@kitsunebi77, you weren't kidding about the grump! Heh, but really, I think I understand better now. Honestly if I wasn't already committed to certain passion projects, I'd jump in and help with this exact kind of thing. Building and managing systems is one of my natural thingies. I was about to research other mag collections, but you just saved me the time by indicating RetroMags is basically the leading group in this field. Thanks!
Well, if this is the place, then A. these tags and filters gotta become a thing when possible, and B. we need to encourage the other major outlets that collaborating with RM is essential. Having a universal catalog in one place instead of several helps with accessibility and usage retention. Still, that may take forever and a half because, well, people. (I also recognize i may be preaching to the choir). Technically, if a person has no inclination to help with scanning/donating, cataloging wouldn't take away from existing scan power and such division isn't a bad thing (sound designer and artist in game development, as a weird analogy). Anyway, I appreciate you recognizing the value while weighing the lack of person-power to realize such features.
Pretty much this. Comprehensive, accessible documentation means a lot to me. Even if it's a less-popular thing, it informs about cultural growth from one decade to the next. And despite how small some fandoms are, seeing stray questions crop up on ___ forum or ___ Discord server is pretty telling. Your post made my day! From one archivist to another, thanks for the work you do.
First of all, there are only 3 English-language archival sites focused on providing video game magazine scans - OldGameMags, the Out of Print Archive, and Retromags. New scans pop up in other places, but not as part of a concerted effort of a group (and be careful of "archival" groups whose main function is mirroring the efforts of the sites they swipe their scans from). Of those three sites, Retromags by far has the most comprehensive database of magazines (even if OldGameMags has more actual scans), and a more robust software, and thus would absolutely be the best choice for implementing such a feature.
Second of all, you may have misinterpreted me a bit. I DO believe that your idea has merit. I simply don't believe that there is anyone willing to put in the work to accomplish it.
I've been a member of this site since 2014, and in that time, less than a handful of people have added any new issues to our database. That's excusable of course, since due to administrative permissions, only a handful of people actually have the ability to do so. However, ANYONE has the ability to edit a database entry and add contents information (similar to the tagging system you've proposed), yet again, less than a handful of people have ever elected to do so during my tenure here. Similarly, anyone is capable of uploading images to our Gallery, yet since 2014, I've personally uploaded almost 70% of the 32,000 images in our Gallery, and until MigJmz started helping in the past couple of years, I was pretty much alone in that endeavor during that time.
So again, your idea is sound, and would absolutely be a welcome addition. My only (realistic) criticism is that I have seen no evidence to suggest that there will be anyone willing to do the necessary work it would involve to make it very useful (though as you point out, even one magazine tagged is perhaps more useful than none.)
I HAVE suggested exactly that already. If we can't get anyone to help complete our magazine databases, I'd hate to see our efforts divided into providing game information unrelated to magazines (information already available elsewhere). But I believe a robust video game section full of information, screengrabs, videos, and yes, magazine cross-referencing information is a (pipe)dream of Phillyman's, so it will likely remain in place. Of course, since no one has ever contributed to it since its creation (that I'm aware of), there really isn't any harm. It can't divide our efforts when no efforts are being made.🙂
Also, bear in mind that when referring to Retromags as a "group," you are referring to a group of over 15,000 people, including yourself. Every single registered member of this site is capable of contributing to it, and every single contribution of any kind ever made here was done on a volunteer basis - no one is "in charge" of doing anything (except for Phillyman, who is "in charge" of paying the site's bills.😋) But volunteers are rare indeed.
This is one of the reasons my main focus over the last several years has been towards the 'cataloging' aspect, instead of the scanning aspect. You'll find my contributions here have been almost entirely focused on indexing the various magazines we've managed to get into our database. It's essentially a "thankless task", because there's no real credit for it the way there is for scanning the magazines and adding in cover pics, but at the bare minimum, I like the idea that someone can search the site for a game title, and get some hits back about where it appeared, in which magazine, and in what capacity.
It's something that, working alone, I'll never be able to even think about completing. But every magazine that I do index for the site is just one more drop in the bucket of information that likely exists nowhere else online. Will the world come to an end if no one can find out that an ad for "Deathtrap Dungeon" is featured in issue 39 of PC Gamer, or that there's a four-page strategy guide for "Time Crisis" in the first issue of Official US PlayStation Magazine? No...but that doesn't mean that somebody, somewhere, isn't out there thinking, "What magazine did I read that editorial about Tomb Raider fanfiction in back in 1999?" and if I can provide that answer (hint: PC Games, April 1999, the only game magazine I'm aware of where I'm actually featured as a topic of conversation!) then the work was worth it.
