Template talk:Infobox video game

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missing fields[edit]

Hi, several fields which exist in the good infobox software (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Infobox_software) are notable missing in this box: website, license, first vs current release. Adding them would lead to more consistency & I think these fields of the general software box help makign the video game infobox better fitting to the whole range of video games, e.g. also open source, community driven and indie games. Shaddim (talk) 13:12, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

They were deliberately removed from this template as a result of discussions here and at WT:VG. -- ferret (talk) 13:15, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Can you please link to these discussions? I think it was a mistake. Shaddim (talk) 13:41, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Since this is brought up every couple months, may be we should find the primary discussions and put them in a "commonly proposed fields" header or something? —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 13:54, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm sure we used to have an FAQ - X201 (talk) 13:56, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh yeah, there's Template:Infobox video game#Field changes. Though it's not complete. I searched "website" and nothing came up, so I assumed there was no FAQ of sorts. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 14:10, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Searching the archives here for "license" I found several instance of discussion and also re-inclusion of the field. The removal argumentation was basically that for the many commercial/propriatary games (the majority, but not overwhelming) the field would offer no benefit. Therefore, the proposal was then (and also now) to have an optional field which would be just be filled in case of deviation from the standard: share, freeware, open source, public domain etc. About the "website" field, I thnik I remember as the original argumentation against it that these websites go away after some years often, but due to the webarchive this counter argument it not valid anymore, the URL is now archived and has value. ("release date" differentiation might indeed not important enough for the infobox and can be represented in development/history sections ... on the other hand country specific release dates are deemed important enough for the infobox)Shaddim (talk) 14:18, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
The problem with optional fields is that newer editors will want to fill in everything in infobox fields, including redundant optional fields, leading to infobox kudzu. If there was a solution that limited what license fields could be used that would assure the field did not show up in you average non-free commercial game, that might work, but then the problem is that the number of potential license fields is not very limited, and thus difficult to narrow down. The website might be archived by archive.org but a lot of the functionality may not be there since archive.org doesn't capture javascript or the like. (And with release dates, we strive to keep those limited to major regions - NA, EU, AUS, and JP and avoid country specific unless there is a good reason to highlight that) --MASEM (t) 14:25, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
re. websites "this counter argument it not valid anymore" You've picked the wrong place to make that claim. This project has lost more references due to whole websites vanishing from web archives without notice, than any other project on Wikipedia. Websites still vanish without trace, even from web archiving sites. - X201 (talk) 14:27, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Interesting, what cases do you mean? robot.txts added later? Also, as far as I know the webarchive contemplates about changing the handeling of later added robot.txts (the stuff is still archived but just not delivered) Shaddim (talk) 15:02, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
If the site had been once indexed by archive.org prior to the addition of a robots.txt, then robots.txt was added, then as up to a few months ago, archive.org respected that and blocked access to the cached versions. (This was a problem with 1up.com sites, iirc) But now it will ignore that later-added robots.txt and show the cached stuff. However, if robots.txt was on the site all along, archive.org never cached the site, so those sites that are no longer active are gone to the ether. --MASEM (t) 15:07, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
thanks for the infos. This means that now even more websites are archived. From my practical expierence I would guess with the old behaviour that 20 to 30% of websites were blocked, now even some more are available. So the majority is findable in the archive.org, so a website field would offer in the majority of cases a benefit. Shaddim (talk) 15:13, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
