Wikipedia:Notability (toys and games)
|This is a failed proposal.
|This page in a nutshell: Toys and games are presumed to be notable if one or more of the following is true:
A variety of toys, children's electronic gadgets, board games, and video games have been developed, published, and sold. The purpose of this proposal is to help come up with a definition of what makes a toy, game, or video games notable beyond the general guidelines in WP:N and WP:CORP. These guidelines also apply to expansions to games.
Your input is welcome. Please feel free to discuss changes on the talk page, or even be BOLD and edit the brainstormed guidlines below.
- The toy or game has been a subject of multiple, non-trivial published works whose sources are independent of the game or topic, with at least some of these works serving a general audience. This includes published works in all forms, such as newspaper articles, other books, television documentaries and reviews. Some of these works should contain sufficient critical commentary to allow the article to grow past a summary of rules or in-game information.
- The immediately preceding criterion excludes media re-prints of press releases, flap copy, or other publications where the author, its publisher, agent, or other self-interested parties advertise or speak about the game because self-promotion and product placement are not the routes to having an encyclopedia article. The published works must be by someone else writing about the toy or game.
- Coverage from an online review website can be considered non-trivial for the previous criterion if the coverage includes work by at least one professional reviewer or staff writer. Multiple reviews on a single website do not impart additional notability, so online reviews must come from multiple sources or be supported by additional coverage.
- The toy or game has won a notable award or a commendation from a recognized national or international educators, parents, medical, or consumers group or some other similar body.
- A copy of the toy or game is included in the collection of any notable gallery, museum, or other educational institution such as the Smithsonian or British Museum.
- The toy or game represents a significant milestone in the development of toys or games, or has demonstrated some form of historical, cultural, or technical significance, or has had a major impact on culture or pop-culture, as referenced through a notable documentary or retrospective. 
- This criterion includes the first game to use a game mechanic which was later widely adopted; the first to be published in a certain way, for example online or print-on-demand; or which is otherwise described as a significant milestone by multiple reliable sources.
Other evidence of notability
A toy or game is not notable simply on the basis of being produced, sold, or marketed. Without significant coverage, it can be deleted through the proposed deletion process, or if not a clear cut case via articles for deletion. However, some toys and games that don't pass the above tests may still be notable, and should be evaluated on their own merits. Some inclusionary criteria to consider are given below.
Toys and non-electronic games
It is likely that a toy or game is notable if:
- The toy or game has been in production and commercially available for 20 years or more.
- The toy or game was a top selling product during a given year or holiday season as documented in secondary sources.
Thanks to the large volume of coverage given to console releases, any licensed console game that has been published and widely released is likely to be notable, but that coverage must still be found for the article. Unlicensed games are less likely to receive the required coverage, but those that do are presumed to be notable.
Unlike console games, where a license from the console manufacturer is typically required to publish a game on their proprietary platform, games for home computer systems can be programed literally by anyone, and therefore the requirements for inclusion should be viewed more strictly. Multi-platform games released for a personal computer platform as well as a major console are likely to be notable, but typically all releases of the same game should be included under a single article unless the storyline or gameplay on the home computer version is substantially different from the console version, and both versions are verifiable in detail through citations to reliable sources.
Online games are likely to be notable if they have a particularly large paid or free subscriber base. Browser-based games, such as those based utilizing Adobe Flash, are unlikely to be notable. Generic online versions of puzzle games are not notable.
It is a general consensus on Wikipedia that articles should not be split into minutiae of detail treatment, with each split normally lowering the level of notability. While a game may be notable, it is normally not advisable to have a separate article on its character(s) or guidebook/rulebook. Fictional settings, characters and other elements do not typically inherit notability from the game in which they appear; they should be treated according to the notability guidelines for fiction. This does not preclude their mention in an article on the game itself; it only applies to giving them their own articles. As with game expansions, it is appropriate to create redirects for non-notable fictional elements, and to create concise summaries for elements of limited notability.
