This is topic Need a name in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Kent_A_Jones (Member # 10234) on :
In a future full of robots, boys will be boys. A game that they play is to jump into traffic and time the leap so an attending robot will be destroyed while saving them. I need a descriptive, but short name for the game. Any ideas?
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
What sort of traffic?

Posted by Kent_A_Jones (Member # 10234) on :
Human vehicular traffic, car and truck (lorry) analogs, personal and commercial.
Posted by Grumpy old guy (Member # 9922) on :
Hmm, far too generic. If you take a look at what boys do now, or those who think they're hip, there's train surfing, flash mobbing, crowd surfing, and a whole slew of others I aint hip enough to be bothered with. [Smile]

What's the slang for the vehicular traffic, cars? Could be car diving, car bombing, what about 'bot bombing or 'bot bashing?

Posted by JSchuler (Member # 8970) on :
As it is young boys we're talking about, they'd probably come up with "Motorbaiting."
Posted by extrinsic (Member # 8019) on :
A name for the game ritual uses a shorthand summary-type tell. More important is the game's mythology development from the first mention of the motif and each subsequent use. The game could be named chartreuse and have as much significance as "chicken."

Mythology development is at least a motif's agency, a motif's influence upon a dramatic action. If a motif deserves mention, that is because the motif has agency. If a motif has a once and done influence, the motif has little relevance except perhaps for verisimilitude. Motifs with meaning have early influence, further influence later, though changed and transformative, and later yet influence, and changed and transformative influence later. This is Chekhov's Gun for more than only firearms, for any motif.

The game of chicken, for example. Early, perhaps in an opening act, a pair of cars drive toward each other, though veer away early. The agency of the game at that point is only thrill seeking. In terms of a moral human condition, an essential feature for influential motifs, thrill seeking is a bravery ritual related to a pride-humility vice-virtue clash. No harm done, though; they veered away.

In a second act, some harm must, according to Chekhov's Gun, happen. Say one car crashes, though no fatalities happen, maybe property damage to a structure, a billboard perhaps, in keeping with car culture generally.

A final act might then result in a head-on collision. Both drivers' pride demands they not veer away. Pride-humility, though, doesn't carry the action by itself. Another related vice-virtue issue is warranted. Lust purposes, for example, to show off and impress a love interest, though in actuality such rituals are among masculine bond groups.

Boys daring each other to jump in front of fast-moving vehicles so that rescue robots are destroyed strikes me as somewhat of that masculine bond group behavior and also challenges to authority, teenage rebellion, in other words. Pride, sure, as well as wrath directly. Children, boys especially, act out that way because they are insecure from having little or no self-direction or personal power to shape their lives. Indirectly, therefore, sloth too and warped diligence, sloth's virtue counterpart.

Warped diligence, misguided diligence, is a malappropiate behavior when a behavior is destructive and antisocial; however, such a ritual is a social bonding practice that strengthens in-group ties. Like I said, warped diligence. That virtue-as-vice moral contest, therefore, could be an undercurrent that unifies the whole and the action.

A name for the ritual that comes to mind is jump the chicken. The first use may develop the ritual partly as how the boys start, then the second act may show a boy who chickened out getting jumped, beaten, by other boys who have jumped the chicken. A third act then might show the boy who was jumped jump the chicken, though cleverly, such that the game loses its luster.

Puppet might replace chicken, puppet being more apropos of robots. Jump the Puppet. "Droid" is spoken for, though roid might serve also. Roid Jump. Roid for steroid ragers, or hormone, maybe Mone Jump. Direct, one-to-one correspondence, though, is best practice avoided so that readers participate in imaginative development of a motif's significance.
Posted by Robert Nowall (Member # 2764) on :
Reminds me of elevator surfing or car jumping...I suppose something similar would do. Maybe 'bot teasing...
Posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (Member # 59) on :
Or, they could call it something that disguises what is actually going on (to those who might want to stop their game), such as "protection" or "sacrifice."
Posted by Robert Nowall (Member # 2764) on :
I got to thinking it might be a euphemism...say, "crack the sidewalk," or somesuch thing.

(I remember us kids taking turns jumping off a friend's second-story back porches---till his mother made us stop. But we didn't have a name for it.)
Posted by Kent_A_Jones (Member # 10234) on :
I like "baiting" in "Motorbaiting," JSchuler. I'm thinking of Grillbaiting since the intent is to decorate grills.

I understand completely, Kathleen. The fault is mine for not having mentioned more milieu for the exercise. Due to robotic intervention, human injury is virtually unknown. Humanoid robots have so changed society that they have become free to all people. A destroyed bot will be replaced almost immediately. Parents are likely to congratulate a successful child. So, misdirection for the purpose of evading parental punishment would not be a consideration unless the word is a holdover from an earlier time (example: the real McCoy).

I'm not done searching. Many thanks to all contributors.

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