But that still leaves us the case of that 20-30% sites being gone forever, editors want to fill in the blank (it's a natural draw to include something) and these then get filled with fan sites or wikia or other sites not associated with the original but considered the defacto site with the absence of the original. And that's not good, that's infobox kudzu again. --MASEM (t) 16:02, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Frankly, this seems to be minor/cosmetic issue. all the fields have not a 100% perfect fill propability, encouraging infromation only 100% "true" (overall, to remind anyone, our goal is verfiabilty not truth). The release dates are notoriously shaky and should be removed from the infobox with this argumentation. Shaddim (talk) 16:15, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Release dates should always be sourced in the body of the article (and they don't need to be exact particularly from pre-5th gen type games, a "1998" release date is acceptable as long as it can be sourced). And I do agree that we shouldn't want to fill in all the empty lines, but new editors do do that, its a natural human thing to want to provide something they know where there's a field for it, and it is hard to ween editors from doing this. --MASEM (t) 16:19, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Can you show cases where this became a serious problem? Many other info boxes have optional fields and I'm not aware of any serious problems with that approach. About novice users, I would be happy if would have again many new users, regardless if the fill out some fields not perfectly... Shaddim (talk) 19:47, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
It's difficult to remember specific cases since the parameters have been removed for so long but I do know website, as well as the preceeding= and succeeding= parameters were no end of trouble. But even today, I can point to Nintendo Switch and the attempt roughly once a week to fill in the generation= infobox line despite the comment there that we have no way to classify it yet. It happens far too frequently to be a problem to consider. --MASEM (t) 20:24, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the exmaple but this example seems to be more about "correct filling" in general of fields and not a weakness of "optional fields". Also, the {{Infobox information appliance seems to be filled with too much stuff. The case here is different: our box has to few fields, some crucial ones are missing which are needed to address significant segments of the video game ecology. There is already the practice that sometimes authors use therefore the general software box instead, can that be a wanted solution? I guess not. Shaddim (talk) 08:43, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The other side of the issue is that video games no longer are treated with the same type of careful attention to such detail as software; yes, back in the days of DOS and UNIX gaming, video games and software overlapped heavily in the sense of tracking version numbering, licenses, etc., but very few games today that matters anymore. We could add these fields, but they would only apply to a small fraction of the games out there, as noted the potential for well-intentioned misuse is far too high to justify supporting that small a fraction of games with those fields. We want editors to write these articles for the non-gamer, and most of those details you are asking for are more geared towards the gamer side, which is another reason why they were removed. --MASEM (t) 14:08, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Well, I would argue what I'm asking for is exactly for the non-gamers: licenses are not in-game trivia but real world aspects. The same for the games' websites, which have far greater importance for a scholar who wants to learn about context and history of a software than a gamer. Shaddim (talk) 18:59, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Again, with the license, of the games published up to today, a tiny fraction have something other than a standard commercial license, so this field doesn't make sense in the larger picture, and incorporating a parameter that is only used by a small fraction of qualifying topics really doesn't make sense. In terms of websites, I looked back at past discussions, and the consensus there is that, beyond their tendenancy to disappear after a few years from a game's release, is that most are written from the perspective of gamers and consumers interested in the game, and not non-gamers; there is more effective information about a game from the video game journalism side which has in-depth interviews, etc. When a game's website does have useful information like developer's blogs, those should be integrated as references or external links in the article to highlight them. As such, they don't provide any value short of being something akin to a catalog page of where to buy the game, and thus not appropriate as an infobox piece. --MASEM (t) 19:12, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Just putting in my two cents that so far, I agree with Masem on the above points. -- ferret (talk) 19:13, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not convinced so far... but if there is a consensus I will not resist but use the software infobox in cases where it makes more sense. About "small fraction" : have we amechanism for extracting hard numbers out of our categorization? E.g. how many of our games are freeware/free-to-play or open source? Currently I would do it manually over category content counting... Shaddim (talk) 19:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
We have somewhere in the realm of 500 open-source video games; juxtaposed to many times more than that. --Izno (talk) 20:39, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
I counted 760 Freeware games. I counted roughly 18.000 games overall from the year lists. 1260/16740 7.5%. Which is small but not insignificant. Also, don't we have better tools at hand? I thought wikidata was meant for such things?Shaddim (talk) 20:51, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
A note: we cannot group "free to play" alongside "open source". Free to play is not a license issue, that's a cost; a free-to-play can be covered by a commercial license. So it doesn't make sense to group those together.
Category:Open-source video games has a total of 479 according to Petscan. The total number of games under Category:Video games by year is 26,163. So we're talking 2% of all games. That's trivial to include. --MASEM (t) 02:54, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Infobox open source video game[edit]

