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I have to confess that as a science fiction author and an amateur exoplanetologist, the continued misuse of the word biome bothers me slightly, and I cannot help but feel like I am not the only one who is virtually insignificantly irritated by such linguistic abuse. As such I am proposing the creation of a new word that will make certain scientists cringe and whine, but will also be far more accurate for what the game designers intended:

Geome |jÄ“ËŒÅÂm|

noun Video Game Geology

A group of areas or a contiguous area with similar geographical features separate from biological ecosystems and habitats.

And just so we're clear, I'm not suggesting the change of any mechanics or anything like that. I'm only suggesting a superficial change: the creation and use of a better, more accurate customized word to replace an ill-used one for use outside of Kerbin.

Edited by Scoundrel
Forgot to clarify a few things!
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It's a really small thing, but this bothers me a bit too. Biomes are supposed to have biological ecosystems of some description in them, so it doesn't really fit to have biomes on Mun and such. It's obviously not important, but it would be nice to have it changed :) Geome works I guess :D

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I have to confess that as a science fiction author and an amateur exoplanetologist, the continued misuse of the word biome bothers me slightly, and I cannot help but feel like I am not the only one who is virtually insignificantly irritated by such linguistic abuse.

Yeah, it is a bit of a misuse, but at least nobody's saying "mobs" yet... I like Sal's suggestion a bit better below though..

(And now you understand how amateur rocket scientists feel when KSP varies fuel consumption with changes in ISP instead of thrust~)

I actually dislike both terms, I think the word Biome caught on thanks to Minecraft, but I'd just call them 'regions' :)

But regions are groups of chunks~!

Actually, I'd probably go with 'region' too (and you're probably right about the origin of the usage)... Although 'geome' sounds appropriate, I think it would be better to use a word that would be instantly understood than invent a new one that may involve a degree of explaining..

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It's a game so I guess if I was forced to accept biome I could do it - but I tend to agree with OP.

But regardless of what it's named, it still seems to be kludgey way of defining areas of supposed scientific interest. I would love to see specific named regions with unique items to find and assess. Anomalies, alien crash sites, ancient structures, strange geologic formations etc all with specific game play elements or wrappered in various story lines. Having specific "things" eliminates the need to come up with synthetic naming conventions.

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Here is a hierarchy:

Planet

Region

Area

Location

A region is a large area, like "southern hemisphere". An Area is essentially what a biome is now. And a location is an exact point on the planet.

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Well, I think that in Minecraft, it'd be more correct to use "biome", as "life" (mobs, plants) exists everywhere. Geome makes more sense for extraterrestrial bodies, as not all (if not few) sustain life.

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Some interesting replies here and a couple of good points. I shall humbly respond thusly:

With regards to regions:

Geologically speaking, region is in fact technically the closest to the correct terminology for what passes as biomes. However this game doesn't follow geological reasoning because this is the Kerbalverse and things are different, and thus the proposal of a new term to deal with this discrepancy, which leads to...

With regards to learning new words:

Some players feel that others won't be able to cope with a new word since knowledge of the word biome came from Minecraft and thus its reproduction here in KSP. As it turns out, I was in fact aware of it, and was the reason why I coined the term Geome rather than push for the terms "region" or "area": it is similar enough to the word biome that few would not be able to associate the words with each other; and adding the word Geo in front of it makes its meaning relatively obvious.

So if we put it in the context of "Explore the mountain geomes of the Mun and bring back a sample" a player will only likely be momentarily confused, much like a player who is told to explore a biome for the first time... though it wouldn't actually be presented like that, as it would read "explore the mountain areas of the Mun and bring back a sample" and under the science section where the reports are listed it would read "geomes" rather than "biomes" (where appropriate, of course), making the context much stronger and allowing the reader to draw their own conclusion through simple pattern recognition.

And if a player never looks at the science reports, they'll never even know that they're called geomes. :)

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I agree with OP that 'biome' is technically incorrect so a more appropriate word should ideally be used, though it's no big deal either way as long as it's easy for everyone to grasp what it means in game terms. And currently 'biome' does the job.

Or have no official names for them. Just say "X Report from X on the Mun."

IMO there needs to be a particular name for them, as 'biome' is now, for clarification to avoid confusion with other 'area description' names used in game.

I had never really come across 'biome' before playing KSP (sorry, Minecraft never really appealed to me, just take me away and shoot me now), but I got its 'KSP meaning' quite easily. With that in mind 'geome', or whatever word is used, would most likely be no different to most players.

So...

Biome is currently used, and works, but is technically incorrect.

Geome would work and be more 'accurate', but it's not currently a real word, though I don't really see that it matters. And I do quite like it's simplicity, and similarity to biome.

Anther possible name could be - Environment

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Probably thanks to Minecraft, a lot of people understand the term biome. Introduce geome and all you'll get is threads asking what it is. Changing it adds nothing whatsoever.

It adds not having a word that means an community of life forms (an ecosystem) applying to lifeless bodies. It'd be like having contracts request an unmanned probe, but require it have a kerbal aboard.

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I'll wait for the OED to change what they think, rather than using some definition at a random website (that happened to grab a good domain name early on ;) ).

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I'll wait for the OED to change what they think, rather than using some definition at a random website (that happened to grab a good domain name early on ;) ).

That's fine. I guess we'll keep "biome" then ;)

Also, you could use the 2nd definition on the only dictionary that matters*, "The natural world, as a whole or in a particular geographical area, especially as affected by human activity."

Unless you object to the use of the word "human" because no Humans have ever visited Mun.

*I don't actually think this

Edited by 5thHorseman
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