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GA ReviewEdit

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Reviewer: Rhododendrites (talk · contribs) 03:58, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Collapsing first review for simplicity, since so much changed. Feel free to undo this if you'd prefer it visible by default


  • Earwig returns some possible copyvios, but on closer inspection it looks like they're false positives, with a couple sources that pulled from Wikipedia. OK.
    I doubt that is going to be an issue. The text should be Wikipedia's own, and the primary image that is used for identification has a Fair Use tag. Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)


  • "owing it credit" reads awkward to me -- "giving it credit"? (why would the publication owe credit?)
  • "rise to fan theories" should be formulated either "rise in fan theories", but a rise from what? Probably just "noted fan theories".


  • The lead says it's freeware, but that's not in the rest of the article. As it was part of WEP3, I suspect it's not actually true except for the updated version released years later.
    I removed the mention of it as freeware in the sense that it could also falsely imply that WEP was freeware. Does it still count to categorize this article with Category:Freeware games? Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    WP:CATV. --Izno (talk) 21:31, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    Right, I see. If it is not in the body of the article, it should not be categorized as such. As a matter of fact, at "updated version is available on his official SkiFree website for free", it does hint that the standalone updated version of SkiFree is freeware. Because of that, I think the categorization can stay in the article, right? Gamingforfun365 01:25, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I only see one source that calls it a "killer app," which doesn't seem like it justifies that term in the lead -- at very least not unattributed.
    Removed the "killer app" mention from the lead. Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • The emphasis on how it's "remembered" is addressed below re: broadness.

Citations and reference qualityEdit

  • The sources themselves look reliable enough -- mainstream publications for video games.
    I took the time to review the available sources, included a handful of such publications, and removed one (WhatCulture) or some that we consider unreliable or otherwise inappropriate. Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • The sources in the gameplay section don't look to verify what they're cited for. E.g. none of them even use the word "slalom" as far as I can tell.
    This is one of those dilemmas that I had to figure out how to solve. From searching all over the Internet and on Internet Archive, I was only able to find sources that covered some of the gameplay. On top of that, there are external links to the game: one on Chris Pirih's website and the other as a playable Internet Archive entry, and the sources do link to the former. Maybe I should have used those links instead. Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • "ported version for the original Macintosh". -- the source only says "SkiFree eventually came to Game Boy Color and Mac".
    I removed the "original" part, and it does seem odd that they would port it on an old Macintosh and not on the latest and more powerful build. I tried to find the release date for the Macintosh port on Google, Bing, and Internet Archive, and I tried and tried and tried, but every time I did, the only results I can get are, "SkiFree was ported onto the Mac." Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't see a source for "second version of the game, but it was abandoned..."
    Another dilemma that I had to solve. I figured that since the source for the paragraph cited Chris Pirih's website for the game and that website (and the link to the game on Internet Archive) is added in the "External links" section, I did not need to use the primary source. Well, I did not until I saw this. I was not able to find a secondary source that covered that part, so does that mean that I can use Chris Pirih's website as a source and not just an external link? Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • If we don't have an article for Computer Power Magazine, there's no need to link it.
  • I presume the "Classic Play, No Pay" article isn't available online? The line it's being used to support uses language I'd expect to be in quotes or written more neutrally ("most cherished").
    As far as I am aware, it is a printed article only. Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • "Cult status" should have a citation.
    Reworded to remove the challengeable material. Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • "cheating to accelerate" - this is false. it's a game feature that's considered by some to be cheating, according to the source.
    Deleted the mention of cheating. Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)


  • I think I'm going to pause here, because this is a big issue. 9 sources for a game as well known as this seems awfully thin. More importantly, here we have a game from 1991, and sources that date back only as far as 2010 (!). The article is entirely framed as a retrospective (how it's "remembered" for example). SkiFree was an extremely well-known game, and I'd expect there to be reviews of it along with the WEP, independently, reviews of the various pre-2010 versions, etc. Sorry to say, but while I enjoyed reading this article and appreciate the enthusiasm for the title, I'm inclined to fail this. I'll leave it open for a couple days, though, in case someone expresses that they will be substantially expanding the sourcing/article in the near future such that postponing closure would be preferable to renominating.

