IFWiki talk:Genre

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Genre Wanted

The description for "Genre Wanted" states that "This should not be used with any other genre category". However, I'm currently adding a stub page for a game I've never played. I know some of the genre (it's a fantasy comedy) but I don't for example, know any of the geographical genres. I think it would make sense to add the "Genre Wanted" icon to indicate that this is a WIP. Is that wrong? --sedm0784 14:23, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Proposed new icons and genre changes

I tried making some new literary genre icons in a consistent style. Here they are (in one image, to make it easy for me to post this):

Robin-proposed-genre-icons.png (The duplication of sci-fi is accidental!)

EDIT: missed "surrealism", here it is: Proposed-surrealism-genre.png

Firstly, the fate of the Works pages is under discussion elsewhere, but I do think keeping genre icons is worth it. Genre will always be a useful way to categorize IFWiki works pages (whether they be catalogue entries like now, or discursive articles as I'd like them to be), and the strip of icons at the top of the page gives a handy "at a glance" view of that categorization.

These icons are 48x48 rather than 50x50 (in fact I drew them at 24x24, then scaled them up with "Interpolation: None" and allowed myself to fill in diagonals.) I thought the remaining 1px on each side could be used for a border that signifies literary genre -- so maybe all the literary genres get a red border and geographical ones get a green border, or whatever.

They don't look great when shrunk down for a mobile view. The solution to that is for IFWiki to have a good mobile layout, something that I think we get for free if we update the wiki software, is that right? Or it might be to make better icons.

My "Adventure" icon is pretty much the same as the existing geographical genre "underground" badge. But honestly I'm not sure what "adventure" means as a genre. Going by the description and the games categorised in it, it overlaps heavily with "fantasy", and also seems to be used to mean "games a bit like Adventure", which does not fit the genre description as written -- the PC of Adventure isn't so much a "hero by trade" as a nondescript player-surrogate who wanders into a magical adventure while exploring a cave system.

"Drama", which I haven't drawn, gives me similar difficulty. Its description is "Works in the Drama genre feature strong emphasis on character, plot and theme; they deal with relationships, the human condition, and inner lives." That's a lot of games and stories; at the very least, it's extremely subjective. I don't think having that badge on a game's page tells you much.

I added "Steampunk"; I think it's different enough from "science fiction" and established as a genre in its own right by now.

Tell me if the "Religion" icon is insensitive. I don't think it is, but it's delicate ground.

"Porn/Erotica". Oh dear. We need to talk about this one. I didn't do an icon in this style for it, but I did go over the existing one and slightly de-grossify the bad 3D boobs, mainly because I never wanted to see them again. The icon is still problematic as heck, of course, reducing sex to porn to boobs and a woman to a cleavage.

Some of my problems with Porn/Erotica as an IFWiki "genre":

  • Firstly, the attempt to differentiate "porn" from "erotica" in the description is... flawed. There's really no difference except the tone of the conversation and whether the speaker wishes to express disapproval. The claim that "erotica" is stuff that focuses on vibrators and undergarments rather than sex itself is... ???
  • Secondly, IMO there are very few games written as porn (as opposed to games about sexuality) that are noteworthy enough to have IFWiki articles that are anything other than a clone of their IFDB data (if we keep those pages at all.)
  • Thirdly, the category is being used for games that are manifestly not porn, like Leather Goddesses of Phobos. It has sex in it, but nobody would think it was written for the purpose of, er, titillation.

So, I'd propose retiring this one (leave it in for games that already have it, but remove it from the IFWiki:Genre article and don't add it to any in future) and maybe adding a Sex category for games with sexual themes.

I also think we should have an LGBTQ+ category (I'm open to suggestions for the name, particularly from LGBTQ+ people), because there is a lot of IF about queer experiences (this is one of the notable 2010s developments in IF culture that IFWiki has yet to catch up with), and it would be gross to conflate that with porn.

Also, I think we should change the templates so that clicking a genre icon takes you to the Category page for that genre, not the File page for that icon.

Comments and thoughts appreciated! Robin Johnson (talk) 13:14, 13 December 2021 (UTC)

The proposed new icons are nice, though I like the old ones too. Happy either way.
One problem is that there are 3000 games on IFWiki and 11000 games on IFDB (so potentially 11000 games here). I think the less data on IFWiki which is not taken automatically from IFDB the better.
Here there are "three mutually exclusive sets of genres: literary genres, geographic genres, and style genres" and currently 38 icons in total. That's potentially 33000 decisions to be made about genre on IFWiki pages.
On IFDB the data entry form recommends using the 23-genre Baf's Guide list but here are about 400 genres in use there.
If we want to keep using "genre" and icons here, which I agree look nice, then maybe we should map the IFDB genres (taken automatically, not manually) onto our icons here. If the choice of genre on IFDB is deficient in some way then the answer is to fix it there, rather than introduce inconsistency by changing it here.
As IFDB is also under development it may be that they would want to borrow the icon idea from IFWiki, so that the mapping (from genre to icon) could be done there too. Jonathan (talk) 14:34, 13 December 2021 (UTC)
P.S. I should have been nicer about the new pictures. Sorry! I wish I could draw like that. I just got carried away with the other ideas. Jonathan (talk) 14:17, 15 December 2021 (UTC)