Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Video games

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Please stop abusing JFN[edit]

In recent years, I've seen people start to become really obsessed with the footnotes thing. I don't know why it's so recent, but it's getting old.

1. The "Japanese" (read: original) title is always important to understanding a work that was originally released or developed in another country.

2. The actual guideline is meant for situations where you'd spend half the lede talking about the various titles. This is obvious a very rare case.

3. Sticking this information in a footnote is effectively erasure. No longer is there a reason to actually read the original title and become familiar with it, which is completely at odds with point 1 and completely at odds with what Wikipedia is about, because it puts so much bias on localizations.

Worshipping fabricated titles by unrelated reviewers is one thing, but this is crossing a much further line. Almost every single time someone makes this edit, they directly hurt the quality of the article. Despatche (talk) 16:19, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

The key word you state is "original" title. Arguably, I would limit this to cases where the game only had a Japanese release (like Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan) or where the game was initially only in Japan but ports for the West were later made (Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale). Taking the game article you last had, Nights into Dreams, while it was first released for Japan, it was clearly also going to be coming to the West just a few months later, as such the Japanese name doesn't help much. --Masem (t) 16:29, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I think the current guideline doesn't go far enough. What is the point of including Japanese titles in articles (even in footnotes) in cases where they're simply katakana transliterations of English words?
Take the Super Mario Bros. article, which has a footnote explaining that the Japanese title is スーパーマリオブラザーズ Hepburn: Sūpā Mario Burazāzu. The part in Japanese characters is simply a phonetic spelling of the English: ie スー is "Sū", パー is "pā", forming "Super", etc. Is this useful?
I understand the use of including alternative names when they're actually different - for example Sakura Wars is サクラ大戦, Sakura Taisen, in Japan - but I don't get the use of including the kana names when they're transliterated forms of English words at all, even in a footnote. They're not meaningfully different. Popcornduff (talk) 16:35, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
This pretty much sums up my stance on it as well. If anything it should be used more, as the average reader isn't helped in situations like the Super Mario Bros example listed above. Sergecross73 msg me 17:03, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, thinking about this more, it definitely should be when the title (or any other name like a character name) is wholly different from the Western release. (eg Shadow of the Colossus), or where there isn't a Western release at all. We are, after all. --Masem (t) 17:29, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
If we're talking about games that were localized, the way I see it there are generally three types of Japanese titles.
  • Katakana version of the same title in English like スーパーマリオブラザーズ Hepburn: Sūpā Mario Burazāzu. Nothing is gained from having this in the lead. It is the same title and the average reader can't read it. Just takes up space.
  • Titles with native Japanese words like Pocky and Rocky which is known in Japan as KiKi KaiKai: Nazo no Kuro Manto (奇々怪界 謎の黒マント, "Mysterious Ghost World: The Riddle of the Black Mantle"). I don't like these in the lead because the Japanese words cannot be understood by the average English reader, and the translation is usually from the editors (i.e. not official) and often a point of argument.
  • Katakana title that is different from the localized title like Biohazard for Resident Evil or Rockman for Megaman. I think these are the only exception that including the Japanese Roman wording in the lead is OK, since many of the sources and potentially parts of the article may use this wording. The japanese wording and pronounciation should still be footnoted.
TarkusABtalk 18:16, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • "Sticking this information in a footnote is effectively erasure." what the f*** are you smoking? Detailed information being in footnotes instead of cluttering the lede or prose is an enhancement to the informational mission of articles and their readability, not a detriment. Ben · Salvidrim!  18:32, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, it's pretty obvious this place is more of a waste than ever. Now you're actually questioning katakana titles! Never thought I'd see the day, not ever.

You disservice and demean the English language as well as other languages, you insult the intelligence of every English speaker, you intentionally obscure important information, you do all of these things on the back of disgusting excuses like "the localization came out only [sic] a few months later!", and above all else you question the integrity of anyone willing to stand up against you. Congratulations, you've brought the entire project down a peg. Despatche (talk) 20:05, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Look, this is the same way things went down a few years ago, when you had like 10 rejected requested moves in a row and rage quit the website - its clear you have no understanding of how Wikipedia names articles or displays names. I don't know what to tell you. If you still don't understand in the slightest, maybe its time to move on to a different area of editing, or a different website to edit. Because there's a clear disconnect that's been constant for years now. And you're still the only one with the problem. Sergecross73 msg me 20:22, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Thank you sir, may I have another? (Japanese: ありがとう先輩、もう一回ください。, Hepburn: Arigatou senpai, mou ikkai kudasai, lit. "Thank you sir, once more please.") TarkusABtalk 20:48, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If you ask me, I agree that the Japanese name should only be included if it's different in a certain region and sources make note of it, or there was some big debate/controversy about it. JOEBRO64 22:22, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

