Create a Table with IGDB API and R

The Internet Game Database has an API that allows you to access their rich set of video game information. Even better, there is an R package that makes requests for data Super easy.

Let’s get started by installing the IGDB package in R (you may need to update your version of R):

devtools::install_github("detroyejr/igdb")

Now that you have the package installed, we are almost ready to start requesting data. Before we get there, you will nee to have an API key, which requires you to setup an IGDB account. Fair compromise. Click “GET FREE KEY” on the documentation homepage to signup: https://igdb.github.io/api/.

And while you’re at it, be sure to read through the documentation so understand what type of information is available in the API and how to make basic calls. The documentation pages also provide handy examples.

Now that you’re setup, let’s store the API key so we can get access to the data. You can use the following code in R:

Sys.setenv("IGDB_KEY" = "[yourkeygoeshere]")

Now we are ready to play ball. The call below returns video games containing the term “mario” and orders them by release date, oldest to most recent. I’ve decided to bring back the following variables: ID, name of the game, release date, IGDB rating, and some popularity metric they have conceived. We can save it as “mario_games.”

mario_games <- igdb_games(
search = "mario",
order = "first_release_date:asc",
fields = c("id", "name", "first_release_date", "rating", "popularity")
)

One of the nice things about this is that the data comes back in a nicely formatted data frame which you view and confirm with these commands:

view(mario_games)
class(mario_games)

If for some reason yours does not, you should be able to transform it into a data frame, for easier analysis, using the as.data.frame base R function.

mario_games <- as.data.frame(mario_games)

Now you have a table for analysis or visualization at your disposal. Enjoy.

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