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This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current staff lounge page.

September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009

Main page templates

  1. {{infobox}}: Get rid of some parameters.
    • japanese: redundant, should be in the main writeup in the {{nihongo}} template
    • distributor: who cares, rarely used
    • media: noted elsewhere, rarely used correctly
    • input: noted elsewhere, rarely used correctly
  2. {{sys}}: Add a parameter to not include the category, or to go even further, make a new template that just has the formatting so you can specify your own system name and icon.
  3. {{co}}: Add a parameter for alternate link text.

Above are suggestions for cleaning up and making some of these templates more useful. Please add your opinions and ideas. The only one that may not be very straightforward is the change to {{sys}}. This is helpful in circumstances where the redirect is getting the system category, but there's some information you want to put in the main page's infobox. This may be a usage issue rather than anything lacking in the template. I know I've created mock "sys" divs in the infobox before, but I can't think of any examples at the moment. — najzereT 21:46, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I only have a strong opinion about the japanese parameter. While I agree that, in some cases, it can be redundant, it isn't always. For example, it would be a little strange to {{nihongo}} something like "Donkey Kong" or "Super Mario Bros." because they're not Japanese names. Yet, having the katakana in the infobox is a handy way to have something to copy/paste into Google if you wanted to see what searching in Japanese would reveal. For me personally, this is a handy research tool, and I would hate to see it leave. Since it's an optional parameter, if it doesn't get filled then it doesn't get filled. But I would argue that it has a useful purpose, even if not always 100% of the time. Procyon 00:22, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
We might as well leave the others in, considering the future scope of SW. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 00:48, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
@Procyon: Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング?) looks strange? That's how I've always seen the template used, as a way to get that "?" link at the end of the Japanese. For the japanese parameter, I'm suggesting moving it out to the main body if it's not there already, so it would still be usable for searching (I use it all the time too, I definitely don't want to see the Japanese go). I always wondered why, if the japanese parameter is there, there's no "european" parameter, as there are tons of games that have an alternate PAL name. Those work just fine noted in bold in the writeup as well.
@Notmyhandle: Do you mean the inclusion of non-commercial and/or non-notable games? Could you elaborate on how the other parameters will be used?
najzereT 06:33, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind seeing the |japanese go, as long as the information wasn't lost. Just because |distributor is rarely used, doesn't mean we should get rid of it. If the information is found, include it. How are media and input noted elsewhere?. I don't understand your reasoning for changing {{sys}} and {{co}}. Additionally it's too complex and widely used to complicate and increase the load on the servers. -- Prod (Talk) 15:09, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
The distributor has no impact or say so in the development of game, they're just a glorified middleman, so I'm not sure why anyone ever thought a field for a purely business-related item would be relevant, except that our infobox seems to be modeled heavily after WP's (meaning encyclopedic). For media and input, they're being used to show highly obvious and redundant material, such as Nintendo 64 games play on cartridges, or Windows games use keyboards. I can't even think of why we need a media field – is there a system that doesn't just play its own standard media? Input is useful if used correctly, when the input is non-standard, like when a game uses a floor dance pad or something, but it's mainly being used to display the standard controllers, or even worse, a list of all types of input that work with the game. By and large these two fields mirror what's found on the game's WP page, but I think WP's approach to articles is different than ours. The problem with all these extra parameters is that people want to fill them. We don't include them in the preload, so it's not like we want them to do that. Especially when they're mostly used incorrectly, as with media and input.
I remembered why I needed the formatting from {{sys}}: when a game has an alternate name/release on PC, the redirect gets categorized, but the pc requirements are found on the main page. If sys is needed in the requirements field, it will erroneously categorize the main page with the system category. Also concerning the requirements field, I've seen the formatting mocked up so we could distinguish between Windows Vista and XP, for example.
The {{co}} template I thought was pretty obvious and didn't expect to find any opposition to it. As it stands you have to put in the full category name, so in the case that a category link redirects to a category with a different name (e.g. Psygnosis), you wouldn't be able to put the name of the developer at the time at which the game was developed. Of less importance, you also can't use it to shorten the link name (e.g. SCE) or use an alternate name (e.g. Bally Midway). In short, there's no way to use our helpful category redirects.
About the server load, I'd hate to see that reasoning become an excuse not to clean things up and make the site better. Can the job queue be controlled in any way? Such as allowing the servers to perform certain tasks at designated times? I know that during the week in the middle of the day (PST), there aren't a whole lot of edits being made, though what that says about viewership, I don't know. — najzereT 16:01, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
We would probably just make the changes at night, or lock the database while it's working. My previous comment was referring to the possible domain changes and non-game information inclusion (i.e. "encyclopedic"). However, I'm not educated/aware of the current status of the discussions among the management involved in this endeavor.
The main issue with the japanese parameter, as previously stated by Naj, has always been about "why japanese and not other countries?" Pages will be fine if we remove it, and if we change it to include other regionalizations, that works just as well. It comes down to how we want to standardize our pages. Should we make the infobox lengthy and inclusive? I always prefer the infobox to hold as much information as possible, because the infobox is concise and makes it so you don't have to skim an article for quick facts. At the same time I can see how lengthy infoboxes create excess white space, so there's that aestheticism to be concerned about. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 23:03, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
As I was working on this page earlier today, I was thinking that we could use expandable fields in the infobox for excessively long stuff like multi-system, multi-country release dates and huge PC requirements. I know I've seen that on some of WP's video game infoboxes, and I think it looks pretty sleek. — najzereT 23:28, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I would rather not remove media, because there is a lot more useful information that can be included there, especially for PCs (I don't have a blu-ray drive or a floppy drive). Just because it's included on WP, doesn't mean we shouldn't have it here as well. Input is somewhat redundant to our own Controls pages, so it's only true purpose is as a summary, which doesn't seem that useful. I don't remember any of the games that have a distributor listed, what companies usually show up there?
Your issue with {{sys}} I believe brings up a deeper problem, that we don't really have a proper standard to tell when to use a redirect with categories vs. a shared main page (like Pokemon Yellow). The {{co}} issues that you bring up will affect any company where they changed the name, without being bought out. However, the template is already fairly complex, and it's usage would need to be made even more complex to support alt-text. How many companies are affected by this? -- Prod (Talk) 23:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
This reminded me of the issue with company categories and names. Because older games use the archaic versions of company names, I have a feeling that sometimes we have changed the links on a page to reflect the newer versions of a company's name. I can't think of an example page, but I don't agree with this method of displaying information (if it's not on the packaging/in game, our pages should not include present day information/references because it does not present it in a factual, historically accurate way; redirects and [[Hidden Links|excluded]]). --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 00:13, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
@Prod: If you say a field is useful, then that's all I wanted to know. I was just listing ones I don't find to be of any use. As for distributors, they're usually publishers as well if they're big enough (Nintendo, Sega, Midway, etc.), in which case they'd be listed twice in the infobox. The difference from the other things we note, is that you can go to the developer or publisher category and reasonably expect to find other games you might like (although not so much for huge publishers). For distributors, it's just business, they have no influence over the game's development (unless they're the publisher as well), and they'd be just as happy to ship Princess Maker games as Diablo games. For sys, you're right there are other issue to think about which might help the situation. For co, it didn't appear to be very complicated to me. I think we can get away with just putting |{{{4|{{{1}}}}}} in the category link.
@Notmyhandle: Totally agree. It's best to have the name of the company that's on the box, rather than the third or fourth copmany down the line that's currently owning their name. — najzereT 01:34, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, discussion seems to be over, so here is my takeaway. The infobox parameters aren't hurting anything, as they don't have to be used. It's not clear why we have a Japanese field and none for other languages, so maybe that will come up again in the future. The sys template has brought up a different issue, which is how we handle categorizing redirects and different versions, so that could probably be its own discussion (what wasn't mentioned was the effect this has on the StrategyWiki:Guide completion page, where category counts used to determine how many guides we have are overstated). For the co template, the notion that we should be using the company name at the time the game was released seems to be most accepted, and the template's (apparent) complexity isn't a compelling reason not to fix it. (It's an administrator's job anyway, as the template is protected.) So I'll update the co template and leave everything else the way it was. Thanks everyone. — najzereT 20:34, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

The main other language title I can think of adding is one for the PAL region. They do tend to have differing titles and this could be helpful for clarifications (and quicker to find then in the main description). If a distributor ever differs from the publisher then I do find that information helpful. --Zaiqukaj 11:01, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
We could change the japanese parameter to allow for any/all alternative countries/regions. We could just change the "japanese" name parameter to "alternate" (for a generalized, alternative names section) and then use our standard of {{sys}} and {{icon}}. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 06:05, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Control table styles (part 1)

Here's an issue I once brought up on the forums, which didn't seem to get much attention there.

