Add Video game as a source.

I'm studying 3D graphics for games and it pains me that there is tons of options for movies, books and musik but not a single one built in for video games. It is 2020 now and the video game industry has for several years been the largest entertainment industry in the world, I find it very weird that no option for a video game source exists.

on a side note, we use the Harvard Anglia Ruskin reference system and I would love the option of translating a few things into Swedish there. Such as instead of "and" between two authors it's "och", same for page umbers beng "ss" instead of "pp".
  • In terms of citation, how would citing a Video Game differ from citing any other Computer Program?
  • edited February 21, 2020
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'll simply paste the excerpt here from Anglia Ruskin on computer program and video games:

    For a computer program downloaded from the internet, the required elements of a reference are:

    Authorship/Organisation, Year. Title of program. (Version). [computer program] Distributor/Publisher. (if available) Available at: [Accessed date]

    Adobe Systems Incorporated, 2013. Adobe Air (3.8 beta). [computer program] Adobe Labs. Available at: [Accessed 30 August 2013].

    Computer Games

    Developer, Year. Title of game (version). [format] Place of publication: publisher.

    Rockstar Games, 2018. Red Dead Redemption 2 (special edition). [PS4 game] New York City: Rockstar Games.

    While quite similar, there are som differences. We could just go over them one by one I suppose. (comparing the video game criteria to the fields of computer program in zotero)

    Developer = Company
    Year = Date
    Title of game = Title
    (version) = Version
    [format] = System
    Place of publication = Place
    Publisher = Rights???

    While it seems like 6/7 of these fields are translatable it's still a major pain having to do these translations in your head each time, especially as a non native english speaker.

    I can see the point of these being similar, but it also feels a bit dated to think that computer software = games. Games exist on dozens of platforms besides a computer and that's not even mentioning boardgames and similar analogue options.

    Adding a "Game" category shouldn't be such a stretch in my eyes.

    PS. not to mention that even if I fill out these fields in Zotero, it will totally botch my reference list at the end (I assume at least).
  • Those citations are identical. The only differences between those forms is the publication place in the Rockstar Games citation, but the URL/access date in the software Adobe citation. If I remember Anglia Ruskin style correctly, that has to do with the Adobe citation being to an online item, whereas the citation is to a non-online item. If the game were downloaded from the internet. If the game were downloaded from the internet, it would be cited in the same was as the Adobe citation.

    In both of them, the rightsholder/company producing it is entered as the author ("Programmer"), the publisher in the "Company" field, and the other fields as you indicate.

    I understand that in your area of research, games are a distinct category from other software, but all fields have many distinct categories that wouldn't be useful for the vast majority of users. For example, in my research as a personality psychologist, test manuals are a distinct form of work than either books or reports, but such a distinction is not useful for people outside of my field. So, adding new specific item types has to be done cautiously, and one of the key decision points is whether a new type requires a distinct citation form that existing similar types. That isn't the case here. More nuanced classification of items can be accomplished using the Type/Format/System fields or Zotero Tags. My understanding is that user-created custom item types are planned in the medium term, but no ETA as to when that might be implemented.
  • FWIW, think computer program is indeed not a great label and Zotero might want to rethink this and just label it software (without necessarily making any actual database changes).

    I think video games are much better classified as software than as games, though, given the technical component of the project, including, say, platform information.
  • @bwiernik thanks for the reply. I now should at least be able to use zotero when referencing games and I do agree that being able to make your own custom labels would be the best sollution. I also see your point about video games being a small research field at the moment, but it's growing and comparing a unique and probably the most popular entertainment media in the world currently to test manuals feels a bit... underwhelming as a comparison. Though I'm well aware that test manuals might be cited more often than video games currently. But thanks for the response non the less.

    @adamsmith I also agree that having "computer" in front of "software" is something that should be changed. There is so much software currently that doesn't run on computers (just think smartphones, apps) that just "software" would be a better fit. I kinda disagree that games are "software" even though most of them technically are in a way, but putting them in that category would probbaly do the job.

    Another solution would be to add the video game labels (publisher, place of publication) as an option or a drop down box you can chose similar to programmer/contributor.
  • @dstillman Would you take a pull request to change the localized label for computerProgram to Software?
  • Sure, that's fine. (Only needs to be changed for the English locale.)
  • Hehe, in Swedish it says "Datorprogram" which literally means "Computer program". Could also be changed to "Mjukvara" which means "Software". But despite being Swedish I don't use Swedish locale, so wouldn't really matter to me anyway :D

    Thanks for the help guys.
  • That was just a technical note. It'll be localized on Transifex after we change the English one.
  • It looks like this discussion is already settled but I wanted to chime in with my support for Video Games getting its own item type.

    In addition to rapidly gaining cultural influence, as an industry gaming is larger than the film and music industries combined. Game production is also more akin to film production than traditional software - game production often follows a studio model where visual design, sound design, and UX are as important as the programming.
  • In Chicago style, video games should be italicized like books, but if entered as software - Zotero puts the title in parenthesis. It is frustrating to have to enter video games as books in order for the citations to appear correctly since there is no option to create a custom item type. It is now 2023 and there is still no video game or custom option despite a growing body of video game research.
  • As a game scholar, I find this utterly frustrating. I hope Zotero will include games as a reference. The argument that games are marginal is also simply not true. Only a Google Scholar search with the keyword "games -math -economy" gives you over 4000 000 hits. Films give you around 6 000 000.
  • Did anybody say that games are unimportant? I don't think so.

    The argument, at least in my understanding, is that video games can be adequately described using existing item types, in particular software. One needs a very good business case for developers to consider adding an extra type with essentially the same properties. The significance of video games is not the issue, I am sure most people agree that they are important and there is a large amount of research on that topic. In my opinion, the issue is to what extent their bibliographic description is different from what is already supported with zero extra cost.
  • Yeah, I think one thing that'd be helpful would be to be clearer about the requirements here. From a citation perspective, at least for mainstream styles like MLA and APA, games can be captured easily by existing item types. Are there other fields that should be covered as relevant metadata even if they're not routinely cited? Are they other fields (e.g., specific creator categories) that would be cited in field journals?
    I'm also not sure if 'game' really works as an item type given how different (board)games and videogames are in everything from design to distribution.

    And just to re-iterate: inclusion of item types is a complex, drawn-out process that isn't intended to make value judgments on the relative cultural or scholarly importance of a given object, so while I understand that there are underlying frustrations about the acceptance of game studies within 'traditional' disciplines, this is not the place to vent these if you want to have a productive exchange.
Sign In or Register to comment.