History of video games/How to Contribute

This section contains information related to the specific Wikibook History of video games.

For a general manual of style please read The Wikibooks Manual of Style.

Structure edit

Similar to the Wikibook Horticulture, this book is arranged in a mostly flat structure, going deeper when needed.

Local Manual of Style edit

Italicize the names of specific games, just as one would specific movies, and books.

Inline references, with a <ref name=""> if used more then once. Read more about Inline References here. A surprising amount of common knowledge about gaming history is bunk, and is often based on rumors, sometimes a result of deceptive marketing or poor translations. Beyond being the right thing to do, citing sources allows claims to be evaluated should new information emerge, and allows those wanting to fact check a paper trail to do so.

Wikilinks should be used for internal book navigation. Wikilinks to other Wikibooks, Wikipedia, or other Wikimedia projects should make it clear that they navigate away from the book.

Images from Wikimedia Commons should be used if they help the reader understand the subject material better. Sometimes there won't be freely usable images. In these cases, link to a website that has the images at the bottom of the page, so as to give the reader a lead.

What this book covers and doesn't cover edit

Device Pages edit

There have been thousands of models of different gaming computers and consoles designed and mass-produced since such the start of the industry. Attempting to dedicate chapters to each device unconditionally would result in a massive work worthy of its own book. However to ignore hardware would be a disservice to the reader, since a good deal of technological, marketing, economic, and design history derives from the hardware on which games are played.

In general a device should be added as a page if something about it would make it interesting to the reader, including as a topic of special interest. To aid the reader in this, on console pages the overall position a console held in the market is clearly marked. For example, most readers would care little for the Casio Loopy, an obscure game console from the 1990's that never left Japan, saw few games of note, and apparently didn't sell all that well. Yet in the intersection of Feminism and gaming, this console is an important subject as one of the few gaming devices marketed exclusively to women. That alone makes it a fascinating subject worthy of having it's history explored, albeit within its own niche.

Basic Game Info edit

Device pages should note a small number of their most prominent games by earliest release year regardless of territory. These games should have a small blurb about what made them important, their genre, and interesting facts about their development. Then link the Wikipedia article for that game so the reader can get more info if they choose.

Cross platform games without significant version differences are treated like games on device pages, except they go in timeline chapters.

The exception is listing all of games for a device if there were only a handful of games released for that device. If the games are very simple or self explanatory on the name, then a simple list suffices.

Detailed Game Info edit

It may seem strange that influential games are often not given more then a sentence or paragraph. The reason for this is that other Wikibooks like the Metal Gear Series book and the 0 A.D. book cover such matters in depth, so to avoid redundancy such material is only briefly explored when needed in this book. New in depth material for a series should go in an appropriate book - if no such book exists, and the topic is appropriate for Wikibooks you can make one!

There are exceptions for landmark titles. Ones which defined a genre or had major impacts on the industry.

Strategy guides for specific games edit

While specific novel mechanics may be mentioned and explained occasionally, as well as the subject of strategy guides themselves from a historical perspective, they are not a substitute for a strategy guide offering advice for a specific game. See Wikibooks:Strategy guides for assistance creating strategy guides.

Every gaming fact ever edit

This book makes no attempt to cover all facts about the history gaming, simply the most important and most interesting ones. For notable topics in gaming, there is Wikipedia. This book is not an attempt at an all inclusive gaming encyclopedia, nor should it be. It's fine and important to mention these topics where relevant, but link to Wikipedia instead of remaking the wheel here.

In general the following are excluded

  • Detailed biographies of significant game developers. While facts about game developers may be brought up in relation to the topic at hand, full biographies are usually covered adequately on Wikipedia.
  • Chapters for specific companies. These are typically brought up briefly on the chapter concerning their first product instead.

A succinct history of gaming edit

There are already many books which cover the most important aspects of gaming history, the best selling consoles, and the people who lead them. Those stories also belong in this book.

However there are many more stories of failure, reckless ambition, and once popular games forgotten. For the benefit of the reader, failures, canceled projects, and other less glamorous subjects are not excluded, because they are also part of gaming history. Without them, it is hard for the reader to understand that the road to a successful gaming industry project has been historically wrought with peril and fumbles. In some cases, failures and limited releases have been important tools in a company strategy to succeed elsewhere, and these cases certainly should not be ignored.

In general, if a subject received significant citable coverage, it should go in regardless of its overall success or impact.

Expanding Chapters edit

When looking into the history of a topic in gaming there are a few things to consider.

  • Who was involved. Was there anyone important or well known as a major player? Why?
  • Where was an event held, or company located?
  • What technology was used. Was a design pedestrian or unusual? Why?
  • How expensive was it? How many sold? Did it turn a profit? How long was it on the market? What factors lead to these conditions?
  • How did it impact the industry? Did anyone try to copy it? What about specifically avoiding it? Does nobody remember it? Why?
  • What was its legacy? A failure? A success? Obscure? Why?
  • What is its color palate? Design language? Was it a bunch of puffy amebas or edgy angles? What typeface does it use? Were other things of the time like that?
  • What is it named that? What marketing campaign was used to sell it?
  • What organizations outside of the video game industry were involved? Who, where, and why?