My thoughts as well. If we want to go even further, then I think we should just get rid of all the footnotes and mentions of Japanese names, as in the vast majority of cases (90% or more), they serve no real purpose to English readers other than trivia. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 07:06, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I would support changing the guideline to say this. Popcornduff (talk) 07:26, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
From eliminating it entirely or just when it's the same as the English title, but in kanji/katakana form? I'd support either, as they are both an improvement from the current guideline. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 07:46, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I think we should at least change the guideline to recommend including the Japanese title as a footnote only when it's meaningfully different from the English title. Katakana transliterations can be ignored. Popcornduff (talk) 07:49, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Gotcha. It seems like most here are in favor of this too, could the guideline be changed or should we wait a few more days for a larger consensus? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 09:35, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I disagree. If the Japanese wording is not there, the reader has no idea if it's the same or completely different. It's also convenient when doing research to copy/paste into search engines versus opening up the Japanese wiki page (if one even exists). TarkusABtalk 10:55, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I also agree that including the JP spelling is useful for the purpose of further research outside of WP.--Alexandra IDVtalk 13:50, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that's a good point. Yeah, I'm all for aggressively using the JFN footnotes, but I don't think it should be trimmed out of the article altogether. My general argument is that your average general English reader has no interest or understanding of all the Japanese text shown in the names. But that the same time, there is some interest and value in it. I think JFN is a good balance of this - it doesn't hurt the readability of the opening sentence, but it also is there, off to the side, for the few who do want it. Sergecross73 msg me 14:15, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Fully agree, we should not outright be removing the names; just use the JFN footnotes more effectively when the added title information does not immediately help the average english reader (who presumably has no understanding of Japanese) --Masem (t) 14:31, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Sorry guys, but I still think it's almost pointless to include them even in footnotes. Readers may wonder if the name is different in Japanese? Not if we never mention in it in the first place. Useful for doing further research? It's not Wikipedia's responsibility to tell people how to write the same thing in different languages. (Note that by "the same thing" here I'm not talking about two different words that have the same meaning, like cheese and fromage; ソニック is Sonikku, an approximation of Sonic in phonetic Japanese. If the words are actually meaningfully different then I'm favour of including them in the article.) Popcornduff (talk) 06:30, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
This is the main problem I have with it. If a game released in Japan under the same English title and text, then there is no reason why we have to mention the Japanese, which often isn't even official. For something like Final Fantasy XV, I don't see why how this would be helpful for the vast majority of English readers, even in a footnote, as the series article handles it anyway for the 1% who would care. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 07:37, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I just don't see the issue anymore when it relegated down at the bottom of an article next to the large list of all the article's references. As a single line at the bottom of the article, it no longer hinders the reading/understanding of the opening sentences of the article, which has always been my main concern. I think its a good compromise, as the Anime Wikiproject already gives us enough flack for relegating it to the bottom. (They still do it full-jargon mode in the opening sentence.) Sergecross73 msg me 13:31, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
We could put all kinds of useless things in footnotes. We don't, because they're useless. Popcornduff (talk) 14:00, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I should feel irritated that you'd waste people's time with such a pointless, condescending statement, or incredulous that you actually believe its that simple. Do you not spend much time in guideline discussions or something? You're a long term editor, (who edits Sonic articles no less) - you've seen how ridiculous editor's judgement can be. You must know that some sort of vague "delete it if you subjectively feel its useless" guideline would erupt into all sorts of disputes and edit wars. It would be a nightmare to try to enforce. Obviously, its of interest to some subset of readers, or it wouldn't be added and tweaked ad nauseam like it is. It's far better to just leave it as a footnote than try to determine when its "useless enough to warrant removal". Sergecross73 msg me 14:28, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Sorry you feel that way. I didn't mean to condescend with that statement - it's just the simplest way I can put it. My entire point is that if the katakana names are useless we shouldn't put them the article anywhere; saying that they do no harm isn't much of a consolation because, by that logic, we could include all kinds of useless-but-harmless things. I don't think this is a pointless observation. I really mean that.
I'm not proposing a "vague 'delete it if you subjectively feel its useless'" guideline. I'm proposing a guideline saying "Japanese titles should not be included if they're transliterations of the English titles." I think that would be pretty clear, or, at least, no more subject to interpretation than other Wikipedia guidelines.
I also reject the argument that, if something is often edited or added by readers, this makes it worthy of inclusion. If that were true, why do we have guidelines against fancruft, for example? Seems to me we have guidelines to deal with issues like these that are often argued over: find a consensus and apply it. Popcornduff (talk) 14:58, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I still think there is something to be said for any title that was originally published as a Japanese release, with no immediate Western plans, then later getting the Western release, that even if the title then is 100% the same, it should still be at minimally footnoted to respect/highlight that this fully was a Japan-only release at one point. This is in contrast to where the Western release is planned but just some months after the Japanese release (eg most recent Final Fantasy's). --Masem (t) 15:11, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Hate to be difficult, but... I'm not seeing the value in this either. We explain that a game is only/principally released in Japan using prose, infoboxes etc. Writing the same name twice doesn't do anything towards explaining that. Popcornduff (talk) 15:18, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
If I'm researching a video game beyond what WP has, and knew the game was out in JP well before it reached the West, I'd want to know what name they used to help search, even if it is the same as the title ultimately used in the West. There's more than enough examples where the title was changed that its likely the "same name" case is the exception, not the rule, so calling it out, even if it doesn't help the average reader, is harmless, as long as it is in a footnote. --Masem (t) 15:25, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. And its good to have a go-to area to know where exactly to find out such a thing (a footnote that doesn't clog up the opening sentence) rather than having to wade through a bunch of development/release section prose that may or may not contain it somewhere within. Sergecross73 msg me 15:29, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
OK, but if all that's true... why does it only apply to games released well in advance in Japan? You could make the same argument for researching Super Mario Bros.
I'm wary of sounding like I'm taking some sort of extreme stance here, but it feels like people are inventing niche scenarios to justify including this. Like I said before, there's all kinds of stuff we could be putting into the footnotes to satisfy obscure needs, and we don't. If other editors feel it's useful then I can live with it - yep, it's just a footnote - but them's my two cents. Popcornduff (talk) 15:32, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
It really is rather extreme though. Just a couple years ago it was just like the Anime content area, where the Japanese naming stuff was widely all over the opening sentences of articles. We got a ton of push back even getting to a JFN type solution - it took a ton a discussion to get to the point where we had a consensus on that, let alone for removing it outright. Sergecross73 msg me 16:07, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Look, consensus is consensus. I'm saying "I think we should modify this guideline", and if I can't persuade anyone, then I shrug and go back to bed. I realise what we have is already a compromise. Popcornduff (talk) 16:13, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
And just to clarify... "let alone for removing it outright." You know I'm not proposing removing JFN, right? Nor am I proposing we remove all Japanese names. Apologies if I misread your meaning there, but I don't want to be misrepresented if I can help it. Popcornduff (talk) 16:16, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Apologies - the "it" in that sentence was meant to mean "the Japanese name text in a given article", not "JFN itself" or "wiping all JP text off the face of Wikipedia". I know you're not proposing that. Sergecross73 msg me 16:56, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Some good points above to resuscitate. Let's talk examples.
    • Transliterations warrant the original language, e.g., Moscow, Lake Biwa, or
      Katamari Damacy (Japanese: 塊魂) is a third-person puzzle-action video game ...
    • Games covered in sources primarily/entirely by a recognized English-language title do not warrant non-English characters in the lede
      Final Fantasy XV is a massively multiplayer ...
      Super Mario Odyssey is a 3D platform game ...
    Footnotes in these cases are really only compromises to prevent edit warring. It's equivalent to putting "stylized as" in the lede—an aspect of the game's presentation that is almost never noted as important in sources and therefore is of questionable importance to put in the article's most visible sentence. I think the reasoning above to remove these footnotes is sound.
    • Footnotes do, however, make sense when parts of the title should be explained but not necessarily occupy the first lines of the article
      Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days[ref:subtitle read as "Three Five Eight Days Over Two"] is an action role-playing ...
      In Nintendo Entertainment System, note the abbreviation and the English-language version of the Japanese name, but move the non-English characters and Hepburn to footnotes for readability
My first bullet point follows from MOS:FORLANG:

If the subject of the article is closely associated with a non-English language, a single foreign language equivalent name can be included in the lead sentence, usually in parentheses. For example, an article about a location in a non-English-speaking country will typically include the local language equivalent

but more important is the guideline's following sentence:

Do not include foreign equivalents in the lead sentence just to show etymology.

In perspective, it can be interesting/useful to know the Japanese spelling of "Super Mario Odyssey" but it isn't the purpose of Wikipedia. If local consensus dictates the importance of the foreign language text, it's reasonable to include it in the prose, perhaps even in the first paragraph after the lede, but if there is no strong association with a non-English language, the only cause for relegating the text to a footnote should be length and preserving readability. czar 21:29, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

On the subject of some of the points made above, when it comes to footnotes with Japanese titles for video games where the original title was English/unchanged, surely if those footnotes are meant to show when a title was changed outside of Japan then they're also just as effective at showing when a title was unchanged? I know that sounds like a dumb train of thought, but think about it, if a user is used to looking at the Japanese titles of games to confirm whether or not the title was changed in their country, and it shows that the title was the same in Japanese then is that not useful for them? If it doesn't show anything then it turns into a Schrodinger's cat sort of thing where it's unknown if the name was changed or not, forcing them to have to go over to the Japanese wikipedia page to confirm it themselves. I'm aware at how unnecessary it looks to essentially list the same title twice, but it helps confirm things for those who are looking for that information, and it would look way more unnatural if every page had to go out of its way to say that the title was the same in Japanese, including the Japanese characters with transliteration helps get that point across as simply as possible, plus they're already in the footnotes section as to not harm the brevity of the opening paragraph. I know it sounds like some of us weebs just want as much nihongo on our pages as we can get, but those footnotes serve a purpose, despite seeming pointless. (I hope I put this in the right place for those involved in the previous conversation to see) DekuHero (talk) 21:09, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Issue regarding "universal acclaim according to Metacritic"[edit]

There has been a recent issue with the reception section at God of War (2018 video game) and addressing the claim that the game has "universal acclaim according to Metacritic". Now, MOS: Reception says "Metacritic's qualitative summary often provides a satisfactory summary of a game's overall reception." But what about "universal acclaim"? By the MOS, we're basically saying that putting Metacritic's claim of "universal acclaim" is okay, even though it's false. Ferret and Wikibenboy94 believe that the statement is okay to use because it's sourced to Metacritic.

Several of you know that I have brought all of the previous God of War games to Featured Article status, and I also intend for the new one to become a Featured Article. I bring this up because in some of those FACs, I ran into this very issue. I too had went by the notion that "universal acclaim according to Metacritic" (with source) was fine, but non-gamers, however, did not understand this because the games did not actually have universal acclaim. I described to them and directed them to Metacritic, showing how Metacritic describes their scores, but they still did not buy it because, like said before, they did not truly have universal acclaim. At that time, I brought this to the attention of WP:VG and they directed to remove the statement of "universal acclaim" and use a more general statement ("critical acclaim"). This resulted in me using the opening sentence that you can see here at God of War III#Reception, which was acceptable. I tried to use a similar sentence for the 2018 game, but have been reverted and directed here to the MOS.

Now, us as gamers know what the phrase "universal acclaim according to Metacritic" means, but what about non-gamers? These articles are supposed to be accessible to all readers of Wikipedia. So, how should we address the notion of a game having universal acclaim from Metacritic? I really don't want to have to go through this issue again when it comes time to take this new God of War to FAC. --JDC808 19:59, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Not sure really what the concern is. It has "universal acclaim" according to Metacritic, is a sourcable and directly attributed quote. It is 100% true in what it states. It is no different from "The game was the best this year ascording to IGN" or similar sourced and attributed statements from reviewers. Note that JDC808's talk section for God of War III is from 2015. Since that time, several discussions and efforts to address the lead sentences of Reception sections occurred (Linked JDC to several on his talk page), resulting in changes to the article guidelines in 2016 and 2017. Using generalized summation of the reception such as "critical acclaim" (What is critical acclaim?) is essentially unsourced and OR. The advice to use the Metacritic label (attributed) was essentially part of a effort to also combat edit warring and POV pushing that would occur for unsourced lead summation sentences of this nature. -- ferret (talk) 20:06, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Note this discussion is about (currently) bullet 8 of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Video games#Reception. -- ferret (talk) 20:12, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
No issue with using this as long as its clear its how MC labels it. MC is not saying 100% of all reviewers praised it, just that in a broad swath of reviews, nearly all praised it by the high scores given, despite maybe one or two outliers. As long as with identify who said it and out of wiki voice, we're not saying anything factually wrong. --Masem (t) 20:13, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Once again though, a non-gamer isn't going to understand that without it being explained to them, or them opening the Metacritic source and looking through that source to see their description. That's the issue that you all are seemingly overlooking. Also, ferret, there actually is a difference between Metacritic and your example of IGN. And how is it OR when critical acclaim means well received, and it is sourced to Metacritic, which it and the review table indeed shows that it was well received? --JDC808 20:29, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
I think that in any entertainment field, not just VGs, "universal acclaim" is not the same as "100% acclaim". There may be a few naysayers but they're in the far minority. It's a term of art appropriate for the field. --Masem (t) 20:34, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Metacritic doesn't say "it has critical acclaim". It says "it has "universal acclaim"". It's a direct quote, which is why we (Or at least I) put it in quotes. When you say "How is it OR if you can look at the review table and see its well received?" (paraphase), that kinda is the point. Deciding an opening statement of the reception (as individual editors) based on looking at the scores in a table is original research and synthesis. We began direct quoting Metacritic because it cannot be disputed on OR grounds, as it is directly sourced from and attributed to Metacritic, not some other variation decided by an editor, which was frequently being edit warred and POV pushed. -- ferret (talk) 20:38, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't see where there is potential for ambiguity in the sentence currently in use, especially where the phrase is quoted:

    God of War received "universal acclaim" according to review aggregator Metacritic.[1]

    But as for we're basically saying that putting Metacritic's claim of "universal acclaim" is okay, even though it's false, as long as we're creeping into original research, I don't see how it's questionable that this game has received critical/universal acclaim, even if (for whatever reason) you take issue with MC's assessment (95% of 83 reviews). No one reasonably reads the phrase literally as every single critic ever with no exceptions... If you want to do one better, a secondary source will inevitably (eventually) summarize this game's overall reception and you can use that instead of MC. czar 20:46, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
  • As long as it's directly attributed to MC, there is no problem. I prefer sticking to quoting it directly, or there's all sorts of OR-based issues that arise when editors come up with their own wording. Sergecross73 msg me 21:51, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

List of songs[edit]

Why song list articles like List of songs in Rock Band are not considered as WP:GAMECRUFT#7? Wouldn't they fall under the category "lists of gameplay items"? What makes song lists different from things like "list of cars from Forza" or "list of guns from Battlefield? Was there a consensus made long ago that excludes song lists from the list of things we should remove for being inappropriate? AdrianGamer (talk) 15:28, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

I think there's a difference between a list/table included as a component of an article, and an independently notable list. Not saying this case is, but something we might consider GAMECRUFT in a video game article might on its own be a notable list via WP:LISTN. -- ferret (talk) 15:40, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
I think the general distinction is that we sometimes make exceptions for situations when its listing off the very foundation of what the game is all about. For example, while we don't usually do character lists, we may allow it for something like a crossover game, where the whole premise of the game is centered around how the two (or more) franchises are interwoven. Even how we handle songs kind of fits into this - we allow for a list of songs for Rock Band/Guitar hero because playing real-life songs is the whole basis of the entire game, but we don't allow for, example, the track list of songs in a JRPG like Xenoblade, because the songs are not the primary focus, and a list of songs doesn't aide the reader in any way when the song titles are rarely or never shown in-game. Sergecross73 msg me 15:58, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
Pretty much this. I think it this guideline should obviously be an exception for music games, and any other game where music (with track names) is the primary focus. Perhaps we document this in the guideline? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 08:24, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
If this is the case I think better documentation will bring no harm. AdrianGamer (talk) 03:39, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Then it's just a case of writing one that everybody can agree with. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 06:56, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

"Platform video game"[edit]

I've been changing this on a few pages and met support and opposition. I think including "video game" in terms such as "platform video game", "action video game", "first-person shooter video game" etc is usually weird. To take "platform game" as an example, here's the rationale:

  • All platform games are video games, so it's tautological - like writing "cat animal" or "hamburger food".
  • "Platform game" is the WP:COMMON term. It is widely understood, accurate, concise, and natural. Meanwhile, no one in the universe says "platform video game".
  • "Platform game" describes both the genre and the medium, so there's no need to state/wikilink both separately. This is similar to how a film article might begin "Movie X is a comedy film" with comedy film as a single hyperlinked term; linking comedy and film separately is unnecessary.

As an aside, I see a lot of bloat in first sentences for game articles, particularly when it comes to lists of adjectives and genres. I'd like to see some more concrete guidelines in the MOS to protect against this rather than just the open-ended "avoid lead sentence bloat", similarly to how WP:MOSFILM does it. But I guess that's a different conversation. Popcornduff (talk) 17:12, 26 May 2018 (UTC)

  • 100% agree with all of your points. I feel like the "$GENRE video game" format comes from a time on Wikipedia when most of the genres didn't have dedicated articles, and we just kept the standard out of tradition. My only question is would we still add video game when "game" is not apart of the genre's article? For example, would we say "is a first-person shooter game developed by", "is a first-person shooter developed by", or "is a first-person shooter video game developed by"? I'd personally prefer the first option, the second option feels a bit weird and I don't think I'd support that, while the third option is the current standard and works fine, just maybe not ideally. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 21:42, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
  • I guess I support it on the grounds of cutting down on edit warring, but This strikes me as one of those things where I'd pick one arbitrarily when writing and then see people argue over which version is better. Either seem perfectly acceptable. Even "platformer" with a wikilink works. Any work on a technical level. So I guess pick one so people stop wasting time on this? Sergecross73 msg me 22:37, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Devil's advocate -- laser tag or paintball are also "first-person shooter games". Arbraska(watch the video) is a "platforming game". Blokus is a "puzzle game". D&D and LARPing are "role-playing games". There's an entire world of games outside of the narrow scope of "video games". Just my 2¢ Ben · Salvidrim!  22:41, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
  • I support this, been using "shoot 'em up developed by..." instead of "shoot 'em up video game developed by..." for a little while now. It's much more natural and almost all readers will understand. Those that don't can click the link. TarkusABtalk 00:49, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
  • I've used both formats in FAs (and fwiw, I've written a lot of articles about platform games). It really depends on context from the rest of the opening sentence. If the rest of the sentence mentions a video game console/computer or something else video game-related, there is likely enough context to drop "video" from that first part. But if you're writing "X is a platform game developed by Y and published by Z", adding the word "video" simplifies a whole lot of potential ambiguity for a general audience. All in all, if we are to give advice to this effect, I'd sooner see something that advocates for contextualizing the subject as a video game (by any means) than the strict regimentation of what terms can be used in the lede. czar 06:00, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
  • As long as it's clear for someone who isn't knowledgeable already that it's about a video game, I don't think a specific wording should be required. By the way, I wouldn't know that "tactical role-playing game" is not a term used in tabletop as I don't play non-video games much, and wouldn't necessarily know that that was about video games without additional context.--Alexandra IDVtalk 07:34, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
    • I think you are missing the point here... See point 4 in the OP. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 21:38, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
      • I dont think she is. That's more or less my stance too. I'm only supporting picking one to avoid the wasted time in bickering or whatnot. Conceptually, either seem fine with proper wiki-links. Sergecross73 msg me 01:56, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose this. Terms like "platform game", "first-person shooter" and the like are not well known outside the technology sector. We cannot presume that people know these are video games or necessary infer that from the normal text we us. We need to identify that these are video games in the first sentence. --Masem (t) 00:21, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
    • See the fourth bullet point in the OP. Popcornduff (talk) 15:26, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
      • Articles are meant to be standalone and should not rely on links to establish context (eg offline reading). --Masem (t) 15:50, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
        • So you would write "drum machine musical instrument", "hound dog", "subatomic particle physical body" etc? If not, what's the difference? Popcornduff (talk) 16:19, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
          • It all depends on context. --Masem (t) 16:23, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
            • What's the difference in context? Popcornduff (talk) 17:49, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
            • I would assume that "developed and published by", along with the infobox and just general context, would make the vast majority of video games immediately recognizable as such, and help differentiate "first-person shooter" from being a live-action game like laser tag or whatever. I too wish to know why those examples have context but video games apparently lack it. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 18:24, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
              • Tabletop games can be developed and published (and by separate entities too). And while the argument about the platforms it was released for makes some sense, I still would think that for more obscure or older systems that those names would make no sense. Yes, overall, a well developed article about a video game with a detailed development section will be obvious that it is a video game even if this is not spelled out in the lede, but we have to be sure that the lede alone conveys that, without links or other presumptions. --Masem (t) 22:45, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Support — “Video game” in “first-person shooter video game,” “platform video game,” “action video game,” etc. is redundant. It’s fine in something like role-playing video game since there are also non-video game forms of role-playing games. Interqwark talk contribs 13:10, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

“Windows” or “Microsoft Windows”[edit]

Should video game articles refer to Windows, the operating system, as “Windows” or “Microsoft Windows”? (The title of the article is Microsoft Windows. Perhaps, if “Windows” is the common name, that should be the title of the article as well.)

Every video game-related article I’ve come across has used “Microsoft Windows” in the infobox and in the first mention in the body of the article. Interqwark talk contribs 19:00, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

Some context at the1337gamer's talk page. I think this discussion is similar to the one about about video game in lead sentences. Are users going to understand Windows to be Microsoft Windows in the context of video game articles? -- ferret (talk) 19:07, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
I prefer "Microsoft Windows". "Windows" means a variety of things; "Microsoft Windows" represents one concrete thing that will never be confused with anything else. That's my two cents. JOEBRO64 19:11, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
"Microsoft Windows" on first instance and infobox/tables; it avoids the issue we have with OS X/macOS presently. --Masem (t) 19:36, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
@Masem: I concur. That seems reasonable. Interqwark talk contribs 19:42, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
I feel strongly that "Windows" is better. "Windows" is overwhelmingly the common name, it's natural, and in context is more than clear enough. Someone who confuses the term "Windows" with physical objects is going to have bigger problems than that when reading a sentence like "Sonic Mania is a 2D platform game published by Sega worldwide in August 2017 for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows".
I don't claim to be a mind reader, but my suspicion is that the urge to write "Microsoft Windows", like "platform video game" (see above), comes from a misguided urge to be "proper" and "comprehensive" rather than a real consideration for how readers use Wikipedia. It amounts only to clutter. Popcornduff (talk) 03:27, 2 June 2018 (UTC)
  • "Microsoft" is only needed if the term "Windows" needs a natural disambiguator. Depends on whether it's listed alongside other operating systems, or near video game consoles, or near the term "PC". As for the article itself, it would reside at Windows if there weren't naming conflicts. "Microsoft" is added as a natural disambiguator. czar 03:50, 2 June 2018 (UTC)
  • "Windows" or "Windows PC" are far better than "Microsoft Windows". "Microsoft Windows" is unnecessarily long and reads less naturally in a sentence. There is no ambiguity or confusion of what Windows means when it is listed as a platform on video game articles. Video game sources use Windows or PC mostly. They rarely ever say "Microsoft Windows". The only reason editors on Wikipedia are using "Microsoft Windows" over "Windows" on video game articles is because the article is located at that title. The exact same thing happened with "Nintendo GameCube" before it was moved to "GameCube"; then everybody started removing "Nintendo" from the links just because they don't like redirects. --The1337gamer (talk) 17:27, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
    • Not long ago I campaigned to rename Microsoft Windows to Windows because it's overwhelmingly the WP:COMMONNAME, but got annihilated. Popcornduff (talk) 17:33, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
      • They claimed it was due to natural disambiguation, but Windows redirects towards Microsoft Windows anyway. Even if we can't change the article title, it seems like most people here are in favor of going with just Windows for gaming articles, at least outside of first mention. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 20:17, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

Wikis as external links[edit]

Why shouldn't Wikis be added to the section on inappropriate external links? We already had a discussion over this with consensus going with no, yet @Izno: is saying that WP:ELNO #12 allows for a number of cases and therefore it shouldn't be mentioned in this MOS. However, for the vast majority of gaming topics, we would not accept them as either EL or citations, so I don't see why the edit was reverted. Accepting them is the exception like the rest of the section it's under, so we should probably have clear rules about which ones are acceptable, rather than not mention anything at all. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 22:32, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

  • I honestly don't see the problem in including wikis as external links. WP:ELNO states that stable wikis with a substantial number of editors can be used. Furthermore, unreliable sources are supposed to be used as external links, if anything—they typically provide information that will interest readers but is out of our scope, which is why IMDb and MobyGames are typically linked in EL sections. Just my two cents. JOEBRO64 22:35, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
    • The problem is how do you prove it's stable? Open wikis are 100%-user generated, and while IMDb and MobyGames are also the same, they both serve a specific, encyclopedic-assisting purpose (for casting/credits) as compared to the usually crufty, badly written trivia and gameguide/walkthough stuff that permeates video game-related Wikis. And how are unreliable sources supposed to be used as ELs? Where did you get that idea from? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 22:58, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
      • It's pretty simple to see how it's stable. You click on the page history on the site and look and see: when were the pages last edited? Any edit wars? Dedicated wikis like Mario Wiki and Sonic Retro both are stable and have a substantial number of editors (not to mention that Sonic Retro has been acknowledged by Sega and some of their editors worked on Sonic Mania, btw). The Wikias are usually iffy because anyone can make their own random wiki (like "Super Mario Mod wiki" or "Sonic Dreams Collection" wiki) but are fine if they fulfill the boxes (examples of stable Wikias are Wookieepedia and DC Database). And where did I get the idea that unreliable sources are typically fine as ELs? Look at WP:ELYES. JOEBRO64 23:07, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
        • Except both Sonic Retro and the Mario wiki have original research (for audio credits, but maybe more). And looking at edit history proves nothing, as that shows no evidence of editorial oversight, just levels of activity. And where in WP:ELYES does it say unreliable sources are allowed? Are you confusing point 3 for that? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 05:20, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
          • Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources. is what I was talking about. And IMDb and MobyGames also have original research and barely have editorial oversight. Your argument against using wikis makes absolutely no sense because you're saying they're not OK but IMDb and MobyGames are. JOEBRO64 10:41, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
            • Personally, I would argue against the usage of MobyGames and IMDb for the same exact reasons. However, I recognize that they can serve an encyclopedic-purpose, which is unlike the vast majority of fan-driven game Wikis that focus on badly-written and uncited trivia and gameguides. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 20:49, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
              • Articles on reliable sources are also often poorly written. So that argument's not helping you. JOEBRO64 21:06, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
  • WP:External links is a content guideline, not a policy. There's no reason this MOS cannot provide more stringent guidelines, especially in light of how many fly by night random community wikis there are for video games. Official wikis, such as we see for Minecraft on Gamepedia, are often linked from official sites so ELMINOFFICIAL does apply. We should, in general, discourage wikis and the random flood of wikias and "my guilds new wiki" additions. -- ferret (talk) 22:46, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
    • Right, the example of Minecraft could be used as an exception as to when it's acceptable, as it's both endorsed and linked to from the official website. Unofficial, fan-driven ones are no different than fansites, if not worse because at least they would usually have some sort of editorial oversight. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 23:00, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
    • We should not override a more-general guideline, mostly-ever. ELNO #12 allows for stable wikis. If someone is adding a wiki that is not stable, we do not and should not reference MOS/VG to remove it. --Izno (talk) 13:38, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
      • But there is still no clear definition as to what is "stable" (is it high levels of activity, low levels of reverting, quality of writing?). I suppose that's my real issue with it, it's just too ambiguous. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 20:49, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
        • So you propose to ban them here instead of seeking clarification at WT:EL? :) That said, I think we all know 'stable' when we see it. Have you had particular issues? --Izno (talk) 01:02, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
          • I only propose that for purposes of video games (this MOS), that the vast majority of Wikis as external links should not be allowed without being discussed on a case-by-case basis. It's the same as the rest of the section it was added to, which is why I don't agree with it being reverted. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 03:08, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
            • WP:ELNO#12: Open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors. Your comment: the vast majority of Wikis as external links should not be allowed without being discussed on a case-by-case basis Can you show conflict indicating that this forked rule is needed? All content on Wikipedia is subject to the consensus process, even if it meets our other guidelines for inclusion. Can you show where there have been issues with the use of WP:EL directly to remove a link? Were those problems specific to video gaming? I doubt that you can, or show such. We don't need to guideline fork (and a fork it indeed is, as it differs significantly in intent from what ELNO12 actually says). For many or most of listed items in this guideline I added the link to WP:ELNO retroactively because our guideline asserted authority that which was another guideline's. (As it happens, some items are yet unlinked to WP:ELNO, and I have plans at some point to start a discussion on those.) --Izno (talk) 13:38, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Useful external links to wikis are far more the exception than the rule. I've seen maybe a handful of useful links in my time. Most vg wikis are unedited collections of cruft. The Mario wiki is among the better ones—and only for the exhaustive detail of plot/gameplay coverage—and I still hesitate to link it. The EL section is designed for encyclopedic resources: copyrighted media, repos of collected works, historical archives. These fan wikis are hardly close to that standard. czar 03:00, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
    • The reason external wiki links persist as they do is because we a) have an interest in sending cruft away and b) the external wiki has an interest in receiving said cruft and c) they are mostly, or entirely, written (I use the word written here specifically, not generally) with the intent of being free content. They match and even enable our mission in all three of these points. That said, your point is a general point for WT:EL, not a domain-specific MOS. --Izno (talk) 13:38, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
      I don't think it's unreasonable to say that of all specific domains, video games articles are among the most likely to have EL wiki cruft. I see no issue in setting guidance specific to this domain. I'm also not particularly confident that adding ext wiki links beneath an article actually drives traffic or overflow content there in any consistent fashion. If someone wants to pull rank on guidelines to include a wiki link, that's their prerogative, but the general uselessness of linking many video game wikis is well within our purview to issue advice (which is the purpose of this page). czar 00:27, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
      I don't think it's unreasonable for you to provide some proof that the use of these links has caused some extended conflict specific to video gaming. No, you haven't provided that with your comment. I see issue with setting guidance specific to this domain because it isn't necessary and you have not shown it to be such. If your issues are only so general as "oh, I think it's a problem", then either a) this is not the page to be advocating for restricting these links further (nor, in fact, should you do so on any page) or b) it's not really a problem and should not have guidelines to that effect. We do not write new guidelines, much less fork old ones, without good cause, which has not been provided. ELNO #12 is already quite restrictive, for all that Dissident thinks it is ambiguous: The wiki must be stable and it must have a sizable number of contributors. --Izno (talk) 01:55, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
      What? I'm saying that in my experience editing widely across the encyclopedia, video game articles are more apt to add external wikis in the EL section than articles in other topical areas. It's an anecdote, but I won't be crawling the encyclopedia to provide empirical proof. Another anecdote is that I don't have examples of good video game wiki ELs because there is rarely a redemptive reason (WP:ELYES, if you want) to keep them.
      What wikis do video game articles normally cite? Wikias, Gamepedia,, and then what? The dregs are MobyGames variants that might have screenshot galleries, but more likely contain nothing. And if other topic areas do have low-quality external wikis, they just aren't linked with the regularity of our vg ext wikis. The Wikias/Gamepedias are wildly inconsistent. I'd be curious to see examples of where you think they are usefully linked at the bottom of an article. I don't have a problem with linking mariowiki/sonicretro on case-by-case basis: their best pages are general archives and so provide lots of technical info we wouldn't, but only when their pages in question are not copyvio farms or simply reams of changelogs. I really don't see how providing guidance along these lines is either unreasonable or in defiance of the EL guideline, whose guidance clearly errs on the side of not linking low-quality open wikis and evaluating each on its own merits. Would you be opposed to using this page to show contrast between when ext wikis are useful and not useful to link? czar 10:29, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
      That all sounds very consistent with my experience over the years too, for what its worth. Sergecross73 msg me 15:58, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

Shortcut names[edit]

Why do the shortcuts to this guideline begin with “WP” instead of “MOS”? This is a Manual of Style guideline. Shouldn’t the shortcuts be “MOS:name” instead of “WP:name”? Interqwark talk contribs 04:26, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

Because this wasn't apart of the MOS up until a few months ago, and nobody bothered to change the shortcuts because doing so serves no purpose at best, and would break redirects at worst. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 05:22, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
It would serve a purpose. I often use the “MOS” prefix when linking to this article and find that it doesn’t work. Perhaps, “MOS” redirects could be created with the obsolete “WP” ones still existing. Interqwark talk contribs 05:24, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Almost all MOS guidelines have a variety of WP: based redirect anchors, as well as MOS:. There's nothing particular about it, and does not mean it carries any less weight as a content guideline. In reality, MOS guidelines are in the namespace Wikipedia (That is, WP:). There is no actual "Manual of Style" namespace. "MOS:" redirects are actually in mainspace. -- ferret (talk) 12:10, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
@ferret: Aren’t “MOS” redirects in the article namespace? Interqwark talk contribs 12:14, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Mainspace = article space. -- ferret (talk) 12:46, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
@ferret: Sorry, I misread. I thought you said that “MOS” shortcuts were in the Wikipedia namespace, but you actually said that Manual of Style articles were. Interqwark talk contribs 12:48, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Agreed that its unnecessary. And I don't know about others, but personally, whenever both options exist, I almost always chose the WP version, out of habit, since there's so many more of those. (For example, I always link people to WP:ALLCAPS instead of MOS:ALLCAPS.) Sergecross73 msg me 12:32, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Agreed with Serge and Dissident above, however I don't think anybody objects to the creation of equivalent MOS: redirects as viable alternatives to the WP: ones already in use relating to MOS:VG. Ben · Salvidrim!  13:23, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
  • We have to keep the old redirects, because there are just way too many uses in old archives and such. We can, however, add any MOS ones we feel are necessary. As mentioned above, WP: and MOS: are used interchangeably and are a matter of preference most of the time. I don't think we necessarily need' them, but they wouldn't hurt anything. —  HELLKNOWZ   ▎TALK 14:45, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn’t say that we should delete the “WP” shortcuts. We could create “MOS” shortcuts and replace the “WP” ones on this page, however. Interqwark talk contribs 14:49, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand how you can propose "replacement" without "deletion" though. If the old WP ones are still around, its not really "replacement". Sergecross73 msg me 15:51, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
@Sergecross73: I mean replacing them in the shortcut boxes on the page itself. Interqwark talk contribs 15:56, 5 June 2018 (UTC)


