Entry type: Computer game/videogame

First of all: Thank you very much for this great program, which has made my life much easier! However there is one feature which could make it even better, for me and several others.

I do research on computer games, but I find that there is no good way to register computer games in zotero. Registering them as computer programs doesn't give the appropriate format in the reference list. The issue is that references to computer games should always include platform information, as described in the style guide of gamestudies.org (which uses a variant of Chicago style):

Developer. (Year). Title [italicized]. Distributor (Platform [i.e. Windows, Wii, Board game etc]). Webpage [if online game]

So, for instance:
Blizzard Entertainment. 2004. World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment (Windows and Mac OS X). http://www.wow-europe.com

I asked on the gamesnetwork email list what other zotero users do to get the reference right, and one answered that he classifies the items as books and adds the platform in parenthesis after the publisher information. That will work most of the time, but it is not really a good solution, for instance if one needs to reformat the references to a different style for a different journal.

It seems to me that this is part of a more general problem: Different researchers will have the need to reference different kinds of media types (I just needed to reference a press release, for instance, which also does not exist in the list of entry types). Perhaps there should be the possibility of adding your own types, and then specifying how they should appear in the reference list?

See also the related discussion at http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/97/book-reviews-another-item-type/
  • edited February 22, 2010
    While it might be possible to add a new computer game item type to the Zotero interface, this wouldn't make any difference to how references were formatted unless a new item-type were also added to CSL, which is developed outside of Zotero.

    I believe the item types currently included in CSL are
    | "article"
    | "article-magazine"
    | "article-newspaper"
    | "article-journal"
    | "bill"
    | "book"
    | "broadcast"
    | "chapter"
    | "entry"
    | "entry-dictionary"
    | "entry-encyclopedia"
    | "figure"
    | "graphic"
    | "interview"
    | "legislation"
    | "legal_case"
    | "manuscript"
    | "map"
    | "motion_picture"
    | "musical_score"
    | "pamphlet"
    | "paper-conference"
    | "patent"
    | "post"
    | "post-weblog"
    | "personal_communication"
    | "report"
    | "review"
    | "review-book"
    | "song"
    | "speech"
    | "thesis"
    | "treaty"
    | "webpage"

    This doesn't even seem to include computer program, so this item-type probably defaults to book anyway.

    The people developing CSL monitor these forums, so they may be able to give you an indication of how likely it is that this list will be extended.
  • I see... That list also doesn't include artwork, theater performances etc... Which may have different requirements for referencing. I realize that it must be hard to predict all possible citation needs. But would it really not be possible to make this customizable by the user in some way?
  • I'm no expert, but I suppose one option would be to include user-type1, user-type2 etc. which could then be used for people's personal needs and citation styles.

    In reality you can do this at the moment, by taking any item-type you are sure you won't use, e.g. patent, and then use this for computer games. You could then create a csl style which meets your requirements.
  • @anderslovlie: why don't you use the "system" field (in computer program)? Then it would be easier to argue for a "system" in csl. Have a look there.
  • Right, thanks for the link! I don't really understand the technical issues involved here, i just observed that putting platform info into the "system" field didn't produce the desired result. Probably because CSL ignores that field. So yeah, getting CSL to actually use that field sounds like a good start! If it did, maybe less technically adept people like me could make a custom style.
    However, it seems to me that this is a wider issue, so a user-type1 etc kind of solution also seems necessary.
  • You're right: CSL ignores that field => that's why you might request it.

    On the customisation of item types: [I was trying to find an old thread on this question... until I discover this one. I think adamsmith's answer is still valid [and concurs with mine (above)].
    What you need is a csl-mapping for "computer program" and/or at least a mapping for "system": none of these variables exist or will exist in csl 1.0.
  • Ok, thanks again, but I thought I had just requested it... Is this not the right place for this request? Where should I make it?
  • edited February 16, 2010
    AFAIK, this is the right place but Csl devs seem to be reluctant to add new types.

    EDIT: See this too..
  • Well, my answer is that I'll be using Zotero until something that suits my needs better comes along... So if they don't want to give me the flexibility that i need, well i'll continue using it as long as there aren't better options around.
  • For those who are interested in this -- please look at the discussion at http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/15636 . If there are concrete changes that could be made to make Zotero better serve the bibliographic needs of people who do work with computer programs and specifically games, please elaborate. They may be able to happen for Zotero 2.1 final.
  • http://gsl-nagoya-u.net/http/pub/csl-fields/computerProgram.html

    Perhaps "System" could be mapped to *genre* in CSL? (that would be consistent with many other Zotero item types, where *genre* is used to indicate type, see e.g. http://gsl-nagoya-u.net/http/pub/csl-fields/letter.html )
  • That mapping seems logical to me. Reading the thread, I don't think that we're missing anything else, but it would be great to hear from people who actually use this type regularly.
  • This will be mapped to *medium* in Zotero 3.0 (not yet in Zotero 3.0b1, but it will be in the next beta).

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