Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Video games/Article guidelines

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Sourcing plot summaries[edit]

This page says: "Plot sections should also be sourced; again, the user's manual and reviews may help here, but one may also find sufficient information contained within strategy guides or FAQs." This is completely at odds with plot summaries for movies, books, and TV shows, which consider the work the source and don't require citations. Why? It makes plot summaries much harder to write, and unreadably strange if this rule is followed strictly, as in some cases you have to summarise a plot based on, say, a review. Popcornduff (talk) 14:03, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

For one, you still have the original work as an implicit source, so if you have sources that cover bits and pieces of the plot but not the whole thing, you are not limited to only what is sourced in those sources. In other words, you still write the plot summary ignoring what outside sources say, and then use those sources to support the parts you wrote that they do support; they firm up the summary, but don't constrain it. Second, you are right they are not required, but they're also not expressly forbidden, and while most film and TV articles do not use them, there is pressure from editors that do not frequently work in fiction areas to have these sourced if possible. Not all such works can, hence why its optional.
That said, for video games where the experience may not proceed in the same linear narrative as a TV show or film, I think it is a bit more essential to help verify the plot, since verification can be a bit more difficult since it may require multiple replays or the like, or explaining things that, if the game used the Half-Life no-cut-scene approach, they may have not been looking at the right place when the event happened. --MASEM (t) 14:09, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I have long felt that the video games that have long plots, littered with self referencing containing in-game quotes, to essentially be useless. It's a huge increase to the article's size and reference list for no real gain, as none of it is verifiable without playing the game. -- ferret (talk) 14:54, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of using in-game quotes excessively to support a plot summary, though if they do establish a point of narrative that is not necessarily 100% clear to the average player working through the game, and it is not documented elsewhere, including that can help (eg like the audio recordings from BioShock which requires you to find them, which not all players might). But I think this is more about using available third-party sourcing (specifically stemming from The Last Guardian), which I think we should strive to include if possible. --MASEM (t) 16:40, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Release Date in Lead Section - Clarification[edit]

I have found that WP:VG/DATE can be interpreted two ways when it comes to the mention of a game with a single worldwide release date. Specifically concerning the article's lead section, it states that "release dates should be summarized to be as general as possible...summarized to the year of release, or month and year if further applicable." For example, Arms was released worldwide on June 16, 2017. According to the article guideline, does this mean that we should restrict the mention of the exact date to only "June 2017" instead of "June 16, 2017", or does what WP:VG/DATE say only apply to games with different release dates for different regions and/or consoles, therefore allowing us to say "June 16, 2017" in the lead section? I have seen this being interpreted both ways, such as on Super Mario Odyssey, where the exact date is given with the reason being that it is a worldwide release. This trivial guideline has gone so far as to require an invisible note in the lead section of to prevent mention of the exact date. I am thinking that we should allow mention of the exact release date only when it is the same worldwide (and the same across all platforms), since adding "16" to "June 2017" does not add any clutter, and provides useful information. I also suggest that once a decision has been made, that the wording of the article guideline paragraph (WP:VG/DATE) be improved for clarification. TL;DR: Does WP:VG/DATE mean no exact dates at all in the lead, or no exact dates only when there are multiple dates for different regions/consoles? Thanks. —TheAnonymousNerd (talkcontribs) 04:02, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

VG/DATE was created to cut down on the excessive release date listing in the lead/intro. Newbie/casual editors on Wikipedia frequently get carried away with "example bloat". They see one or two examples, and automatically want to add every single one they can think of, without giving any thought to how terribly it actually reads. Sentences like "The game was released on April 25th in North America" quickly bloat out to "Game X was released on April 25th in North America, Hong Kong, and Central America, and April 26th in Europe and April 27th in some regions of Australia and South Korea and is planned for release in July 22nd in Japan" etc etc.
Anyways, point being, I see no issue with listing the exact release date when there's one universal worldwide date, because there wouldn't be any tendency to bloat it out like above. So, in cases like Arms, where there is just one date, I see no issue with saying "Arms was released on June 16, 2017" because its not any more bloated than "Arms was released in June 2017". Sergecross73 msg me 12:49, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, if there is only one exact worldwide release date, the full date is fine - there's nothing that newer editors can toy with to bloat the date info more. It's when there's a splattering of releases across a week or so due to different physical release dates in various regions that the month/year approach should be preferred. (Even when there is only one worldwide release, I still prefer to go month/year since it is rarely the exact date that is critical, but knowing the month/year timeframe, particularly for holiday sales, is a rather important metric to have in the mind when reading about a game). --MASEM (t) 13:41, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Didn't see this discussion until now, somehow. I also think it should be fine to use the exact release date when there's just one date - writing NA July 1/EU July 2/JP July 3 as "in July" is generalizing, but writing WW July 1 as "in July" only saves one or two characters while losing information.--IDVtalk 16:54, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Agreed, I think that we should list the exact day only if the game has a single, unified worldwide launch date (like Breath of the Wild did on March 3, 2017). Otherwise, we should generalize it in all other cases, even if it's just a day apart. Everybody here so far as been for the same thing, so we should make this a proper guideline now. I'll go and change the articles I've been maintaining to this format in the meantime. EDIT: Adding to this, but I still think that every non-release date in the lead should be generalized, such the day of its announcement. Simply keeping that month/year is fine. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 22:23, 31 July 2017 (UTC)


