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Wikipedia and the History of Gaming

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the citation-needed dept.

Wikipedia 240

Wired is running a story about Wikipedia's tremendous contribution to documenting the history of video games, and why it shouldn't necessarily be relied upon. Quoting: "Wikipedia requires reliable, third-party sources for content to stick, and most of the sites that covered MUDs throughout the ’80s were user-generated, heavily specialized or buried deep within forums, user groups and newsletters. Despite their mammoth influence on the current gaming landscape, their insular communities were rarely explored by a nascent games journalist crowd. ... while cataloging gaming history is a vitally important move for this culture or art form, and Wikipedia makes a very valiant contribution, the site can’t be held accountable as the singular destination for gaming archeology. But as it’s often treated as one, due care must be paid to the site to ensure that its recollection doesn’t become clouded or irresponsible, and to ensure its coalition of editors and administrators are not using its stringent rule set to sweep anything as vitally relevant as MUDS under the rug of history."

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then? (1)

papabob (1211684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938036)

Supose I create a wiki entry with info about an old and obscure game from the 80s. As Wikipedia is not primary source I add references from an obscure forum. Let say 5 years from now the forum is dead and no other info can be found. What you would do with my entry? would you preserve it because is actual info (althought unconfirmable)? would you delete it?

Re:then? (1, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938046)

I would hope it would be deleted immediately. Forums are not reputable sources, and old/obscure games are not notable.

Re:then? (5, Insightful)

mvar (1386987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938204)

and old/obscure games are not notable.

a pottery bowl wasn't notable 2000 years ago but now we show them off in museums

Re:then? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938400)

and old/obscure games are not notable. a pottery bowl wasn't notable 2000 years ago but now we show them off in museums

Yo mama isn't notable but we show her off in street corners.

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938750)

i don't think anyone in a museum in 2000 years is going to give a fuck about some shitty pacman clone you bought for your dragon 32

Re:lol (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938846)

And 2000 years ago nobody thought anyone in a museum in 2000 years would give a fuck about their shitty beer mug.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34939214)

seriously, that's your retort? ok, let's assume we're talking about a shitty pacman clone for the dragon 32. now let's assume we're a museum owner in the year 3000 and someone donates a copy of it.

"gee, thanks. what's this?"

"it's a shitty pacman clone for the dragon 32 that no-one's ever heard of!"

"oh. well, we've got copies of pacman coming out of our arse. we've got broken old dragon 32s coming out of our arse. we've even got copies of clones and pallatte swaps for every major gaming system of the 1980s. why would we want this?"

"because it's a shitty pacman clone for the dragon 32 that no-one had ever heard of!"

"we've already got a version of pacman for the dragon 32. no-one looks at it because no-one gives a fuck about shitty pacman clones when we've got non-shitty clones and the atari original. no-one even really gives a shit about the dragon 32."

"but it's a shitty pacman clone for the dragon 32 that no-one has ever heard of!"

"please leave or i'll summon security."

Re:lol (4, Informative)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939638)

Only in Wikipedia do you have administrators [wikipedia.org] outright declare that the actual games which *ARE* the game bundle itself (The Humble Indie Bundle [slashdot.org] -> the subject of the Wikipedia article) to be of low importance and distracting to the article [wikipedia.org] .

Re:then? (3, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938796)

Only because so few of them remain. If every bowl made in the last 2000 years still existed in tact, nobody would put them in museums. Similarly, preserving every game, regardless of merit or noteworthiness devalues all games.

Re:then? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939012)

So in order to increase the value of games we should destroy most of the game makers..

Can we start with EA?

Re:then? (1)

Veinor (871770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939266)

yeah, but nobody writes a wikipedia article about a specific pottery bowl. people write articles about ancient chinese pottery.

Re:then? (3, Insightful)

nem75 (952737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939494)

The pottery bowl represents probably about 0.0001% of the items that were available during its given century of origin. Most of the other items from that specific time frame are not known to us anymore. As soon as the obscure game is the only game known from its time, it will be notable. Which probably needs some milleniae to pass and knowledge about our civilization to disappear almost completely, before the game is rediscovered. But not necessarily.

Its not primarily about age, its about how much is known about a decade/century/era in general. If 2000 years pass and about all computer games from the 80s are still known by then, the obscure game will still be ... well, obscure. And only marginally more notable than it is today.

