On the Game Difficulty Wiki, a definition is a meaningful element that contributes to a game's difficulty. They are universal features of video games that require minimal understanding to recognise, and are things that the player have to keep in mind whenever they are playing a video game.
Definitions have three parts: An introduction to the concept, a rationale for why the concept is important, and a star system directly tied to it. Out of these three, the star system is by and far the most important - these are the same stars that show up on game pages to gauge their difficulty levels. This page is an introduction to all of these concepts.
To see a list of current definitions, see Category:Definitions
Reason for being
If you haven't already guessed (or this is the very first page you looked at), definitions are what hold this wiki together. Without having a set of reasonable and implementable ratings for games, the wiki would not have any reason for being - it would be a shamble of opinions and poor edits, much like many other abandoned Wikia projects. Thankfully, we do have a set of ratings. You're reading about them right now!
Definitions are what define a game's difficulty. While meaningless on their own, when they combine with every other avaliable definition they become a very informative set of tools to gauge why exactly games are as hard or as easy as they are. It's like TV Tropes, only narrowed down to a specific topic of a specific medium. You're also less likely to waste your day on this site.
The introduction to a definition gives a simple summary of what the concept is about. There's no opinion pieces or history of the term or what else you can find on Wikipedia (whose game design coverage is actually poor). It's enough information on the topic to have people understand it, and to get editors all the knowledge they need to start adding in things.
Essentially, the goal is to give somebody with a minimal amount of knowledge on the subject the ability to talk about its basic concepts.
The rationale is the reason why the subject is appropriate for the Game Difficulty Wiki. It gives some cosmic context to the whole definition, where without it it would be hopelessly lost in the Internet void (why do you think we teach kids about outer space so early?). It's also useful to editors, so that they can create new game articles and have a decent starting point to go off of.
The rationale section also contains the expected frequency of star distribution. For example, the Definition:Actions per minute page states that any ratings over 3 are rare. This gives the creator some context as to what they should expect when rating a game.
The glue of the wiki, the star rating system gives editors the specific measurements that they need to accurately rate games. Each definition page has a unique star system that goes from 1-5 (sometimes 0-5), with logical increments from the lowest rating to the highest. This is meant to give readers a clear idea of where the game stands in that definitions area in comparison to other games in that area.
More importantly, star ratings give editors the ability to actually discuss the game without making it seem like they're going off-topic. As long as they make an informative paragraph that talks about the subject while giving a good reason as to why it deserves that specific star rating, then there's no reason to complain.
Please note that in almost all cases, a star rating is subjective. It's in the nature of games as a medium to feature subjective elements. This is not a bad thing. Humans are very smart creatures, and they can figure out subjective data more efficiently and effectively than a computer ever will. If a page creator cannot think of a star rating for a specific definition, then it means one of two things:
- The definition is so poorly written out that it's too difficult to understand (unlikely)
- The editor cannot understand the rating system, and so cannot implement it (also unlikely)
The definition pages are written out as to attempt to eliminate these problems. If these problems do arise, they should be brought to the talk page immediately!
How to use the star system
For details, see Docs:Star system.