The guidelines are really outdated with regards to section-specific advice. I'll slowly work some of this in, but feel free to revert (ideally in part rather than whole) if objectionable and bring to this talk page for discussion. czar 16:44, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

A thought - I originally created the WP:VG/POV as a shortcut to the stuff about avoiding using that silly "Mixed to positive" type wording. I'd prefer a direct pointing to this, as its something I remove from reception sections rather frequently, and its cumbersome to explain why its poor wording in every edit summary. However, somewhere along the line, it was made to not be next to that content anymore. I don't care if we move it back, or create a new shortcut to the mixed to positive stuff, but I think we need a direct link to it in some capacity. Figured I'd check here for input first. Sergecross73 msg me 18:34, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
It honestly needs a better redirect, maybe something like WP:VG/MIXED, if we want to point to that specific guidance. --Izno (talk) 20:17, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I'd be fine with that. When I created it, I think the "mixed to positive" stuff was part of the NPOV sub-heading, so it made more sense. Sergecross73 msg me 21:06, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Anchors are more suitable than redirect shortcuts here, e.g., I had already set up WP:VGG#mixed and WP:VGG#MTP. They require much less work to maintain czar 17:51, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
Anchors are not immediately obvious as anchors to the common user wishing to reference, and especially link to, the specific section in question. I don't see how a redirect and shortcut template is more work to maintain. --Izno (talk) 19:23, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't either - I don't expect any future maintenance being needed unless the content is moved without including the shortcut again, though the same would go for using an anchor too, I would think. Either way, the shortcuts are shorter, and look a little more "official" to a newbie, so I'd prefer to use them. Sergecross73 msg me 19:27, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Almost all of the clauses on this page will be linked, if tagged properly. (In the new sections, they're all points that editors repeat every day in reviews and at WTVG.) You can create separate redirect pages for each of them, with each of the variations, but I would think that it'd be much simpler to add and learn memorable anchor tags if you'll be sending editors here in the future (especially for the points referenced more frequently than the "mixed-to-positive" case). It also reduces the clutter from {{shortcut}} templates. czar 06:51, 4 August 2017 (UTC)


We don't usually add this info, unless it's particularly getting special commentary, correct? May be worth a mention somewhere on here, since a newbie is confused about it at the moment. I couldn't remember the exact rationale or past discussions on it because...I haven't needed to explain it in a while, it's just something I've "known" since forever. So I figured I'd mention it here first. Sergecross73 msg me 20:08, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

  • Correct. I also thought that a guideline for it was somewhere here. Perhaps it was accidentally removed? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 20:12, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I thought it was mentioned somewhere too, but I don't recall where. I don't know, maybe its even in there now, but I did a control+f search for "ESRB" and "PEGI" on the guidelines, and had zero hits... Sergecross73 msg me 20:15, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
  • You might review the deletion discussions for Template:Video game ratings. --Izno (talk) 12:56, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
    • Breadcrumbs from there: [1] -- ferret (talk) 13:34, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
      • This was before my time here, but I still remember someplace saying this semi-recently. Perhaps it was just a talk page discussion. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 19:00, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Use of literal English translation of Japanese game titles[edit]

