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Re: Modeling fictional characters in movies and TV

From: Richard Wallis <richard.wallis@oclc.org>
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2013 09:38:56 +0000
To: Jason Douglas <jasondouglas@google.com>, Gregg Kellogg <gregg@greggkellogg.net>
CC: <public-vocabs@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CD12EB30.4A23%richard.wallis@oclc.org>
Starting from the point of view that most of the Œrealš types of things we
want to describe could have fictional equivalents ­ fictional people
(characters), fictional organisations, fictional places, fictional products,
fictional automobiles, fictional planets, fictional fizzy drinks, fictional
races, fictional religions, fictional songs, ...., ....

I am thinking perhaps a more generic solution might be appropriate.

What about a FictionalThing type. Probably a sub-type of Intangible, having
createdIn and referencedIn properties both having an expected type of

To describe something as fictional you would only have to add FictionalThing
as an alternativeType, or add a typeOf attribute in RDFa.

That way we would not have to invent a new type for every new thing that we
find a fictional instance for.


On 09/01/2013 02:04, "Jason Douglas" <jasondouglas@google.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 8, 2013 at 6:01 PM, Gregg Kellogg <gregg@greggkellogg.net> wrote:
>> On Jan 8, 2013, at 5:43 PM, Jason Douglas <jasondouglas@google.com> wrote:
>>> > On Tue, Jan 8, 2013 at 3:43 PM, Gregg Kellogg <gregg@greggkellogg.net>
>>> wrote:
>>> > 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
>>> <http://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.
>>> >
>>> > Cool!!
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > The schema.org <http://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:
>>> >
>>> > <http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Where_No_Man_Has_Gone_Before_(episode)>
>>> >   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> .
>>> >
>>> > One downside of this is that when you have multiple characters you lose
>>> the ability to correlate the actor to the character.
>> In the example below, I set schema:actor on the character
> ah, missed that.
>> , but it's obviously loosing some temporal information. More complex modeling
>> can be more accurate, but within the context of a single graph (e.g., for a
>> specific episode), we can probably simplify it that there is a signal actor
>> for each character, or at least a set of actors. 
>>> > An alternative, that Freebase uses, is to create a class for Performance,
>>> that has the properties of character (expects Character has you defined) and
>>> actor (which works the same as actor on today).
>> This is sort of like an Event, which acts to join various elements together
>> (characters and actors in this case), perhaps along with elements such as
>> scenes and locations. I like the idea of having a Performance class, but
>> there may be times when simpler modeling works.
>>> > Connecting that to TVEpisode could be done with either a new "performance"
>>> property or by making actor accept Person or Performance.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > <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.
>>> >
>>> > Since the Wikia communities are the real domain experts here do you think
>>> there's any chance they could enumerate these in a public schema.org
>>> <http://schema.org>  extension proposal?
>> This post was an attempt to get that started, and the most obvious missing
>> pieces are for Character and Location, along with the character relationship.
> Agreed, those are needed incremental additions.
>> Video Games is a deeper subject, and we can share the work we're doing, but
>> it will be a more substantive proposal. I'd really like to use it to get a
>> conversation with other people who have worked on modeling games. Our current
>> focus has been on linear first-person shooter style games, but much of the
>> work carries over to open-world/parallel mission environments too. We'll come
>> back with more on this in the future.
> Yeah, Video Games is where I was hoping for a more "substantive proposal" as
> you say.  Sounds good.
>> Gregg
>>> > -jason
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Gregg Kellogg
>>> > gregg@greggkellogg.net
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
Received on Wednesday, 9 January 2013 09:49:16 UTC

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