One potential solution would be to create a hybrid {{Infobox open source video game}} template. New users would most likely never encounter this template (since it would be used so infrequently in articles about commercial games), but "experts" would know about it and most likely use it correctly. And I don't think creating one extra template would cause a big maintenance issue. SharkD  Talk  21:36, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, potentially a subtemplate (I think the anime infobox uses this approach) for games that are treated more like software rather than games ala Nethack or Dwarf Fortress. --MASEM (t) 02:56, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
{{Infobox_animanga}} for reference. --MASEM (t) 03:01, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Could be a solution possibility. But on the other hand, we have already the general software infobox, which addresses all problems already fine for freeware and open source games. And multiple games already use the general infobox, so maybe better stick to this solution and not adding a third approach... and maybe marking the commercial/proprietary games as exception from the general software case with an own box is maybe not a bad idea. ;) Shaddim (talk) 19:09, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
{{Infobox software}} is missing several fields, however, such as "Genre" and "Mode". These are important and specific to video games. SharkD  Talk  02:12, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
the software infobox has "genre" (written then "type") which can cover "Mode" too, as e.g. "Single-player & multiplayer Real-time strategy" Shaddim (talk) 11:59, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Can I go ahead and create this template? SharkD  Talk  01:53, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
As mentioned above and in discussions prior, non-standard license video games make up only a small percentage of the games. We don't create a field for licenses because it's not standard info compared to other fields. Making a new template is the opposite - giving prominence to the tiny subset. All it does is bypass this template's consensus to not include licenses. At best, the current template would have a license field for only non-standard-proprietary ones. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 16:40, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
There seems no consensus (anymore? ever? this topic crops up regularly), as there are improvement solution proposals from several authors on the table, to address also the other ~10% of games. I can say I have a problem in marginalizing these parts of the gaming ecosystem, every thenth game, as not being worth being properly addressed in the info box. But on the other hand, I'm fine with using the general infobox. Shaddim (talk) 18:37, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
It's not marginalizing, it's pretty much the opposite -- it's giving undue attention to a small subset with a specific characteristic. If anything, we should list proprietary licenses, because those are the common ones, not the open source of similar. But it's unsourcable. We don't even list things like graphics or controls in infobox -- which almost every game has. So listing something not even a third of the games have has always been excessive. The infobox already had many fields once that were hardly ever used or misused heavily. We don't really need to go back to that. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 21:13, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Hence why if we can create an optional sub-infobox like the animemanga one that is only needed for the small number of cases but don't otherwise influence/affect existing ones, that's a possible solution. I know where Shaddim is coming from in that one could arguably just replace the infobox vg with the infobox software for those games where there may be more value as a software entity than a game, but the vg infobox is arguably better for documenting all aspects of a video game. An optional box that editors have to manually add would help resolve the lack of this information for games-as-software as well as limit how much infobox kudzu we'd get from inexperienced editors. --MASEM (t) 21:24, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
I guess I just don't see why open source video games are special to warrant their own infobox so they can have a license field when none of the other kinds of games would have one. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 21:53, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Hellknowz, creating a sub infobox for such a minor problem is pointless. Discuss anything necessary in the body text. Darkwarriorblake / SEXY ACTION TALK PAGE! 21:59, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
every thenth game is minor? also, this is about more fields (website!)...and the general software infobox has no problems in providing these fields. Shaddim (talk) 22:37, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not seeing where you are getting 10% from; my checked showed less than 3% of game articles are freeware or open-source titles. If it were something like 10%, you'd have a point, but it's definitely not that high. --MASEM (t) 23:53, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
see my calculations above 7.5% for FOSS + freeware. And from the historical perspective, the proportions for software were different before 1990 (Public domain) and for software/games from that period we would nee also a license tag. Shaddim (talk) 11:20, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
@Hellknowz: Quote: "If anything, we should list proprietary licenses, because those are the common ones, not the open source of similar." That's quite literally marginalizing parts of the gaming ecosystem. Not sure why you are having a hard time understanding this. SharkD  Talk  23:21, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Because all games have licenses. Because being in minority is not by itself notable. Only listing open source games because we think they're special or different -- that's marginalizing. That's like deciding that we'll only list budget for indie games, but not for other games. Even if 10% are open source, that's 90% we are ignoring then. What makes a "regular" proprietary license unworthy of inclusion when it's by far the most common? If someone can back up the reasoning with industry sources that discuss open source licenses but not "regular" licenses, then there would be precedent. But besides occasionally mentioning open source games, the media mainly covers IP licensing and who owns and buys what. And this license field proposal isn't even about IP. P. S. Ping doesn't work unless you add a full sig in the same edit. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 09:53, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
It's not a matter of *whether* we include the license. It's a matter of *which* template we use to show the license. As templates like {{infobox software}} already do this. And I'd rather not put *both* infoboxes in each article just because one WikiProject is whining about having to do so. SharkD  Talk  11:10, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
It is important to note that WP:VG is not the only WikiProject having a stake in these articles. There are also Wikipedia:WikiProject Free Software, Wikipedia:WikiProject Software and Wikipedia:WikiProject Computing. We shouldn't base our actions simply on the fact that it's inconvenient for WP:VG. SharkD  Talk  11:31, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree, I have the feeling too that the field selection in infobox VG is catered too strongly to the gamer audience, ignoring the software aspects. Shaddim (talk) 11:22, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Isn't that the point? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 17:52, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Not really. The audience of Wikipedia is not just limited to gamers. And WP:VG is not the only WikiProject on Wikipedia. SharkD  Talk  19:59, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Where are the reliable sources coming from for the contents of the licence field? Everything in the infobox should be a reflection of sourced info in the prose. - X201 (talk) 11:53, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