Currently, the common format for control tables is to make the control cells center-aligned and the description cells left-aligned. I'm wondering, what should be the preferred way to go about this? There are two methods of applying such formatting:

  1. Set all the control cells as header cells (TH elements) instead of regular cells (TD elements). (Example) This is the method used in the example in StrategyWiki:Guide.
  2. Set the "|text center=1" option on {{prettytable}}, then set an "align='left'|" or "style='text-align: left'|" option on all the description cells. (Example) This is how I usually do it.

The example in the guide uses the first method, which implies (but never explicitly states) this method to be a guideline. However, there is a problem with this method. For compatibility and accessibility reasons, Web standards recommend keeping content separate from presentation, and using header elements for cells that actually contain data instead of headers breaks that rule. How the control information can be defined as "headers" is beyond me. Making the control images center-aligned and the text left-aligned is a presentational attribute and should not be implemented through semantic markup. Unless there is a valid reason to classify the control images as "header cells" (and "It's easier" doesn't count), the second method works better from a functional perspective. Yet the guide seemingly recommends the first method.

I see three possible courses of action:

  1. Leave the guide unchanged, and enforce usage of the first method.
  2. Change the guide to recommend, or at least allow, the second method, then optionally enforce that instead.
  3. Disregard the whole thing and leave the matter up to the individual editor's preference.

What say you all? Wanderer 02:04, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Anything but number three. I prefer not to use header cells for the controls, but I don't know why we need to center-align them anyway. If we make a change, I'd be for using the plain {{prettytable}} with no embellishments and having the whole table left-aligned except for the header row. The major concern with changing something like this fixing all the ones that are currently using the style outlined in the guide. If everyone thinks it's worth changing every control table to match a new style, then I'm for a non-header cell format. If it's not worth the work, then I'm fine staying with the current guideline. Whatever the outcome, our controls table style should be uniform, not used at the editor's discretion. — najzereT 03:05, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
We could make a new template like {{prettytable}} meant to go on top of control tables. This template could employ CSS that automatically bolds all cells and center-aligns them, and then unbolds and left-aligns the description cell. --Skizzerz 04:59, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
That would still require putting a class attribute on each of the description cells, though. Wanderer 05:51, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Method #1 was not initiated on a web standard train of thought, but rather it was a simple solution to center the text and exclude the use of css/html in the page's code. Now, this may or may not be the best course of action, but I haven't seen any issues with it in Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 16:07, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
@Wanderer: no it wouldn't. We could use the tr:last-child pseudo-selector to get the last element. It doesn't work on older browsers (IE6, Safari 3, etc.), but nobody cares about them anyway. --Skizzerz 00:23, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
That's been reported not to work in even IE8. Wanderer 01:12, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
No problem, let's just leave the whole table left-aligned. — najzereT 03:59, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
But it looks nicer with the buttons centered. Wanderer 04:56, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
The control images are row headers, which are a perfectly acceptable use of the th tag per the W3C recommendations. There are further recommendations that are not implemented here which would make them more useful for accessibility reasons (compatibility isn't an issue here because people have been misusing tables since day one due to the lack of actual layout tags in HTML, and therefore all relatively modern browsers understand some very maligned tables), but such things would be better handled by the template than by the users (for example the recommendations mention using an id for each header and then enumerating the column and row headers that apply to each cell within the markup for the individual cells).
Look at it like a multiplication table, the contents of each cell are only so useful with just the column header, until you've learned multiplication and division well enough to generate the tables yourself. Otherwise, you use both the column header and the row header to find the cell that corresponds to the result of multiplying the two values. In turn, you use the row header for the system on which you are playing the game and the column headers (in most cases Description or Action is the only column header in use, but this is not always the case) to determine how to perform each action. --~Vizeroth · (c)~-- 09:34, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
By this reasoning, it sounds more like the description cells would be the headers. There's only one description cell per row, and you cross that with the column for the platform you're playing on to find which button to press. Wanderer 05:13, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
That would be a reasonable way of looking at it, too, which is why I mentioned that it's possible to have more headings, we just usually consolidate them into a single column rather than spreading them out. Final_Fantasy_X/Controls is an example of a single-console release (therefore not having control images for multiple systems) using multiple columns (and notably not using the headers for the control images). --~Vizeroth · (c)~-- 20:13, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
A column header in addition to a row header indicates that the rest of the row is dependent on that metric, such as in experience tables where the character's level is a column header showing that you can change your level but not the stats received at each level directly. It's already implicit in a table with a header row that the data in each row are related, so unless you wish to impart extra information by making a column a header as well, it's not needed. In a controls table, you can look at it either way: do you want to know which button makes you jump, or do you want to know what the X button does? Basically, I don't think any column should be a header, and the tables are so simple they would be understandable even without a header row in most cases. As far as formatting goes, the guide says not to use center-aligned content unless the table contains mostly images. Our guideline for all other tables (as shown in multiple talk pages over years) is to leave it (defaulted) to left-aligned, so I think that's the best way to approach control tables as well. — najzereT 06:32, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Except that the control tables do contain mostly images. True, there's also text columns for the descriptions, but nobody was suggesting centering those as well. Wanderer 06:56, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Which just takes us back to the beginning, where option #2 would seem to be recommended by another portion of the guide, since it states that the text center option should be used. --~Vizeroth · (c)~-- 14:09, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Hard to say what was intended with that vague sentence, but I always took it to mean a single image in a cell. Besides the fact that controls often contain more than one control image, they also often contain some explanatory text, usually just a word or two ("hold", "while jumping", etc.). A blanket centering of the contents won't always fit our guideline, while left-aligning always will. — najzereT 15:45, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
The occasional word or two doesn't really matter; the focus of those cells is on the images, so those columns do contain "mostly images" — especially if there's more than one control image to a cell — and they do "look better center-aligned", so left-aligning them actually wouldn't fit the guideline. Wanderer 16:43, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Left aligning is the guideline. Centered control images looking better is an opinion, and I disagree. Beyond style though, don't forget that if we decide to implement centered control images, it will be more complicated to produce those tables than to simply use the {{prettytable}} template and be done with it. — najzereT 18:21, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Left-aligning is the guideline for text, not for images. And let's not sacrifice quality for laziness. Wanderer 20:07, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
It's the guideline for all tables, images were used as an example. It should be noted that the example was to center the entire table, not certain columns.
It's not laziness to make the wiki easy for every user. We have enough trouble getting users new and old to learn the myriad ways we do things here. You and I know how to use {{prettytable}} and add cell attributes, but why should we make it complicated for every other user to make something as ubiquitous as a controls table? Once again, "quality" is a subjective term, which you're applying to style anyway. — najzereT 20:20, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
That's not at all what the guideline says. It says "Usually, text should be left-aligned in a table" (emphasis mine). That's not a recommendation of left-aligning everything, including images. That only says text. The guideline then proceeds to explicitly allow for centering image-heavy tables, which control tables certainly qualify as.
If being easy to edit took priority over quality, then there wouldn't be any guidelines at all. I'm not saying we should add as much needless complication as possible for no good reason. I'm saying that easiness does not and should not take priority over quality. Wanderer 21:57, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Why exactly does this site have fan games listed?

