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In Inform 6, the animate attribute, when given to an object, will make the game behave as though that object is a living thing. Unless the author implements different rules, animate objects may not be taken by the player, and may be the target of certain game actions which restrict themselves to animate objects. Animate objects may also be given orders, although by default, they never follow them. Instead, the game tells the player that the animate object has better things to do. The male and female attributes are especially useful with animate objects.

Code Compare: Non-player character
ADRIFT 4:The Character dialog box
(Add a Character/Edit Character)
Inform 6:The animate attribute
Inform 7:The animal, person, man, and woman kinds
TADS 2:The Actor class
TADS 3:The Actor, UntakeableActor, and Person classes

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TODO: Another article off the top of my head. This one had four links going to it though, so I'm doing something good. As always, feel free to edit or rewrite.