primary sources are fine for non-controversial, non-personal, verifable facts. (this complete binary "reliable" source thing went out of control in the last years). Also, why do you think this is harder to back up than other fluky gaming related fields like "genre"? If I would start to look if the given genres in the game's infoboxes are being backed literally by "reliable sources", we would have a hard time with many, many articles... as many conventions and disagreements exist here and are NOT the one we use here.... Shaddim (talk) 12:23, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Most open source software is hosted at repositories like GitHub or SourceForge. Descriptions of licenses are readily available. SharkD  Talk  23:24, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

Another alternative[edit]

What if we were to have a "license" field that would only accept certain terms (eg "public domain", "open-source", "freeware") and not display if none of those terms were used. And particularly making sure "commercial" or the like is not one of the allowed terms? In otherwords, we are treating the assumption the game is commercial by default by not displaying it (the case for most games) and only showing when it is non-commercial? This is by far the simplest and least disruptive approach (grandfathers all uses). We'd just need to set what are the allowed license fields. --MASEM (t) 14:05, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

As much as I think license field is fluff that's irrelevant most of the time and--when relevant--should be in prose, I wouldn't oppose it if enough editors think that non-standard licensing is an important point to cover in the infobox. Restricting it to specific cases and requiring it to be sourced would be a compromise I can get behind. But the infobox doc should be very clear that it is consensus to highlight "non-standard" licensing (as a side point "commercial" is not a license; at best we could broadly call it "proprietary" in that private individual(s) or corporation(s) have full rights to the product by whatever internal IP rights agreements they have). —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 18:15, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
This is a better proposal, but what games are considered something other than commercial? Can somebody make a list of games that would even use these fields? If it's not a substantial list (say at least 50 games), then I have to question the purpose of this. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 21:09, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
As I noted above, Category:Open-source games has 479 members. I haven't counted things like freeware or the like, but we're talking somewhere between 2 and 10% of all video games. --MASEM (t) 21:17, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
The vast majority of articles on open source games have shitty sourcing and aren't notable anyway. It's just that nobody can be asked to go through and AfD them all, so that figure should probably be <1%. We don't need any more fields especially for a trait that reliable sources don't even cover significantly. And to add, for the suggestion above, we absolutely do not need a separate infobox/subinfobox like {{Infobox_animanga}}. {{Infobox_animanga}} is a giant clusterfuck that goes completely against WP:INFOBOXPURPOSE. --The1337gamer (talk) 21:36, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
@The1337gamer: There are plenty of articles from reliable sources discussing open source video games and engines. For instance IGN says, "Some of the most rewarding PC games out there were built by indie developers using open source code." You can see the important distinction these articles are making is not genre, or country of origin, or game mode, but the software license. So, yes, there is significant coverage. SharkD  Talk  19:58, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
I seemed to have missed that, but I agree with 1337 as well. How many notable games are included there? Can you name one well known title that is without looking through the category? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 06:31, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
well, while freeware and FOSS gamign does not get the broad coverage in magazines (as there is no /little money involved) gaming for free is a big thing world wide. Freely downloadable games, while good statistic is hard to find, is downloaded million times and played by millions. Also, we should not forget the sharewawre games of the yesteryears.... this was big and everywhere. We should not get stuck in the bubble created by the commercial content industry, there are other notable (e.g. notable by impact on people's life) domains too. Shaddim (talk) 11:04, 12 June 2017 (UTC) PS: as well documented examples https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(video_game) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_for_Wesnoth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_Story and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_Trust_of_London https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossal_Cave_Adventure
You increasingly sound like you're trying to right some great wrong. --Izno (talk) 11:42, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Not really, its about fine-tuning the balanced representation of the whole video gaming landscape we have already in WP (well, the infobox VG could be a little bit broader but we have the generla software infobox). Freeware, shareware and open source are notable part of it, I think there is no serious discussion about that. Shaddim (talk) 18:06, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
  • It looks like discussion is dying out, but FYI, I'm also against the addition. It doesn't affect enough articles, in my opinion. Sergecross73 msg me 16:32, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
  • The category is sufficient for identifying these works. The open source status isn't important enough in our articles that readers should expect it to be covered in the infobox. Keep it simple. Also almost every article I open in Category:Open-source video games is a candidate for redirection if not outright deletion. I am no longer watching this page—ping if you'd like a response czar 04:25, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
    Maybe through your glasses only. Many of them have a great impact on the live of people, shown by usage not by paid reviews of "reliable" sources like MC.... that they fit only unwieldy our self-defined criterias, defined tightly around commercial developed games, is mostly a problem of our definitions and our own glasses, not the games. The prejudice against Freeware, PD, open source and other community developed software seems structural, with the infobox only one example. Shaddim (talk) 11:08, 9 July 2017 (UTC)