Most recent example (that I know of): Super Mario 63. In my opinion, we shouldn't be promoting unofficial (and I would bet in many cases: illegal) games. The games are also most likely copyright infringements (Mario is owned by Nintendo) and I somehow doubt people legally can just release these types of games. Even if they are free, it's still a legal issue I believe. Promoting hacking and so on: a big mistake. If this site ever wants to compete with bigger sites, this isn't the way to do so. I see no good reason for even so called "notable fan games" to be listed here. If people want to get help on illegal games and hacks: they should do so elsewhere. This issue has came up in the past I believe, and people just shrug it off as not a big deal. However I think it is a big deal and should be addressed here. RobJ1981 19:35, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Also on the subject of things that aren't suitable: MAME (as well as Category:Emulators). It's bugged me for a while, and I havent seen a good reason for why it's here either. So basically the site is promoting roms by telling people how to play them on the computer but not telling people where to get them. How does that make sense? Both aspects are illegal. Game makers spend their money and time on a game, so there is no good reason to rip it off. I know the excuse of "I own a hard copy, so I'm entitled to a version on my computer" comes up a lot in rom/emulation discussions. However that's just an excuse for this poor behavior. Personally you wouldn't want something you worked hard on ripped off by people, so why do it to others and then promote it here? RobJ1981 19:44, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
A couple of points... I personally am a big supporter of emulation. Although programs such as MAME can be abused by users who pirate ROMs, MAME in and of itself is not illegal in any way, and many older (read: retired) arcade developers have praised MAME for the spirit that it espouses; namely to keep the memory of older games alive. Yes, I was a former game developer, and no, I wouldn't necessarily like to see my games being pirated, but I have, and they are, and that's nothing SW should get involved with, but I don't feel that hosting a guide on how to use MAME is promoting piracy in any way. If anything, it's providing users with a way to understand how to enjoy some of the games that we host guides for that they could not otherwise play. I know Pac-Man has been on numerous Namco classics discs, and Donkey Kong is on the Virtual Console, but when's the last time you ever saw Q*Bert out on the market?
Now I agree that Super Mario 63 is very gray and very questionable, but I leave these matters up to the community. If the community feels that SM63 is not worth supporting, than I am only too happy to enforce that. But the decision has not been made. On the other hand, I feel that a guide for games such as Mario Adventure should be welcome on this site, and I realize that I'm splitting hairs when I say that. At the end of the day, there will always be differences of opinions, but I have always felt that SW was a democracy, and if the community at large feels that something is inappropriate for this site, than we are obligated to comply. That said, if there are others who feel the way that Rob feels, please voice your opinion. Likewise, if you disagree, please share your thoughts as well. Procyon 01:05, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Games not being out seems more like an excuse, not a reason. There is many several TV shows I would like on DVD, but that doesn't mean I will find bootlegs of them or whatever. Also not being on the market doesn't make playing it online legal in all cases. Pretty sure the game must have no copyrights anymore or be labelled freeware and so on. RobJ1981 22:28, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem with hosting guides for any game, as game guides are entirely legal. I also have no problem treating emulators as any other system, as they are also (for the most part) legal. I'm a purist when it comes to this site: I'm interested in making a guide for a game; I don't ask where the game came from or how the reader obtained it. I will say that all links either directly to illegal games or to resources for obtaining them should be removed. It's sketchy right now to link to copyright infringements (if you've been following digital rights news, you should be well aware of this), and at any rate it's outside our scope. Our content should start from the reader having the game playing on his system. Linking to legitimate game signup sites is fine (like in the infobox), but for illegal content such as all derivative works (ROM hacks, games using copyright characters), we would do well to steer clear. — najzereT 06:32, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
I on the other hand do have a major problem with hosting these games on the site, and would like to have Super Mario 63 deleted. The work is done and shouldn't be lost (transwiki somewhere) but I strongly believe that does not fit our scope at all. -- Prod (Talk) 05:19, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

There's no consensus to get rid of fan-made games or emulator information, so unless there is something actually illegal on the site, these things will remain. This subject may come up in the future, in which case hopefully more people give their feelings on it so we can have a more satisfying conclusion. — najzereT 20:34, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

So lets include board games too. -- Prod (Talk) 05:19, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
We could, but none of us seem to be board game enthusiasts. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 05:22, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
The game "not being illegal" seems like an excuse, not a reason. Let's put it to a vote then. Right on this page (not on the forums... any case anyone suggests that, because most of those people don't even edit this site from what I know at least). We should establish a consensus on this, because I'm sure this wont be the last time some fan-made nonsense will be posted here. RobJ1981 06:57, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
@Prod: The one thing our scope has always been clear on is that we host video game walkthroughs, so board games are obviously outside our scope. The reason scope was relaxed was due to the number of non-notable/non-commercial games that were being made or requested and the support for them, mainly from administrators. Maybe you could state your reason why you have a problem with them. If it's simply because they're out of scope, we fixed that by changing the policy.
@RobJ1981: I vote keep.
najzereT 07:10, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Prod was being sarcastic, but my comment hinted that this site reflects the community, not a strict policy. Now, that's not really a good way to go about things, as a flimsy structure will only hasten SW's demise. However, for Super Mario 63, I vote keep (it's a great game; try it). I see no reason why we can't include awesome games like these. Also, I am without my forum/IRC password for another month, so this is a great place to do it. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 07:29, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Why are we voting for it here? I agree that it shouldn't be in the forums, but shouldn't we put a {{VfD}} on the page? (We don't have a VfD?) Procyon 13:23, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Because we aren't anal about overly bureaucratic nonsense like Wikipedia is, that's why. Also, it's called {{delete}} here :). Also, I say keep. --Skizzerz 06:17, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Delete. I think we need a very well-defined line of what games are within scope and what games are not. I think that allowing ROM hacks, flash games, etc. while not allowing others is wrong. That leaves two options, in my opinion. Allow every game or only commercial games. My vote goes to commercial games. I think there is a need for a wiki dedicated to flash games and such, but that isn't here.--DukeRuckleyTalk | Contribs 13:04, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Of course people are voting keep. I figured voting wouldnt help because people would rather use this site to promote illegal and/or fanmade things rather than elsewhere. I decided to give it a shot because I thought people would have listen to logic. Why can't the content just be moved elsewhere? This site should strictly be for legal and official games, not fanmade nonsense that you think is "notable" for inclusion just because lots of people play it. That's it, I'm done. RobJ1981 21:27, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually, Rob brings up an interesting point. These guides are valuable, but our scope is already broad enough without including unlicensed games. We could perhaps look into a secondary site that hosts guides for these kinds of fan-made games. Now to go a bit further than that and address the legality issue. Super Mario 63 takes copyrighted materials (the character images and textures) and reuses them, I'm certain without permission. I wouldn't bet on them being able to use a fair use defense in their case. -- Prod (Talk) 01:56, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
As much as it pains me to admit it for my own reasons, I have to agree with Prod on this one. Just because Nintendo hasn't gone after them to take it down, doesn't mean that what they're doing is right, no matter how well made the game is. And let's face it; if you took Mario out of the game, and put some generic no-name character, people would be faaaaaar less interested in playing around with it. Although agreeing with Prod on this will have further ramifications for the site that I am less enthusiastic about, I think Prod's point is valid. There is a {{delete}} template on the page now. Please take this discussion over there.
P.S. Rob, if you're reading this, you were a very valuable contributor, and I would really hate to see you retire from the site over such a disagreement. The matter isn't settled yet. I hope you reconsider. Procyon 02:31, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree. However, back on the discussion, I don't remember seeing anyone arguing Super Mario 63's notability (although Naj requested some outside sources from the main editor of the guide on Super Mario 63's talk page). It's not notable, it's just a great game (which is why it shows up in search results). Plus, if we were to exclude unlicensed games, we would have to flesh out all of the independent games and clones for the NES and other consoles. These games are legitimate, but they are illegal. What do we do then? As long as we don't provide actual downloads of games, there's nothing wrong with hosting the information. Information is not illegal, but its use can be. Therefore, it should be realized that it is not our job to be biased or to censor the internet. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 03:25, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
That also brings up the issue of personal bias: why do I support any game? Why do I not support all games? I support all commercial games, as SW does, but my personal bias in turn supports games that I like. We have to choose to either be extremely anal (a commercial business), or be a community of gamers. As my previous view of this community was not-for-profit (I don't know what to think about it now; we seem to be in limbo at the moment), an open, flexible ruleset seemed optimal. If we were to be ruled by a business, however, I would say we should be including whatever will gain us profits (i.e. all games). Argh so complicated. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 03:30, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I've grabbed an XML dump of SM63, and should it be deleted, can be transwikied to other suitable wikis (which has a tight scope). --Sigma 7 03:37, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
NotMyHandle, I disagree: we can be a community of gamers, but we certainly shouldn't be promoting unofficial games. The games aren't official and in many cases are illegal. Just because we aren't providing how to get them, doesn't make them correct for the site. We should be bias, because there is no excuse to list things that aren't official. This site shouldn't promote illegal (or unofficial and fanmade) games just because you personally enjoy them and/or need a guide for it. RobJ1981 04:30, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
NMH, I just want to clear. On a personal level, I agree with you in principal. But my choice to agree with Prod has more to do with what is best for the site in general. One statement that you made which I don't feel holds a lot of weight is that by not hosting a guide for SM63, we are censoring the internet. We're not. We're just saying that such a guide doesn't belong on this site. As Sigma7 just suggested, the work done so far should be preserved and it should find an appropriate home. There are guides on this site that I am going to be unhappy about losing if I we institute a commercial-only policy (which hasn't been fully decided upon yet) but that's something I'll have to accept. I mean, look at what we're saying. We're denying a number of games that's in the hundreds, compared to the number of games we are including which is in the hundred of thousands. We're really only talking about a percent of a percent of the games that are out there. Procyon 04:35, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I edit conflicted with Rob, but now that I've read his comments, I just thought I'd put my $0.02 here too. Rob, if the only argument for not including them is because you don't want to see support for games that you consider objectionable, that argument alone is not sufficient. If that were the basis for the argument, the amount of visitors that such guides attract alone would be just cause to continue hosting them. Prod's argument is far more supportable, and it has to do with scope creep and the maintainability of the site. That's what his joke about including board games was trying to illustrate. Someone could easily reply "this site will never host board games, that's ridiculous," but I'm sure someone a long time ago said, "this site will never host fan-made games, that's ridiculous," and look where we are. It's not about moral object, or censorship. It's about the good of the site, and having clear cut guidelines so that arguments such as this can be avoided. Procyon 04:42, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Right right, if the guide were not present, there would be no negative effect. What I'm saying is that our principles should not reflect antagonistic views of net neutrality. That is all. I apologize for not being clear - I don't want this to be a moral issue, and I feel that since SM63 retains fair use rights (non-commercial work of art), there's nothing wrong with it.
I also agree with the scope issue, I don't want a policy that includes every flash game. That would be a ridiculous undertaking. I have no issue with having an extremely restrictive policy. It would actually be perfect for us - we need a more rigid scope, one that we can't skirt around like we've been doing. The only issue I have, the reason we are all jumping on this subject, is because one or more of us have invested our time into some of these guides. We should probably just set up a Wikia wiki for stuff outside of our scope if there isn't one that already fits it. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 05:55, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think this site should be about championing game developer's rights and being advocates of strict intellectual property protection. Whatever your individual notions are as an editor, the site itself should only be interested in these legalities insomuch as to follow them. Nothing we host is illegal, and ensuring it remains so is the full sum of our legal obligation. We have neither the expertise nor the mandate to judge the legality of games and emulators – we are not lawyers and if I've ever seen something outside our scope, that is it. After legal necessities, aren't we here for users? Or is StrategyWiki's purpose to reach moral consensus about a political issue? I prefer to think it's the former, and in that regard, if there is a person who is interested in a video game, I want the information to be here for them. Likewise, if an editor wants to write about how to beat a video game, I want to provide an accessible, friendly venue for him to do so. Some games are illegal, derivative works and the player of the game must accept the responsibility for using them, not us. When game guides for illegal games become illegal, then I will heartily support the removal of all such guides. Until then, I'll petition my congressmen if I want to weigh in on a copyright law.
On a side note, SM63 is an unambiguous copyright infringement, as it is a derivative work using copyrighted properties. Non-commercial = fair use is one of the biggest copyright myths out there. — najzereT 06:40, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
So Najzere: basically we help people play illegal and unofficial games? I don't think that's the correct way to go at all. Just because we aren't linking to where to find the games, doesn't mean the guide is suitable for this site. Basically you are saying we should ignore all laws because we aren't lawyers? Yeah right. We are here to help gamers, but we shouldn't be ignoring things just because someone needs help. We aren't the only site to get help with games, so people can easily find help if they look elsewhere. We aren't above every other website out there. Anyway..as for the flash game argument mentioned above your post: I wouldn't mind either way. There is many flash games, but there is many console and handheld games as well. Perhaps if we could get more editors, this site could have more content. I've brought up ideas in the past, and basically they have been ignored. This site could be a lot better, but people apparently don't even care to help promote it. We should have a hell of a lot more than 3157 guides now. RobJ1981 04:08, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