Re:then? (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938212)

old/obscure games are not notable

Why not? Do they have to be both old and obscure to not be notable, or simply one or the other? There are many obscure games that have notable qualities for things like being the first in some genre, or first to implement some now well known concept.

What about this article on "Computer Space" [wikipedia.org] . I'd never even heard of this game until right now, but it was the world's first coin operated video game. I think that's pretty notable. What about Karate Champ [wikipedia.org] ? I found it on Wikipedia last week after someone mentioned the developer here on Slashdot. I'd never heard of this game, but it was the first ever side view beat'em up. Again, I think that's pretty notable.

You might not be interested in gaming history, but a lot of people are, and will be.

Re:then? (2)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938268)

"it was the first ever side view beat'em up"

That's according to Wikipedia. Also according to Wikipedia, another side-view beat-em-up preceeded it by eight years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavyweight_Champ [wikipedia.org]

Re:then? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938392)

Oops, that's what I get for going by memory. The Karate Champ article does say it's only "has been believed to be" the first side view beat'em up, but somehow it still stuck in my head as that.

I even read the HeavyWeight champ stub last week too, but I guess this part caused me to kind of mentally discard it, especially since it was controlled by boxing gloves rather than a controller, so the characters probably couldn't move and therefore it wasn't what we'd think of as a modern beat'em up, it it sounds more akin to Wii Boxing than Streetfighter II Turbo Mega Star Wars Remix HD Edition Hyper Alpha Centauri.

Critics have since identified it as the first game to feature hand to hand fighting, although it had no real influence on subsequent fighting games.[1][2]

Re:then? (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939118)

From the article on wikipedia:

" ... Critics have since identified it as the first game to feature hand to hand fighting ... "

It mentions nothing about side view.

Re:then? (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938340)

The "not notable" argument is bullshit anyway. When Wikipedia started one of the main principals was that "Wikipedia is not paper", i.e. there is no limit to the amount of information and relevant material should never be removed on the grounds of brevity or it not being notable enough. Somewhere along the lone the deletionists got that changed and started burning articles as fast as they could.

I can see no reason why Wikipedia should not have an article on almost any subject, no matter how obscure, so long as there is reasonable reference material to base it on. First hand accounts by those involved who went on to write web sites should be permissible when they do not appear biased. Editors have to decide on that, not just make up absolute rules and use them to diminish Wikipedia.

Re:then? (1)

mvar (1386987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938496)

I can see no reason why Wikipedia should not have an article on almost any subject, no matter how obscure, so long as there is reasonable reference material to base it on.

Correct. Wikipedia is a great opportunity to gather all human knowledge in one, accessible from everyone, place. It sounds (and probably is) impossible, there are lots of flaws in the current system, but one can only hope (and try) for the better.

Re:then? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938854)

The reason for the notability requirement is because otherwise the good information gets lost in the chaff of articles for everybody's local chess club or WOW guild or band they formed with their high school friends that lasted for about a week before everybody lost interest after their dad said they couldn't practice in his garage anymore because he needs to put the car back in.

There's the rest of the internet for that crap.

Re:then? (5, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938942)

Nobody is accessing Wikipedia by looking at an index of all the pages it contains, but by using search and search doesn't care if there are millions of other unrelated pages around.

And no, the "rest of the internet" is not the solution, people go to Wikipedia because they want a consistent interface, NPOV, references and all those other qualities that the rest of the internet does generally not provide.

Re:then? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939606)

people go to Wikipedia because they want a consistent interface, NPOV, references and all those other qualities that the rest of the internet does generally not provide.

And none of those features (except the interface, obviously) happen with non-notable topics.

Re:then? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939206)

The reason for the notability requirement is because otherwise the good information gets lost in the chaff of articles for everybody's local chess club or WOW guild or band they formed with their high school friends that lasted for about a week before everybody lost interest after their dad said they couldn't practice in his garage anymore because he needs to put the car back in.

And in what way would the supposed "good information" get lost? Is the wiki search going to stop returning results just because there are 10000 junk articles?

Re:then? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939218)

The reason for the notability requirement is because otherwise the good information gets lost in the chaff of articles

"Lost"? There are billions of webpages on the Internet, more every day, and yet none of the pages I want to access get "lost". You see only one page at a time. It doesn't get squashed if there are 10 million other articles on the same server.

