Talk:Shoot 'em up

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There's been a lot of great improvements to this article, thanks to user:bridies. But one thing I'm worried about is dropping the section headings for the different types. Admittedly, they were stubs because there wasn't much to say except to explain quickly how the screen operated. But they provided valuable sections to redirect to. I'd really like to see these re-introduced. If we don't bring back the headings, perhaps we could use the mini-headings not unlike what you see at WP:NOT? Randomran (talk) 18:37, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

I forgot about the redirects. I'm not hugely opposed to bringing them back, I just thought it looked better as prose (it looked kind of list-ish before. WP:EMBED). My instinct would be to redirect them all simply to "shoot 'em up," but if we were to be more specific, to redirect them to the whole "Types" section, which fits on one screen. I also wasn't sure where to put the really miscellaneous ones like "multi-directional shooter" (almost nothing in it's old section was verifiable) and "isometric scrolling shooter" (ditto); there should also be a bit about about "cute 'em ups" and I'm not sure where in the layout to put them. That said, I'm not particularly opposed to them being put back in if it helps accessibility. bridies (talk) 19:12, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I re-added them as flags. The flags are using the old section names, just for the sake of compatibility with the old redirects. Randomran (talk) 06:33, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
"Cute 'em ups"? There's no reference material on this genre... -- (talk) 01:21, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
If you look more carefully you'll see they're discussed in Ashcraft's book; Kalata also mentions them as does the lecture notes source (not an ideal source admittedly). bridies (talk) 17:32, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

2D shooters[edit]

I actually have a great little article here about 2D shooters, although I'm not sure if it should be included here. I think a lot of research generally uses 2D shooter interchangably with shoot 'em up. But seeing as bridies has a better grasp of the material than I do, I wanted to know what he thought. A lot of it is great information on gameplay, and clearly refers to the same class of games: robotron in particular. Randomran (talk) 06:39, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, they're pretty much synonymous. If it's about gameplay it should be fine, I think it's just when talking about definitions we have to watch the explicit terminology the sources use (WP:SYNTH etc). We have sources in the "definition" section that talk about rail shooters, run and gun, space invaders and asteroids (which I think Robotron is like?) in the explicit context of "shoot 'em ups" so it should be fine to then go and talk about those in the gameplay section, regardless of whether it's "shoot 'em up" or "2D shooter" in a particular source. IMO anyway. bridies (talk) 11:50, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I went ahead and added some information from the source. The section is probably complete now, or at least reasonably so. Randomran (talk) 19:23, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

completing the history section...[edit]

I know a lot of work has been put into this article, but I can't help but think that the history section needs just a little bit more. Most of all, I think it's missing information on key types of games. Yes, we have the first fixed shooters and scrolling shooters. But can we get a little more about the first multidirectional shooter(s) (I think Robotron is too damn important to be left out). Can we get information on the first rail shooter(s), let alone how they basically replaced tube shooter(s)? The first run and gun game(s)?

The other thing conspicuous by its absence is how the genre fell off. It probably had something to do with 3D gaming, but this isn't clear from the latter part of the history section. Randomran (talk) 19:27, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

You're right that it was because of 3D, the hard thing is trying to find a (reliable) source that says so explicitly. Kind of the same problem trying to find information about "rail shooters" and "run 'n' gun". Rail shooters are/were a pretty rare breed and from the few sources I have it seems the critical consensus is the formula just didn't work very well. There's a handful of exceptions, such as Space Harrier or Rez, but they were pretty much stand alone games without too much influence (I think anyway... Rez in particular was a very cult-ish game). "Run 'n' gun" is a pretty esoteric term, we might have more success just looking for info 2D shooters or whatever. It seems most of the influential and "genre defining" games were spaceship games and of course bearing in mind there's disagreement over whether run 'n' gun games are "true" shoot 'em ups... The thing with run 'n' gun games is that they were pretty much completely superseded by 3D third person shooters, whereas vertical scrollers managed to find a niche with the whole bullet-hell thing (which just isn't possible in a side-scroller, let alone a platformer hybrid), which may explain why they get more coverage. bridies (talk) 19:55, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Also I think "tube shooter" and "rail shooter" are essentially synonymous. The only possible difference I can think of is a "rail" can twist and turn, whereas a "tube" game presumably can't. Again it would be down to advances in hardware, but again it's such an esoteric term it's hard to find anything substantial on it.bridies (talk) 20:01, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I've added a brief mention of 3D games, which hopefully goes some way to explaining why they became a niche. I'll look into getting at least some info on run and gun games. bridies (talk) 20:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I definitely understand the research challenge, especially since some of this gets pretty niche. Give it your best shot. If you can't find anything, I'll try taking another look a little later this week. Randomran (talk) 20:23, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I found some good stuff here: with a brief history of some notable titles. This top 10 list may also be useful just to pin down some of historical highlights. But by far the most useful is this three-part one two three. Not sure it qualifies as a reliable source, but we could easily source it to other more reliable sources. Randomran (talk) 22:16, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, the first one treats light gun games and FPS games as "shoot 'em ups" which I don't really think we can justify here; that kind of very broad definition is more the domain of shooter game. Aside from that it really just covers the same games that are in the article. The other two have the same problem mentioned above in that they talk about spaceship scrollers exclusively and I think most of those games are covered here. bridies (talk) 22:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll take another look through them and try to add in a few nuggets later on, but I think you're right that it looks like we've covered most of this stuff. Randomran (talk) 23:14, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Ok, there is now more info on run 'n' gun/ground based scrollers. I also put in Robotron and a bit about early multi-directional shooters and covered the highlights of rail shooters. I also looked into more tube shooters and it seems they're not quite the same as rail shooters and are even more esoteric. It also seems Tempest is the only one anyone (i.e. reliable sources) has ever really cared about; the most that's verifiable is that it was one of the earliest made (looking through fansites etc confirms it was pretty influential on the comparatively few games of this type made subsequently), so I put that in. I also don't think we need to worry about covering what happened to them. It should now be clear that non-bullet hell shoot 'em ups died down in general with the advent of 3D. Also rail shooters didn't really supersede "tube" games; as I say they are not quite the same and they do still exist if you dig deep enough (e.g. Torus Trooper). bridies (talk) 15:51, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Excellent additions. Assuming nobody else gets to the GA review soon, I might try a crack at looking for a few more sources to fill in the gaps. But I doubt I'll find anything significant. Great work! Randomran (talk) 20:30, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I made a few quick additions that fill in some gaps. What do you think of the small paragraph you can see here? (Specifically, this, assuming that link works properly.) It looks like a nice quick little summary of the evolution of viewpoints, but I'm not sure. You have more experience with this topic, so I defer to you. Randomran (talk) 21:46, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
It is a nice summary, but I think all that is covered in the article, and in more detail. It's really just the names dropped that are different. bridies (talk) 11:11, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Do you think any of those names are conspicuous by their absence? This is a pretty big genre, certainly as big as fighting games if not bigger. (I'm playing devil's advocate.) Randomran (talk) 22:46, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Not really :P It says "gorf and others added scrolling". Well, Gorf was 1981 and Defender was 1980. Also, gorf's "scrolling" seems to have just been a limited amount of vertical movement within a fixed shooter format (going by it's wiki article here). It also says it had bosses, but then 1979's Pheonix had the first shoot em up boss, according to the lecture source in the article (maybe we should add Pheonix, I dunno). It also notes that the levels changed as the player progressed (which is important as it gives the player something to aim for other than high scores) but it seems Scramble, released the same year, beat Gorf to that. Also, Scramble seems to a lot better known as it was more ground-breaking and genre-defining at the time. Zaxxon seems to be have been pretty well known, but I left it out of the history section because it didn't really have any influence (as the source notes; the main source in the article notes this also). It is mentioned up in the "types" section. Centipede is reasonably well-known, but it was just a post-space invaders fixed shooter. Galaxian was out in 1979, the year before it and there's also a few others were out around that time. Actually the source notes it wasn't much different from Galaxian (I'm also not really sure what "more room to maneuver" actually means; presumably it was a bit like Gorf, or maybe it just had a wider axis). I agree it was once as big as fighting games, but these days it's popularity is pretty Japan-centric, whereas with fighting games there's still Tekken, Soul, DoA, as well as Mortal Kombat. I guess what's bothering me slightly is the period roughly 87 to 95. We have Gradius and the first manic shooters but I've read a couple of things (though admittedly one was the old unreferenced version of this article) that hint at a "golden age" around this time. However, I'm not sure if this is legitimately true or it was just a bit like post-Street Fighter II fighting games (i.e. loads of crappy ones with no real success or legacy). bridies (talk) 23:49, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
That explanation is satisfactory by my standards. And when I look at it, it resembles roughly the same amount of detail as fighting games, so that's good. Just that we lose the narrative by the late 80s / early 90s. But then, the genre probably lost a lot of steam around then too. That's also consistent with fighting games, which appears to "lose the narrative" by 2000. Randomran (talk) 23:54, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
This source [1] would seem to confirm the fighting game analogy. The Gunstar Heroes entry says: "Side-scrolling shooters were a dime a dozen in the 16-bit days [talks about gameplay features] which separate Gunstar Heroes from the rest of the crowded genre". bridies (talk) 23:02, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be worth adding something like that to the end of the bottom of the "golden age" section (or perhaps the top of the "bullet hell" section, prior to bullet hell.) The structure would be something like:
  • "By 1989/1990, 16 bit consoles such as the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo allowed major shoot 'em up franchises to make graphically enhanced sequels, such as X and Y. By this time, the genre had become crowded, and it became difficult for a shoot 'em up game to stand out."
I think that would help the article ease the transition from the golden age to the bullet hell stuff. Randomran (talk) 23:59, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I added a a similar bit in, although I made it more general to avoid twisting the content of the source. I also put Contra/Probotector and Gunstar Heroes in. bridies (talk) 00:30, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Looks solid. I can't think of anything else I would add. Good luck with the GA review. Advice: keep an open mind. Sometimes reviewers can be harsh. Randomran (talk) 00:32, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