Thanks for the quick responses, each of you. I appreciate the time taken out for consideration. Looking at both the lack of demand as well as the possibility that other magazine archival sites may have better infrastructure for this proposal, maybe it's best not to do it here at RetroMags.
In regard to what kitsunebi77 and MigJmz have said about the grim reality of things, I agree that this reduces the importance of tagging/filters. It's unfortunate. One could argue that since the magazine-on-paper generation has mostly come and gone (and likely never to return), we may lose some comprehensive indexing but at least it'll never happen again in the future. I think there is some historic importance to be had on this era of gaming - and magazines in general - but it just didn't survive once newer-age activities replaced magazines so swiftly. The total nuance involved makes it hard to justify doing more when there are so few volunteers, people are stealing without credit, and advanced services usually cost money. End short version!
I don't fear pragmatism. So long as it isn't being used as negative propaganda, there's a place for it and it's just a matter of balancing out the costs and the benefits.Come at me!
Well, not only is there the issue of a volunteer shortage, but also the niche benefit. I could argue that even a single archivist benefitting from such an endeavor is "worth it," but that doesn't mean low-efficiency is something to be okay with. Not that everything is about mass majorities, but typically one wouldn't build a bridge that is almost never used. So the historical value is the last big question, I think.
I think this is a bit too absolutionist. Yes, you have a specific focus area (magazines). However, as with many things, these magazines are intersectional. The medium is magazines but the content, in this case, largely revolves around video game content. I do agree that redundancy is in many cases annoying and wasteful of our development time, but supplemental data isn't a bad thing in this case. Unless another website/platform/service is better-equipped to create these tags and filters I'm proposing, which is another issue in and of itself. In any case, if these tags and filters aren't feasible in your observation - and to an extent, mine - then I would suggest wiping the VG database to clean up the apparent focus of the group's efforts. Like clearing an empty forum board or chat channel in a server.
From initial research, I've found magazine archival efforts from several entities. Sometimes a single individual with a ton of mags, often a group. The first thought here is scan redundancy, reducing double-work as much as possible. However, my leading concern is actually that some entities are not networking with other groups who have the same/similar goals. This increases the scan redundancy potential, and creates a situation akin to the traditional Pokémon video game version splits. Group A has magazines C, D, E, F, G, and H, while Group B has magazines C, D, E, H, I, J, and K. Group Z has random copies from each, so in the end you have three differently-incomplete collections instead of a unified comprehensive set.
I guess what I'm trying to say is.. Unless all these groups including RetroMags are all pooling their resources into a massive compilation site serving a united cause, there's going to have to be some redundancy on each group's part. People are, usually, inefficient by nature about such things and slow to collaborate on a global scale. There's also the default perspective of being an end-user. I am sad that you aren't getting more support, believe me, but I find that the alternative to doing niche stuff is to do non-niche stuff that doesn't need my support anyway. In that sense it's more important to do weird, costly work at the risk of not being in the mainstream. God I sound weird to myself saying that, but, I hope it comes across well.
I... sort-of agree. One thing I work with is wikis, including one that is currently quite incomplete. It is not useful overall, for sure, but I think it is reductive to call it pointless. Every volunteer project can take some time. RetroMags surely has taken years to accrue its current collection. Was it pointless when it only had a few issues archived? Sure. However, each and every little bit of progress is credit to why you have the current collection today. In my case, there are things the Legend of Dragoon community knows about solely because myself and a select few others bothered researching and tinkering for many years. So, I think this is just a thing where your realistic response was a bit emotionally charged. Baby steps are often the most valuable steps, I find, and caring only about the end-result can reduce the value of the "journey" portion of the work involved. I guess from my perspective, when futile increments are all we have, it makes all the difference. Even if inefficiently.
I'm not saying that justifies the tags entirely, but, I found this to be an intriguing though experiment. I hope that's okay by you. Overall it seems like researching magazine archival itself has to come first, and then see if any additional unity can be gained beyond what exists already (I have read that some RetroMags material is used for documentation purposes at MobyGames website). Budgeting for it now would be both daunting to justify as well as premature. Thanks again for all of your input!