Re:then? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939624)

It gets lost because having an article on Wikipedia is no longer a sign that the topic is notable.

Re:then? (3, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939044)

You clearly aren't involved with wikipedia. Anyone who is remotely involved in anti-vandalism and article clean-up knows how much crap people try to shovel into wikipedia on a daily basis. I mean, besides the obvious trolls and vandals who add all sorts of puerile comments to articles, there is a constant barrage of articles being created on all sorts of absurd subjects, such as spam articles on small irrelevant companies which have just been founded, local wannabe models who managed to pay a semi-professional photographer to take a couple of amateurish photos of them, garage bands which were created last week by a set of teens that don't even own any instruments, etc etc etc...

And these are only a few examples of the obvious, clear cut trash which popped into wikipedia in the couple of minutes it took me to write this post. Now, extrapolate that to any time frame you wish to imagine. Imagine how much crap that amounts.

Another thing that you fail to understand is that there isn't a horde of meanies who are single-handedly deleting articles off of wikipedia. Wikipedia established a long time ago a democratic process. A user cannot delete articles. The only thing a user can do is nominate an article for deletion. Then, the fate of that article is decided after a week-long discussion among users, who vote on what to do with the article. There is no "deletionist" policy, only discussion among peers to decide what to do with articles covering all sorts of questionable issues. Have any doubt? Then look for yourself and discover Wikipedia's process to delete articles [wikipedia.org] . You only need a valid account to vote, so put your money where your mouth is.

On top of that, people like you must understand what would wikipedia's fate be if the community didn't imposed some sort of filter on the changes being committed to their articles. To put it quite bluntly, wikipedia would be the new geocities, where 95% of the pages were filled with complete crap. This sort of criticism targetted at how wikipedia's community manages wikipedia's articles boils down to the belief that no one should ever touch your pet article, no matter the intention and no matter how absurd it may be. And that is no way to manage a knowledge repository which some people try to make it to be useful enough as a reference.

Re:then? (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938358)

and don't even get started on what get its own page in Wikipedia. Their editors are more than a bit fickle. One growing issue is the apparent changing of how they handle hybrid cars. Apparently someone got their panties into a bunch and has declared what hybrid/alternative fuel vehicles deserve their own page and which ones do not, see the related article at http://green.autoblog.com/2011/01/19/electric-car-pages-on-wikipedia-in-danger-of-disappearing/ [autoblog.com]

Anime characters, episodes of such series, music artists, individual songs, all those things have warranted their own pages. It all comes down to, which editor did you run afoul of and how good of week did they have.

Re:then? (2)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938420)

Obscure to you, perhaps, but anyone who went to arcades in the 80s definitely saw Karate Champ.

Re:then? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938606)

What does that have to do with anything? I was 1 year old when it was brought out, so it's both old and obscure to me, yet I still think it has value and a place in Wikipedia.

In 100 years, very few people will have ever seen an original Karate Champ arcade. Does that mean it should be deleted from Wikipedia or a similar resource? Or is it all the more reason to keep a record of it?

Re:then? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938876)

But it already in Wikipedia, so your argument makes no sense.

Re:then? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939036)

Do you really think wikipedia will be around in 100 years?

I'm betting it fades into obscurity in 25 years.

Re:then? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938616)

I didn't. I was too busy playing Donkey Kong.

Re:then? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938832)

Not sure what point you are trying to make since the two games you mention both have Wikipedia articles (that you link to) because they are notable. Just because you, personally, hadn't heard of them before doesn't impact their notability.

So what's your point? Should every piece of Wii shovelware have an article?

Re:then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34939170)

Hey Computer Space was cool game, as well as karate Champ. I lived the progression of coin-op video games and have seen my share of the good, the bad and the forgetable. Similarly home consoles, i.e. Atari 2600, Coleco, up through today. Same with PC games. Its good to have some historical information to how the video game has changed over the years.

Re:then? (3, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938294)

Many obscure games have been highly influential. The entire rogue-like genre is obscure, but has been extremely influential in games like Diablo.

Re:then? (5, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938350)

Here we go again.

Wikipedia is problematic beyond problematic. Want to know why? Here's a transcript of a Jason Scott presentation [cow.net] that goes over a lot of it.