A few things...[edit]

Alright, I'll try to be brief. 1. Some might argue that Manic Shooter and Bullet Hell are different, and have a different focus, rather than being shooters developped towards the same goals: "Manic Shooter" being the one focused more on fast, speedy reactions from the player, and "Bullet Hell" being focused more on weaving through slow-moderately speedy patterns that focus on precision dodging. In short, Manic rewards the player for reflexes and quick fingers, but Bullet Hell generally rewards the players for staying calm and thinking ahead. (I can't provide a reference for this, just speaking from personal experience of the genre) 2. It might also deserve a mention that many Bullet Hell and Manic Shooter games make use of an exceedingly tiny "hitbox" in general compared to other shoot-em-up games, which is necessary to the playstyle (Only a tiny section of the player character actually is vulneurable to registering a hit, compared to other games where the entire character sprite is a target). (Again, I can't provide you a backup reference but if someone can show me a bullet hell that -does- have a full-sized hit box I'll be amazed) 3. There's no mention of Valkyrie Sky either. It's not even notable enough to have its own Wikipedia page at the moment, but it is worth mentioning in that it's the first attempt (that I know of at least) to put Shoot-em-up gameplay online - an MMOShmup, if you will. -- (talk) 08:38, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Fair enough, but all that is moot without sources, especially since at least one of the sources in the article mentions "bullet hell" and "manic shooters" in the same breath. Also, from a real world perspective it's not that big a deal; they were both developed to give players a greater challenge and to provide a graphically impressive alternative to 3D. bridies (talk) 13:47, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Agree with bridies that this is going to need a reliable source to verify it. But it's very interesting and useful information. Randomran (talk) 15:02, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

There is no distinction between "Manic Shooter" and "Bullet Hell", these words are just sysnonyms. However, the wikipedia article should stress that danmaku-style games do not contain elements of memorization, or very little memorization if any, while the more classical "tactical" shooters like R-Type and Gradius require the player to memorize almost everything. Anything from CAVE being extreme examples of no memorization necessary, on the other hand Last Hope on NeoGeo being an extreme example of a tactical shooter. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

which is not only subjective but not true AT ALL (talk) 19:18, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I want to second that this is in fact leaning towards the exact opposite, or rather that both contain large amounts of memorization in high level play. In order to score high on the standard manic shmup, the enemies are memorized for purposes of chaining. This is also the case in danmaku-style shooters, however there is also memorization of boss patterns that must be memorized in order to even complete the higher difficulties, as is seen in the shot of Perfect Cherry Blossom on the article. As is mentioned on this Shmup Glossary, manic shooters depend on reflexes and directing aimed bullets away from where the player wants/needs to be. Bullet Hell and Manic are sometimes used interchangeably, but being used synonymously with danmaku makes me want to say it should be separated from manic. Reutan (talk) 16:37, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Abbreviation 'STG'[edit]

This abbreviation is used in Japan to refer to the shoot 'em up genre, so I don't see why it doesn't belong here. In fact, the English Wikipedia article for STG redirects here. (talk) 02:04, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Provide a source. bridies (talk) 04:37, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the scrolling and parallax claims[edit]

This is in regards to Birdies' recent attempts at reverts regaring the claims that Defender "introduced scrolling" and Moon Patrol "introduced parallax scrolling". I'm sorry, but the source claims are wrong and going by oft-popularized myths. As Jagged 85 correctly edited it to, Defender introduced side-scrolling (as a main mechanic to gameplay), to shooters. It did not introduce scrolling itself, scrolling of the playfield existed long before and in a mutlitude of directions. Vertical scrolling existed long before with games like Atari's Sky Raider (1978), Atari's Football (1978) (the orientation of this on the actual cabinet is vertical), Model Racing's Super Road Champions (1978). Atari's Lunar Lander (1979) had horizontal scrolling (see starting 32 seconds in). Then there's shooters that had multi-directional scrolling like Meadows' Gunship (1976) Exidy's Star Fire (1979).

