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Systems Covered question


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Hello all,

I've been adding content summaries for VG&CE issues these past couple of days, using Phillyman's Nintendo Power #1 summary as a template, as suggested. But I have a question about the Systems Covered section.

Should this include only systems directly discussed & declared within the journalistic content of the issue (a review, strategy guide, etc), or should "Systems Covered" also encompass advertisements and very minor references (a letters page mention, etc)?

I bring this up because - in my opinion, at least - the magazine's advertising is part of the history we're attempting to preserve. I don't necessarily want to discount this.

On the other hand, flagging a system as covered - only to have it very briefly mentioned in a letters column or ad - may not justify someone's time to download/read the mag, only to be disappointed if they were after info regarding a particular system.

In a recent case, I listed a system as covered, but also included a note in the summary detailing the inclusion. Is this the best approach? To throw a wide net but provide details? And if so, should advertisements be acknowledged? Example: Nintendo Game Boy (advertisements only). Or is it preferred to keep the "Systems Covered" section brief and uncluttered?

Perhaps I'm entirely off base, and "Systems Covered" is meant to encompass what a magazine has declared editorially, and not what is actually included per issue. For example, Nintendo Power would cover the NES during the system's lifetime (and arguably beyond).

I may be over thinking the entire process (wouldn't be the first time), but just wanted to clarify exactly what RetroMags is looking for with this particular section. :) Thanks!

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  • Retromags Curator

I'd say erring on the side of more information as opposed to less is best, but for a yardstick I'd stick with whatever the magazine claims to promote (if anything). In other words, some mags flat-out list a bunch of systems on the masthead or cover of their magazine and if that's the case, go with it whether there's actually any news/info on that particular system or games in that issue or not (GamePro and EGM, for instance, offered Atari Jaguar coverage, but there were some months there was no hardware or software info to be found).

Some stuff is more obvious than others: PSM before 2000 is only covering PS1 stuff because there's no such thing as the PS2 yet, and The Coleco Experience only talks about the ColecoVision since that's the only console Coleco made. I'd say it's safe to eliminate the "Systems Covered" section entirely for cases like that, but it's really up to you as far as how much work you want to do. :)


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Thank you for your help! I've taken your suggestions and revised the entry for VG&CE #18, and this is probably the format I'll go with for other VG&CE issues. Which means I'll be spending some time revising my prior entries, but oh well. :)

I'm basically using the masthead declared coverage (which is really broad, in VG&CE's case) and using it to define *primary* system coverage. At the same time, I've stepped up the overall level of info by better detailing other sections of the magazine - the review and department columns, mostly. I wanted to do this anyhow (especially the news section), and it should give a potential reader a better idea of what content the issue contains, as well as give the site's search engine more info to chew on.

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