The short version is: Wikipedia as it exists today is an insular, closed circle-jerk operation. Even good contributions and spelling corrections are apt to be "reverted" by a legion of people who are using semi-automated tools to up their "edit count", because the prime metric for becoming an "admin" is a stupid-high edit count that an actual writer could never reach in 10 years, and they don't give a crap how you got there.

Once you get to be an "admin", basically anything goes. That's when you start entertaining offers to be the protecting force for groups of people who create politics, that's when you start being verbally obtuse if not outright abusive towards any new editors, and that's where the whole system falls apart. Want to try to repair an article, add links? Ok, but now you have to speak 18 categories of acronyms, you have to be online 24/7 to instantly respond to "questions" that can be posed in a dozen or more possible places ranging from your talk page, other editors talk pages, article talkpage, "related" article talkpages, various "admin" forums, two or three email forums, and on and on. You have to master an entire subset of "how to write a citation" code rather than sticking a link at the end of the line, because otherwise some ass-hat will revert you and claim you're spamming.

It's a mess. It's a mess because Wikipedia is not, and never will be, an accurate encyclopedia. Wikipedia is just the latest in the MUD/MMORPG line of games where a bunch of assholes grind time, gain "XP" (aka "edit count"), and once they get powerful enough and get the "admin" hat, spend most of their day griefing [wired.com] incoming players and claiming it's "thinning the herd", "fun", or "protecting the encyclopedia."

Re:then? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939212)

So, so true... Why I never have modpoints when I actually find a good reason to use them ...

Re:then? (2, Interesting)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939294)

Wikipedia has flaws, but you're better off finding real, sane discussion of those flaws than listening to a rabid troll. Jason Scott makes stuff up. He did it with much of his BBS "history", and he's making it up here. He has a grudge against Wikipedia because he brought his pairing of grand ego and crazy to the project, and could not handle when people disagreed with him on topics he tried to own. He then left in a huff, and was angry when his attempts to remove the contributions he made (under the regular open license) failed.

His attacks are personal, and not much connected to reality. You should steer clear of him, both on Wikipedia and on any other topic he might decide he's an expert on tomorrow.

Re:then? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939416)

[quote]It's a mess. It's a mess because Wikipedia is not, and never will be, an accurate encyclopedia. Wikipedia is just the latest in the MUD/MMORPG line of games where a bunch of assholes grind time, gain "XP" (aka "edit count"), and once they get powerful enough and get the "admin" hat, spend most of their day griefing [wired.com] incoming players and claiming it's "thinning the herd", "fun", or "protecting the encyclopedia."[/quote]

That's exactly what the deletionists strike me as, griefers. And they get to claim oh, it's about not being dicks themselves but are simply upholding the law. *smirk*

I think that there should be something like a karma system and positive contributions (adding content) should add to it and deletes should remove from it while reverts are completely neutral up to a certain point.

The problem with any sort of human system is where it becomes meta-gaming, no longer about the established purpose of whatever you're involved in but politicking and epeen stroking. You see this fucking everywhere from churches to non-profit volunteer projects to work etc etc etc. Nevermind what we're trying to accomplish here, I'm really about empire-building. What kind of fucking empire are you building in an animal rescue non-profit? My empire. *smirk*

Re:then? (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938472)

"old/obscure games are not notable"

Think so? There's more. From the summary: "as vitally relevant as MUDS." If an old game is "vitally relevant," then those gamers really do need to get a life.

Re:then? (2)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939540)

Vitally relevant to that particular field, the study of game history and game development. I don't think anyone - except perhaps you - was under the impression that the author was actually suggesting MUDS are vitally relevant in a universal sense.

When it comes to current game design, actually, MUDS *are* quite relevant. There were a LOT of MUDS out there, and they were generally very easy to modify by anyone with a very slight amount of technical skill and interest in game design and development. As a result, you wound up with an amazing amount of variety in game mechanics and attempts at implementing some ideas that were way way way ahead of their time. Of course there was a lot of crap, too, but that's no different than any other field.

Even better, MUDS were *cheap* to make and modify - so you had people who might have the interest and ability working on them but didn't need a ton of funding, so you had lots of creative and interesting ideas. Unfortunately, the recent shift to emphasizing production values over gameplay has really made it difficult for people to both create new and interesting ideas using the (relatively decent) open source MMO project software out there and to attract fans.

