Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-03-24/WikiProject report

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WikiProject Report: Video games

By Rudget, 24 March, 2008

This week we interviewed a few members from the Video games WikiProject. With a large number of members, the project and its participants have made the project into a high-achieving group with seventy-nine featured articles, nine featured lists, sixteen A-class articles, one hundred and sixty seven good articles, and seven featured topics - placing it among the very small group of WikiProjects which have very high numbers of good or featured content.


Questions
  1. What does the Project cover?
    Someoneanother: Individual video games as well as series articles; from the original video, computer and arcade games right through to the modern systems and emerging platforms such as mobile phones. All game genres and types; including online, multiplayer, casual and the indie scene. Characters, either within game or series articles, or as separate character articles and lists. Video game culture and terminology. Magazines, podcasts, websites, court cases and events. Developers, leading figures in gaming, publishers and musicians involved in the game industry. The project's remit is wide and continues to widen as videogames and related topics expand in influence and popularity.
  2. Have any of the daughter–projects taken any ideas from it?
    Krator: Though many of the daughter projects work in a similar fashion as the Video games project, I think this is caused by the nature of the subject, rather than any ideas that were taken. There is not much interaction between the parent and daughter projects in general, this may be something to work on.
  3. Was there any particular reason behind the creation of the project's own barnstar? A user perhaps?
    Pagrashtak: Jacoplane made our barnstar—see User talk:Jacoplane/archive4#Current Events Barnstar for a conversation regarding its creation.
  4. How could the project improve? Greater input needed etc.
    Guyinblack25: A project is only as good as the editors that comprise it. Improving the writing skills of members and getting everybody on the same page will strengthen the project as a whole. Trying to get all the video game related articles to comply with Wikipedia's various policies, like Wikipedia:Notability and WP:NOT, is a sizable task that not everyone in the project knows how to do. Writing well-written, neutral prose is another area that not all members have experience in. Efforts to better connect projects members and consolidate resources have been in discussion and should be implemented in the near future.
    Masem: Video games are a tricky beast from an encyclopedic viewpoint in that there are three ways to approach most topics: discussion of the game, development, reception, and sales, discussion of the game's gameplay and how certain tasks in the game are done, and discussion of the game as a work of fiction, describing the plot and characters. Moreso than other topics, all three need a careful balance which is now being realized in our Featured Articles and Topics, but it is a slow learning curve. Video games, being a completely contemporary topic, also tend to lack the academic and paper sources that other topics enjoy, and we are working to try to ensure that the best sources are used to back up key articles.
  5. The project is very high achieving, how could this distinguish it from other projects?
    Krator: The main cause of our high number of featured and good articles lies with the project's editors, of whom many are quite attached to the specific topics they write about, for example, a particular game series. Fandom is usually admonished on Wikipedia, but in this case, it motivates people to write good articles. A second thing, more project-related, is that the project's experienced members share their experience through peer reviews and assessments (which are more like peer reviews here). Furthermore, on featured article candidate pages (we keep track of those), project members often comment on each other's articles. I think that, as an editor, you're more likely to take criticism well when it's coming from someone you've seen around the project.
    The downside of this approach is that many of our high importance articles, like the video game genres and "video game" itself, are neglected, because these subjects do not have any dedicated editors. Compare the trend of the project as a whole to neglect high importance, vital articles.
  6. How does anyone uninvolved in the project start off? Is there a newsletter or a welcoming template etc.?
    Gazimoff: As a newcomer to Wikipedia, I discovered the project through my interest in video game related articles and was quickly welcomed after posting on the project's talk page. I started off by offering to help out with ongoing work, such as processing articles that required cleanup or referencing. Since then I've started to get heavily stuck in to improving the quality of existing articles, as well as creating a couple of new ones. The project members have been really helpful in providing assessment and peer review of the work I've done, as well as helping me learn the ropes through mentoring.
    Krator: A welcoming template was made only recently, and we're now writing the first newsletter. Before that, and perhaps still, a large amount of new editors started out with the project through direct interaction with the project's members. For example, an editor involved in a dispute may be pointed to our project talk page to seek broader consensus. Another common way of getting involved is the assessment department: when assessing articles, we usually leave some suggestions for improvement, and new editors often come back to seek reassessment. Finally, as with all WikiProjects, the largest source of 'new blood' is curiosity: "what's that funny banner doing on my article's talk page?"
    Dihydrogen Monoxide: I first saw a banner for the project on the talk page of an article I was interested in, and it looked like fun. I found the project really welcoming, and its members quite helpful, so I just dove in and tried to do my bit to improve video game articles. It's been a while since then, but I feel that many members of the project agree that one of its strength is the sense of community within it.




Also this week:

Single User Login — WikiWorld — News and notes — In the news — Dispatches — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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