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Modeling fictional characters in movies and TV

From: Gregg Kellogg <gregg@greggkellogg.net>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2013 18:43:25 -0500
To: "public-vocabs@w3.org Vocabularies" <public-vocabs@w3.org>
Message-ID: <3E3517D0-8B50-4556-957D-137092392822@greggkellogg.net>
TL:DR: propose adding schema:Character, schema:Location, and schema:FictionalLocation classes, along with a schema:character property.

In the work I'm doing with Wikia, we're using extensions to schema.org to add structure to Wiki content. Wikia hosts hundreds of thousands of wiki's, mostly related to special-interest subjects. Important classes of these include sites about Movies, TV Shows/Series and Video Games.

The schema.org vocabulary is pretty useful in doing this but lacks some important properties and types:

Character class: a Character is a subclass of Person, which is intended to represent some fictional character. This could include fictional human characters, such as Sam Spade, as well as non-human characters, such as "The Cat in the Hat". As such, it could also be considered to be a union of schema:CreativeWork and schema:Person. Alternatively, it may simply be a sub-class of Creative Work which simply has some properties in common with Person (birthDate, colleague, gender, ...). Note that books can also have characters.

Character property: An important characteristic of things such as movies, and TV shows is the characters that are in them. For instance, TVEpisode has actor, director, producer and so forth, but no way to indicate the characters that are in the show. Here is where having Character class comes in handy, so that you might have the following:

  a schema:TVEpisode;
  schema:name "Where No Man Has Gone Before"@en;
  schema:partOfTVSeries <http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series>;
  schema:character <http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/James_T._Kirk>;
  schema:actor <http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/William_Shatner> .

<http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/James_T._Kirk> a schema:Character
  schema:name "James T. Kirk";
  schema:birthDate "2233-03-22"^^xsd:date;
  schema:deathDate "2371"^^xsd:gYear;
  schema:actor <http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/William_Shatner> .

Another class of properties generally useful for works of media classes is Location. A schema:Location class could be a sub-class of schema:Place, intended to describe locations that might not be real, or not at least not having geographic coordinates you can get to using Goole Maps. A location could also be a Fictional Location, such as Middle Earth.

Lastly, many wiki's concern themselves with Video Games, which have quite deep structure. Logically, a Video Game is probably a sub-class of schema:SoftwareApplication. Of course, there are many other things that could be modeled on video games, such as levels, objectives and weapons, but having a concrete class for describing them would be quite useful.

Gregg Kellogg
Received on Tuesday, 8 January 2013 23:44:06 UTC

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