I dare say that of any MMO out there now, or that will come out in the next 10 years, for any feature that they care to claim is new or groundbreaking, I could find a MUD that had something similar 10-20 years ago.

That kind of influence on an industry this size is pretty much the definition of "vitally relevant."

Re:then? (2)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938558)

Forums are not reputable sources

Yet Gartner is allowable to wikipedia or any uninformed computer magazine that slashdot would laugh at. Shows how great wikipedia is really, their rules are nonsense.

Re:then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34939008)

No need to be a douchebag about it.

Jerks now are Insightful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34939168)

Who moderated this jerk as Insightful? His friends? The great thing about Wikipedia is exactly they have content about varied things, no matter how "obscure" they are.

Re:then? (1)

AndrewGOO9 (1251062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939728)

old/obscure games are not notable.

Citation needed.

Re:then? (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938048)

There are some references on Wikipedia into the internet archive [archive.org] , also known as the "way back machine". If your site was archived there I think editors would attempt to change references to this record. If it was completely gone I think it would probably be preserved with a "citation needed" tag.

Re:then? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939532)

That's hilarious! My old Quake site, the Springfield Fragfest, is in the wayback machine, and most of what I posted was parody and fiction about the various players and web sites in the community. And there were others that did the same thing. I remember one post I made that had one guy's shambler pissing on his couch. "Kneel" Harriot's site Yello There had my grandmother living under his porch.

I should dig some of those old posts out and rerun them as slashdot journals...

Re:then? (2, Interesting)

6031769 (829845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938080)

If it is of importance to you, why not create a page on your own site which is entirely under your own control and there you can state all your opinions as well as facts with or without citations. If you like you could then create a wikipedia stub which could reference your own page. It's then up to the wikiguardians to decide if the wiki page is appropriate, etc.

Wikipedia is useful, but it's not the be all and end all of information resources on the web.

Re:then? (3, Interesting)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938348)

This is an interesting variant of 'if you think his music is so bad, why don't you make your own?'.

The reason he can't is because that would make him a nutty man. The point of Wikipedia is that it combines the efforts of hundreds of nutty men to generate credibility.

Re:then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938740)

I don't envy the job of the Wiki editors at all, though - the problem is they can't have a page for literally everything (or you'd end up with pages such as "My dream last night, it had lolcats"). The only easy way to determine if a subject should have a page is by number of interested parties. Seemingly pointless things like anime characters have lots of interested parties, so they get pages. Other things that might seem more notable prima facie, such as the first MUD to implement functionality X, but was only played by 50 people and only remembered by 5 of them might not get a page, not because it's of less import but because it's of less weight. It's not ideal, but Wikipedia's funding is not unlimited for all its grand "we are not a paper product, therefore we can hold all of man's knowledge" ideals - you have to have some practical cut off points both to make it financially viable but also to make the information useful (if nobody can find anything there's no point indexing it). If you feel strongly enough about a subject then there are forums on Wikipedia for the discussion of just this. If enough people feel the same way maybe a decision will be reversed, if you're a lone voice then maybe you should consider putting your money where your mouth is and setting up your own site to try and generate interest that way,

Re:then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34939664)

The point of Wikipedia is that it combines the efforts of hundreds of nutty men to generate credibility.

Also known as peer review.

Re:then? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939056)

conflict of interest

Re:then? (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938540)

Supose I create a wiki entry with info about an old and obscure game from the 80s. As Wikipedia is not primary source I add references from an obscure forum. Let say 5 years from now the forum is dead and no other info can be found. What you would do with my entry? would you preserve it because is actual info (althought unconfirmable)? would you delete it?

They would delete it right away as forums are not considered reliable due to lack of editorical oversight. Wikipedia gives really biased information for anything that isn't mainstream and well documented elsewhere.

Also their rules on what is and what is not notable are arbitary so you may well fall on the wrong side of that.

Re:then? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939026)

Thats something Wikipedia could easily solve, just backup all the webpages that get referenced.

Re:then? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939148)

Let say 5 years from now the forum is dead and no other info can be found.