Regarding Parallax scrolling, once again the source is wrong. Moon Patrol popularized multi-layer parallax scrolling, it did not introduce parallax scrolling itself. Games like like the previous mentioned Star Fire used sprite based parallaxing as shown in the star field motions. Sega's Turbo (1981) uses a combination of planar and sprite based parallax scrolling. (I.E. the buildings and other items along the track combine sprite parallaxing with scaling, the motion of side fields itself uses horizontal planar parallax scrolling, and the horizon/background is on it's own plane as well. See 1:27 to 1:37 for a perfect example of all three). Even Atari's Battlezone (1980) demonstrates planar scrolling (The mountain scape, vs. the playfield, vs. the first person player targeting are all on separate moving planes) combined with scaling and 2d pre-calculated rotation of the field objects to produce it's pseudo-3D effect. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 09:15, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

This is all moot. You need secondary sources to refute the claims. bridies (talk) 09:35, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually no, check the links given which clearly show it. I've worked on GA and FA articles for the project before, I'm aware of what's required. The actual videos of the games show the source to be incorrect and unreliable at best. Said author's claims would not stand up to said criticism on a GA review with the links given in counter. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 09:39, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
No, you are referencing primary sources, which is original research. If the source is incorrect and unreliable you will have no problem disproving it with other secondary sources. bridies (talk) 09:44, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
And regardless, it is certainly not permissible to add you own wording which misrepresents the source. bridies (talk) 09:47, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
No, OR would be drawing a unproven conclusion based on speculation, synthesis, etc. Once again, looking directly at the game videos and the game itself shows the technqiues in question. It verbatim shows these tecnniques in question, no interpretation involved. You look at the video of Lunar Lander I provided, you see side scrolling. You look at the video of Turbo, you see parallax scrolling. This has been used as a technique on Wikipedia for GA and FA evaluation of references plenty of times before. It's not being attempted to use as a reference itself, which would not be permissible. I suggest taking this to the main project page for third party resolution before turning this in to an edit war. Likewise, the source needs to be removed then. I'm hardly a novice editor at the project, I've been through this before. In fact I'll ask Guyinblack to come here and weigh in, we've both worked with him before it looks like and he's always very neutral. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 09:51, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Right, I'm hardly a novice editor either, so spare me. I have no idea what parallax scrolling really is. It is not possible to clearly demonstrate these techniques using a primary source without the relevant technical knowledge. You pointing to a primary source and saying "this is clearly horizontal planar parallax scrolling" is original research. I'm sure if you want to go to the project page they will tell you to find a secondary source and not to credit a source with claims it does not make. bridies (talk) 09:59, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm also fine with Guyinblack providing a third opinion. bridies (talk) 10:00, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I posted a summary on guyinblack's page, I'll cease any more edits regarding this until he weighs in and I'd appreciate the same. And please watch the sarcasm per WP:CIVIL, I'm not taking your counter position personally and am simply looking to improve the article same as you. My statement regarding not being a novice was to clarify that the difference of opinions we're having are not based on any unfamiliarity of the rules and guidelines. Regarding said definition of horizontal and parallax scrolling, while you may not be familiar with what they are - on the contrary I am in the video game industry both as a writer, progammer, and professional industry historian. That of course would not exclude me from having to post reliable references in an article if the issue was me trying to add unreliable references. That isn't what's at issue here however, we're evaluating a reference someone else already put in the article, questioning it's reliability. And in such a case, per WP:EXPERT, my expertise does add weight on helping evaluate resources and references. Such as when someone is not familiar with a mechanic such as Parallax Scrolling or Scrolling in general and needs help evaluating claimed resources about it. Something I am called upon to do here frequently. That includes said GA Defender article for instance where the very subject of that claim with Defender was evaluated. You not being familiar with parallax scrolling and horizontal scrolling does not make the given videos WP:OR and preclude them for being used for evaluation of said reference. It simply states you're not familiar enough with the subject to be evaluating it and whether said claim content in that reference currently in the article is reliable, not having looked through the required material to make the evaluation and rather relying on said source simply because it's publisher meets general reliability guidelines. That actually usually the very situation editors ask for expert opinions on here. Regardless, if you wish to be more familiar a perusal of said articles on parallax scrolling or side scrolling produces definitions and reliable references you could have used, that define said techniques such as this or other sources are easily found such as this, this, and this. Likewise this which gives examples of what horziontal and vertical based scrolling games are. Once again, I'm want to be clear - I'm looking for an amicable solution and want to work through this. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 11:20, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I have not even come close to violating WP:CIVIL and you are imagining any sarcasm. Any expertise or experience you have does not lend any weight to your position. WP:EXPERT is an essay that failed to gain consensus as a guideline and nevertheless it explicitly states that Wikipedia "does not make a distinction between editors based on their expertise." GamesRadar is a reliable source: I invite you to look up WP:VG's source page. Making an inference based on a primary source which is not immediately obvious to the general reader is original research. Even if what you say is true, Wikipedia's policy is explicitly "verifiability, not truth". If a reliable secondary source says that scrolling was first found in "Game X" and you cannot provide research that counters that, then for Wikipedia's purposes it is true. As for everything else you linked, just show me the reliable secondary source which says that parallax scrolling was first found in another game. bridies (talk) 12:24, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
You also haven't explained why you think it's fine to falsely credit a source with a claim it did not make. bridies (talk) 12:29, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

I haven't looked through the entire edit history, but I think I have a grasp of the situation. In short, I think bridies is following policy for this. However, I think I should note that Marty has yet to steer me wrong for article accuracy. Typically, when he finds an error I hunt down better sourcing on WP:VG/RS or in my library, which is what I ultimately suggest for this article. If an article is inaccurate, then it is a failing of the sources but is still a problem that editors should address. I suggest researching print sources are available, as the article is very reliant on online ones.

In regard to the content writing itself, policies and guidelines leave some wiggle room for non-contentious content. Depending on the source content, I think some synthesis is allowed to maintain accuracy absent from the source. Of course though, there is a line that must be kept in mind to ensure that the source is still usable as a citation for the article content. Verifiability is very important to editing on Wikipedia, but accuracy is also important for the site's overall credibility and in some cases neutral point of view. In this specific case, limited synthesis might be called for because of the abstract nature of the topic (a genre rather than a game). But the history section should try to avoid this as much as possible.

To sum up:

  • Involved editors should seek out the best sources available
    • It wouldn't hurt to verify that the content is in fact accurate by reviewing footage of the relevant games
      • Even the New York Times gets it wrong every now and then. Gaming publications are no different.
      • This is more time consuming, but I've done this on several occasions and have avoided inaccuracies
    • If inaccuracy are found, then continue the research
      • Best to include both sources for neutrality (e.g. Blank is often considered the first example and popularized the example, but Not Blank predates Blank by two years.)
  • Make sure the content is verifiable with limited synthesis to maintain accuracy

My two cents. (Guyinblack25 talk 20:29, 3 January 2011 (UTC))

