Community talk:Discussions/Location Naming

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So we need to figure out a way to make all of these location names consistent, understandable and accurate.

What we don't really want is a messy set of rules with a complex syntax that apply differently to different articles, using a single system with simple rules is best. There will always be exceptions, but these should be simple too.

Simplicity is important because:

  • Visitors should be able to know what an article is about at first glance, and not be confused
  • Editors should be able to link to an article without having to look up its title (or even be forced to copy & paste it)
  • It helps with SEO (using codes and shorthand in titles is very bad, using plain English key words is very good)

For example, our standard convention for naming articles is simple. If there is no disambiguation needed, simply give it its name. but if disambiguation is needed, use our universal "X in Y" format:

(Note that we should not use Wikipedia's "X (Y)" format unless it is completely unavoidable. In fact, I will soon be proposing that other disambiguations like Michael (GTA V) be changed to "Michael in GTA V".)

I admit that it might be nice if ALL area titles had their location added, such as "East Beach, Los Santos" - but that is probably not necessary. So we should probably just use the standard convention above wherever a disambiguation is needed.

This discussion is required because of the need to rename places in Los Santos in GTA III Era, because of their counterparts in Los Santos in GTA V. This may extend also to Liberty City (III and IV eras) and San Andreas (III and V eras).

Market, Los Santos refers to the GTA III Era rendition in GTA San Andreas. Simply using "Los Santos" in the name is not enough, as Los Santos in GTA V now exists. So our options are:

  • Market, Los Santos in GTA III Era
  • Market in Los Santos in GTA III Era
  • Market in GTA III Era

Personally, I'm torn between using "X , Y" for all area named (with X, Y in Z for a disambig), or keeping with our standard convention of "X" (then "X in Y" for disambig, or "X in Y in Z" where necessary). Thoughts? gboyers talk 22:39, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

As mentioned at this talk page, using a basic naming system in which the bracketed name of a game where a rendition of location is first featured is the only indicator ("'Location' ('specific game')") would fit the needs mentioned above. By using individual games to categorize articles, we minimize naming conflict as it is rarer for a name to be used more than once within a game, while "simplifying" article names. Using a city or county to distinguish different renditions of locations with the same name, for example, carries the risk of naming conflicts, but is permissible when a naming conflict manifests within a game (i.e. Los Santos' "Downtown" and San Fierro's "Downtown").
I still do not see how the use of brackets have any drawbacks; it's cuts the length of the article name, and makes piped links easier to do (compare typing "[[Los Santos (GTA SA)|]]" with "[[Los Santos in GTA San Andreas|Los Santos]]" or "[[Los Santos in GTA III Era|Los Santos]]" in order to crate a link to the relevant article).
Another problem with using "'Location' in 'specific game'" in comparison to "'Location' ('specific game')" is that the former specifically refers to a location as depicted in a game, disregarding further appearances of that rendition of the city in successive games. Parenthesis naming allows for ambiguity by eliminating specific prepositions and suggesting more than one meaning behind the article name, allowing an article to further support information about successive renditions of a location based on the original that was featured in the game mentioned in the article name.
As for using "era", at least for locations, no. "Eras" have by large been a made-up fan term that which importance as of late is now more dependent on being propped up by games within GTA3 canon (which still represent 6 games, a significant chunk of the series) to remain relevant (GTA2 is the only game within the "GTA2 era", GTA1 and GTA4 canon games only have 2/3 games under their designated "eras", and GTA5, which would logically fall under the "GTA5 era", is slated to share similar game mechanics as GTA4, and will even feature a couple of characters from GTA4). From a technical standpoint, the reuse of Liberty City as outlined by GTA3 and GTA4, and Vice City as outlined by GTAVC, are special cases where the developers did so primarily to save development time by recycling environments and characters than to expand on canons. While canon does have importance in discussions about storyline, it shouldn't dictate how we categorize article as canon is simply an by-product of decisions in game design. - ZS (talk|edits) 21:00, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the splits in canon are not hugely relevant to everyday gameplay or wiki use, so I don't think universes should be used except where we need to specifically refer to the entire set of canon (eg "Plot in HD Universe"). I acknowledge that the term era is artificial, but the grouping of games is not. All the GTA III Era games are more closely related than they are to any other game; the same goes for the 1 and IV eras. To me, that system is often the best way to group pages that cover the whole era. You're right that what is in an era varies (i.e, the things that are common to all the 1-era games are different to those that are common to the III-era or IV-era games), but I don't think that stops the system from working. You're right that the GTA III Era is massive and the GTA 2 era just consists of one game, but that doesn't stop the system from working.
I completely disagree that saying "in GTA III" (with or without parentheses) can cover GTA Liberty City Stories too. If we did that, it would be impossible to tell which pages refer to just GTA III, and which pages refer to both. I don't think "allowing for ambiguity" here is a good thing. Allowing for flexibility, by having a range of naming options available (game/era/universe), allows us to write good pages rather than be forced to write to a name and force content into an article that doesn't belong there (e.g. Missions in GTA III also covering LCS), or likewise separate content that should be together.
In some cases (definitely not all), it may be shorter to write your version (saying "GTA III" is shorter than "GTA III Era") - but usually it's not (compare to "GTA San Andreas" or LCS/VCS). Also, having an X in Y name allows users not to use piped links at all! They can just write "The Liberty Tree Building is a building in [[Liberty City in GTA III Era]]". Of course that can be improved on, but it's much easier than having to write "in [[Liberty City (GTA III Era)|Liberty City]] in [[GTA III Era]]" - both for new and experienced users. gboyers talk 21:48, 17 November 2012 (UTC)