No online reference can be considered permanent. But with luck the Wayback Machine [archive.org] will have archived it. If I find a dead link in Wikipedia I may look there and update it with the Wayback link.

Re:then? (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939536)

Supose I create a wiki entry with info about an old and obscure game from the 80s. As Wikipedia is not primary source I add references from an obscure forum. Let say 5 years from now the forum is dead and no other info can be found.

Not a major issue:

* archive.org contains snapshots of the web from various points of time. If the forum was archived, then you can switch the link around.
* Specialized gaming wikis are more likely to still provide game content if the game becomes old or obscure. gaming.wikia.com is one of them.
* Even if it's deleted, you can still request the entire page history from an admin if you want to import it onto another wiki.

Not Wikipedia's job to be a first publisher (4, Informative)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938042)

Something must be notable *and* written about in a reputable academic source in order to be appropriate content for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a place for people who want to publish new material, no matter how important it is that there be such publication. It's good to see that there are specialised wikis for ad-hoc history projects of MUDs - that's appropriate, and it avoids all these issues of notability and original content.

Just because a task is worthwhile/important doesn't mean Wikipedia is the right place for it.

Re:Not Wikipedia's job to be a first publisher (4, Insightful)

Grokmoo (1180039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938066)

There is no requirement that something be written about in an academic source to be included in wikipedia. Any reputable source will generally do, including newspapers and magazines in most cases.

Any game that had a substantial influence shaping the development of gaming is worthy of inclusion. That doesn't mean that it won't be difficult to find good sources to back up the argument that it was in fact influential.

Re:Not Wikipedia's job to be a first publisher (3, Insightful)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938166)

What about Franko the crazy revenge [youtube.com] ? (NSFW) I would doubt gaming newspapers would be keen to write about it. It also doesn't help that it's in Polish.
I could argue that with its brutal realism/cynism it was a forerunner for GTA.

Then cite the Polish sources (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939484)

I would doubt gaming newspapers would be keen to write about it. It also doesn't help that it's in Polish.

Then cite the Polish sources. English Wikipedia prefers English sources when available, but reliable sources in any language will do.

Re:Not Wikipedia's job to be a first publisher (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938324)

I've been seeing articles on Wikipedia which cite stuff I wrote on Everything2... in which I cite the selfsame Wikipedia article. Fail, fail.

Re:Not Wikipedia's job to be a first publisher (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938762)

Something must be notable *and* written about in a reputable academic source in order to be appropriate content for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a place for people who want to publish new material, no matter how important it is that there be such publication. It's good to see that there are specialised wikis for ad-hoc history projects of MUDs - that's appropriate, and it avoids all these issues of notability and original content.

Just because a task is worthwhile/important doesn't mean Wikipedia is the right place for it.

This, quite frankly, is sheer rubbish, and it's really sad that it got modded to +5 - and even sadder that a lot of Wikipedia editors and admins today share this view.

Remember the fuss about Mzoli's [wikipedia.org] ? If not, basically, this was an article that Jimbo Wales started; some admin speedy-deleted it pretty much right away for much the same reasons you cite, and the whole thing eventually ballooned into a big discussion of what Wikipedia is about, with various kinds of fallout [wikipedia.org] .

I think the following reply to Jimbo from the admin who speedy-deleted the article is enlightening:

With all due respect, I was merely pointing out that some users seem to place a higher importance on your edits over any others. Had this article not been authored by you, my speedy deletion never would have been overturned.

Indeed, he's right: if it hadn't been Jimbo that had written the article, it would have been deleted without even so much as a discussion, and that would've been it. Bang, case closed. Where he errs is in the assumption that this would've been right: fact is, Jimbo's article was (rightly) kept in the end, but if anybody else writes a similar article, chances are it'll be deleted.

That's not what Wikipedia was about, and it's absolutely sad that people like this guy, people like YOU, have any power to say what is or isn't appropriate for inclusion in Wikipedia.

Re:Not Wikipedia's job to be a first publisher (1)

ph0rk (118461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938986)

As someone who generates academic material, I think this is a flawed position.

Academic publishing takes time, often a *lot* of time, depending on discipline. History journals and those in the social sciences are generally quite slow-moving. Wikipedia can be there to catalog things that would never see academic publication, and never will if they aren't cataloged *now*.

