Each Game entry begins with a header of a standard form, containing the following information:
Name Game entries typically describe an entire franchise, including any Ties, associated films and other related works as well as the games which are the major subject of the section. The name will be either that of the first or only member of a series, or a generic term commonly used to refer to an entire sequence.
Date If the name is that of a single game, this is the date of that work's first release. Otherwise, it will be the date on which the first member of the series was made available.
Form All game entries have been categorized as examples of a particular form, such as Videogame, Role Playing Game, Wargame or Gamebook. The body of the entry may include further detail, for example specifying whether a Videogame can be treated as a member of the First Person Shooter, Computer Role Playing Game or Adventure forms.
Developer Games are typically created by companies rather than individuals; the developer's name (if any) is listed here. Note that, unlike many other reference works, the name of the development company is given rather than that of the publisher when there is a distinction to be made.
Designer Most games are designed by a single person or a small group. In some cases, however – particularly in Videogame development – the work is designed by a group effort in which all members of the development company or team participate, and no names are given. In other cases, this information may simply not have been available.
Platforms The computer systems on which a Videogame can be played, along with the relevant dates and any major revisions and variant titles, are listed here. Revisions are noted only when major changes have been made to the gameplay beyond those required to convert the game to a different platform. Where there is a distinction to be made between the client (the program used by the player) and the server (any software that may be used by the developers to maintain an Online World accessed by the player), we list only the client platforms. See also the list of Videogame Platform Abbreviations below.
No indication of nationality is given, since many game sequences contain works which have been developed in several different countries. However, terminology and theme entries which contain overviews of the history of a particular game form (such as Computer Role Playing Games) will typically indicate the regions which have dominated the evolution of the type. Such entries generally also note the area in which a game was developed if it was not the one normally associated with the form. Thus, the entry on First Person Shooters indicates which games were designed outside the US, the one on Gamebooks those which were not created in the UK, and that on Survival Horror specifies the works which were not developed in Japan.
The body of the entry contains information on major works associated with the franchise or individual game; loosely affiliated games, Ties and so on are relegated to the Related works section.
Games have been selected for inclusion primarily on the basis of their interest as works of science-fictional invention or speculative narrative, rather than their significance as games per se. Thus games which use science fiction purely as a source of generic background images and attach little importance to characters and plot have not been included unless they are of particular historical significance. This accounts for the concentration on particular forms of Videogame, such as the Computer Role Playing Game and the Adventure, at the expense of others based on jumping, driving and similar activities.
Ascription data Games listed within the body of a section are described in a similar way to those that are the main subject of an entry. The name is given, followed by (in brackets) the date of first release, the developer's name and any Videogame platform information, with dates. Designers' names are placed after the brackets, while the form is generally indicated in the body of the entry.
For Role Playing Games, we list all major editions of the work, but adventure modules and supplements are not noted unless they seem of particular interest. For Videogames and Wargames, all major revisions and expansion packs are listed.
All Ties are noted unless there are more than ten novels and anthologies associated with a franchise, in which case only representative examples are listed.
Game remakes and modifications created by amateur groups are noted only when they seem of particular interest.
Where errors have been corrected in minor revisions made available for download after the release of a Videogame, we assume that these corrections have been applied.
Works which are not available in English are noted only if they are part of the main subject of an entry. Thus we list all games in the Xenosaga sequence under Xenogears, but not Japanese language Ties. Game titles are given in English, with alternate forms noted where the original name in another language has a substantially different sense, as is the case with Resident Evil.