In some situations, where a game itself does not fit the established criteria for notability but the designer or publisher has an article in Wikipedia, it may be better to feature information about the game in that article, rather than creating a separate article for the game. However, the game must not be mentioned in excessive detail if it makes the article stray from the topic. Conversely, if a rulebook does have signs of notablity but the game has an article in Wikipedia, it may be better to feature material about the rulebook in the game's article, rather than creating a separate article for the rulebook.
Self-publication and/or publication by a vanity press is indicative, but not determinative of non-notability. By the same token, it should always weigh against an article's inclusion if the author or other interested party is the creator of the Wikipedia article. See Wikipedia:Conflict of interest and Wikipedia:Autobiography for more information.
However, not all self-published games are non-notable, and some early independently published games are notable precisely because they were among the first to be published independently.
A game's listing at online stores such as Barnes & Noble.com or Amazon.com is not by itself an indication of notability as such websites are non-exclusionary, including large numbers of vanity press publications. There is no present agreement on how high a book must fall on Amazon's sales rank listing (in the "product details" section for a book's listing) in order to provide evidence of its notability, vel non.
Publishers of games sometimes release expansion packs for games. For the purposes of determining notability, these should be treated as separate games; they do not inherit notability from their parent. If the expansion does not meet the above criteria independently of the parent game, then it is best to create a redirect and cover the topic of the expansion in a section of the game's article. If the expansion is independently notable, it is appropriate to create a separate article for it, leaving a concise summary in the parent article. See Wikipedia:Summary style for advice on how to create such summaries.
Remakes of notable games
Remakes of notable games are not notable if they lack enough unique content that would require them to have their own articles. This content should have real-world significance and not be limited to new in-game features or rules. Further, writing about rule changes based on experience playing the original game and remake constitutes original research, while listing minor in-game differences qualifies as trivia; both should be strictly avoided.
Not yet published games
Since Wikipedia is not a crystal ball articles about games that are not yet published are generally discouraged. Games that have not been released yet are notable only if the title of the game and its approximate date of publication have been made public, the game is in the pre-production, production, or post-production phase by a major game studio, and these facts can be documented by sufficient reliable sources, not by speculation.
- The "subject" of a work means non-trivial treatment and excludes mere mention of the game, its author or of its publication, price listings and other nonsubstantive detail treatment.
- "Non-trivial" excludes personal websites, blogs, bulletin boards, Usenet posts, wikis and other media that are not themselves reliable. An analysis of the manner of treatment is crucial as well; Slashdot.org for example is reliable, but postings to that site by members of the public on a subject do not share the site's imprimatur. Be careful to check that the author, publisher, agent, vendor. etc. of a particular toy/game are in no way interested in any third party source.
- An "independent source" is a source which describes a topic from a disinterested (but not necessarily neutral) perspective. Independent does not mean independent of the toy and gaming industry, but only refers to those actually involved with the particular game. Releases by the publisher of a game do not establish notability; for example, reviews in Dragon magazine cannot be used to establish notability of products released by TSR, Inc. or Wizards of the Coast. Third-party sourcebooks on a topic are in general not independent references for the topic they cover, since their authors have a financial interest in that topic.
- It is not sufficient to show that a topic is notable within a particular game; sources must establish that the topic is notable from a real-world perspective. Hence, unless a source contains a non-trivial amount of coverage of a game from a real-world perspective, it does not count towards this criterion. In particular, in-game and game-mechanical descriptions of a topic do not meet this criterion.
- (See Wikipedia:Autobiography for the verifiability and neutrality problems that affect material where the subject of the article itself is the source of the material). The barometer of notability is whether people independent of the subject itself (or of its author, publisher, vendor or agent) have actually considered the toy or game notable enough that they have written and published non-trivial works that focus upon it.
- For example Mr. Bucket receiving a commendation from Occupational Therapy Associates for helping with hand/ eye coordination in young patients.
- For example Rubik's Cube was featured in I Love the 80s.
- For example Tickle Me Elmo was the number one toy of 1998.
- For example, Wally Bear and the NO! Gang and many of the unlicensed games produced by Wisdom Tree have been the subject of multiple print and online articles.
- This guideline does not offer a numeric threshold for how large is "particularly large". Rather, reliable sources must have described the subscriber base as particularly large, or used some eqivalent phrase.
- For guidance on how to write about fictional elements, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction).