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The Wolfram|Alpha Team

Video Game Data Gets a “1-Up” from Wolfram|Alpha Volunteers

February 17, 2011 —
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Since the launch of Wolfram|Alpha Volunteer Central, we’ve been happy to work with volunteers to develop data in new areas. Today, we are showcasing the beginning of video game data, which was curated by Wolfram|Alpha volunteers.

Super Mario Bros. release date

Volunteers signed up to curate data on Volunteer Central, and those who were particularly gaming-inclined took to the web to research games such as Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil.

Final Fantasy developer

Using the new data, you can search for several classic and newer games and their release dates, developers, genres, ratings, and more.

Crazy Taxi platform

This is just the beginning of video game data development in Wolfram|Alpha, so if you’d like to get involved in this or other areas, head over to Volunteer Central and sign up now!

Thank you to all the volunteers who have contributed to video game data. We’re looking forward to sharing more volunteer-curated data with you soon!


After reading this blog, I just queried “Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right A B Start” and got nothing.Good easter egg candidate fi you’re releasing video game data.

Posted by Robert February 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I think it’d be awesome if Wolfram|Alpha partnered up with Giant Bomb ( which already has THE most comprehensive database of video game data. Furthermore: 1) All submissions of edits are moderated 2) They provide an API.

Dave Snider (designer at Whiskey Media, Giant Bomb’s parent company) wrote a post about the moderation of content:

Posted by Mikhail Popov February 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Where does the user contributed data come from, and how do they put it there. Having to signup to find out how it’s done, is not a nice experience.

Posted by desbest February 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Hi desbest,

    The user-contributed data comes from a variety of sources. We require that each volunteer inputs his or her sources into their project, and we review them upon completion. Projects are taken from a Dashboard within Volunteer Central, and users upload Excel files from a template once they are finished. For more information about the process for the volunteer curator program, please visit the FAQs here:

    Posted by The Wolfram|Alpha Team February 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

The game database over at is an impressive beasty, IIDSSMS. I’ve been working on it for pushing 15 years, so you might say it’s the original game database.

One thing we were keen to get right is the category/genre structure, and avoid the meaningless “action adventure” approach. We use a two-tier genres, with each title having up to three. Additionally we have separate identifiers for a game’s dimensionality (ie. 2d vs 3d) and the point of view taken by the “camera”. Release dates come direct from publishers, but are cross checked with distribution/retail to those occasions where the publishers mess up their schedules. We also tie up all release info with barcode & sku-specific cover art.

Posted by Gareth E February 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

This is awesome. The more W/A knows about, the more useful (and awesome) it is! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by V2Blast February 23, 2011 at 2:42 am

Some suggestion:

1. Adding the size of the game, and the estimate length of the game play.
2. Comparison between system specification. Ex: Playststion 1 Vs Nintendo Game Cube Vs Sega Dreamcast. Sega Genesis Vs. Super Nintendo, etc.
3. Historical price and current price of the game.
4. Some picture or a snapshoot of the game.
5. Cheat codes from
6. Etc.

Thanks !

Posted by gamers February 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I think this is one of the most reliable and accurate site’s for cheat codes that should added to W\A.

Posted by gamers February 24, 2011 at 8:44 pm