OK, stop. I'd like to put an end to this discussion. Rob, please recognize that your objections to the presence of these guides is based more on your moral opinion than on fact. Super Mario 63 is not an illegal game. Yes, it is unofficial, but the author of the game cannot be arrested and made to serve jail time for creating it and making it available to play, so please stop making references to illegal games. Piracy is illegal. We are not promoting piracy. If you see anything on this site that does promote piracy, please bring it to my attention. Otherwise, there is no more point in going on about it.

Furthermore Rob, your ideas on how to promote and increase the number of users on this site have not been ignored, and your contributions to that discussion are very welcome and appreciated. We can't make something happen just by wishing it to be true, so direct action has to be taken in order to accomplish those goals. We are in the process of reexamining how to do that once we get the second wiki site up and running.

Clearly more discussion is needed to cement the scope of this site so that further arguments such as these can be avoided. I believe the best time to tackle this subject would be at the next staff meeting, which should occur on Sat., November 7th. Until then, unless there is anything urgent, let's take this discussion offline before this thread turns into a flame war. Procyon 04:53, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Edit: I apologize, I should not discourage discussion about any subject related to the operation of this site. It just seemed like the conversation was breaking down into a philosophical argument. Rob, you're very much on the right side of this debate, while NMH and Naj are more on the left. Myself and Prod are trying to stay in the center with more concrete arguments that everyone can support. I can respect the passion that you have for this subject Rob, but some people simply appreciate the independent nature of unofficial games, and enjoy playing them. As a result, some people are going to want to write about them. Whether or not they should be preserved on this site, or transitioned to another, is a topic that we can discuss next staff meeting, but I don't think anyone is going to be able to convince the others to agree with their philosophy. Procyon 05:20, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Go ahead, bring this issue up at the staff meeting, I can bet you... most of the people will say the same stuff that's being said here. "If people ask for something, we should provide a guide for it" and so on, which isn't correct. This goes back to my earlier post: MAME is for people that want to download illegal roms. We have a guide on how to use it, but not where to get the roms. So basically we contribute to helping people play the illegal roms, and that's alright? I don't think so. Back to the subject of getting more editors: my idea of helping promote the site through a Facebook group was ignored. Perhaps people here don't use Facebook? But either way that idea was just ditched. I believe I had other ideas as well (can't think of what they are right now), which were just ignored and not followed up on. Social networking sites are big now, and could be great places to get more editors. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and so on. RobJ1981 08:44, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Rob, perhaps you are not aware that some arcade manufacturers have licensed their games for free download? I'm not going to deny that MAME enables people to play games that they do not own any rights to, but that is not the be-all, end-all purpose of MAME, and many game developers old and new support the MAME team's mission. In many cases, MAME is the only way players have to experience games that are otherwise unavailable in any other format. Rob, I think it's very dangerous whenever anyone takes the position of, "One person can abuse this, so no one should be allowed to use it." If that is your position, you might as well claim that since many PS2 and Wii games are commonly pirated, we should take down all PS2 and Wii game guides because we are helping all of the pirates who download the game and don't get an instruction manual with the game. It makes no sense. As to your comment on social networking, perhaps you missed this. Procyon 12:13, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Obviously we can't find out who is using what legal or illegal methods to play games, but we shouldn't be encouraging people to use rom playing devices by listing them here. A tiny percent of free and legal roms doesn't justify listing MAME (and other emulators) here. Supporting piracy (also known as ripping off the game makers) isn't something the editors of this site should be supporting. The piracy by MAME (and other emulators) is something we can control. Wii and other games that are pirated: no we can't control that, and shouldn't remove guides for the games. There's a big difference between the two things. At this point I think if tons of people begged for rom sites to be listed, many people here would say "sure why not?". It's almost to the point in my view, because of all the support for MAME and other things here. As for the Facebook group: no I wasn't aware of that, as I quit the group because I saw nothing going on with it. RobJ1981 13:01, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Also I want to point out the article creation drive I attempted before. A few people were willing to list games, but only a tiny fraction of those were added. We need to go through new releases a lot more and add the games. The same goes for games that have been re-released on download services: PSN, Xbox Live Arcade and Virtual Console. We should be expanding and expanding more. I think if random people saw there was more pages they would care about the site more. Article creation drive: another idea of mine that was basically ignored after a short time. Also since I forgot to comment about it: so another Wiki is getting made? What exactly is the purpose? I don't mean to sound rude, but this Wiki barely has activity as it is. A handful of editors isn't a big community. Why build something else that will likely have the same result? We should focus on THIS site and make it a success before other sites are built. RobJ1981 03:47, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
I would argue that just one legal ROM is justification for a MAME guide, as the software is quite complicated.
On the topic of unlicensed games, do you, Rob, oppose the inclusion of such games as Crime Busters? The clone/pirate scene is what made the Brazilian game industry.
Just because people don't contribute in ways that you want them to doesn't mean they don't care. I added, I helped, but I have my priorities and it seems like we aren't very organized (it's easy for me to forget what tasks I have available). The new game guides effort should have its own project-like page; especially because PC games tend to be forgotten about when updating the completion guide lists.
I just checked the facebook group again, and I like the idea that's been proposed: use social networking sites to mimic news updates on SW. News would include announcements, new CotMs, and featured guides. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 05:48, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

.