Pausing for now as per the above. Pinging the nominator, Gamingforfun365. Leaving this pending for now. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 04:43, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for your review on this classic Microsoft game. I spent weeks of researching to find any information that could be used in this encyclopedic entry. That said, I take it seriously when I submit work only to find out that there are numerous flaws in it, as that implies that I do not care about ensuring quality and that I am only submitting flimsy work (I found that out the hard way years ago at Video game controversies, where I actually had to work on the article and not nominate it simply because it looks "great").
Anyway, I started improving the article again according to this GA review, and as you can see, I left my comments for some of the issues above and crossed out the ones that I already completed. You may get the idea that some of my above comments express my difficulty in finding the sources. It is because it was difficult for me to find the sources that would make this game more complete, and it is surprising that I found minimal coverage for this undeniably popular game. I used all the sources that I could find on Google, Bing, and Internet Archive suitable for the article, and I think you can tell that I feel discouraged from searching via those methods again because I have a strong feeling that I would game the exact same results as last time. I noticed that you said that there should be reviews for WEP3 that also cover SkiFree. That gives me something to work on, and I will search Internet Archive or elsewhere and find old reviews of WEP3 in the near future (today or tomorrow) . Other than that, I am left with only one question: is there any way besides the search engines and Internet Archive that you recommend that I use to find older sources on SkiFree? The search engines and stink when it comes to finding anything about this famous title, and I agree with you that it deserves better. Gamingforfun365 17:53, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
Here is what I got yesterday: while searching the Internet Archive, I was able to find two 1990s sources that may be helpful in expanding the article. The second source listed below contains a press release of Microsoft shipping WEP volumes 2 and 3 (along with the latter SkiFree) in October 1991. It also contains information that says that the game is compatible with DOS, specifically 3.1 and later. I will add that to the article and categorize the article as "Category:DOS games" shortly. The first source listed is a review for WEP volumes 2 and 3 by Richard Mansfield. It does not say much about SkiFree, nor does it list the title as the best of the packs, rather describing it as a "rather simple skiing simulation". However, it does describe this (and the rest of the games) as "sure to please somebody", and compliments the games' use of effects that "show off the visual beauty that [Windows 3] can bring to a computer." I may face obstacles when figuring out how I should add this in Reception since so far it is the only pre-2000 review that I could find, but I think I can add a paragraph that states the source's opinions only, at least for the moment. The second source I should have no problem with.
  • Mansfield, Richard (March–April 1992). "Microsoft Entertainment Pack, Volumes 2 and 3". Game Player's PC Entertainment. Vol. 5 no. 2. GP Publications. p. 70.
  • "Microsoft Entertainment Packs for Windows". The Computer Paper. Vol. 4 no. 11. Canada Computer Paper. November 1991. p. 49.
Gamingforfun365 20:07, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

@Gamingforfun365: Thanks for your efforts. You may have seen that I also posted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Video games. As it seems most disagree with me, I'll go ahead with the rest of the review in the next few days. (Just a heads up -- sorry for the delay). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 04:02, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

@Rhododendrites: Thanks for the comment. I did indeed read your post at the Video Games WikiProject. I do have thing to say:
First of all, when I look back at nominating SkiFree for GA, I think I should have nominated this for the A-class instead, because I do not think I realized how much energy I had for this subject. I think part of it is because I expressed trouble with finding more sources, which made me want to keep searching.
And secondly, I had not thought of the A-class when nominating this article (I knew little about that class anyway), so that did not help either.
The article has changed drastically since you gave your review. I added a screenshot of the game and another image of the icon for SkiFree and will soon add another for VAX Ski under History (since the source code for the text-based game is open), and I greatly expanded the History and Reception sections. You may want to review the article again, at least the parts that have been changed. Fortunately, you are more likely than before to think that this is closer to GA, and perhaps closer to the A-class. I made it this far, and I would like to finish. Gamingforfun365 18:45, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
@Gamingforfun365: Sorry for the delay on my part, though it looks like you're still actively working on the article. Could you ping me when you're done? I'll just go ahead and start the review over, basically. Like you said, it's very different than it was before. Thanks for continuing to work on it. As for A-class, I don't believe WikiProject Video Games uses A-Class. Only a few WikiProjects do these days. Military history is one that comes to mind. For everyone else, its role has basically been taken over by GA. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:38, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
@Rhododentrites: Okay, it is ready. I spent my time cleaning up this article and sourcing it. I did not know that the A-class is only sometimes used, so I had nothing to worry about. However, there is still a chance that I may nominate this as a featured article candidate. I am that positive that I found everything relevant to the article's subject. Gamingforfun365 20:58, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

Reviewing part 2Edit

Ok. Coming back to this after a while. Since the article is, as pointed out above, much different from when I started, I'm going to start from the beginning, taking into account the various responses above, which can be considered moot/resolved at this point. Thanks for your patience. In the process, I've made some minor copyedits. Feel free to undo if you don't think they're an improvement. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 00:52, 24 May 2019 (UTC)


  • is it worth specifying which version of Windows?
  • Don't know if it's necessary to set out that only one reviewer mentioned how it demonstrated Windows' visual capabilities. The sentence as is reads kind of awkwardly. Gave it a copyedit.
  • A very brief summary of the remakes are probably worth including in the lead.
  • It is a simple game in which... I'm butting in to ask if this is necessary to mention. The game's simplicity is mentioned again in a more objective way in critics focusing on its simplicity.--Megaman en m (talk) 15:22, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Megaman en m: That's a good point. It stuck out when I first read it, but I guess I moved passed it when I saw that multiple sources did comment on its simplicity. It's true we don't need it mentioned twice. I've removed it. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 22:54, 10 June 2019 (UTC)


