Joy Class Androids

Creating Joy

What ever possessed you to take on this character?

That is a bit of a messy story. Just before I got started with on line Trek gaming, I had been involved in an OMNI on AOL message board debate on the nature of sentience. Absolutely no conclusion was being reached. I figured language, tool use, the ability to learn, and sufficient emotions to motivate the sentient creature were all necessary elements.

In the way of most message board debates, proponents of each element were arguing about which was more important, and fans of various animals were arguing about which were closest to being sentient.

My conclusion was that all of the above elements would be crucial. Integration of them all was more important than deciding which necessary element was more important than which other necessary element.

At the same time, I was running an off line science fiction game. My cousin was playing an android character, was struggling with the concept, and was complaining about how difficult it was to run an android. Seemed like a challenge.

Long before, I had watched the "Star Trek: Generations" movie, and was *not* impressed by Data's emotion chip. As I saw it, the emotions are essential motivators and behavior modifiers, and should be integral to any sentient design. I just didn't like what happened to Data, and was determined to do better. (The new emotion chip equipped Data is moving towards being a comic relief character. I understand the actor wants to kill the character off.)

All of the above was bubbling around the back of my mind when I discovered Star Trek gaming on AOL. Suddenly, I needed a Trek role playing character. Initial requirements were of course android, sentience (language, tool use, ability to learn, and emotion), emotion chip design with emotions well integrated into the decision making process, and playable as a fun role playing character.

Given these requirements, I decided that the base emotions would come from an Asimov Processor, as in the classic Three Laws of Robotics. However the classic Three Laws couldn't work for a Starfleet android, as Starfleet personnel sometimes have to kill, so I had to tamper with the 3 laws. I added Mudd as it was the best remembered android show in the original series, and the TNG androids are all Soongs, whose processor design is unfathomable.

Given that a century passed between 'I Mudd' and the current TNG era sims, I gave the Joys a century of service under a Ferengi serving under the Ferengi Four Laws of Robotics. As traces of the Ferengi Four Laws still lurk in Joy's memory, this made her behavior a little more complex and helped round her out. I also inserted a trace of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys, but so far the Joys have been so saturated in the Asimov processor feedback that the Holly traits seldom surface.

It has all come together better than I thought it would...