I'm not entirely advocating this, but I've been pondering it and wanted to see what everyone thought. Distributor is a field that has long caused issues, and in modern days become more and more antiquated as digital distribution has become a bigger player. Should we even have this field? In most cases, we've already slapped a rule that when it matches publisher, hide it. And in the rare cases beyond that, it is almost always unsourced and unmentioned in prose. Beyond that, is this field of any true encyclopedic value? -- ferret (talk) 15:50, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

I agree it can be very muddied and misused, but I also think particularly for some indie games that if there's a retail version, the existence of a distributor field will quickly tell us that a retail exists, and avoid having the previously removed "distribution" field. It shouldn't be there for digital-only games, and shouldn't be there if the publisher also distributed. A question to consider is how this affects games pre-digital era, how many had distrubitors that weren't publishers? --MASEM (t) 15:57, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Honestly from a reader view point, I would find "distribution" (Online, retail) much more useful than "Distributor". Readers don't know the arcane rules we have for this field such as "Only if it doesn't match publisher" and "Only if brick and mortar". In your example of a distributor field indicating that an indie game has a retail version, only us in the know will understand that. And because we only populate it if publisher is different, it doesn't reliable demonstrate "Retail version available". The reader is left without a clear understanding. -- ferret (talk) 16:19, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, we voted to remove the type of game's media a while back, and I find this to be pretty similar to that. Does a game being digital only actually matter? Any retro game would already be assumed to have been available at retail (as are most modern AAA games still), so I'm not sure how much this actually helps. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 18:48, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I said before that it should be scrapped Template talk:Infobox video game/Archive 14#Regional publishers. The infobox's purpose is to summarise key facts in the article. Retail distribution is rarely mentioned because it's not really significant or covered by reliable sources, especially these days with the prevalence of online and digital distribution. Also the field is constantly miused in more than one way. I frequently see Steam, Google Play Store, GOG, etc because people assume it includes digital store. I also frequently see stuff like Marvel, Disney because some people assume it means license holder. --The1337gamer (talk) 16:36, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I'd argue in favor of removing it as well. For the vast majority of games, both retro and modern, the publisher doubles as the distributor. And for the rare games that do use a separate distributor, that info could just go in prose instead. It also causes a lot of issues too, per 1337's comment. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 18:45, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Ha, I just removed this field on The Witcher 3 as superfluous. The distributor doesn't matter, there's no award for best distributor, you have the people who make the game, and the people who put the game out there (which is nowhere near as important), but the people who print the discs or upload the data or whatever? Not important at all, and incredibly region specific. Darkwarriorblake / SEXY ACTION TALK PAGE! 13:37, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I have no problem with its removal. It's only caused issues in my experience. Sergecross73 msg me 16:29, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I started this, but to be clear, I'm also in favor of removal. As to the cases noted above, see this diff that @AdrianGamer just reverted. -- ferret (talk) 11:27, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
    These cases where uninformed users put licensors in place of the distributor are actually not that uncommon, and they often also come in mass-additions from singular users. Although I am rather neutral on this, I think deletion would ultimately resolve this problem, but we should likely put up a bot that removes |distributor=—or all deprecated fields in general (I often see |media= still used in old articles). Lordtobi () 12:15, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
    There should be no articles with Media parameter. Category:Pages using infobox video game with unknown parameters is currently empty. -- ferret (talk) 19:19, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
    Was this recently cleaned up? Because I know for a fact that I've had to manually remove the field in some of the more obscure retro game articles within the past few months. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 19:26, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
    November 2016, by @Zackmann08. See template history, you'll spot where they cleaned up depreciated parameters and removed them. -- ferret (talk) 19:30, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
    I don't think that category tracks articles with unknown parameters if the entry is empty. e.g. Alpine Ski has a media field but the entry is empty so it doesn't show in the category. --The1337gamer (talk) 19:52, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
    That's because it has ignoreblank=y set. If we remove it, the category will populate with blank fields. Since the category is empty, we can try that. -- ferret (talk) 21:11, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
    @The1337gamer: The category will start to populate with blank invalid parameters now. Will take a while to refresh, probably be a couple weeks before everything is in there. -- ferret (talk) 14:20, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I have no problem with its removal either. As Dissident93 previously explained, it's not practical to have an infobox field that is only used in very rare instances. --Niwi3 (talk) 19:14, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I support its removal. Just look at the edits by this IP editor, who didn't really know what a distributor is and fill the field with the licenser. AdrianGamer (talk) 05:27, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Seems like a clear consensus is developing. I have removed Distributor from the sandbox version of the template. Will wait a little longer before moving it live. -- ferret (talk) 14:22, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
@Ferret: You think this okay to update template and deprecate now? I could probably remove a decent proportion of them as I work through my current AWB list.--The1337gamer (talk) 18:37, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
@Primefac is going to run a bot JanuaryJuly 17. Will remove from template at that time. If you want to start AWB'ing them, might lower the run time for his bot. -- ferret (talk) 19:03, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Bot proposal[edit]

See Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/PrimeBOT 18. I have suggested the removal of other previously supported parameters while the bot is running. What I wrote at the BRFA is: It may be helpful to remove other previously supported parameters at the same time. It looks like the main offenders in Category:Pages using infobox video game with unknown parameters are |media=, |ratings=, |requirements=, |show image=, and |version=. – Jonesey95 (talk) 13:10, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

  • Makes sense to me. Kill two birds? Primefac (talk) 13:18, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
    • @Jonesey95 and Primefac: Sounds good to me. Please remove those 5 as well. I have found a lot of typos in that category that just need to be fixed. Removing the depreciated parameters will make it a lot easier to find them. You can start any time Prime. -- ferret (talk) 13:56, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
      • What about |collapsible= and |show italics=? I can't think of a single article that uses these. Are they there just for legacy support or something? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 03:36, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
        • |collapsible= is for if you want to hide bits of the IB (like if it's as a module in another IB). It might not be used but it has usefulness. |show italics= isn't a parameter in this template currently. Primefac (talk) 20:04, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
          • collapsible is used a bare 120 times out of 21k template uses (0.6%). It might be reasonable to refactor the pages upon which it is used and to delete the parameter. --Izno (talk) 04:19, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
            • It's typically used when IBVG is a sub-infobox, i.e. in an article about a film with a non-notable video game merged in. -- ferret (talk) 11:21, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

I have finished cleaning out the maintenance category, including a few cases the bot missed Distributor. Should be easy for us to watch over it for invalid parameters now. -- ferret (talk) 16:50, 19 July 2017 (UTC)


Just how important is the role of programmer? I've heard of notable game directors, producers, designers, writers, artists, composers but I've never heard of notable programmers. I've never seen an infobox where the programmer is linked to an article. -- Wrath X (talk) 13:25, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

Doom (1993 video game)? While less likely to be a big notable name in modern games, this field is often filled in and sourcable. It's constantly filled in by IPs and other new editors as well. There's very little controversy or misuse with it. -- ferret (talk) 13:46, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough. -- Wrath X (talk) 13:52, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Yuji Naka on the early Sonic games? A game (and any software) doesn't exist without coding, so I don't see why you do not consider the lead programmer to be an important enough role. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 16:55, 4 July 2017 (UTC)