  • The two images are creating a MOS:SANDWICH on my monitor. It looks like there's room on the right for both?
  • players attempt to complete with... - add what's completed (e.g. "to complete the run...")
  • The sentence starting In slalom reads a bit unclear. Something about the "compete with" and the description of the flags.
  • players ski ... on ramps - jumping off ramps more than skiing on ramps, no?
  • smashing - colliding?
  • heads past - passes


  • Since the sentence starting Chris Pirih was a mid-level... directly cites his website, it should have a citation at the end of that sentence.
  • Not sure how best to handle More information on VAX Ski and WinSki, which seems like refs tacked into another ref. If they're useful for the article, we might as well use them as refs?
  • Probably best to just put the text-based game before WinSki rather than talking about it through WinSki?
  • to demonstrate Windows 3's attempt in being a functional operating system by giving players the ability to try to exploit the game - is there a way to word this more clearly?
There is. I paraphrased it and made it more concise. I hope that's enough. Gamingforfun365 21:00, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
  • to deride the idea of useful time expenditure - not sure what this means -- sentence could probably use a rewrite?
Deleted. Gamingforfun365 21:00, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Pirih allowed Microsoft... - run on sentence. can probably just break it up before "in October"
  • also distributed - does this mean the previous sentence about shipping MEPs 2 and 3 was shipping them with Windows 3 (i.e. bundled)? Otherwise, what is the "also" in addition to? As in Microsoft sold it as-is, and Verbatim sold it with a bunch of floppies?
Deleted the "also". Gamingforfun365 21:00, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Sales figures should probably be in the reception section.
  • There are a lot of rereleases and ports. Maybe best to give them their own section (or subsection)? What do you think?
  • the company's Tommy - do we know Tommy's role?
According to GearSprout's website, Tommy is one of the company's co-founders. Is it relevant to mention his role, or should I just change the sentence to "...interview with the company, GearSprout contacted..."? Gamingforfun365 21:00, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
  • There's a sentence referencing something specific someone said in an interview, so we should probably include a cite there.
  • The sentence starting Microsoft responded ... has a direct quote so needs an inline cite there. A little more explanation would be useful, too, I think, with regard to the name change/trademark.


  • It's a little concerning that nearly all of the first paragraph seems to be about MEPs rather than SkiFree, but I suppose the quotes are generalized to all of the games. Part of the difficulty of writing about "packs," I suppose.
As much as I can recall, I find it unfortunate that typing in "skifree review", "skifree review windows", and the like on, and it would return either MEP 2/3 reviews alluding to SkiFree, retrospective articles or reviews about that game, or one of those old advertisements for Windows Home Essentials bundled with MEP 3 (I just searched again, and I got more or less the same results). I agree it is concerning. Gamingforfun365 21:00, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The sentence In his 1992 review... has a quote so the cite should probably appear there, too.
  • Lisa Foiles of The Escapist ranked it #1 on their list - Does Lisa Foiles use the pronoun "they"? Should it be "her"? (or "its" if it refers to The Escapist)?


  • The 2600 game is linked in the text, so can be removed from see also (with the section header).
  • The note from the infobox should have a citation.

Thanks for your efforts to improve the article. Nothing super major in the bulletpoints above. Sorry again for the wait. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 00:52, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Just a ping: Gamingforfun365. Thanks for your patience. :) — Rhododendrites talk \\ 00:55, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
I have been editing the article as suggested and crossing out what is done. I have a few comments and questions above, however. Gamingforfun365 21:00, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
Great. Thanks. I'll just list the things that still remain below:
  • Not sure how best to handle More information on VAX Ski and WinSki, which seems like refs tacked into another ref. If they're useful for the article, we might as well use them as refs?
  • Probably best to just put the text-based game before WinSki rather than talking about it through WinSki?
Mostly set otherwise. I did make a couple copyedits addressing a couple things above. The most significant change was to move the "productivity" business to the reception section. I realized that source didn't verify the line about the mushrooms and yellow snow, etc. so I left a cn tag in its place.
Just about there... — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:46, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
I am relatively optimistic now. I think I finished the two you listed, and if there is anything left that needs to be addressed, I will fix that. Given the limited reporting on the subject, this article is one of the hardest I have done as of yet. That said, I have lost the nerve to help upgrade it to FA (which I have never done before), and I am working elsewhere on this website. I still have the nerve to fix any issues that may remain in this article. Gamingforfun365 17:59, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. @Gamingforfun365: Something about those history paragraphs didn't read well to me. I had a go at reworking them. Take a look. I think this is ready to be promoted, but since that was a non-trivial change I want to make sure you're ok with it first. IMO whereas most articles can be GAs, there's typically a desire for there to be more solid sourcing for an article to be considered for FA. Might be worth asking at WT:FAC, though -- I'm not terribly experienced with FAC myself. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 04:14, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Just a heads up that I plan to close this as promoted in a couple days if no response/objections. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 22:55, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  DoneRhododendrites talk \\ 21:06, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
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