Clone and pirated games shouldn't be here. So I vote for Crime Busters (and other similar games) to go. RobJ1981 03:11, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I still feel like we're choosing to erase history. I mean, why should we ignore the existence of products that are no longer in circulation? Are we trying to deal out our own justice here? It's up to the companies that license games to care, not us. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 04:17, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
That's Wikipedia's job, ours is to provide guides for users to edit collaboratively and help each other. Where we choose to define our scope is based on our resources, community, and audience. -- Prod (Talk) 05:13, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
My personal view is that if a game is legitimately available (even if "legitimately" means amazon, ebay, gamestop, or the like), then we should have a guide about it provided that it meets other scope requirements. In regards to homebrew games that are modifications of mainstream ones (such as SM63), I think we need to evaluate those on a case-by-case basis. My view on this is that if the original game makers (in this case Nintendo) are aware of the existence of SM63 and are fine with it being there (aka they have not pressed charges or sent any C&D notices, etc.), then it should be fine that we have a guide for it, provided that we do not link to any means of how to get it. If Nintendo has pressed charges or is not aware of the existence of the game as far as we can tell, then the guide should not be included until that situation resolves, and even after that only included if the situation resolved in a fashion where the game is still "legally" obtainable. --Skizzerz 18:24, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with having a guide for it even if there's legal trouble (actually, it would be doing the company and the public a service - providing evidence of offenses), but obviously we wouldn't be able to use screenshots that contained illegally used artwork.
Following that reasoning, we should not provide information for unlicensed games, because they were never legally obtainable.
The issue we've been arguing about concerning homebrew games is that we leave the scope too open, too flexible. I don't think that's a bad thing, we just need to more accurately document how we're going to deal with it. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 02:53, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think unlicensed games were ever illegal, and the only time I've heard of any being pulled was when Tengen defrauded the copyright office to get the source code for the 10NES encryption. If a game doesn't use copyrighted material, it's not illegal just because it can play on a system. As far as scope, in the past we've created scope rules and then had to argue for inclusion on a case-by-case basis. I prefer opening scope and arguing for exclusion on a case-by-case basis, both to allow a broader range of guides for readers and editors alike, as well as to cut down on the amount of discussion we need to have about the issue. — najzereT 15:59, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
It's important to note that the "Tengen" Najzere is referencing was (still is?) a subsidiary of Atari. I have had so much trouble finding info on video game licensing. I think that it's just a corporate goal to try and keep the image of their consoles they way they want. However, while writing this I came across a sample N64 license contract between Nintendo and THQ. From what I've gathered, the role of licenser/licensee is created to protect the licensor. How? It basically says that if any Nintendo intellectual property is used without their consent, they can take legal action. Potential uses are: claiming trademarks as their own, or claiming parts of the console (hardware/logic) as their own. I think this also extends to "if you create a console based on our hardware, we'll sue you" (not a real quote). It also creates territorial agreements for distribution, which is an eye opener when you think about where games haven't appeared and then realize that its the console manufacturers that have a vice grip on this type of trade.
Licensed games, again going off of the example document, are scrutinized for the language used - I know Nintendo is extremely anal about dialogue and text, spelling, grammar, tone, and whatnot. Other things to note: licensees require a rating (e.g. ESRB), Nintendo must approve of the game before it can be published, "With respect to the Licensed Product, LICENSEE shall provide to the original consumer a minimum ninety (90) day limited warranty, comparable to that offered by NINTENDO... including out-of-warranty service for a period of three (3) years following sale of the Licensed Product." (I never knew games had warranties!), if the contract is terminated for a reason other than a breach (i.e. the contract is only active for 3 years), then Nintendo forces the licensee to sell off remaining copies of the game and then destroy any games that are not sold (wow, no wonder emulation is frowned upon), and it "shall indemnify and hold NINTENDO harmless from any[thing]" (i.e. Nintendo isn't responsible for the game). Very informative. On the topic of the legalities of unlicensed games, yes there is nothing illegal with not licensing a game (it's just frowned upon). What is illegal is reproducing a console and selling it under your own brand name (however, it is legal to make clones of the NES now), or using copyrights/trademarks without consent. Also of interest - at the bottom of that page is a manufacturing price list for each type of N64 cartridge and related materials.
Aye the exclusion would be a great change. That way we can say "include all games except those we deem not fit for a guide". --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 21:03, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Hey there, I'm the person who started writing this guide to a popular, rich, acknowledged Flash game on the web.
  1. Please someone provide detailed instructions so I can make my own backup in case all my f***ing work vanishes one day.
  2. Those of you voting Delete, where's a better wiki?
  3. Keep Let me quote your main page, it makes the decision obvious:
    Welcome to StrategyWiki, a collaborative and freely-licensed wiki for all your video game strategy guide and walkthrough needs!
  4. RobJ1981, a description of the content and operation of a piece of software is simply and decisively not illegal. So it all comes down to "we shouldn't be promoting unofficial... games" and your insistent use of the words "promote" and "encourage". But providing information isn't the same as promoting. I would be disappointed if SW's front page and latest news was full of guides to bootleg ROMs and unlicensed games, but I would not be surprised if it had this information. Just as I would be disappointed if Wikipedia's front page and latest news was full of guides to DVD decryption and crystal meth production, but I'm not surprised to find articles on those subjects.
  5. If your decision-making processes lead to changing your main page to "a collaborative and freely-licensed wiki for strategy guides and walkthroughs of licensed commercial video games" then clearly the Super Mario 63 guide doesn't belong. But I guarantee a similar moralistic debate will recur when someone writes a guide to some distressing Japanese videogame or the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas/Hot_Coffee mod: "We shouldn't be promoting this nonsense". If you're an authoritative site on a subject, you get the good and what some consider the bad.
  6. Screen captures of unlicensed content might be a separate issue, I'm not a lawyer.
Good luck figuring it out. -- Skierpage 08:52, 28 October 2009 (UTC) (not a staff member)
I agree with everything said there, Skierpage, if not the tone. The difference between information and promotion is especially valid. I want to assure you that your hard work won't just disappear. If the scope is modified to exclude SM63, we'll try to find another home for it, or at least make sure you have everything you've worked on. — najzereT 16:03, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Scope Modification

Because I am fairly clueless when it comes to legality and illegality, I'll just stay out of that part of the conversation. I do think that we are going to end up with some sort of modification to the scope here. Obviously, if we decide to eliminate any certain games due to legal issues, that would need to be added. But what I'd like to discuss is a slight modification to the following sentence:

  • "The game is mentioned somewhere other than the page or pages where the game is hosted."

The primary concern I have is the vagueness of that statement. If I decide to go create a blog and happen to mention a ROM hack in one of my posts, does that ROM hack then meet this requirement? I think that it needs to be a little bit more stringent, personally. Otherwise we can end up with just about any flash game out there. On the other hand, if we want to open this up to all flash games as well, that's fine too.

