Wikisource:WikiProject Video Games

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WikiProject Video Games aims to improve Wikisource' of the time of writing completely nonexistent...coverage of video games.



I, PseudoSkull, do believe that the content of freely licensed video games should be transcribed for Wikisource, as long as they meet the same criteria we would generally require in books, film, etc. Similarly to film, I think the in-game text and (where applicable) in-game voice acting or video cutscenes, should be transcribed. The specifics of it could be a matter of discussion, surely, but generally I think this is where the focus should be. I think we would have to try and separate each of the transcribed elements by sections, and try to be chronological about it.

As we do with films and books, there should be a source file or files that provides evidence that what is transcribed actually appears in the original game. I propose a few ways we could do this:

  • We could require screenshots of all the in-game text, uploads of sound files containing voiced lines, and video files of all the video cutscenes. We could combine all of these into one Index page somehow. I'm not sure how that would work, but I guess it could be possible.
  • We could make a longplay type of video to be uploaded to Commons, i.e. a gameplay video showing the game being beaten from start to finish. Such a video itself should also be freely licensed, of course. The video would more importantly for us show all the in-game text etc. Not only that but this method would provide clear evidence of how to get to that said text, so some viewer could play the game themselves and find that the text is indeed accessible if the steps shown in the video are accurately followed. To this end, our Index and Page transcription process could be treated pretty much the same as a film, with the only difference being that someone would have to make a complete gameplay recording showing all the transcribable elements in the game and upload it to Commons.
    • It's worth noting that longplays, particularly for games that are a bit newer, hence the "long" in the word, tend to be very long. Some can have ridiculous lengths like 9 hours at a time! Sometimes such longplay files would (presumably) need to be split up into separate files so that they could be acceptable file sizes for Wikimedia Commons.

Please note[edit]

I am not proposing we include source code of games. I already am aware that that's against Wikisource rules; I am only suggesting to transcribe what can be viewed by the player during gameplay, not what would be viewed when looking through the code.

What video games are free?[edit]

None have expired copyrights, and PD-not-renewed or no-notice don't apply[edit]

Those of us who've been here a long time already know that we have a long way to go before even the Atari games go into the public domain, and a bit longer for the first NES games. So those are generally off-limits for now. The first time we will start to be able to transcribe a handful of public-domain video games I'd say would be late 2070s and/or early 2080s. I (PseudoSkull) will probably be alive (but very old) at that time, so I'm going ahead and starting this WikiProject so that we can plan for this generations in advance. Ahahaha!

It is of course acceptable to transcribe copyrighted video games outside of Wikisource and save those transcriptions on local hard drives until the games actually do reach the public domain, at which point they could be released here...which again will be at least 60 years from now depending on the game. I've already been pre-transcribing films/TV episodes still in copyright in this manner for some time.

Hopefully also when the console games start going into the public domain, the WMF will create in-browser emulators for those then public-domain consoles, and have ROMS for those games specifically uploaded as well that automatically call that emulator, so that the games can be universally experienced on wikis such as Wikipedia, or Wikisource, for educational purposes, like it already is for films. For example the article on Wikipedia for Super Mario Bros. would have the game actually playable on the page with the article content. In terms of Wikisource, something like this would also make verification and proofreading, etc., of a game easier for Wikisourcers. It probably shouldn't be implemented now, because most games from today that are freely licensed will be PC games (see below), which may all have significantly different requirements for running, and emulating each is difficult to implement.

Let's just hope that Nintendo or Atari don't try to lobby for some video-game-specific copyright extension, equivalent to the horrid Music Modernization Act for music, to "save" their retrogames in 50 or so years from now. I hope they're better than that. Or if not, I hope that it will be more difficult in the future to lobby for copyright extensions on a particular medium and succeed at that. (Even better though, just bring back 25-50 year copyrights for everything by then... We can only hope.)

Free video games of today, that we could transcribe now[edit]

There are a handful of semi-popular games, most of them being PC games, that are open-source, and many of those have Creative Commons, public domain, or GNU licenses, or have a mixture of free licenses, all of which are acceptable at Commons and here. A good bit of surfing around for these would do us a lot of good.


Portal:Video games[edit]

This portal cannot be created until we have at least one video game transcription available.

Help:Video games[edit]

This page probably shouldn't be created until we have at least one example case.

Reach out to WikiProject Video Games on Wikipedia[edit]

...relying on the chance that maybe one of them might be interested in helping this project's coverage of video games. I should probably have at least a prototype transcription page created by the time I contact them.


Please give any thoughts or considerations on this WikiProject's talk page!

See also[edit]

Portal Video games portal (does not yet exist)