Videogame Platform Abbreviations
The most common Videogame platforms have historically been personal computers (small systems which are potentially programmable by the user, and generally have a keyboard), game consoles (home entertainment devices designed mainly or entirely for playing games), handheld consoles (portable game consoles), mainframe computers (large systems used by business, government and academia, not primarily intended for playing games) and arcade cabinets (dedicated hardware used in coin operated video arcade machines). Less common platforms include handheld personal computers, mobile phones, home multimedia players and – for internet-based games – web browsers or standard client programs for textual communication. Where personal computers are concerned, we treat different operating systems – programs which are required to make the hardware usable – as different platforms. [NT]
- 32X – Sega 32X Console (expanded version of the MegaDrive, also known as the Sega Super 32X, Sega Genesis 32X and Sega Mega Drive 32X)
- 3DO – 3DO Interactive Multiplayer Console
- 3DS – Nintendo 3DS Handheld Console
- Amiga – Commodore Amiga Personal Computer
- Amstrad – Amstrad Colour Personal Computer
- Android – Android Mobile Operating System
- AppleII – Apple II Personal Computer
- Arcade – Video Game Arcade Hardware (no attempt is made to distinguish between the various different machines, many of which are specific to a particular game)
- Archimedes – Acorn Archimedes Personal Computer
- Atari8 – Atari 8 bit Personal Computer (including the Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari XL and Atari XE)
- Atari5200 – Atari 5200 Console
- Atari7800 – Atari 7800 Console
- AtariVCS – Atari VCS Console, also known as the Atari 2600
- AtariST – Atari ST Personal Computer
- BBCMicro – BBC Micro Personal Computer
- C128 – Commodore 128 Personal Computer
- C64 – Commodore 64 Personal Computer
- CD32 – Commodore Amiga CD32 Console
- CDi – Philips Compact Disc Interactive Multimedia Player
- DC – Sega Dreamcast Console
- DOS – Microsoft Disk Operating System for the IBM Personal Computer
- Dragon – Dragon Personal Computer
- Electron – Acorn Electron Personal Computer
- FM7 – Fujitsu Micro 7 Personal Computer
- FMT – Fujitsu Micro Towns Personal Computer
- GB – Nintendo Game Boy Handheld Console
- GBA – Nintendo Game Boy Advance Handheld Console
- GBC – Nintendo Game Boy Colour Handheld Console
- GC – Nintendo GameCube Console
- GG – Sega Game Gear Handheld Console
- Intellivision – Mattel Intellivision Console
- iOS – iOS Mobile Operating System (as used on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and other devices)
- Jaguar – Atari Jaguar Console
- JaguarCD – Atari Jaguar CD Console (expanded version of the Jaguar)
- Lin – Linux Operating System for the IBM Personal Computer
- Mac – Apple Macintosh Personal Computer
- Mainframe – Mainframe Computer Hardware (no attempt is made to distinguish between different machines or Operating Systems, or between minicomputers and mainframes proper)
- MasterSystem – Sega Master System Console
- MegaCD – Sega Mega CD Console (expanded version of the MegaDrive, also known as the Sega CD)
- MegaDrive – Sega Mega Drive Console, also known as the Sega Genesis
- MSX – Microsoft MSX Personal Computer
- N64 – Nintendo 64 Console
- NDS – Nintendo DS (Dual Screen) Handheld Console
- NES – Nintendo Entertainment System Console, also known as the Famicom
- Net – Text-based Internet client, such as Telnet
- Oric – Oric-1 Personal Computer
- OS2 – OS/2 Operating System for the IBM Personal Computer
- Others – Diverse additional platforms (used for games for which the program code was distributed in a book or magazine, or which have been reimplemented on many different platforms)
- PC88 – NEC PC-8801 Personal Computer
- PC98 – NEC PC-9801 Personal Computer
- PCBoot – IBM Personal Computer, no Operating System
- PCEngine – NEC PC Engine Console, also known as the TurboGrafx-16
- PCEngineCD – NEC PC Engine CD Console (expanded version of the PCEngine, also known as the TurboGrafx-CD)
- PET – Commodore PET Personal Computer
- Phone – Mobile Phone Hardware (excluding smart devices such as those running Android or iOS)
- Pippin – Apple Pippin Console
- PPC – Microsoft Pocket Personal Computer
- PS1 – Sony PlayStation Console
- PS2 – Sony PlayStation 2 Console
- PS3 – Sony PlayStation 3 Console
- PSP – Sony PlayStation Portable Handheld Console
- PSVita – Sony PlayStation Vita Handheld Console
- Saturn – Sega Saturn Console
- SNES – Super Nintendo Entertainment System Console, also known as the Super Famicom
- Social – Social network (including Facebook and Zynga.com)
- Spectrum – Sinclair ZX Spectrum Personal Computer
- TGC – Tiger game.com Handheld Console
- TI99 – Texas Instruments TI99 Personal Computer
- TRS80 – Tandy Radio Shack 80 Personal Computer (including the System 80, Video Genie and Tandy Colour Computer)
- Vectrex – General Consumer Electronics Vectrex Console
- VIC20 – Commodore VIC-20 Personal Computer
- Web – World Wide Web browser
- Wii – Nintendo Wii Console
- Win – Microsoft Windows Operating System for the IBM Personal Computer
- WinPhone – Windows Phone Mobile Operating System
- WS – Bandai Wonder Swan Handheld Console
- WSC – Bandai Wonder Swan Colour Handheld Console
- X68K – Sharp X68000 Personal Computer
- XBox – Microsoft XBox Console
- XB360 – Microsoft XBox 360 Console
- ZX80 – Sinclair ZX80 Personal Computer
- ZX81 – Sinclair ZX81 Personal Computer
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