylum/Division, and Class."

If space is a problem, get rid of Kingdom. In most cases a species' Kingdom is obvious and therefore redundant. On the other hand, Order and Family are more educational and could even be significant to the game since several species are are more likely to depend on species from a specific Order or Family (not so often a Class or Phylum, and almost never a whole Kingdom).

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8 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:52 pm

Create a new event card called "Science Summons".
It could work basically the same way as "Increase Biodiversity", but to "summon" back a discarded species, you have to be able to call it by its latin name from memory.

I think it the player should be able to recall up to 3 cards back into play as long as the player can recall all there latin names.

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9 How about three with a card? on Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:10 am

I think it the player should be able to recall up to 3 cards back into play as long as the player can recall all there latin names.
Three sounds good, but I think it should be limited by a single card so that a brainiac doesn't automatically win the game.

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10 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:52 am

Ooh. I do like the "science summons" card. Good idea - I wonder what sort of image would work well here?

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11 "Summons" Image on Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:19 pm

davehwng wrote:...what sort of image would work well here?

Considering that recovering a species would require some sort of relocation, breeding, or genetics program, I think the image(s) could reflect one or more of those.

On the other hand, since Carl Linnaeus gave us this taxonomy, something honoring him would be educational.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Linnaeus

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12 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:02 am

I LOVE the idea of Linnaeus image. Let's see if we can find a funky image of him somewhere. This also means we need a card with Darwin on it. Any ideas out there for the type of event card that could be?

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13 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:34 am

This also means we need a card with Darwin on it. Any ideas out there for the type of event card that could be?

Possibly something linked to two closley related species as in 'Darwins Finches' given an advantage.

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14 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:04 pm

You could also have a Darwin card that allowed the player to add another species card if it matched the genera of a card already in play and call it "speciation"

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15 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:01 am

On the topic of cards, would it be a good idea to include event cards that invole animal habits or physical appearance? For example an event card 'Camoflauge' would allow the user to draw more cards, discards thier hand and redraw, shuffle thier deck, look at opponets hand, ect if they have an animal in play that is camoflauged. I've noticed that most of the event cards effect the played cards and not your actual hand/deck.

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16 Re: Latin Names (Polinomials) on Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:54 am

PhylEMatt wrote:Also, I agree that the cards should show Order and Family classifications.
The glossary says "we have chosen the three major ones (for space reasons). These are Kingdom, Phylum/Division, and Class."

If space is a problem, get rid of Kingdom. In most cases a species' Kingdom is obvious and therefore redundant. On the other hand, Order and Family are more educational and could even be significant to the game since several species are are more likely to depend on species from a specific Order or Family (not so often a Class or Phylum, and almost never a whole Kingdom).

Yes, now we are playing only with 3 Kingdom, it's not really necessary to write it. Maybe is sufficient to color the card or the name according to the Kingdom. Most of the cards are Chordata, Mammalia Chordata, Aves or Arthropoda, Insecta.
I think is sufficient Phylum - Class - Family

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