I was writing a response to birdie when you wrote the above, I'm including the relevant portion of it below with regards to the requirements you and Birdie mentioned. First we'll establish Moon Patrol's actual publication date beyond just "1982" as the current source states, which according to the US Copyright database is 1982-05-08. Zaxxon (1982), is discussed here as being an example of parallax scrolling with Moon Patrol during a paragraph on how the author considers parallax scrolling to be 2.5D graphics. To clarify, Zaxxon has an actual publication date of 1982-03-16 according to the US Copyright Database - putting it not just in the same year as Moon Patrol but before it. Scramble (1981) is discussed here along side of Moon Patrol as being not only examples of parallax scrolling but the first to use forced scroll parallax scrolling. Once again to clarify beyond just the year of 1981 (also currently referenced in the Shoot 'em up page), Scramble has a publication date at the US Copyright office of 1981-01-08. So once again, at the very least we have two games verifiably shown to use parallax scrolling (each reliable source even going as far as to discuss them alongside Moon Patrol) and verifiably (the US Copyright Database is considered a reliable reference by Wikipedia's standards and is frequently used as a reference by the project) further shown to have been released earlier than Moon Patrol. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 20:55, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
It's less than ideal, as it pushes WP:SYNTH, but I am fine with including these sources as a counterpoint to GamesRadar, e.g. "GamesRadar said Moon Patrol was the first but Wolf points to the earlier games...", as GuyinBlack suggested above. To convince anyone that it should be removed will require more numerous and explicit sources. bridies (talk) 05:54, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Can't we simply avoid stating opinions about which was "the first", but instead simply state the facts like "game x from the year y was an early example of mechanic z"? In that way, we can let the reader deduce for themselves which game had a certain mechanic before the other, especially when there are several different claimants. Regards, Jagged 85 (talk) 20:56, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

That would be more simple. But because some game mechanics are not easily recognizable to the layman or are heavily linked to the programming, we need third party sourcing. It boils down to a layman being able to question the validity of what we accustomed to. It makes article writing more difficult, but it provides readers a way to verify the content. (Guyinblack25 talk 21:19, 4 January 2011 (UTC))
I think what he's stating is that we can use said third party source to simply quantify for the reader that it is an early example of said mechanic, rather than letting "first" even enter the descriptive in the article and making that an issue. Which as you know is something we've done in the past in articles here when you have conflicting sources for a specific point. Really it could go in either direction, with what Birdie is suggesting (presenting point counterpoint) or what I believe Jagged is (making said point a non-issue in the first place). My opinion is the history section is really about the evolution of the genre of Shoot 'em up's, not a specific individual mechanic found in Shoot 'em ups and other genres. As such, firsts in general mechanics are not as important as firsts of a game featuring that mechanic that made a lasting impact on the genre. I.E. there's no arguing that Moon Patrol is and important milestone in Shoot 'em ups that visually impacted the genre through it's use of multi-level parallax scrolling. And it's Moon Patrol's (and any other game's) importance to the evolution of the genre that is supposed to be documented, not some milestone independant of the genre that's more relevant to point/counterpoint on that game's page. Moon Patrol being first, last or second to have a mechanic is irrelevant in the context of the article - Moon Patrol having the mechanic and being the first to impact the genre with it is. That's exactly the approach taken by Loguidice and Barton in their book Vintage Games, where they focus on a game that had a verfifiable major impact on the genre and why, fully acknowledging there were earlier games of course that had said individual mechanic.--Marty Goldberg (talk) 21:51, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I see now. I agree that it could go either way. But I think that the content of the sources should be taken into account to some extent. A record from the Gamer's Edition of Guinness World Records would be a tough sell for something like that. Because of that reason that, I think that attributing conflicting sources is the safest route. Like you said, some games introduced features, while others popularized them. (Guyinblack25 talk 22:24, 4 January 2011 (UTC))
I don't get what you meant to illustrate with your Gamer's Edition example. Regardless, I'm for either direction really provided the below is hashed out. My main concern again is that this section follows the proper convention of documenting influences on the subject matter, and that it's references are used to do the same. References/sources are meant to back up and reference content, not be and dictate the content. That just seems reversed to state "Well it discusses it as being first in the source so it must be used in the article as well". Especially in the face of the fact there's of course plenty of other content discussed on that source page not being used in this article as well. Additionally, if a source states some game as first to have a mechanic, but that's irrelevant to what the content it's being used as a reference for is supposed to be about, then simply repeating it because it's in the source becomes of a matter of trivia. I.E. you have to wonder why that reference is being used in the first place. If being the first game to have a mechanic is important somehow to the history of the genre and influenced said genre becuase of it, rather than being the first in the genre to have the mechanic and influence it, than I could see it. In the case of moon patrol, stating it's the first game to have parallax scrolling (likewise the counterpoint to that in this context) benefits the history section of the genre in what way other than trivial? Stating moon patrol is influential in the genre because of it's use of parallax-scrolling and demonstrating why, however, does. Again I would question the use of the source and the intent of it's usage first. Stating "Moon Patrol was a side-scrolling shooter that introduced the use of parallax scrolling" seems less relevant to the content of the page it's on (Shoot 'em ups) than "Moon Patrol was a side-scrolling shooter that introduced the use of parallax scrolling to Shoot 'Em Ups and impacted it by.." or even "Moon Patrol was a side-scrolling shooter whose use of parallax scrolling impacted Shoot 'Em Ups by.." My opinion is whether or not the game is first for the mechanic is more relevant on that game's page. Unless it can be shown that the act of being first (and the counterpoint to it in this case) is somehow more relevant and important to the history of Shoot 'em ups than being first with the mechanic to influence it. I'm also seeing a lot of other content in the History section of this article that should be subject to this sort of scrutiny as well. Remember, that's the same sort of questioning of relevancy of content that usually comes up in GA/FA reviews. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 22:45, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Wiki relies almost entirely on secondary research and sources do dictate the content. It's admittedly a matter of some subjectivity whether or not a particular fact is notable for inclusion, but if a reliable publication felt it was worthy of comment, so too may Wikipedia. The source in question isn't an article on that particular game but a general article. There is room enough in articles for both sources which credit the "de facto" first-game-to-do-this and the first influential example, or whatever you're getting at. We've done it this way with several other genre articles, all of them GAs, A-class or FAs, since you're concerned about those. I'm confident your assertion of systemic redundancy is baseless and that you have a consensus to overturn, but if you have any specific examples feel free to share them. To answer Jagged85's original question: if one simply states that Game X contains mechanic Y in a genre history article, one nevertheless implies that it is important to that history and this in turn demands sourced justification. bridies (talk) 04:02, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Once again you're missing the point and steering towards dismissive statements based on your rigid interpretations, which Guyinblack has already pointed out is not always the standard method of operation here. Sources do not dictate content, sources are found to guide content and prove the reliability of said content. You don't add content from a source just because it's there, you add it if it helps enhance the content on the main page and is relevant to the content on the main page and the sentence you're trying to reference. You have yet to demonstrate how the claim and argument of first or not first is remotely important to the history of Shoot 'em ups, only providing "Well it's mentioned in the source so it must be important." Using the standard layperson arguement, there's nothing there as a novice reading this that states why mentioning said "first" argument is important to the history of the Shoot 'Em Ups genre. In fact I don't see the genre mentioned once in the source. Furthermore, the source's entire content is based on discussing why parallax-scrolling itself is important to gaming itself (which is the title of the full source article itself) with no context of it's relation to "first" other than a single mention in a byline. Putting it as such in the sentence in this Wikipedia article is then giving Undue weight as well. And like you, I'm quite confident that your assertion "it is because it's there" will not survive consensus or review - as such assertions usually have not in any GA/FA I've been involved in - not without more elaboration in the article to the point. You can't "imply" it's importance, as you stated previously you need secondary sources that state *why* game x containing mechanic y in relation to the context of being first, is important to the topic. Otherwise you're just playing a game of "well, I'll ignore everything I stated and go by implication because it's ok when I say it is." And the fact you just changed things back before this discussion is over implies that. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 04:44, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I am dismissive because most of what you say is entirely spurious. Sources do dictate content. WP:V states that "all material in Wikipedia articles must be attributable to a reliable published source". That is, all material is taken from published sources; we do not come up with ideas ourselves and then try to find research which partly agrees with at least some of it. This is true of academic citation in general: it would not be acceptable for an academic publication to make a claim, cite a source and for there to be a discrepancy between the claim and what the source said. The source has a whole paragraph on the "legacy" of the game and the technique it supposedly introduced, if it's important enough to be discussed in the context of gaming as a whole it's important enough to be discussed here. Consensus and precedent is on the side of including the information as we have done in other genre articles, which successfully passed GA/A/FA, so I am unimpressed with your citing of the peer-reviewed content you have been involved in. If you have specific concerns that you feel you can get consensus to change, I'm happy for you to go about it. As for your last sentence, you brought a third editor of your choice to the page who agreed "my" wording is in line with policy and thus that is how it should stay for now, add to that it was not my addition but Jagged85's and that I am reverting to such status quo as there is. bridies (talk) 05:09, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry but that's just backwards. "All material in Wikipedia articles must be attributable to a reliable published source" states all material must be backed up by reliable references, nothing more or less. It does not dictate material irrelevant to the passage needing a citation be introduced simply because it exists in the source. I.E. the source does not dictate content. We do not regurguitate material from the source verbatim unless quoting, we write said related sentence and back up key points and statements/facts with a reliable source. The issue likewise is not "Well it's important there it's important in this genre as well." Issues important to gaming in general can be completely unrelated to the importance of the development of a specfic genre. I think the source is completely viable and important for the Moon Patrol page itself, I see nothing though stating it's importance of the claim of first in relation to this sub-genre - which once again is mentioned nowhere in that source. One would expect, in an article related to a specific genre, that supportive sources would be in the context of that subgenre. Secondly that's false, what Guyinblack did was state his viewpoint of both being correct within the context of our original argument - moon patrol being first or not. This has since evolved to a discussion of the relevance of first or not to even be in the article itself, and really such content overall unless a reliable source places it as such in the context of the article topic. Lastly, this discussion and my comments do not exist to "impress you" nor are your interpertations masquerading as lectures about material I'm quite familiar with doing the same in return. In fact they, along with the constant dismissiveness, sarcasm ("so spare me") and innuendo denote a certain level of condescending hostility. Certainly nothing conducive towards editing conflict resolution or maintaining WP:CIVIL as previuosly mentioned. I'm also not interested in a pissing contest of GA/A/FA articles, the point being that articles that have content based on both of our interpretations of guidelines, policies, content, and sources *have* been passed. Which clearly shows it's not just your interpretation that matters, which seems to be driving your dismissiveness. Finally, I find it ironic that if it was Jagged85's addition and he wishes to change it accordingly to "game x from the year y was an early example of mechanic z" and simply use the source to support that (which it does), that you're trying to shut it down based on your loose inerpretation of importance of stating "first". --Marty Goldberg (talk) 05:56, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Again, we do indeed essentially collate and paraphrase from secondary research. If one "attributes" material to a source it is taken from that source. If all content must be "attributed" to sources it must all be taken from sources. A quote would be verbatim, paraphrasing is not verbatim and is not regurgitation (was that an accusation of plagiarism?). The prose must be original, the research must not, in other words. One certainly cannot attribute a claim to a source which it did not make. You, with your edit, attributed to the source a claim that the game "popularised" the technique; the source says nothing of the sort. You originally wanted to change the wording to match your own research, now it seems you cannot do that you feel it needs to be removed on a spurious claim of irrelevance. You originally argued for synthesis of research, yet now that you don't like this content you want to remove it on a highly tenuous claim of original synthesis. Your continued accusations that I have been uncivil are baseless and tiresome. My "spare me" remark was a justified dismissal of your appeals to experience and expertise as irrelevant. I'm also baffled as to why you think I have instigated a "pissing contest" over peer-assessed content. You raised the issue, more than once, and so I pointed out I also have relevant experience in that area, pertinent to genre articles. If you think I have been uncivil, I'd be happy if you took it somewhere more relevant rather than make these claims here again. bridies (talk) 09:51, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
To clarify, I used the Guinness example to illustrate that if a source explicitly states something, then the content and its context cannot completely be ignored and omitted from the article. If a source states "first blank in the genre", we can't really omit that from the genre article. To do so borders on cherry-picking, which can come across as point of view pushing. Granted, we're all trying to push accuracy, but we still have to operate within guidelines as much as possible. Each article requires a different application of policies. As a result, I don't think speaking in generalizations will do us much good because there will always be an exception to what we say.
I think it's best to look at specific sources to determine how each bit of content should be worded in the article. As I understand it, this discussion centers on scrolling and parallax scrolling. We should look at the available sources of the two points and create drafts of the content here for inclusion in the article. (Guyinblack25 talk 18:07, 5 January 2011 (UTC))