Not sure if this is in module:Wikidata or here, but Godville's list of platform's is missing some spaces between values. I checked the code here, which leads me to believe it's in the module... --Izno (talk) 15:40, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

@RexxS: Any ideas? I know there was a recent update to the module concerning delimiters. -- ferret (talk) 15:45, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
@Izno and Ferret: Yup, that was the problem. I was in the habit of trimming leading and trailing whitespace from parameters (it's not needed anymore). Of course I managed to trim the trailing space from the default delimiter, ", ". D'oh!
Fixed now, I hope. You can now add an optional |delimiter= that specifies a custom delimiter, which may contain html, for specialised applications - the code strips double quotes (") so you can pass leading/trailing spaces as needed. Just don't encourage folks to use <br> as a delimiter to make a vertical list! If need be, I'll add the code from Module:WikidataIB that allows the output to be passed through {{Hlist}} or {{Ubl}}. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 19:10, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

Wikidata tracking categories[edit]

We have a pair of categories defined here at Category:Articles with infoboxes completely from Wikidata and Category:Articles using Infobox video game using locally defined parameters that IMO should categorize based on parameters which the templates allows us to pull from Wikidata rather than all parameters in the template. --Izno (talk) 11:39, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Added in this diff by @Mike Peel. -- ferret (talk) 12:58, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
@Izno and Ferret: Ideally all parameters should be fetchable from Wikidata. I'm happy to help with parameters that aren't yet fetched from Wikidata, or need improvements in how they are fetched. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 13:28, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
@Mike Peel: At this time, only five or so fields are not pulled. We don't pull image because they are almost never free and on commons, though I suspect we could add it for the few that have it. (Most cover images are fair use and on enwiki). The remaining fields relate to CPU, graphics, sound, etc, for arcade machines. If you know suitable hardware related properties we can use, that'd be great to get those finished. The final unimplemented field is the release field, which is not implemented due to issues with trying to address the current consensus on which dates and regions to list, as well as how to output platforms. That field needs to be discussed separately from any other efforts. -- ferret (talk) 13:46, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
Ideally, yes. But as ferret describes, some properties aren't particularly available at present. And then there's release date. I'm mostly interested in removing the categories' reliance on release date, since that's a) the most important field still un-implemented here and b) may never be implemented to pull from Wikidata. --Izno (talk) 14:01, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
I still think the best solution is a stop gap to pull "earliest" available date. This will still require a custom module to handle since Module:Wikidata has nothing suitable. Easily done, if we can agree on that solution. Unfortunately ANY date output field requires supporting a df parameter too, but that's a nit. -- ferret (talk) 14:08, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
I've made a few edits this evening to the documentation (to match the formatting I've been using in other Wikidata infoboxes), to the template to add wikidata support for the image and caption where available (matching code used in other infoboxes), and to the tracking categories so that locally-defined images cause the article to be included in Category:Articles using Wikidata infoboxes with locally defined images (and if it's only the image that is locally defined, then the article will be included in Category:Articles with infoboxes completely from Wikidata). Please let me know if I've caused any problems with these edits. It would be good to change the code from Module:Wikidata to Module:WikidataIB at some point, as that module has extra functionality (particularly with suppressing lines fetched from Wikidata). I'll look into the other parameters that could be fetched from Wikidata another eve. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 01:17, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
@Ferret: It would be good to use the sandbox to make further changes and test them, but I see there's a pending change there at the moment. Should I set up a sandbox2 for now, or will the pending change be made live soon? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:43, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
@Mike Peel: Planning to move the sandbox live week of JanuaryJuly 17. Feel free to overwrite it, it's not a difficult change to repeat. -- ferret (talk) 23:40, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
@Ferret: We have to wait a half year for that change? :) --Izno (talk) 02:37, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Fixed. :) -- ferret (talk) 11:19, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
@Mike Peel: Sandbox is all yours. -- ferret (talk) 14:01, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Revised version[edit]

