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Naming our Universe.

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Quote Originally Posted by sexyfunkymonkie View Post
I wasn't sure whether to make this a thread or post it as a blog. (if this is the wrong sub-forum, I apologize) Eventually, I decided to make a thread, since I really want to hear what the beautiful minds of TTW think, and it seems more likely that I would get replies here than in the blogs section. In any case, here is my question/topic of discussion:

I've been writing a wide variety of short stories and novels for many years now, all of them taking place in "the multiverse". One odd difficulty I am having presently, is that I do not have names for the universes within the multiverse, which forces me to say "our universe" or "a primary, D&D style, fantasy universe". Needless to say, this can be a pain in the ass, and a huge barrier to communication when trying to discuss the interactions between universes, travel between universes and even simply specifying which universe I am talking about.

I have done some searching online, but have found no evidence that our universe has a name. Simply, "the universe" is not a proper name, since many physicists now suggest that it is very likely that other universes could exist outside our own. (i'm not going to explain how this is possible here, so you will have to either trust me on this, or go do your own research) Regardless of whether or not this is actually true, the possibility does exist; and even if it didn't, there are many fictional stories involving alternate universes, so it seems only natural that our language would include a name to distinguish our universe from others, whether they be fictional or not.

Usually, I would simply coin a term myself; but, in this case, I am wary of attempting to do so. Who am I of all the people (and possibly non-people) in our universe to be the one to name it? It seems like this should be an honor granted to someone who has made great progress in a field of astronomical science, or some similar area; not just some kid who needed a name for the universe and made it up on the spot.

Is there a name for our universe?
Should there be; or else, why not?
I figured I would put this in my blog as well, since it is kinda half-blog half-new thread post. Hopefully, TTW won't think this too akin to double-posting; but then again, if you do, then why have a "blog this post" feature in the first place?

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  1. Ao's Avatar
    The name for our Universe is... The Universe (aka The Cosmos). You are at liberty to come up with any naming convention you see fit in order to write fiction that occurs in alternate universes.

    Universe can be defined as: everything that exists anywhere

    Therefore, it would seem to me that the term Universe would contain all alternates. This means that alternate Universes are simply subsets of the parent Universe.

    So far as a naming convention for subsets. I'd go with something simple like,

    -- Universe
    ----- Universe Alpha
    ----- Universe Omega
  2. Sefarian's Avatar
    This was a major problem for me when I was developing the campaign setting I used in my maptool's campaign Duality of Shadows, which is currently on hiatus. What I ended up coming up with was kind of a serial line system since the cosmology in that particular setting is so ridiculously vast.

    More or less, you had several different multiverses called "Dualities". Each of these realities had an overwhelmingly vast number of parallel universes within them, running through an unending oscillation of universal restarts - in essence, each universe inside each Duality would begin, end, and be reborn in a continuous cycle. So with that in mind, the serial I created for identifying universes named the duality, the universe number, the time cycle that universe was in at that date, and the local date relative to where you are inside that universe (dropping this part if you're not in the duality at the time). It looked something like this.

    R-1040.389.05-23-2010AD-E <--Our world today in the Duality of Radiance in hypothetical universe #1040, cycle 389.

    But really, it comes down to how big of a role universes play in your campaign. If you only have a few to worry about, then I just treat naming them and developing them like slightly larger planes. But if your campaign focuses heavily on parallel realities, then it might be wise to come up with something a bit more complex.