Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Newsletter/20110106/Feature

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WikiProject Video Games Newsletter

Volume 3, No. 3 — 4th Quarter, 2010

Changes to Featured and Good content | News items and announcements | Feature | Featured editor


Feature: Writing a Featured list[edit]

Submitted by David Fuchs with contributions from Guyinblack25

Featured lists (FL) are lists deemed the best Wikipedia has to offer. Like featured articles, lists are expected to meet certain criteria: they should be comprehensive, verifiable and well-written; however there are specific criteria that explicitly address a list's utility and structure. While lists can be far easier to write than full articles, that doesn't mean they are easily featured!

The Video Games WikiProject often uses lists for subjects that as a whole are notable, but where the individual components of the list are not; however, they can also be created to provide easy navigation to items that are notable and may or may not have their own articles. The FL criteria say that lists must comply with Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists and Wikipedia:Content forking. Content forking means splitting off parts of articles in a way that leads to redundant or unnecessary coverage, not creating appropriate sub-articles to comply with summary style guidelines. Like Featured articles, Featured lists should have a well-written lead. Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lists), "If the title does not already clarify what the list includes, then the list's lead section should do so. Don't leave readers confused over the list's inclusion criteria or have editors guessing what may be added to the list." Introductory and summary information is also welcome to provide better context.

Scope[edit]

Care should be taken to define the scope of lists; lists with too many items or a vague scope often become overly-long, unreadable, or a magnet for trivia and excessive detail—Wikipedia is not a game guide. (List of characters in the Metal Gear series).

  • List of video games — When a video game spawns numerous follow-up titles, the number of games can become too large to contain in a series article. At this point the content can be spun off into a stand alone list
  • List of media — Video games series often spawn related merchandise, but not every tie-in novel or soundtrack release will have enough coverage for its own articles. Brief descriptions can often be put in a "list of X media" article that details release dates, types of media and short notes. Examples include:
  • List of characters — Adequately covering a large and notable video game franchise might require spin-off pages that provide greater context on characters than a single video game page could provide. However, such lists are not always warranted because they may lack of notability. Be sure to use discretion when spinning off character lists. If a separate page is warranted, it may be formatted as a regular article (Characters of StarCraft) or as a list (List of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow characters).
  • Other lists — Other notable scopes are possible, depending on the topic.
  • Inappropriate lists
    • Lists of weapons — For the most part weapons from a game are not notable, as a whole or by themselves. On occasion, some merit their own article (BFG 9000) but this does not mean the topic also merits a list.
    • Lists of enemies — Like weapons, most enemies in a game are not notable. If an enemy is notable, it is likely to have its own article (Nemesis (Resident Evil)). But the other related enemies typically fall into the realm of game guide content.
    • List of locations — Locations and game environments are also typically game guide content because the information they provide rarely furthers the readers understanding of a topic and the locations themselves rarely receive coverage by reliable sources. Of course, there are exceptions that typically take the form of articles.

Structure[edit]

Currently there is no standardized way to organize the content in video game lists. However, lists (and featured lists in particular) should strive to organize content in a logical and clear way. Different examples include:

Tables are common in video game lists because they mention similar types of information: game title, release date and region, platform, special notes, etc. Tables allow editors to convey the content consistently. To aid in the organization, several templates exist that display content in tabular form.

FL candidacy[edit]

Wikipedia:Featured list candidates outlines the process to nominate lists, and mirrors the Featured article candidacy. Before nominating, the list should be checked for grammar, spelling, and other manual of style guidelines. A common prose mistake in lists is punctuation in the individual notes entries. Full sentences require a period, but nominal groups (grammatically in-complete sentences) should omit a period. Proper sourcing with citations should be used throughout the list. Though this can be tedious, it helps ensure quality. A peer review or second opinion from a fellow editor is always a good idea before undergoing a quality review. Once nominated, reviewers will support, oppose, or comment on the list and its individual elements. Structure, sourcing, and accessibility may require alterations to pass the candidacy. As always, responses should be courteous and informative. If you disagree with a comment, be sure to outline why, citing guidelines and precedents to illustrate why you think a change is not needed. If you agree, then it's best to address the issue in a timely manner.