Scrolling content[edit]

What sources do we have about the early examples of scrolling? (Guyinblack25 talk 18:07, 5 January 2011 (UTC))

Parallax scrolling content[edit]

What sources do we have about the early examples of parallax scrolling? (Guyinblack25 talk 18:07, 5 January 2011 (UTC))

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Parker Bros. game) I've found sources which show the release of this game anywhere for May to July 1982. An example: Asher196 (talk) 00:12, 6 January 2011 (UTC)


Quick further explanation of edits such as [2]. The sources cited in the article body state: "These shmups (shoot 'em ups) are real tests of twitch skills and pattern memorization." [3], "Shoot 'em ups or shmups typically feature a sole aircraft flying into a bullet hailstorm. Each spray of brightly coloured pellets is a pattern gamers must memorize... Shmup players need quick reactions, brains, and guts." (Ashcraft) and "(Gradius) is a series of horizontal shoot-'em-up games that obviously rewards precision and quick reflex as well as pattern memorisation". [4]. To counter this is a likely unreliable essay which openly proclaims itself to be an extreme minority viewpoint. bridies (talk) 06:10, 22 February 2011 (UTC)


Games like Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom and Space Harrier are not "rail shooters," but chase-view. A rail shooter is a game like House of the Dead or Virtua Cop. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:24, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Giant Bomb's wiki is not a reliable source and the fact that Space Harrier etc. are rail shooters is sourced. And if you look at Light gun shooter you will find that the alternative use of the term "rail shooter" is also covered there. bridies (talk) 16:28, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

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Run and guns are not shooters[edit]

That's quite a bizarre mix-up here. Run n' guns are not shooters; they are platformers with a lot of shooting. The essence of the gameplay - characters that walk around, jump, and are affected by gravity - is completely from platformers. -- Stormwatch (talk) 10:57, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Hybrid genres are a more common now, but the jumping aspect was not as prevalent as it has become. And even then, the essence of the gameplay varies from game to game. Overall, run and guns have more in common with shooters than platformers. Some run and guns could also qualify as a platformers because of the large amount of jumping (the waterfall stage in Contra (video game) comes to mind), but not every run and gun features jumping. Ikari Warriors, for example, is played from an overhead perspective and scrolls vertically. (Guyinblack25 talk 14:01, 3 August 2011 (UTC))
Ikari is a shooter, not a run n' gun. --Stormwatch (talk) 06:17, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
According to various sources cited in the article, they are shoot 'em ups. bridies (talk) 09:42, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Spacewar inspiration[edit]

Well User:Bridies has decided to revert the removal of erroneous info here twice so I guess I better do a talk page explanation. This is a subject that is pretty common knowledge among people interested in video game history, but I guess that's the problem one faces sometimes when wikipedia is editable by anyone. First, the source cited too for the fact that "Spacewar was inspired by the space race" is a book about the Japanese arcade industry, which Spacewar, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with. In other words, Ashcraft is just mentioning the game in passing and probably did not really do much research since it was tangential to his topic. The book is a good source on the Japanese arcade, but that's really all it should be used for. Note that while two sources are linked at the end of the paragraph, the Gamestop obituary for Alan Kotok says nothing about the game's origins and is used as a reference for the statement that the game features combat between two ships.

