by Tracy Hoffmann (diggr Team) and Peter Chan (Stanford University Libraries)
Wikidata is a free, collaborative knowledge base that anyone can edit. Since its establishment in 2012, it has become a widely used knowledge base and infrastructure. In this blog post we describe why and how we import the OLAC Video Game Genre Vocabulary into Wikidata.
OLAC Inc. (Online Audiovisual Catalogers) is an organization in the US for catalogers concerned with all types of nonprint materials. It introduced “OLAC Video Game Genre Vocabulary” in 2018 to support cataloging of video game. The CAMMS/SAC/GFIS/Video game working group in OLAC researched over 200 video game genre terms which were considered for inclusion in the final vocabulary. The list of the sixty-six OLAC authorized video game genre vocabulary terms, guidelines for their use, as well as the related MARC authority records for the terms can be found on OLAC’s website under the category of Cataloging Resources – OLAC video game genre vocabulary, at http://www.olacinc.org/video-game-vocabulary. This set of controlled vocabulary for video game is backed by the Library of Congress and is expected to be used by all library catalogers in the US. By adding this set of controlled vocabulary in Wikidata, we will expose it to a wider audience and will also facilitate the linking of video games.
First Part – Property Proposal
To link the vocabulary terms with existing Wikidata items, there has to be a property which is defined as an external identifier. There are special sides where all property proposals were collected and discussed. A template with some information about the vocabulary and some examples has to be filled out. Then we waited curiously for feedback of the community with the aim to reach consensus.
After seven days the property proposal had eight supporters. So, it was a very clear result which outcome was the new OLAC video game vocabulary (P6352) property.
Second Part – Import and Matching
The OLAC Video Game Genre Vocabulary is available at the metadata registry. After download, some data cleaning and preparation via open refine the data was transformed into the needed csv format for import. This included:
Entry ID (eg. 1017)
Entry name (eg. Beat ’em up video games)
Entry description (eg. Video games in which gameplay focuses on “hand to hand combat, …)
URL Pattern (http://metadataregistry.org/uri/olac/$1)
Entry type (Q659563 – video game genre)
With this a mix’n’match catalogue was created. “Mix’n’match can list entries of some external databases, and allows users to match them against Wikidata items.” After a successfull import the data could be matched via browser interface or in the case of no match candidate, new Wikidata items were created.
Mapping the sixty-six genres terms was done quick but as vocabulary mapping is rarely entirely unambiguous there is still a lot to improve. Some issues have already been identified and are being discussed within the Wikidata community: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Property_talk:P6352
Call for participation
There are special interest groups in Wikidata. One of them is the Video Game Task Force. This WikiProject is the spot to get in touch with the video game community in Wikidata. At the discussion site questions, proposals or references could be posted. So far, a lot has been achieved by some very ambitious members of that group: more than fifty external identifiers for games, ten for Hard/software and other video game related links to several (specialised) databases have been created. But, there is still a lot to do. For instance, other mix’n’match catalogues wait for matching: See https://tools.wmflabs.org/mix-n-match/#/group/video%20games
Wikidata is a great resource for information on video games – especially increasingly for video game research as more and more data is aggregated and modeled. Active participation by the video game research community is highly appreciated and will help to make Wikidata even more useful for researchers.
If you have ideas for data donation or linking with external databases please contact us or get in touch with the Wikidata community directly.
Further reading about video games in Wikidata:
Wikidata and the sum of all video games − 2018 edition
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.