@Izno and Ferret: I've put together a revised version of the template at Template:Infobox video game/sandbox that uses Module:WikidataIB, which supports using preferred Wikidata values, not showing rows from Wikidata through suppressfields, and only fetching referenced Wikidata values through onlysourced. I've added support for the rest of the parameters through has parts of the class (P2670) -> video game arcade cabinet (Q1349717)/arcade system board (Q631229)/Sound chip (Q1418253)/video display controller (Q1852898) -> instance of (P31), as well as CPU through CPU (P880) (although as this is noted in the current infobox code, perhaps there's a reason why this isn't used?), and release date through publication date (P577) (although I understand this needs discussion, this looks like the most natural property to use, and perhaps setting a preferred value would resolve Izno's concern above). I've also added support for references from Wikidata (which can be disabled through refs=no). I've also added support for a embedded parameter, so that other infoboxes can be embedded in this one if needed, as well as some tidying of the wikitext formatting. Please have a look, test it in your favourite articles, and point me towards problems! :-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 01:23, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

@Mike Peel: Note in the current version the formatting (Lowercasing labels except for first character) and shortvalue in use for mode and genre. Not sure if WikidataIB has that function. RexxS added it to Wikidata for us. The purpose is to display say "Single-player" as the link label, rather than "Single-player video game". Likewise with genres, "Adventure" instead of "Adventure video game". Regarding P880 for CPU, we had identified that property but left it out since we were missing a solution for the rest of the arcade fields at the time. -- ferret (talk) 01:27, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
@Ferret: Can you point me to an example article that uses shortvalues so I can see it in action, please? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 01:29, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
I've raised the question about short names at Module_talk:WikidataIB#Short_names. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 01:36, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
As a test case, see Space Invaders, also a sandbox version fetching the data through a QID (useful for sandbox/draft articles). Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 02:09, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
@Mike Peel: Banished (video game) and Space Run are both nearly entirely Wikidata. Only image, caption and release date I think, which we previously didn't support for Wikidata. -- ferret (talk) 12:21, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
Please do not add support for image, caption, or release date. The former two will almost-never be appropriate to get from Wikidata and the latter still does not have a reasonable implementation route. We need to talk about that but I haven't seen a dedicated thread on this page about how to do so. (You should treat this comment as an explicit "consensus against" comment.) --Izno (talk) 12:43, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
As for embedding, we already have that functionality in the "universe" parameter. Please establish consensus for that suggestion/request. --Izno (talk) 12:44, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
What "universe" parameter? -- ferret (talk) 12:47, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I was thinking of Template:Infobox video game character. --Izno (talk) 13:41, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
That aside, I'd like to see consensus for that parameter still. --Izno (talk) 13:41, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
Sounds like a possible solution to the open source game snafu though. Embed infobox software for the few fields they want? I'd also like to see the arcade fields moved out/split. -- ferret (talk) 13:50, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
It's up to you all to decide. I've found the embedded parameter useful elsewhere, so I tend to add it by default. Fetching images and captions are also normal for the infoboxes I work on, hence why I added them too. But I don't work on video game articles, so it's up to you. It's easier to remove features than to add them, so I'll leave them in the sandbox until you come to a conclusion. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 23:27, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
I personally have no issue with them. I think in our case they will very rarely be used, due to almost all our infobox images being ineligible for Commons (mostly fair use stuff), but there's no reason not to fully implement. As for release date: I pretty much find myself in the camp of "if you don't like whats coming from wikidata, specify local value", which will be the case in 99.9% of articles anyway. -- ferret (talk) 23:32, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't want to encourage users to go to Wikidata, find that Wikidata has uploads disabled, inevitably end up at Commons, only to upload non-free files. No-one wants that. I think that's a pretty significant reason not to implement. For the few articles it is relevant, we can specify the page locally. As for release dates, I simply want a new section with an invitation extended to the typical editors to see if there is even a basic implementation of release date that we can make that will have easy and obvious consensus. --Izno (talk) 11:36, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Release for emulation[edit]

Platform: "This includes dedicated ports, but not games in emulation or services. " I'm curious about this, maybe it would be useful for the readers to let them know the game is available for some recent platform on older titles using the infobox. (talk) 05:35, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

For games like old Sonic or Mario titles, this would make for a huge huge list. We avoid inclusion of emulation in the infobox, but you're free to include emulation information in the body of the article. --MASEM (t) 12:46, 18 July 2017 (UTC)