Now, onto the facts. Replay: The History of Video Games by Tristan Donovan page 9: "Many of the club members also shared a love of computing and trashy sci-fi books such as Buck Rodgers and, in particular, the work of E.E. Smith." Book mentions nothing about the space race. The Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven Kent page 18 "[Russell] was an avid reader of 'B-Grade' science fiction. He particularly loved Doc Savage, a Flash Gordon-like character. Reflecting that passion, Russell determined to set his interactive hack in outer space." Book mentions nothing about the space race. Game Over by David Sheff page 134 "[Spacewar] had been invented in 1962 by an MIT graduate student named Steve Russell (who based it on a series of science fiction operas called Lensman, written by 'Doc' Smith)." Book mentions nothing about space race. High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games page 12 "Inspired by E.E. 'Doc' Smith's The Lensman and Skylark novels, Spacewar was the first real computer game." Book mentions nothing about space race. Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames by Leonard Herman page 6 "He decided on a science fiction theme because in those days most people still considered computers to be straight out of science fiction stories." Book mentions nothing about the space race. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy Chapter 3 "Since they had been fans of trashy science fiction, particularly the space opera novels of E. E. "Doc" Smith, they somehow decided that the PDP-1 would be a perfect machine to make a combination grade-B movie and $120,000 toy." Book mentions nothing about space race.

Once again, I will be removing this erroneous information. This is an excellent example of why articles should only be policed by individuals that actually know something about the subject in question. Indrian (talk) 11:56, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Yawn, take your turgid self-proclaimed-expert crap somewhere relevant or keep it to yourself. The onus is on you is on you to add this information and attendant citations, stop pretending otherwise. I also disagree that space-war-was-inspired-by-science-fiction and space-war-was-inspired-by-the-space-race are mutually exclusive claims and at best we have a WP:UNDUE concern. Again, your opinions on Ashcraft's reliability are inconsequential. bridies (talk) 05:49, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid I also can't resist pointing out this dispute accounts for almost all your tiny contributions to this article. If we left it up to you as you ask I'm sure we'd have an awesome, well-balanced, informative yet sadly unwritten article. Your hubris is laughable. bridies (talk) 05:56, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Ah the over-the-top personal attack; the last refuge of he who has nothing constructive left to add to the conversation but does not want to admit it. I have demonstrated above that the historical record is clear on the matter of Spacewar!'s origin and that Ashcraft flies in the face of all other sources, thus making him unreliable on this issue. If you have additional information to bring here in counterpoint, I am more than willing to discuss it with you. Otherwise, it seems that consensus has clearly moved to the statement being dubious at best and unnecessary at worse, so I have taken it out once again. Anyone who wants to add the sci-fi influence is obviously more than welcome, but my only goal is to keep wikipedia's video game articles accurate, not add to them. Indrian (talk) 21:01, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Please be civil towards each other. Editing on here is tough enough without us bickering back and forth. We're working towards building an encyclopedia, not seeing who is the smartest or better editor.
Indrian- if you had better sources, then you should have added then since they are relevant to the topic.
bridies- you were well within reason to revert Indrian's edit, but you could add the extra sources yourself rather than response back like that.
That being said- when content conflicts, we find a way to present the information in a balanced and verifiable manner. I suggest something that starts with the space race inspiration followed up with the sci-fi information. I took a similar approach in Space Invaders#Development where we had different accounts of the inspiration. I hope the two of you can find a way present the information. If you'd like me to, then I will try to find the time when I can. (Guyinblack25 talk 13:19, 3 October 2011 (UTC))
Indrian already gave several of the major ones, and honestly I've never heard of the "space race" being an influence before. But here's a quote direct from Steve Russell that should put these questions to rest.

From the article Fighting a Spacewar in the No-Name Lab, Eric Sauter, Boston Globe, Apr 21, 1974, Pg. C6: —

"So We started talking about it, figuring what would be interesting displays. We decided that naturally the obvious thing to do was spaceships."
It might be noted that the "obvious thing to do" came about simply because he had just finished reading some rather stunning science fiction.
"I had just finished reading Doc. Smith's Lensman series. He was some sort of scientist but wrote this really dashing brand of science fiction...he had some very glowing descriptions of spaceship encounters and space fleet maneuvers."
I really don't think you can get much more specific than a direct quote from the game's creator. And this isn't a case like what we had to through with Space Invaders or Pac-Man where there were multiple versions of the story told by the creator over the years. Russell has consistently stated this as his influence. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 15:09, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
If this was the Spacewar article, I'd argue that we should still include the conflicting information. But given that this is about it's genre, you're right. Just the inspiration will suffice. (Guyinblack25 talk 15:16, 3 October 2011 (UTC))