How much content should be dedicated in a game's article to its sequel? (Article in question is New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a current GA nom) Do we really need to mention and explain all the new features? TeraTIX 10:30, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Unless the new features or whatever have some particular relevance to the original game, no description is necessary. It's enough to say that a sequel came out. The stuff in that article is overkill of the type found in so many video game articles. Popcornduff (talk) 14:39, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Coverage should be proportional to coverage in reliable sources. And WP:WAF asks to include stuff like development and reception. —  HELLKNOWZ   ▎TALK 16:49, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Agree with Popcornduff, any info about a sequel should be relevant to the original game. Release and a small summary of reception is usually all that is needed. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 23:28, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Change redirects[edit]

I changed the listed shortcuts from WP:VG/DATE, WP:VG/RELEASE, and WP:VG/RELDATE to WP:VG/RD, WP:VG/DATE, and WP:VG/RELDATE. WP:VG/RD was recently created by me. I created this shortcut because it’s the shortest and simplest one of them all. Not all of them can stay, and ideally, there should only be two listed per WP:2SHORTCUTS.

Dissident93 thinks that I should reach a consensus, so I’m creating this discussion. Which shortcuts do you think should be listed in the “Release dates” section?

If only two, I would choose WP:VG/RD and WP:VG/DATE, as those are the easiest to remember. Interqwark talk contribs 23:24, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

  • I have no opinion about which is better, but you should always get consensus (or check to see if there is on the archives) before making potentially large changes like this on a MOS page. These shortcuts have been around for years, with nobody ever having issues with them, so to just change them out of the blue usually causes more harm than good. And if we want to follow WP:2SHORTCUTS, then I just suggest getting rid of WP:VG/RELDATE, as it's the least common shortcut I've seen in use, and the same thing as WP:VG/DATE without the REL. ~ Dissident93 (talk) 23:26, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
My apologies. I’ll be sure to start discussions in the future. Interqwark talk contribs 01:24, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
This seems like more meddling in things that aren't broken... Sergecross73 msg me 01:38, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Per WP:2SHORTCUTS, I removed WP:GAMETRIVIA and WP:CHEATS from the "Inappropriate content" as it has greatly expanded since it was primarily focusing on them two. Is there any issue with this? ~ Dissident93 (talk) 03:05, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

"the publisher's and publication's names significantly differ"[edit]

Re: advice on |work= and |publisher= params, what's the virtue of keeping this phrase? It reads like we're suggesting to keep both fields unless the fields read |work=GameWebsite |publisher=GameWebsite Inc. when in reality there is rarely a need for the publisher field at all, especially when the work is distinct and wikilinked. The publisher field was meant primarily for citing books to be used alongside |location=. WPVG's history of using both parameters together owes more to superstition than to reason. czar 18:26, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

Is it really causing any harm to fully flesh out references by including publishers for magazines? Maybe for websites it's less important and that's what we should mention in the guideline. Looking at a recent rescue (HeroQuest II: Legacy of Sorasil) I think it's actually a significant bit of context for readers that three of the sources were published by Future and two by EMAP. Plus in the case of Amiga CD32 Gamer we have an article on the publisher but not the magazine itself. Ben · Salvidrim!  20:34, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
That's exactly how it should read, for multiple reasons. A) FAC and its citation consistency. B) Websites change hands and sometimes their reliability goes with the new owner. C) Not all sources are online and the majority of offline sources don't have the duplicated publisher-work combination. D) Not all sources we use have wikilinks, so their ownership history is not trivial to understand. And there's probably an E) You don't know if/when a source will need disambiguation until after there's a second source lying around with a different publisher. I rarely use the publisher myself because many of our sources do have GameWebsite and GameWebsite Inc., but enough don't. --Izno (talk) 20:37, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
"Websites change hands and sometimes their reliability goes with the new owner": The publisher field is most likely to cite the wrong publisher for the post's era. re: salv, sure, publisher fields make somewhat more sense for magazines, especially those without their own bluelinked articles, but I'm talking about 30+ ref articles that all say "Engadget. AOL." like the publisher is providing anything more than clutter. In the Amiga example, the title should redirect to the publisher's blurb on the magazine, if the publication has any import. But in any event, keeping the publisher has more to do with addressing ambiguity in the citation than with whether |work= and |publisher= significantly differ in name. The former is already covered in the guideline, so why is the latter needed? Re: izno, if the issue is source identification, we're much better off encouraging |issn= and |oclc= identification than adding the publisher information, both of which are more often used as identifiers in periodical citations than whoever happens to be their publisher at time of publication. Not sure what you mean about citation consistency as defense for keeping the phrase—I've been more often encouraged to remove the |publisher= field at FAC when unnecessary than to keep it. czar 16:24, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Actors in plot summaries[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Film#Proposed MoS change: actors' names (not) in plot sections

Gist: MOS:FILM and MOS:TV are in conflict about whether to give actors' names in plot summaries.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:59, 15 July 2018 (UTC)