Greetings, programs! :)
Thanks for looking through this wiki and especially this page, along with choosing to help preserve arcade history. This might look kind of long at first glance, so the below is just a crash course/brief wrap-up/tips in regards to making new pages, especially for those who are just making entries for long-gone arcades from years ago, as probably for the most part in general, people will only be coming up with arcades and lists of games for those that have long since gone out of business (but of course, pages for current, still operating arcades are also accepted here).
- Name and location of arcade is needed
- The first time the name of the arcade is mentioned in the article, it should be in bold
- Any other arcades and/or chains mentioned in the article need to be formatted so they can be hyperlinked to (via double brackets)
- It should be mentioned if games ran on whatever currency (quarters, Yen, etc.), tokens, or some kind of prepaid/debit card system
- Games found at said arcade should be in italics
- Add categories at the end (if the arcade is from the past or is still around nowadays, along with categories for arcades found in that particular city, state/providence and country)
The above (along with much more) are expanded on below, there is a bonus section in regards to some added tips and image templates that can be used for articles, what will not be accepted as material for this wiki, and my pledge to keep out abusers here.
I hope you enjoy as you read about other arcades past and present, along with adding your own!
Writing an articleEdit
First, you might want to give yourself a few days of wracking your brain and giving yourself time to think of whatever games you can recall from a local arcade you frequent[ed] before submitting it to the wiki. (Of course, it’s perfectly fine to edit and add games to pages throughout the years as you and/or others recall them.) So it is suggested that you might want to type them out in Word or some other like program and save them, then upload the information after a few days, although you’ll want to be leery of any possible apostrophes for game room titles (which I’ll get to that soon).
When you’re ready to add a location to this wiki for the very first time, type out the name of the arcade in the search box, which it should show up in red if you're using the MonoBook skin; if using the default Wikia skin, then click on the Contribute box at top right. Click on the red (make sure it’s spelled correctly!) if using MonoBook, or click on Add a page if using the Wikia skin and you’ll be taken to its new page after hitting Enter. If another game room shows up with the exact same name but it wasn’t the one you went to (in case it’s on the other side of the planet from you), give it the same name, but put in parenthesis the name of the city or town after it to differentiate between the two (like if you frequented an arcade called Bob’s Game Room in Scranton, Pennsylvania and there was already a Bob’s Game Room on the wiki, but located in Paris, then name yours “Bob’s Game Room (Scranton)”.
When the arcade is first mentioned in your article, it should be put in bold. Make note of any apostrophes of the arcade if you typed and saved it in a word processing program first, as the apostrophe might come out looking different on the wiki (which happens sometimes); if so, just erase the apostrophe and retype it. This is because if there are any other arcades mentioned in your article for some reason, you’d not only have to put them in double brackets so they can be linked to, but if there’s a different-shaped apostrophe, then the wiki will not link to it if that isn’t fixed, as it will think it is a completely different article.
There should be a street address, neighborhood or mall name included to help identify the location of the arcade better and to narrow it down a bit. Due to street names and/or entire neighborhoods changing over the years and things looking totally different if you drop by/look up the area on the net of the arcade you’re writing about, the exact address is not required (which can be impossible to do anyway at times), so just narrow it down as best as you can. The city and state/providence should also be named, as well as the country (in the infobox). If the arcade is also part of a chain, put the chain name in double brackets, along with giving it a name like as described two paragraphs up where it’s narrowed down: coming up with a new page for a Tilt game room by just calling it “Tilt” won’t work (that has its own page, as it’s for the corporation), it needs to have a mall name after it (such as Tilt (Town and Country Mall), for its Town and Country Mall location in Houston, Texas).
Although not 100% mandatory, there should be an infobox in the article that summarizes everything. Make a guess (unless you know for certain) the number of games and years the arcade was active. If you have an actual photo of anything from the arcade, it is suggested that for the infobox picture it should have a photo of the arcade’s tokens, a sign, piece of merchandise (t-shirt and all) and/or the front door/entrance with the arcade name/logo on it, then any pics of the arcade itself can go in a gallery on the page. (Note: I will eventually have a formatted infobox at some point, but for now they can just be copied and pasted from any of the arcade pages I’ve done, such as this one here on this page.)