I agree to leave the info out for now but again, one cannot prove Ashcraft's unreliability on one issue or another. For Wikipedia's purposes, he's either reliable or not. A respected publisher published his book, including a chapter on shoot 'em ups (generally, not Japanese exclusively): he is reliable on the subject of shoot 'em up video games. It is fatuous to suggest that a pundit cannot make subjective criticism about a video game (or book, film etc.) -including its inspiration- without asking the author for a sound bite. For example, no one had to ask Psygnosis to figure out G-Police was inspired by Blade Runner. The opposite is true: authors' claims should not be heavily relied upon. A respected critic looking at a 1960s video game consisting entirely of two spaceships (lol) and concluding that it was inspired on some level by the space race really cannot be rendered a wild-eyed, insignificant viewpoint by the authors praise for their sci-fi inspirations, widely republished though they may be (yes, they should be given more weight). As GuyinBlack said, it should at least be in SpaceWar's article. Also, I will refrain from incivility if Indrian will also do so. Still, I can't quite resist pointing out that his "policing" and "keeping it accurate" efforts amount to, I believe, 2 edits. I invite him to trawl through the volume of edits made to the article and explain why he didn't police those, nor why he did nothing to help the article's accuracy when it was entirely unsourced, before jumping on his WP:SOAPBOX again. bridies (talk) 05:42, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I see where you are coming from with your last argument there, but I do not believe speculation on influences is necessary when the actual influences are actually out in the open. I might also agree with that point if Ashcraft were writing an analysis of Spacewar in which he posited a hypothesis that the game was influenced by the space race and then backed it up with analysis, but he just mentions it in passing. He is not a scholar arguing a thesis, he is a journalist mentioning some games, and his book does not contain any analytical or speculative info anywhere else: it is entirely a fact-based look at some arcade games. He does not try to pin down influences or make his own comments about trends when it comes to any other subjects in the book, so its hard to believe he was trying to push a new theory on Spacewar either. Since his statement flies against all established primary and secondary sources and since it was a brief mention and not an extended analysis, I believe it would be out of place to give it any attention.
I am unsure what your last point is supposed to be. I believe the rest of the article is accurate. Why would I make edits to remove info that is perfectly fine? And why would I be watching the article like a hawk every time an edit is made? I don't have the time or inclination to keep up with every edit made to every video game article across the encyclopedia, and I doubt anyone else is doing that either. And since when has value of contributions been based on number of edits to an article? I could make fifty vandalous and/or erroneous edits to this article tomorrow, and I don't think anyone would consider those contributions useful despite their number. Creating content is important, keeping grammar, mechanics and style consistent is important, and fact-checking is important. I just like to keep it factual because other Internet sources tend to use Wikipedia's information and there is a danger of distorting the historical record. From this discussion and the one on parallax scrolling above, I get the feeling that you do not care about accuracy, only citations, which I believe is harmful to Wikipedia. Editors always need to consider the reliability of everything contained in a source not just the reliability of a source on the whole. Because the video game industry has an underdeveloped scholarship, every single source that Wikipedia deems reliable contains factual errors, sometimes significant, so if all that information were just dumped into the encyclopedia with sourcing, we would end up with error-riddled articles. The verifiability not truth essay that you point out from time to time specifically states that verifiability is not a substitute for accuracy. Your repeated feeble attempts to belittle me because I don't like errors creeping into Wikipedia is strange and perhaps indicates that you are overly possessive of this article because you put work into it, which is entirely counter to the spirit of Wikipedia. Indrian (talk) 13:06, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The "historical record" seems to consist of a single assertion by the game's authors regarding its influences, published multiple times. Information about fictional works should include -if not rely upon- secondary critical opinion. The authors may not have been comprehensive regarding their influences, there's the question of whether artistic influence must necessarily be conscious etc. Ashcraft needn't be a scholar either, a respected journalist or critic suits Wikipedia just fine. Also, you are barking up the wrong tree with regards to "reliability" or otherwise. Policy establishes whether a source is reliable (Ashcraft and his book meet the requirements, as I stated) and from thereon in, any personal criticisms an editor may have with accuracy can -for better or worse- be dismissed under the "verifiability, not truth" policy (the part of the verifiability policy, not the commentary essay). You may of course provide countervailing sources, but then the issue becomes one of due weight, not reliability. This is part of the wider WP:NPOV policy, which "means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources." This includes (yes, to a lesser extent) Ashcraft's opinion. Yes, extreme fringe views (such as "The Earth is flat") or mistakes in hard fact can be removed via this policy but artistic influence is subjective, not hard fact. The consensus does seem to be against giving room to Ashcraft's statement but I would argue for it as long as no one is screaming against the article's length (perversely, the article is now in fact less detailed). The issue of this game's and thus the genre's is important and deserves space. I have clarified the latter points below and hopefully more civilly this time. I guess any further discussion should be added to the one on your talk page. bridies (talk) 06:00, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Third party view:
Bridies shouldn't be faulted for sticking rigidly to Wikipedia's rules. Although Wikipedia gains immeasurably from the help of experts of all kinds, the default rules were erected so that Wikipedia can properly function even without the help of expert editors. Sadly there is very little capacity for editors who identify as experts to prove that they are indeed experts. And most expert editors take specific umbrage at having their expertise questioned. This is just human nature. Wikipedia's verifiability and sourcing rules do conflict at times with the Truth and this is understandably irritating to experts. Massive and public squabbles, though, are distinctly unhelpful in resolving the conflict.
The basic assumption in WP:V/WP:RS is that the Truth will out through the use of reliable sources. This is quite clearly a flawed assumption but hopefully it is more often correct than not. For editors who notice Truth conflicting with reliable sources in an article, correcting the error must become a matter of politics. Essentially the editor must argue based on the weight of countervailing evidence or, failing that, he must make the case to "ignore all rules" through consensus. These are exercises in persuasion and the editor must steel himself against rhetoric that harms his case. Without drawing references to the bickering above let us agree that aggression, belittlement, self-aggrandizement, sarcasm, petulance, etc. are extremely detrimental to the case the editor is making even if he is arguing for objectively Truer content. Relatedly, even the seemingly helpful act of bringing up the fact that one is an expert should be done with extreme reserve as it is a statement that comes with negative baggage - i.e. it connotes superiority in the argument of the editor self-identifying as such.
The result of the above poorly-handled squabble is that arguably superior evidence has been proffered to contradict the sourced claims that had existed in the article and now Bridies has stated that he is willing to drop his challenge to the the new edits. If the new evidence was presented by an expert then this is tangible proof that experts are useful but ultimately it had no bearing on the strength of the claims. Upbraiding Bridies for performing stewardship activities and for holding all editors (even the experts) to Wikipedia's rules is not helpful. Multiple third party editors have now called for a return to civility. I think it's time for all parties to drop the stick. -Thibbs (talk) 17:34, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I think that sums up the situation admirably and that you are both fair and unbiased in your assessment of what happened here. I believe we are all moving on from what occurred, though I could be mistaken. Indrian (talk) 18:10, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

OK, let me just clarify the unsubtle points I was trying to make in "belittling" Indrian, since he is still "unsure" about what I was getting at. I wrote probably at least of half the article. Indrian has said he is content merely to edit my contributions while simultaneously suggesting I shouldn't be editing the article in the first place. This is obviously untenable. Secondly, Indrian explicitly stated that the article should only be "policed by individuals that actually know something about the subject in question", which presumably includes him and excludes me. As I pointed out, Indrian has done next to nothing to "police" the article, while I have done quite a lot. This was the main cause of my derision. The statistics suggest if it was indeed left to Indrian this article would likely be another of the crapfests he professes to hate so much. I was hardly belittling him, merely pointing out some self-evident numbers and facts. In any case, it is crass hypocrisy to make a comment such as the above and to then complain about "over the top personal attacks" (hyperbole) and being belittled. I frequently revert this-is-wrong-trust-me edits, as I am entitled to. These don't always come from clueless contributors but sometimes from "knowledgeable" ones (there's an example further up the page). In fact, on at least one occasion from a reliable, published writer whom I'd cited in an FA. Yet this is the first time I can remember where any of them could back up their assertions with sources. I admit I really just can't stand more-knowledgeable-than-thou "discussions" firstly due to the amount of time I've wasted on them only to go nowhere and secondly because editors' "ignorance" or "expertise", and being "right" or "wrong" or otherwise is of exactly zero relevance to a talk page discussion (see below). But whatever the case, basically, policy allows the reverts I made and I would rather not be bashed for them, if it's all the same. bridies (talk) 06:00, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