Personally, my stance has been an all or nothing sort of approach. I think that allowing some things in and not others just asks for trouble. I like to draw a bold line either at commercial games only or just about everything. Whatever is decided, I'll go with it, but I think it needs to be, above all, clear.--DukeRuckleyTalk | Contribs 18:44, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

About the line, I agree it is too vague; I've already had to clarify it (on the first SM63 delete discussion). The purpose of having the game mentioned somewhere is to protect ourselves from all the low-quality, unknown flash and homebrew games that are so easily produced and in such great numbers. To that end, it might be a good idea to narrow down the type of site we're talking about, such as a news source, or a gaming site that doesn't host games. We want a third party reference, meaning they won't be benefiting from mentioning the a particular game directly. Sites like Wikipedia or Joystiq are good examples, as they're indifferent parties and, in the case of the gaming site, they'll only write about something that would have a widespread appeal. It may be hard to differentiate between sources such as those and the ones that mention every passing craze on flash game sites because they know the game's name will be briefly searched on for a week or so. — najzereT 18:55, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Super Mario Bros. 2 naming

Moving this conversation here for opinions. Basically a non-standard (from my experience) disambiguation page resides at Super Mario Bros. 2, and in an effort to move one game to that location with a {{game disambig}} to the other, we require some input on what should go where. The two schools of thought on this are that the earliest game should get the "main" name or that the most common game should get it. I'm not sure if the second one is used in any instance, or just English vs. non-English games. Anyway, does anyone have an opinion (assuming it is correct to get rid of the disambiguation page) on whether to move Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japan) or Super Mario Bros. 2 (US) to Super Mario Bros. 2? — najzereT 18:18, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

All right, this must not be very interesting, so I'm just going to move the Japanese version to Super Mario Bros. 2 and leave the US version as Super Mario Bros. 2 (US), to conform to the "first-released, first-named" rule. I mentioned on Procyon's talk page that I prefer doing it the other way, but the release standard is not subjective and therefore fairer. I'll do this sometime next week, so please do object in the next couple of days if you disagree. — najzereT 20:34, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Although non-standard, I think the current set up works quite well, as it does not favor either regionalization (U.S. would be our primary choice based on native advertising) nor initial game date (Japan in 1986 versus U.S. in 1988). I'm for changing it to be "standardized", but I dislike our options here. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 02:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
In my mind, only a few games would ever be eligible for this kind of non-standard disambiguation, and they would be games that must fit such a confusing criteria, that it only makes sense to make such a page to remove the confusion. SMB2 was one of them, and the only other two I could think of was Final Fantasy 2 (Japanese Famicom, or US SNES) and Final Fantasy 3 (ironically, the same choices). At the moment, I can't think of a single other game that would fit this criteria, but when in doubt, I say follow WP. In case, SMB2 = US, and FF2 and FF3 = Japan. Procyon 02:27, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we should be following WP standards unless we're talking about featured articles. Most of English WP page names appear first instead of being redirected because of their regional audience (i.e. English WP will primarily choose the English title because English speakers are more comfortable with that; they type that in first because its marketed for them). I think this type of disambiguation should be reserved for, as Procyon noted, conflicting criteria. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 02:42, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
My vote would be to leave things the way they are, because I find it justifiable. Fire Emblem is another one I can think of that can cause some problems, but I think we handled that pretty well, too. The Final Fantasy games work the way they do because all of the games in the series were eventually re-released under their original Japanese titles, whereas the later releases of the SMB2 games (USA in Japan and Lost Levels in US) were under different titles and therefore wouldn't show up where people would expect them to.--~Vizeroth · (c)~-- 13:55, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I've been hoping to get rid of that whole disambiguation category and fix everything in it. We don't have the same kind of disambiguation that wikipedia does since most things just link to a category or only one other similarly named game. Final Fantasy II has a similar problem, but is resolved in an "obvious to users" way. These should be split to separate names, with one getting the regular name and a disambig link to the other. Our general strategy has been to put the first game released first, but as this game was released in Japan first, it doesn't really need to follow that. I'm ambivalent of which way we go, but this disambiguation page should be removed. -- Prod (Talk) 17:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
While I don't agree that the problem here is the same as FFII, since SMB2(J) has never been released as a stand-alone title outside of Japan, if the purpose is to completely get rid of all disambiguation pages, just pick one and do it. Either one is going to confuse someone, but I think the US game would be the least confusing of the two choices, just because the game had a wider release than the Japanese version. However, it's always good to follow whatever standard is already in place for other choices, so I have no problem with putting the Japanese version down as the default redirect for Super Mario Bros. 2, either. I just feel that it's one of the few games on this site that actually justifies an actual redirect page, if we're going to have them. --~Vizeroth · (c)~-- 18:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

OK, this is obviously a topic that no one feels particularly strong about, and we can go around and around on the subject. The fact that Prod and Naj want to remove the current disambiguation page is enough for me to support that decision. Which means one game needs to get the title. I will vote for the US version because:

  • That's the game that WP gave it to,
  • That's what most of our English speaking audience will think of when it comes to that title, and
  • The way we've incorporated the Lost Levels into the SMB1 guide sort of precludes the need to give it it's own title.

Truth be told, I'm only about a month away from really digging into the SMB2US guide. So if we're all comfortable with this decision, leave the pages alone for now, and I'll start straightening them up when I get to Doki Doki Panic. Procyon 20:15, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Hell, I'm close enough to it already... I might as well just jump ahead and start it now. I'm more interested in working on that guide than the one for Dr. Chaos anyway. Procyon 20:17, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I've put some info for each below. However, we should consider this in the general case of JP vs. US releases, and in that case, I'm somewhat leaning towards giving the US game the name for the reason bolded below. -- Prod (Talk) 21:10, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Which should get the title?

Japan
  • Japan is more inline with the actual series (see {{Mario}}
  • It came first
  • Already shares the ToC with the SMB series
USA
  • That's the game that WP gave it to,
  • That's what most of our English speaking audience will think of when it comes to that title, and
  • The way we've incorporated the Lost Levels into the SMB1 guide sort of precludes the need to give it it's own
Let's make this less complicated: Does anyone object to giving the title to the USA version? Procyon 21:56, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

This issue has been resolved. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 06:09, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Willing to work on a Simple English StrategyWiki

User:Notmyhandle has said there is only the one wiki but just saying is there anyway possible i could try and create one and people users etc could help me. Anyone willing to help or Support or Oppose this please respond. Thank you. Seabanks 07:10, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Disabled people esl people younger children and seniors could get alot out of this. Seabanks 07:18, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
I think these demographics could also learn by trying to read what we already have compiled. The simple english Wikipedia is an awesome gesture, but we don't even have alternative language versions of StrategyWiki. If you have specific issues with any content in the wiki, just bring them up so we can clarify them. Plus, we barely have the man power to keep this one version in shape. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 07:22, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
What needs to be done to get this approved and where would it go? Seabanks 08:41, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Important Notice to all strategy wiki users and anons ip please go here if you would like to also contribute to my wiki i have created. http:// simplevideogamewiki.wiki-site.com/index.php/Main_Page thank you Seabanks 09:03, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Seabanks, with all due respect, if you want to start a project like that, that's fine, but spamming this site for assistance is not appreciated in the slightest. I personally have no desire to facilitate such a wiki, and if the community wanted it, they would have requested it long ago. Either be a contributing member of StrategyWiki or don't, but please don't try to poach talent from this site for your own side project. We will be starting a second wiki in the near future, whose purpose is intended to be more glossary in nature. Thank you. Procyon 15:40, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

It's possible and desirable for most of the text on this wiki to be written in "simple enough English" so that translation tools like http://translate.google.com do a "good enough" job. Someone familiar with machine translation can probably come up with good guidelines. Translating to another language, then translating back to English often reveals where the language is ambiguous or too complex. Writing simpler English usually improves quality. For example, writers tend to mix up their sentence forms ("Go left", "Head left", "Arrow over", "Move Luigi left", etc.) because it feels machine-like to write the same way over and over, but readers looking for information prefer ruthless consistency. -- Skierpage 22:30, 30 October 2009 (UTC) (not a staff member, do I belong here? :-) )
Although it's much easier to read, and easier to translate, it's very hard to implement since we are open to anyone to edit, and each person writes with their own style. Keeping things consistent and even using regular English is hard enough, switching to Simple English would take far too much work with minimal benefits. We don't plan on starting a simple English strategywiki anytime soon, so I wish you luck if you start your own. -- Prod (Talk) 23:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
We are not against using Simple English or having Simple English submissions, we are against standardizing this wiki to use Simple English (as Prod elaborated upon). --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 00:33, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

