Patrick wrote:All of the above are non-game applications. Flash paper dolls are an equivalent to Photoshop. Idle games are the same as a Youtube video. I don't see a good justification to include them in a game database. However, I am really going to be pissed if case 3 gets in. While there are certainly a few arguments why the first two could be interpreted as games, this is completely out of the question. Those releases are about as much games as a porn picture CD. If this is a game, everything which ever got released on a CD is a "game". No, it is not! And don't even try to invent different game definitions for consoles and computers. This would be the death of any accountability. A game is a game is a game; it must not play a role for this classification on which device it was released.
Every project needs a clearly defined goal. In this case, one needs to decide if the goal is to document "games" or "software". If the goal is the latter, this needs to be accounted for in the whole database structure. Don't randomly assign the label "game" to every product you like to see in the database for one reason or another even if it is not. If your database is centered around games and even has the word "game" in its title, then non-game software needs to stay out. Period.
I hate to resurrect a dead discussion, but...
Without considering whether paper doll or idle games count as games in the usual sense, I think it is still reasonable to document them. It's early days yet, of course, but the stated goal is to include everything related to computer and video games, including the games themselves, the people involved, and even related magazines. There are good reasons to document these 'extra' things: a full understanding of games will require some knowledge of who made them so we want to document people; even if we aren't interested in reviews or game magazines for their own sake, there were plenty of games released as type-ins in magazines and books, so we'd clearly want to handle those; these game-like pieces of software are in a similar position, in my opinion, even if they aren't games themselves, strictly speaking. There is, in my opinion, a problem of diminishing returns with trying to exclude things. There's very little to gain by excluding one borderline title, or a dozen, and any gain is probably offset by the risk of excluding things that ought to be included. If there existed a clear, complete definition of what it is to be a game, it'd be worthwhile, maybe, but since we can't even have such purity even in theory, I'd rather tend toward inclusionism.
So, on that note, let me put in my voice in favor of including even non-game software for consoles. Certainly such things don't contribute toward fully documenting games, but they do contribute toward fully documenting game consoles
. For example, the Wii has a Netflix channel, and it's been mentioned more than once that for many people, the Wii only gets used as a Netflix streaming device. In 2011, Netflix said that 25% of its 24 million customers streamed video using a Wii. With 6 million users, the Netflix channel certainly represents a fairly important part of the Wii's software library. If, in the future, non-game software should come to represent a significant part of the software library for 'game' consoles, it might be impractical to document it, but I'd rather revisit the question when it becomes an issue.