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Old Apr 23, 2020, 07:54 PM
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Secret Squirrel Secret Squirrel is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cleveland, OH
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Default Formalization of VGMdb Scope.

VGMdb's scope has been an often-debated topic since its inception. While we began as a database for video game music, that quickly expanded in 2009 when we reformulated as "The Music of Visual Arts and Games." The reason for the rebranding was because our love of game music crossed over into adjacent genres, particularly anime and manga. The last decade has seen continual friction over what "visual arts" really mean, and what albums are eligible. This was additionally hampered by a set of rules that were difficult to find, enforce, or even explain. In addition, our interests and coverage have expanded organically over the years, but this hasn't officially been addressed Given these circumstances, we were long overdue for a formalization of our scope.

The following is the first candidate of the new scope for public comment. I plan to leave this open until discussion ends, incorporate any needed changes, then announce it on the front page. I expect maybe a week for this process.

The overall effect of this re-scoping is a major expansion of what is officially eligible here. This is countered with 1) tighter guidelines on who is allowed to submit in these areas, and 2) expansion of the site-filters to artist and calendar pages (and possibly to product pages in the future) so that you only see the content that interests you.


Category 1 - Albums related to Primary Visual Arts

  • Music from console, computer, handheld, cabinet, slot, tabletop.
  • Official and unofficial arrangements of the above.
  • Albums related to products spun off from the game series.
  • Chiptune and derivative works.
  • Example1, Example2, Example3, Example4
Japanese-style Animation (Anime)Western-style Animation
  • Mostly soundtrack and vocals exist for these.
  • Traditional animation, but can include mixed live actor and animation.
  • CGI animation, but not when mixed with live-actors.
  • Example1, Example2, Example3
All users are permitted to submit in these categories.
One track from a game or anime is enough for eligibility.

Category 2 - Albums related to Secondary Visual Arts

General Doujin sceneManga
  • Image/Character/Vocal/Talk Albums
  • Light Novels
  • Radio Show
  • Movie/TV spinoff soundtracks
  • Movie spinoff of Western comics generally not eligible (category 4).
  • Example1, Example2
Idol-based Multimedia Franchises
  • Fictional Japanese multi-media idol groups that span genres.
  • Example1, Example2
Non-Traditional Animation
  • Covers non-traditional animation styles like clay-mation, stop-motion, silhouette, cut-out, etc.
  • Example1, Example2
Live-Action Visual Arts
  • Music from certain live-action works that include storytelling with stylized or abstract costumed characters.
  • Eligibility includes Tokusatsu, puppetry, and some kinds of old children's programming.
  • Obviously, everything is a visual art, but this category highlights selected ones that are 1) not covered comprehensively elsewhere, and 2) adjacent to our other interests here.
  • Example1, Example2
Audio Dramas
  • Audio drama series featuring illustrated characters.
  • Example1
  • Music produced for an event by the organizers, such as themed goods for conferences, performances and and tournaments
  • Eligible events should be related to visual arts.
  • Example1
Only experienced users should submit these. If a submission is poor, it will probably be deleted, particularly for the live-action stuff.
Do not submit large numbers of these if you are not a Trusted Editor or on Staff.

Category 3 - Albums that fill Composer/Arranger Discographies

If an artist has a composer or arranger credit for BGM in a Primary Visual Art (Category 1), then any album on which they are credited in any role is eligible provided it is not in the Forbidden Albums set (Category 4).
The old subjective "ratio" rule will no longer apply.

All users are permitted to submit these, but if submission is poor, it may be deleted rather than fixed.
Do not submit large numbers of these if you are not a Trusted Editor or on Staff.
Artists with only Lyricist or Performer roles in a Primary Visual Art are generally not eligible.
If you submit an album in this category, please post in the album's discussion thread the name of one artist whose discography it fills and a VGMDB link of the album on which they have a Composer or Arranger credit for BGM in a game or animation. (You can post a name and a url with info if there are no albums in the database.)

Category 4 - Forbidden Albums

Mainstream western music.
  • Including rock, rap, indie, alternative, country, jazz, classical, and many other genres.
Mainstream western film/tv soundtracks.
  • Same here.
No user should submit any album in this category UNLESS the submission is already eligible as a Primary Visual Art (Category 1).
This mainly means that composer discographies will have certain holes, but those albums are covered in detail by other databases.
On rare occasion, staff may submit certain Category 2 and Category 3 eligible albums here.
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