Talk:extra life

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extra life[edit]

"(video games) An additional life acquired during the process of the game." Ain't this just a life that is extra? Some console games (e.g. Streets of Rage II, Rainbow Islands) allow you to choose how many continues you get, which are sets of lives; it seems to me that these are "extra lives", even though they aren't picked up in-game. Am I mistaken? Equinox 02:27, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

From the perspective of someone who never played such games much, this seems well within the idea of a metaphorical 'life' that is 'extra'. I would hardly even expect that there be a specific sense at life. Delete, subject to someone's persuasive argument otherwise. DCDuring TALK 02:45, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
And there is even a video games sense at life. DCDuring TALK 02:48, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
I play video games. From my perspective, "extra life" really is "extra"+"life". (that is, the entry is perfectly understandable as a sum of parts) Delete. --Daniel 05:28, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Hmm. I'd go as far ahead as to consider this a set phrase. additional life, while attestable on b.g.c, is very very rare, so it seems to me that you can't really replace the word extra with a synonym here. -- Liliana 14:02, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
But clearly one can say "one more life", "n more lives", "another life", or if this is supposed to be uncountable, "more life". It isn't hard to find such instances. DCDuring TALK 14:55, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
"Bonus life" is, or was, rather common. Equinox 14:57, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Move to a glossary of video game terminology. If someone offered to sell you an "extra life" you would (or should) immediately know that they were speaking of something that exists only in video games. bd2412 T 01:44, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I've actually always considered this an idiom. Having said that, we do have the senses at extra and life. So I'll abstain. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:03, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I do think there is some idiomacity to the phrase. If I host a dinner party for ten people, and it turns out I have made enough food for twelve, then I will end up with extra food, which is a bad thing because some will go wasted. "Extra" is often taken to mean in excess of what is needed, which can be neutral or negative. An extra life in a video game is almost always a good thing (it really is sort of a bonus). Another way to look at it is this: suppose you start the video game with four "lives", and you play all the way to the end (for those games that have a definite end scenario), but you only need two lives to do it. At the end of the game, you will have two lives that you never used, so they turned out to be "extra" lives in the sense of the extra food at my dinner party. However, these would not be "extra lives" in the sense of additional lives that you can earn during the course of gameplay, and may use up by the end of the game. bd2412 T 20:26, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
The positive or negative valence of extra is strictly context dependent, AFAICT. "I always like to have extra food for unexpected guests" is an example." "Extra" before you might need it: good; "extra" when you actually need it: excellent; "extra" when you no longer need it: neutral; "extra" that causes regret or gets in the way or has to be disposed of: bad. DCDuring TALK 21:09, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
That is true. Nevertheless, if you start with four lives and lose two while gaining none, you do not finish the game with two "extra lives", but merely with two lives that you didn't need to use. It is only if you acquire additional lives during the course of play that they would be called "extra lives", which makes the term potentially idiomatic. Absent such a definition, if someone told you they finished a game with three extra lives, you would need to ask whether they meant that they had three lives that they didn't need to use at all, or whether they needed to obtain three additional lives during gameplay to finish the game. bd2412 T 01:34, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Lots of things have a use-it-or-lose-it character, including other items in the games world. Do all the collocations with "extra" have to be entered here to present this valuable cultural knowledge? DCDuring TALK 04:30, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Do they otherwise meet the CFI in terms of attestability? Do they have a preponderant meaning, such that their use in an ambiguous sentence would immediately indicate to the video game player (but not to the person unfamiliar with that field) that their is only one correct sense intended, and that sense may differ from what would be expected? bd2412 T 14:56, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't know, but my general experience tells me that ambiguity resolution is a normal natural process. Can this be resolved empirically? Does it need to be resolved theologically or politically? DCDuring TALK 16:18, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
It's easy to see it that way for those who have this implicit definition embedded in their experience. Suppose you were a foreigner or even just an elderly person out of the loop of video games, and you read about someone having an extra life. How would you resolve that ambiguity, short of looking to a dictionary? bd2412 T 15:11, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Extra life is not "embedded" in my experience. The possibility of plural lives is, so I didn't have to look at [[life]] to get the idea of "extra life", at least once I knew a context. I noticed that one could come back to life in some games. That cats proverbially have nine lives and that there are Phoenixes and divinities that can be said to have more than one life primed me for the idea, I suppose, but I had never heard or read "extra life" before. The novelty, it seems to me, is in the idea that, in some contexts, one can have more than one life to give, pace w:Nathan Hale. DCDuring TALK 16:13, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
You have just described exactly how it is embedded in your experience. If you had never played a video game where it was possible to come back to life (and there are many people in the world who never have), then the term would be confusing to you. Let's help those people when they come to the dictionary to see what the term means. bd2412 T 18:58, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
If the would-be entry were for extra persnickle, I might look up persnickle if I couldn't live without someone else's inference. The question is what life might mean that allowed extra to be used with it, as the more common senses are not good fits with "extra". DCDuring TALK 20:19, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
That's why my proposal is to move the term to a glossary on the media to which the term applies, and not keep it as an entry in mainspace. That way, when someone without knowledge of video games sees or hears of an "extra life" with the term being used ironically or out of context, they'll know right away that it is a reference to video games. bd2412 T 21:31, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
As an avid gamer, this means what it looks like. An extra life. Yes I agree that this collocation is probably used more than others, but I can safely replace it with one more life or another life to mean the same concept. Strong delete. JamesjiaoTC 22:05, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
My point above is that not everyone is an avid gamer. To someone who is not, the meaning of the term is not obvious. bd2412 T 15:28, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
But that point has already been addressed: there is a context-specific meaning of "life" that can be looked up and makes the meaning of "extra life" NISoP. If one followed the line of reasoning you seem to be applying we would need to have entries for every syntactic compound that had a context-specific meaning for one of its components (or at least its head). DCDuring TALK 15:45, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, again, I am not advocating that the entry should be kept, but that it should be relegated to a glossary or an appendix of gaming terms. bd2412 T 16:09, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I see. Glossaries (in appendixes) appropriately have somewhat lower standards. They would seem to be a worthwhile thing to translate into other languages as a unit. DCDuring TALK 16:33, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

deleted -- Liliana 19:26, 5 October 2011 (UTC)