In shoot 'em ups, a weapons platform that moves independantly of your ship, providing aditional firepower. The player usually has minimal control over droid units. The most well known example is in R-Type.

See also: option

In Star Wars, droids are everywhere. They are machines created to serve mankind (or alienkind, whatever...). For some reason, droids are given personalities. The practical reasons for this may be that this helps provide droids with a sense of creativity, which would be useful when trying to find a solution to a problem. The issue that this raises is that you now have a race of sentient, emotional beings, serving another without a choice or reward. This amounts to slavery.

Some argue that since droids are programmed to want to serve, this isn't the case, but I disagree. If you brainwash a person into wanting to serve you, it's still wrong. And creation of this species does not give the maker rights to dominate it, just like someone cloning a human would not be allowed to rule his creation.

Slavery occurs when a being must serve another. The fact that droids are not rewarded for their efforts merely reinforces the fact that the civilizations of the Star Wars universe have a basic flaw in their ethics code.

This doesn't, however, stop me from watching the movies every week.
driver = D = drone

droid n.

[from `android', SF terminology for a humanoid robot of essentially biological (as opposed to mechanical/electronic) construction] A person (esp. a low-level bureaucrat or service-business employee) exhibiting most of the following characteristics: (a) naive trust in the wisdom of the parent organization or `the system'; (b) a blind-faith propensity to believe obvious nonsense emitted by authority figures (or computers!); (c) a rule-governed mentality, one unwilling or unable to look beyond the `letter of the law' in exceptional situations; (d) a paralyzing fear of official reprimand or worse if Procedures are not followed No Matter What; and (e) no interest in doing anything above or beyond the call of a very narrowly-interpreted duty, or in particular in fixing that which is broken; an "It's not my job, man" attitude.

Typical droid positions include supermarket checkout assistant and bank clerk; the syndrome is also endemic in low-level government employees. The implication is that the rules and official procedures constitute software that the droid is executing; problems arise when the software has not been properly debugged. The term `droid mentality' is also used to describe the mindset behind this behavior. Compare suit, marketroid; see -oid.

In England there is equivalent mainstream slang; a `jobsworth' is an obstructive, rule-following bureaucrat, often of the uniformed or suited variety. Named for the habit of denying a reasonable request by sucking his teeth and saying "Oh no, guv, sorry I can't help you: that's more than my job's worth".

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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