New project idea

Anyone want to help me make a project for upcoming/recent releases? On the project page, we would list notable games from PC, downloads (Virtual Console, Xbox Live, etc), handhelds and consoles. There is many sites that have lists of upcoming games, so it would be pretty easy to manage. We could either remove games that have pages here, or strike them out to let people know we have them (in case they aren't sure). Alternate names and so on could be listed as well, to have it be more accurate: especially since regions get games at different times. Perhaps we could do it calendar style? Many people like to know what is coming up. So if they know a game they are getting has a page, they could be more likely to update the guide once they buy the game. One other suggestion for this project: in the case of classic game downloads from Virtual Console and so on, we have the guides for many of them. So we could have a progress note by the games. Thoughts? Suggestions? RobJ1981 03:24, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Sure, I would like to participate. StrategyWiki:New releases, or StrategyWiki:Upcoming releases? Or do you have a better title in mind? We could start with a simple structure that mimics our talk pages, like use level 2 headers for the months in the year, list all the games within the month (level 3 headers maybe), and then archive each year. As far as a calendar, we could work with google's embed-able calendar (I don't know how that would work, do you?); although it might make this project a lot more complicated. Our system of red/blue links should be enough to notify users that we have guide stubs. What did you have in mind for "a progress note"? --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 04:17, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about this being a project, but a list of upcoming games that a few people maintained would be awesome. I don't think a whole calendar is necessary, but a level 2 header per month would be great (maybe 6 months out, everything else goes in "future"). -- Prod (Talk) 05:17, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Any name works for me. A progress note, such as the one at the requested guides page. One that just says it's level: stub, and so on. RobJ1981 05:22, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Alright then, StrategyWiki:New releases it is. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 05:30, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Or tack onto Category:Unreleased games. -- Prod (Talk) 05:40, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

First of all, the page doesn't look very good. Why do we need to know the completion level of these guides? New releases shouldn't ever have much info. If they're unreleased, there's nothing to put in the guide, and how long are the links going to stay up after they've been released? What is the purpose of this page again? You go there to see what games are coming up? Is the point to direct people to main pages so they can see what the game's about and buy it? I don't see how this page helps the wiki. Aren't most people looking for a guide to a game? So they'll type in their game in the search box… right? So is this page for editors? Is this a list of games we should be working on? We already have two pages like that: collab of the month and current requests. As long as this is someone else's pet project, that's fine, but I'd hate to see a link to this on the main page or something. We have enough useless pages as it is. How is this not a higher maintenance version of the unreleased games category? — najzereT 23:25, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

I have to admit that I find the feature somewhat useful when I happen to be on GF, but then again, the times when I'm looking for new releases are rare. I can also just as easily go to GameFly, or Play-Asia and find that information out. If anything, it seems like this feature would be better suited to abxy than SW. Just my personal opinion. Procyon 23:41, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I think if a group of people want to collaborate on something such as this, they should be able to. Any project needs to have a scope and a goal, so let the group figure that out and go from there. Personally, I think it'd be most useful as a list of upcoming games and very new releases that can be worked on for at least some basic information, that way if a user searches for it there is something there. The project members could add this basic information and pave the way for editors to work on it more seriously. There's nothing wrong with a project as long as it is active and has a purpose/scope.--DukeRuckleyTalk | Contribs 00:44, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Najzere: if it's a question of productivity, the point is to increase user awareness of new games and non-existent main pages. The giant color coding on the right is a bolder way of stating that a main page exists or not increased completion stages may reflect a more positive reader response to the material (a non-existent page will not be viewed, stubs will be ignored, and completed guides will garner attention).
Procyon: until you mentioned those names, I had no way of finding new releases besides investigating company websites. We can be a site people rely on, or at least organize upcoming releases for our community to work on. Also, I just found wp:List_of_video_games_in_development.
Duke: agreed. It needs refinement. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 02:40, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Keeping one page/list up-to-date doesn't seem "big" enough to be considered a project. There's no real coordination required, anyone can just add information to the page and that's the end of it. The completion boxes also seem a bit too big and unnecessary, since this list is likely to get very long as there are probably 10+ releases per week (if you include all the systems, which I think should have a column as well). -- Prod (Talk) 03:39, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Still seems like a waste of time to maintain a page of guides we don't have. Everyone working on it are also members of the Cleanup project, which is actually important to the wiki, so it's sad to see any effort going into this. — najzereT 15:59, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
You know what's a real waste of time? People deleting perfectly good pages. I can't say about recently, but in the past several editors here would delete notable game pages due to IP editors not knowing how to format. That type of behavior seems to have stopped by admins here (from what I know at least), but it could very well start up again soon. A project for new releases is important. If you don't think so: then don't help with it Najzere, problem solved. It's not like the efforts of this project will slow cleanup down to nothing, so stop overreacting. RobJ1981 16:43, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Another waste of time: bickering back and forth over a project. Instead of complaining about it, just move on and edit whatever you intend to edit. RobJ1981 16:46, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
If you'd rather not hear people's thoughts on a topic, then perhaps you shouldn't bring it up on a discussion page… — najzereT 17:08, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Importance of new guides: garner attention for guides that are in demand (i.e. new releases). Importance of cleanup: make sure guides are useful. The two must go together. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 22:21, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Sysop response to bad edits.

OK, this is going to be a preface to a discussion that we will need to have at the next staff meeting, in addition to the discussion about scope. I just came across the recent edit to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening/Bottle Grotto, and it's a perfect example of what we need to talk about. We need to determine the most effective and encouraging response to this kind of edit. Now, I will use myself as the test case and be completely honest with you when I saw this edit: I was pissed off. It triggered a great deal of anger in me. But I stopped and broke it down and tried to understand what caused that. Most of you are pretty familiar with my contributions, and you can imagine that I'd sooner hit myself over the head with a bat than make a contribution like that. There's no effort, there's no care, hardly any description that any reader can use, spelling mistakes, lack of capitalization or punctuation... it's just a mess. And because I care as much as I do about SW, I get irate about it. Now, obviously I can't correspond with the author while I feel this way, or even communicate any hint of this anger to them when I talk to them. I learned a long time ago how destructive that is, and very fortunately, I did it to a user who, despite my treatment of him, became one of our most loyal and productive sysops, NMH. So I would dial it down a notch, but dialing it down from where I am, which is like a 9 or a 10, would be a 6 or a 7, and that's still pretty angry. And that anger is going to get communicated to the user, if not directly, then probably passive aggressively; in some way where I'm still polite, but leave the user feeling inadequate and less inclined to edit. I'm basically going to say, "Shape up or ship out," with a more polite tone. We have to find a way to stop doing that, and I know how hard it is. Some users like NMH and Prod are better at it than others (and Naj, you know how much I appreciate you around here, but you're at a level just slightly below me when it comes to this.)

Edit: I apologize Naj, I didn't express that properly. You are far better than I was at providing a measured response to frequent infractions. I suppose it's simply the quantity of messages that you rightfully leave for users that lead me to considering you a major contributor to this issue. It was in no way intended to be a criticism, even though I could see it being taken as such. Procyon 17:15, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

One way to do this is to consider the intention of the user rather than the end result. Obviously, the author of this edit had every intention of helping the site. He/she (can't tell) wanted to contribute something worthwhile even if what she ended up doing was creating a lot of work for a administrator to come along after her, add the navs, fix the typos and spelling mistakes, and that's if the admin even feels the page is worth keeping (and I certainly considered simply deleting it myself.) With these intentions in mind, it may be easier to leave a response on the talk page, but I think the feeling is, if there's no sting to the message, what's the point? You're not going to influence any kind of behavioral change in the user. I guess the question is, should that be our goal? Are we too restrictive in our treatment towards other users? There's a reason that I stopped patrolling edits; I can't keep my emotions in check when I respond to a user. I'm far better at managing staff and working on my own guides, trying to set up models for what good guides should look like, than I am at dealing with normal users. Maybe I need to figure out how to change that in myself. Procyon 15:31, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