It should be mentioned (if you can recall) what games ran off of, whether it be a currency (quarters, Yen, whatever), tokens, or a prepaid system, like a debit card. Once you get to a list of games that made up the arcade, they should be in italics, and although not mandatory, if the arcade is fairly large, it would be good to separate the video and pinball games under separate headers; if not, it should be stated in parenthesis if they are pinball or video games, depending on which is the least dominant of the two (and another reason for this is that some pinball and video games share the same name, as for instance Space Invaders, Joust, Street Fighter II and War are the names of video and pinball games). Games should also be in alphabetical order (although this also isn't 100% mandatory), since, if there is either a large arcade and/or it was open for many years and a lot of games are listed, it'd make it easier for them to be in alphabetical order in case someone edited the page and missed a game that was already listed and then input it again because they didn't see it if it wasn't in order, which would be a waste of time.
And last but not least, make sure you add categories at the end of your page. There should be a category for Arcades in ___ (town or city), Arcades in ____ (state or providence) and Arcades in ____ (country). Sure, it might seem a little redundant, but that way people can just click on looking at either the arcades in that city, state/providence or country.
Photos of past placesEdit
Having photos of a place currently still in business is one thing, but having pictures of an arcade that went out of business years before is another. Chances are pretty high these photos will, unfortunately, be impossible to obtain decades later. If the building of an old arcade is still around, a picture of it is still acceptable, just as long as it does not have any signs indicating that it was something else; i. e. if an arcade went out of business, then a faculty that took over its building afterwards was a "Marci's Nail Salon" and that one also went under, if there are any signs of that still up, there is no need to take a photo of it when there is nothing specifying it as to being an arcade any more. However, a photo of the side of the building would still be acceptable as long as it doesn't have any post-arcade signs. A perfect example of this is a photo of where an arcade used to be here, as, even though the Long Point Cinema and its arcade is now long gone, there is nothing in that photo indicating it became a gym, nor a furniture store later, so that is acceptable.
Unfortunately with any long-gone arcades being entered into this site, chances are very unlikely that, unless someone’s mom took some photos at a game room gathering that was spent on someone’s birthday party held at one, there won’t be any pictures of arcades that closed their doors back in the 1980s (or even nowadays!). However, for those that are using an infobox with their article(s), there are several template photos I created or got from other wikis that can be used for several formats/places that had arcades in the past (or even in the present).
- Placeholder–the most common one of all, showing an arcade cab. Can be used for any arcade period (past or present) if someone wishes.
- 300-for the 300 bowling chain in the United States that had arcades. Just caption this photo as "A 300 in Houston" in case you don't have a photo available/you're using this one of the location you're writing an entry for.
- Chuck E. Cheese's-for the Chuck E. Cheese's chain located in eight countries. (Again, caption it as to being a Chuck E. Cheese's in Houston.)
- Diamond Shamrock-for the now defunct Diamond Shamrock gas stations/convenience stores in the United States that had arcade games. There were at least one of these in Houston (where I live as I write this) that had games and there could have been plenty more.
- Gold Mine-for the Gold Mine chain of arcades in the United States (again, this photo was from a Gold Mine in Houston).
- Jillian’s–for the Jillian’s arcade/restaurant chains. This photo is of a player's card.
- Kroger–for the Kroger grocery stores in the United States. There were at least three of these in Houston that had arcades and there could have been more, so caption it accordingly.
- Sears–for the Sears department store chain in the U. S., Canada and Mexico. At least two of these in Houston (so caption the photo as to being from a Houston Sears if you're using it) had an arcade and there could be more.
- Tilt-for the Tilt arcade chain in the United States. This is from the Town and Country Mall Houston location of Tilt if using this photo.
In case anyone wants to do some research on past arcades with their local city hall, I hope to someday add some tips here just for that, as I have yet to do that myself, so my knowledge is pretty limited with this subject. Of course, this kind of thing varies by state and country (some countries are very strict in allowing access to that kind of information at all), but at least it can give people an idea in regards to what to possibly expect if they were to pursue this kind of thing in hopes of nailing down opening and closing years of business of an arcade better if they can. I do believe there is a minor charge for looking these kinds of things up, but that’s about all I can offer for now, and hopefully some time in the future I’ll update this part with more specific and concrete information.
And even though this doesn’t have anything to do with any of the above, I really can’t fit it anywhere else, but articles will also be accepted on fictitious arcades, as there are pages for Bailey's Video Arcade from the early 1980s movie Joysticks, along with the fictional Pizza Planet from the first Toy Story movie, and several others on here. Just make sure to include a category for Fictional arcades for these. (Note: since the majority of the articles on this wiki will be for actual, physical arcades, I don’t think it’s necessary for a “real world arcades” category for those.)
Also, I allow arcade blogs as well, just as long as they cover arcade, and not home gaming consoles, handhelds, internet games, and gaming on portable devices. If someone wants to make a mention of these anyway, that can be done on their talk page or message wall. If a non-arcade blog is put up in regards to any of these, they will be deleted, however.
What WON’T go in this wikiEdit
Pages in regards to a 7/11 (/convenience store) that you went to as a kid that had one or two machines in it; for the most part, an “arcade” should have at least three or more machines in order to be considered an arcade. A convenience store itself isn’t an arcade, unless it was big enough to have at least three machines or an entire separate room filled with games (I have heard of this before), which those articles are fine, of course.
Articles can’t be written in first person. Even if you frequented an arcade in, say, Monroe, Louisiana (not exactly a huge city) for a couple of years in the 1980s and it closed down, you put up an article here and 20 years later no one has added anything to the article, it still would not make any sense for a person in Japan to read about it like they were there, yet that would not be possible if they never went to it. And if a page were to get edited due to a typo, it makes no sense either to be in the first person in a wiki that anyone can edit. Granted, this page is written in the first person (and it will be signed with my name at the end), but that’s just letting everyone know of what I am looking for as an admin and founder of this wiki. All of my arcade pages have been and will be written in the third person.
Even with as much fun as video, pinball, and redemption machines can be, wikis are, for the most part, in regards to sharing information, with as little opinion/pieces having an opinionated slant as possible. The closest kind of language that is allowed in here as far as an opinion can consist of is describing an arcade’s size, whether it being small or large (“___ was a very large arcade that...”). Even with how great, so-so or crummy an arcade was, this type of biased language needs to be left out of articles. However, it is perfectly fine for people to make comments at the bottom of an article in the comments section or write them up on the accompanying discussion page, as I have shared memories on most of the pages I started up of arcades I frequented, along with including them in my blog.
Furthermore, pieces on gaming expos aren’t allowed either, as they are arcades, but this is for preserving stand-alone buildings full of coin-operated games, and not annual gatherings that are usually only for a weekend in a hotel that might not be in the same location year after year. Again, if this is to be shared in a blog, that is fine, but not as an actual standalone page on here.
Then as far as contributing to this wiki goes, there is not to be any of what I consider to be pointless edits, changing some tiny thing on a page because someone thinks something looks “better” in another way. Obviously this opinion is going to differ from person to person, but say something such as taking out a header on a page and leaving everything else intact is not necessary. Editing someone’s page when they didn’t have a typo, improper grammar, or an error can be considered abusive.I have seen this before (although rare), and where probably most of us are familiar with the term “grammar Nazi”, these are what I consider to be “form Nazis”, yet on wikis where I have seen this happen they did not have a page such as this one explaining what the hell its founders/admins want in the form of a written entry, yet whoever contributes is just supposed to “know” these unwritten rules of theirs, which is ridiculous. Wikis are individually founded and differ in how they want their material presented; some are strict, others are more laid back.
So, keeping all this in mind, if there ever comes a time where someone on here repeatedly edits articles, making only tiny, arguably unnecessary changes to the point where it appears to be abusive, they will be given warnings, along with being banned if need be (and if they are an admin, that behavior is not to be tolerated at all, as they will have their admin title stripped, then followed by a possible banning). I have added to “stub” articles on other wikis by making them full entries when the originals only had two sentences to them, and I even kept those two sentences intact, but see no need to think “eh, I don’t think they need that header at the beginning”, then edit it out when obviously the original author had a differing opinion and thought it should be there. If people get micro-edited several times when they (arguably) did nothing “wrong” in the first place, they’re not going to bother adding new material any more if they get irritated and can even get scared off for good (which I’ve seen happen before). Most places are appreciative in receiving new material, and I’d like to keep it that way, along with keeping this a laid-back, welcoming environment for new pages as well.
Especially when preserving arcade history is at stake. These wonderful (and even not so wonderful) places had people running them that probably didn’t get a lot of thanks when they were around, and decades later you usually can’t find any proof that they existed in the first place, nor any thanks attributed to them either. Lets change all that!