So recently, a debate regarding the unofficial English translation of the Super Smash Bros. series took place. There, I stated that we shouldn't be using any sort of unofficial translation unless backed by reliable sources. You would think this is already a guideline we follow, but checking a number of Japanese games shows that it isn't. So to add on that, I propose that we never use the "literal" translation in the Nihongo template unless it's backed by reliable sources and the game title in English markets remains in Japanese. A perfect example would be the Katamari Damacy series, which would fit both. I don't see why we need unofficial, literal translations for games like Kirby Air Ride, when the title was already translated officially and has no reliable sources to back it up anyway. Thoughts? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 19:21, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Support. The biggest issue is there is never just one literal transaction. In the case of Super Smash Bros, I found sites and Google translating it at LEAST 4 different ways. All very similar with basically the same meaning, but different such as "Great Brawl", "Superfray", "Superfight", "Big Brawl", and my favorite, "Grand Slaughter" -- ferret (talk) 19:25, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
  • The bigger point is that Kirby Air Ride/Kirby Mass Attack don't need Japanese translations at all. They're games with no notable link to Japan apart from being the country of their creation, and just as we don't need a Norwegian or Dutch translation of product titles from those regions, we don't need one for Japanese products unless there is edification for the reader in providing one (as there is for transliterations like Katamari Damacy). Our guidelines already said that games with Latin alphabet common name titles do not need titles in non-English languages, full stop. So it goes without saying that the "literal" translation is excessive when no secondary source will confirm it, but I think we're better off clarifying that in the {{nihongo}} template documentation and Japan MoS page than on our vg-specific page. czar 19:35, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
Support when its unsourced, personal translations from editors. I'm still okay with it if reliable sources are using it tentatively for JRPGs prior to English localisations. Sergecross73 msg me 19:46, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
I think there are two main things to consider here:
  • Is the original title of a work important information? I would personally expect to find it in an encyclopedic article on a work, and would rather not have to go to the Japanese Wikipedia to find out what a Japanese game is called in Japanese.
  • Does the Japanese title have any meaning to a reader who does not speak Japanese? I think we are not being helpful if we only give readers a Japanese title with no indication of what it means. Of course, if the English title is an actual translation or close in meaning, any additional "literal translation" would not be necessary.
As for us even being allowed/able to do translations ourselves in the first place, I don't see how it differs from how we are able to cite non-English RSs when writing articles. It's still a user interpreting a foreign-language text and reproducing the information in English.
Regarding Ferret's point, I don't think it's a problem that you can translate a thing in many different ways. It's the same as how you can word any other concept in multiple ways when writing article prose - the person editing an article uses the wording they find the most suitable, and if others disagree they can tweak it and/or discuss it on the talk page. Of course, if we have RSs providing translations, we should use those. --IDVtalk 19:57, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
To clarify my point, I'm talking about situations like Zero No Kiseki and Ao No Kiseki - because those names mean virtually nothing to most English readers on their own, and have ties to a long running series (The Legend of Heroes/Trails in the Sky series) that are made more clear with a "lit." translations, which are used by reliable sources, I feel its okay to include the lit. Trails to Zero and Trails to Azure names. Sergecross73 msg me 20:24, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
In this particular case at Super Smash Bros, people were essentially edit warring over it, and claiming one was "official" without any sourcing (Or rather, sourcing it to various Wikias). The issue here is the idea that they are providing some sort of official English name for the title in Japan. This is distinctively different from simply providing a possible translation. -- ferret (talk) 23:34, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Draft guideline material on how to write (and not write) "Production" sections[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Film#List of points to cover, a draft list of advice on the writing of "Production" sections. This is part of an RfC on MOS:FILM, but the material is written broadly enough (on purpose) it might actually live at MOS:FICT and apply to other media (TV, video games, comics, novel series, etc.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:37, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

  • For our purposes, I don't think we have the same issues with dev section junk that the film articles get. WP:VGG#Development covers the "proseline" advice and we might want to add something re: not using speculative sources, but I'm not sure we need to repeat the other general advice. czar 05:44, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Do plot sections require sources?[edit]


There's a dispute at SegaSonic the Hedgehog over whether its plot section requires sources. I checked here and there's a contradiction: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Video_games/Article_guidelines#Gameplay says Straightforward plot summary is assumed to be sourced to the game itself and thus does not require sources., but Wikipedia:WikiProject_Video_games/Article_guidelines#Sources says plot sections should also be sourced. I get the impression that simple plot summaries in the gameplay section do not require sources, but separate plot sections do. Am I right?

Pinging TheJoebro64 and Sergecross73. Adam9007 (talk) 22:49, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

If it's necessarily straightforward and self-explanatory, I usually don't source them (I also try to keep them as short as possible, since they're prone to bloat). However, if a plot is going to make original claims (like "the Japanese plot is very different from the American one"), that's when sourcing is needed. JOEBRO64 22:52, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Those two parts aren't contradictory: we don't require sources as the work itself serves as the source, but if you can, you should (and avoid overloading on in-game quotes to source, unless we're talking an obscure fact not clear from a normal playthrough, ala background details from BioShock's recordings which have to be found). --MASEM (t) 22:57, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and this ties in to my concern - SegaSonic is an extremely rare game. It's an extremely limited release arcade game from the mid-90s. A "normal playthrough" is near impossible. Sergecross73 msg me 23:56, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Actually that's also a good point. If the game is/was sufficiently rare, where the chance for any existing copies of the game to be found to meet WP:V is low, we should be sourcing that. Most video games, even the earliest ones, still exist either through well-preserved carts or emulated roms today (even if that's of dubious copyright nature), so meeting the V threshold is fine. SegaSonic sounds like a very exception case that it was rare enough that finding a means to validate the plot via WP:V is very difficult, so we should be providing sources. --MASEM (t) 13:37, 12 October 2017 (UTC)