I dunno about you guys but I'd simply delete that page and rewrite it. I don't think that guy made any attempt at all to contribute, he simply wrote what was "lulzly". I think we should adopt a "quality over quantity" approach to these kind of edits. The simple fact is that by looking more impressive we may deter several people from editing, but at the same time we can be sure that the edits that do make it through are superior. So in summary, just delete and rewrite. --Arrow Windwhistler (talk) 15:42, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't see anything very incendiary about that particular edit. I get those all the time and just clean them up and stub the page – it's pretty routine. I can't believe I'm considered to be right below a 6 or 7 (or 9 or 10 if that's what you meant), since I can't get angry about anything on here, least of all random user edits. If I have to get "short" with users more than other admin, it's likely due to the abundance of cleanup and patrolling I do. The 99% of interaction I have with users' edits wouldn't be noted by anyone, as I generally just hit "Mark as patrolled" or clean up their contributions. Back to the discussion, I would be in favor of formalizing some of the common things we have to say to users (beyond the great number of message templates we have), and being okay with handing the rules out as rules instead of misrepresenting our intent by giving a sugarcoated, "if that's okay with you" version. The fact is that the wiki has standards, and if they're not enforced we can't reasonably expect the guide pages to look that great. The site is fun to be a part of, but at the same time it is a project and we should all be aspiring to excellent content, with all the pokes and prods it takes from the staff to get there. — najzereT 16:19, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I think that being strict is great to a certain extent, but I think we also need to be careful we aren't too strict. We just lost User:Travb for being "nitpicky" and while I don't see most of our rules as nitpicky, I do think that we can come across that way. Now, in no way am I saying we're doing something wrong. I just think we need to keep in mind that we come across very strong and it can be intimidating editing this website. Patrolling edits is more about reverting vandalism than it is about cleaning up not so good edits. If a new editor makes a "bad" edit (good intentions, but doesn't follow the rules), maybe give him a few more tries before bearing down. Quality over quantity is great, but if we push away too many editors, we'll never grow.--DukeRuckleyTalk | Contribs 16:30, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't consider that an issue. Originally, he said that Wikipedia is open to editing, but now they have rules for editing the pages; in particular, content must be verified from at least one reference to prevent it from being a rumor mill (the most recent incident where some vandal reported that Ted Kennedy died, causing the media to make premature announcements). For StrategyWiki, nitpicking on precision of writing style and guide information is required because of the games that require precise information.
The most recent complaint that User:Travb involved the response to the test edits to a live page on the table of contents that were eventually reverted, which was enough of a problem on Wikipedia that required creating Template:uw-selfrevert. There are also many other "nit-picking" templates used on Wikipedia, shown on WP:UTM
The Bottle Grotto page is annoying, but in this case it at least has some usable content. A page saying that this level is a remake of "Super Mario Land" is not, and would give the false impression that there is usable content on the page (unless you use WikiBooks' means of keeping track of progress through the ToC). Deus Ex guide is another borderline case; while the pages don't have in-wiki content, they're at least semi-usable since they link to other walkthroughs (which is currently discouraged.)
If you want a quick fix modify the page creation system so that new/anonymous users must click one of the four buttons shown on top. That would at least fix one issue, but still wouldn't prevent writing in broken English. --Sigma 7 18:08, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Upon first glance (prior to seeing this discussion), I thought the submission was one of those generated by a vandal bot.
That aside, this topic brings up several issues. First of all, the title of the topic suggests that Procyon, probably subconsciously, thinks that community discussions should be exclusive to the cabal, but we all know that we're trying to be transparent here for a reason. Don't forget how special this organization is.
Secondly, technically we're running a business here (someone is making money off of us). If we want to recruit more employees, all of us have to suck it up and treat them as such. That doesn't mean we need to be any less strict in our policies, which are actually not that bad (the only real downer is the use of uncolored tables), but better attend to their emotional needs. Communicating via text doesn't help us when trying to make users feel more welcome, but if any of you can think of ways of revising our message templates to be more considerate, maybe that would help a little.
Back on the main topic, what we should do is create the page, revise the work submitted, and prepare the page so that the same user or new ones can come back and add something to an existing, although severely lacking, page. Also, if no one noticed, no one decided to welcome the user that made the submission. Maybe we could add something more informal, like a way to randomly generate welcome quotes from all of the admins. Imagine throwing a welcome template up to a new user and they see not just a bot, but what looks like a whole community ready to help them. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 02:28, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately a lot of guys out there are just idiots that want to screw stuff up. They don't give a crap about our personal image, they just want their own data - and signature - up on a page so they can direct all their friends to it and say, "OMG i pwn s0 much i chgned a wiki!!!1". If we are a business, as you guys say we are (I honestly don't know enough, I just edit where I can) we shouldn't be hiring people like that - people who negatively affect what kind of organization we are. Maybe keep it if it's an unpopular guide (i.e a stage 0 guide) but at stages where stuff is being actively done (in the given case) there's absolutely no point in hanging onto it. Draw what conclusions you want, but the fact remains that crazed edits are not helping us in the slightest. --Arrow Windwhistler (talk) 14:13, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
We have to remember that we get some young users and people for whom English is a second language. It can be hard to determine the difference between vandalism, laziness and honest effort sometimes. WP "assumes good faith" and I think we do too, so I don't think we need to come down on a user until there have been repeated instances. Even people that can form coherent, meaningful thoughts about a walkthrough most likely won't format their first contribution the way they need to, especially if they're creating a new page. The problem is there's no hard and fast rule you can use to determine which edits are normal, getting-into-the-swing-of-things edits, and which are from griefers. We each use our own judgement, and it obviously varies in degrees of harshness. Maybe we can just all agree on what we're trying to accomplish as far as how we want new users to feel, what minimum standards they should follow, etc. and then just let each admin do their best to work toward that goal. We have all been through a peer review process for promotion, so at some point you just have to let people do their jobs and if you have a problem you can bring it up with them. In other words, I don't think there's a micro-managed way to make all admin respond the same way to every situation. And they probably shouldn't.
The random admin quote is a great idea (and original!). Would this be a template that pulls a random quote from all admin every time the page is loaded, so it's always changing? Or like you pipe off your user name on {{welcome}} and one of your quotes gets randomly subst'ed in with the message? — najzereT 15:59, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Aside from vandals, we all want new users to feel welcomed. We just need to remember that. Diversity isn't a bad thing, and if one or two of us blow up on people, at least others are there to facilitate in the conversations.
Yeah I was thinking people could put things in like their specialization or little personalized comments. That way, people can respond to the admin they think is coolest, most professional, or the eldest. We would have to use a random number generated like we do for the featured guides template on the main page, but it would pull quotes from a switch in the template for any of the admins that want to participate. Since it gets subst'd, and I may be horribly off in this assumption, we would be able to edit the template to add/remove quotes without increasing the job queue. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 21:03, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I made {{user quote}} to facilitate the random quotes idea. I'm not sure if you were talking about the admin who leaves the welcome message subst'ing one of their quotes or a quote from a big page of all admin quotes. If it's the latter, we can probably just add the code directly into the welcome template since it will only ever be looking at one page. It works so far on my user page, so maybe you can work on a mockup on the welcome talk page so we can see how it would be incorporated. — najzereT 19:42, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I didnt have time to read every post in this discussion, but I wanted to point out something. I've seen quite too often in the past (not sure about recently, as I havent had time to edit much): people delete poorly created pages for notable games that are perfectly fine. This needs to STOP. If something is a mess, either take the time to clean it up or tag it for cleanup. Deleting a perfectly good stub (with a lot of potential to be expanded) isn't a good solution at all. It's not like an extra stub will harm the site (if that was the case, people would go around deleting every stub: which is quite a lot). Notifying the editor about the correct formatting is something else that should be done a lot more. With a personalized message, not a generic template because you want a "quick fix" to the problem. Just deleting it turns editors off the site. So simply put: deletion should be a last resort. RobJ1981 16:35, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Yeah I agree that cleanup and stubbing should be preferred over deleting. As far as notifying the editor about formatting, I think it depends on the situation. For anonymous edits there's not much point in leaving any message at all, and for new users, the welcome template has links to the guide, which is where they can get an idea about how we do things. Personally, for new editors, I like to start out by fixing the edit and leaving the welcome template, and seeing if that's enough to get them on track. Sometimes if I have to use a whole slew of templates at once I feel like I'm bombarding them, in which case I usually just pick the most important one or two, then use a personalized message. Once again, how we interact with users is going to be different for every admin, and I think that's all right as long as we're all saying the same thing (meaning content, not style). I'd like to avoid explicit rules like "write a personal message in this case" or "use this template" in this case. Except for the welcome template, I don't mind thinking of the templates as optional tools at an administrator's disposal, instead of as things to be strictly used or avoided. — najzereT 17:05, 30 October 2009 (UTC)