To separately address Thibbs' comments regarding "expert editors": The closest we even have to guidelines on the use of users' "expertise" (other than WP:OR which mainly pertains to articles) is WP:EXPERT, which I already linked and which states Wikipedia "does not make a distinction between editors based on their expertise (...) Nor does Wikipedia grant users privileges or respect based on subject-matter expertise"; "No editor is exempt from fundamental Wikipedia policies concerning acceptability of contributions"; "Wikipedia does not grant additional powers or respect to subject-matter experts". You get the idea. It is in fact possible -to an extent- for an expert editor to at least have their identity confirmed (e.g. User talk:RichardDawkins) but even in such a case "Wikipedia does not have a process for determining (a) who is a bona-fide expert and on what subject(s), and (b) in which articles a given expert should edit". And all this would assume Indrian is even an identifiable expert; is this actually the case? bridies (talk) 10:03, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't recognize qualitative differences between editors. Wikipedians do. Unless you're arguing that there is no such thing as an expert, it's senseless to deny that expertise can benefit Wikipedia. As you say, Wikipedia's rules apply equally to all editors - experts included. That's precisely why I suggested above that experts must use persuasion (and hopefully countervailing sources) to deal with conflicts between source and reality rather than touting expertise and why upbraiding you for stewarding the page with Wikipedia's rules was folly. If I gave the impression that I was in some way suggesting inherent inequality between editors then I apologize but I think a close reading of my statement above will set your mind at ease on that point. As for whether Indrian is an expert or not, I offer no comment. You've pointed out that it's irrelevant and I've pointed out that questioning an expert's expertise is irritating. Let's not walk in that direction. -Thibbs (talk) 13:52, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Seconding Thibb's comments about not walking in that direction, I think it's safe to say that things were heading in the wrong direction. If both parties can agree that they have the article's best interests in mind, we can build on that. (Guyinblack25 talk 14:45, 5 October 2011 (UTC))

All right, agreed. From what I can make out from Indrian's talk page it was my initial edit summary that "caused" the exchange, so I will also refrain from adding any kind of sarcasm at all in future. bridies (talk) 05:54, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Reverts May 2012[edit]

This sentence doesn't say anything about "bullet hell". The IGN article is a reliable source per WP:RS. Ashcraft's book says "shmups typically feature a sole aircraft flying into a bullet hailstorm. Each spray of brightly colored pellets is a pattern gamers must memorize. In difficult games like DonPachi or Batsugun, bullets fill the screen..." bridies (talk) 03:54, 29 May 2012 (UTC)


The solitary image on this article (that of Project Starfighter) is pretty unrepresentative of the genre. Images of games that are much more representative of the genre should be used - for horizontally scrolling games, R-Type, Gradius and for vertical scrolling games, Raiden or Flying Shark. The fighting game page has got this right, using images of Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat and Virtua Fighter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:18, 15 June 2014 (UTC)


I'd like someone to mention 1942. I'm not saying it was sentimental for me--I'm saying that game was hugely influential as a vertical scrolling shooter in 1984, with sequels lasting until this day (the most recent was in 2010.) --Mrcolj (talk) 12:48, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

"Rail shooter" and "Call of Duty"[edit]

I changed the way the article discusses the term "rail shooter" as some have applied it to games like Call of Duty. The IGN link is dead so I can't refer to it, but the surviving reference, helpfully quoted, specifically refers to a scripted sequence that is not part of the core action component of the game—it talks of a "rail shooter" without the shooting, not. It's misleading to say that this term is being used to describe the actual shooting component. (talk) 22:11, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. A rail shooter is more like something like Time Crisis or House of the Dead, and any movement you do from place to place is done for you automatically, but things like CoD can be pretty damn linear sometimes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

No question—and I'm not really a fan. Again, though, "rail shooter" has a specific meaning and while I could see why someone might make the comparison, it simply just wasn't made in the IGN article. Not in the way the article suggests. (talk) 23:49, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Danmaku vs Manic Shmups[edit]

It's my understanding that these are not the same thing. Manic shmups are, well, manic in nature i.e. very fast paced games that rely on your reflexes, whereas danmaku simply has tons of bullets on the screen at the same time. Touhou for example, is a very slow paced danmaku shooter. It rewards thinking and strategy as opposed to twitch reflexes.

The current state of shmup articles[edit]

For the past few days, I've been improving and trying to standardize the format of shmup game pages. I started with most of the games by Cave and I noticed some glaring issues. Most articles are either:

If there is one constant however, is that almost all articles are borderline unreferenced. Even if I wanted to, I can’t do all of the sourcing by myself, which is why I’ve reached out to you to see if you would be interested in helping out in this task. This is definitely where the most help is needed. Here are some websites that provide a very good source of validation for most of what’s already written are:

In gathering references, please remember to use the appropriate template. As a side note, it would be ideal to at least have a paragraph in the key sections of the weaker articles for gameplay (specifically scoring) and releases (arcade, console, etc).

The same criteria applies to company pages. I’ve already done a fair cleanup for the pages of Cave, MOSS, Triangle Service, Milestone, and G.Rev. Unfortunately, a fair share of this genre’s titles aren’t released overseas and sometimes are even region-locked. It would be a very good resource if it could be stated on each company page which games are available in all regions, have regional locks, etc.

Finally, the other resource I wanted to start creating was a list containing all shmup developers, similar to the existing list for fighting game companies. Unlike other genres, there aren’t many developers around who produce these kinds of games anymore. It could be a valuable source for newcomers to the genre. Thanks for taking the time to read this! Jotamide (talk) 05:43, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I could help, however my knowledge and personal interest in shmups is largely focused on the music/composer for the game, so I'm not sure I could be of much help regarding building the articles. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 05:55, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I also am very into shmup OSTs and it would be really neat if most articles could have more music info. Check what I did on the Dodonpachi Saidaioujou article under "Music". If you could help me add more info in the same vein I'd be very grateful. :D Jotamide (talk) 06:30, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Have you considered bringing this to the attention of Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Video games? You can probably find much more people over there, I don't think a lot of people have this particular talkpage on their watchlist. --benlisquareTCE 06:06, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Noted. Thanks for the tip! Jotamide (talk) 06:30, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

I will try to do what I can to help when I am available (I have an internet connection that can randomly disconnect while I am online). Web archives can also be useful for information on old games. Magicperson6969 (talk) 07:09, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

@Jotamide: It's usually pretty tough finding reliable sources for old little known games. The problem is that sometimes people make articles that are of low quality standard and are largely unreferenced or are overly detailed. I've seen several articles of such type. I'll try to see if I can help with this thing. KahnJohn27 (talk) 12:32, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for inviting me to discuss, although I don't really know what use I can be... I stopped editing Wikipedia a long time ago because I couldn't really keep up with the encyclopedic standards. :) Most of my knowledge is factoids and trivia which is unreferenced and probably unreferencable. Hawthornbunny (talk) 13:28, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

There's quite a lot in the offline Retro Gamer. --AggressiveNavel (talk) 06:45, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for inviting me as well. I'll also try to do what I can to improve shmup articles, within the realm of possibility (as KahnJohn27 said, reliable sources for old shmups are hard to come by). For offline sources, in addition to Retro Gamer, old print magazines in general (Nintendo Power, etc.) are great for interviews and scoring. SolarStarSpire (talk) 04:38, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Nuclear Throne image[edit]

Is this really the best representation of the genre that could be posted here? It seems like it was put here by the game's creator for a free ad. Why not R-Type or Star Soldier or something people have actually played and would recognize?

Lead paragraph[edit]

Request to completely remove the references shmup or STG. There's just one shooting category and that's it. If no responses are made within one calendar year I will personally delete everything I see fit. Wikipedia should not define culture; we should create and maintain what we represent as information. (talk) 05:40, 10 February 2017 (UTC)