Wikipedia is for groundswell. Wikipedia should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. No one in their right mind would cite wikipedia anyway. Well, no one but an undergrad.

Re:Not Wikipedia's job to be a first publisher (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939580)

Wikipedia can be there to catalog things that would never see academic publication, and never will if they aren't cataloged *now*.

That would be a job for an outlet other than Wikipedia, such as E2, a Wikia site, or an independent MediaWiki site.

Re:Not Wikipedia's job to be a first publisher (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939426)

Just because a task is worthwhile/important doesn't mean Wikipedia is the right place for it.

Why not?

LISTEN SON, SAID THE MAN WITH THE GUN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938050)

Us and them
And after all we're only ordinary men
Me, and you
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do
Forward he cried from the rear
And the front rank died
and the General sat, and the lines on the map
Moved from side to side

Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and Down
And in the end it's only round and round and round
Haven't you heard it's a battle of words
The poster bearer cried
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside

Down and Out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about
With, without
And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about
Out of the way, it's a busy day
I've got things on my mind
For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died

Ching !! Ching !!

Sources (4, Insightful)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938114)

If it were more culturally or socially relevant, there probably would have been more sources out there. Sounds like a small community of people are upset that nobody took the time to write about their favorite game.

Re:Sources (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938338)

Sounds like a small community of people are upset that nobody took the time to write about their favorite game.

I don't think any specific MUD is as important as the concept of having some idea of what it is. Without those 100,000 people who played text muds in the 90's as the only online role-playing outlet, there could never be a successful Warcraft, which is like a graphical mud with a giant exclamation mark.

No it's not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938834)

Warcraft was a single-player game with network connectivity. So were Warcrafts II and III. You're meaning World of Warcraft, which is a totally different game.

If we're going to get anal over computer games then let's get a bit more accurately anal.

Re:Sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938438)

Sometimes things are only recognised as important a long time after their time.

Re:Sources (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938938)

Exactly, people get upset when they have to face the reality that the things that are important to them aren't necessarily important to humanity as a whole.

Re:Sources (2)

Todrael (601100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939350)

The MUD I still play was where Brad McQuaid played before he created EverQuest. He used a lot of content from it in EQ. Fortunately, the MUD was mentioned in at least two published books and a published interview with Brad, so it's got citations enough to stay alive. I'm just wondering what other MUDs out there don't have such citations, but still have the history. Where did the EQ devs play?

Wikia (4, Insightful)

oiron (697563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938144)

FTFA:

Eventually, the community decided to move on, and founded MUD Wiki, a Wikia dedicated to the genre.

Exactly! I'd expect to find specific information about obscure Star Trek characters (even those I consider important for some obscure reason) on Memory Alpha, and not in Wikipedia. A link from main Wikipedia to the MUD wiki, explaining that more information is available there seems appropriate. IIRC, such things have been done in other Wiki articles...

What's the fuss about?

Re:Wikia (4, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939180)

Lets look up Wikipedia on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

Wikipedia seeks to create a summary of all human knowledge in the form of an online encyclopedia. Since it has virtually unlimited disk space it can have far more topics than can be covered by any conventional print encyclopedias.

Ok, so how the fuck does the whole "randomly delete stuff that doesn't make it over an arbitrary notability hurdle" fit into that premise? How is deleting stuff from Wikipedia and moving it to a commercially hosted website outside of Wikipedia fixing the issue?

I am certainly not going to donate any more money when the stuff I am interesting in has to be found in a Wiki that isn't even part of Wikipedia.

Re:Wikia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34939668)

You're complaining about arbitrary and inconsistent guidelines on Wikipedia enforced by asshats with a hard-on for being dicks? Where have you *been* for the last decade?

Re:Wikia (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939256)

It's a shame that wikipedia has ceased to be "somewhere you can find anything, no matter how obscure". Nowadays I tend to Tv Tropes instead, with its "no such thing as notability" policy - even for real-world things, you've more chance of getting a useful article.

Call it a good start (2)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938148)

Keep writing, Wired, as you're publishing material which can be used as Wikipedia sources.

Wikipedia's validity as an information source... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938158)

...is questionable. There had been a significant contributor to the indie player-run shard scene from the late 90's / early 2000's which was the community which showcased one of the most popular Ultima Online shards at the time. It had hundreds of contributors and players in its tenure over the span of 5-7 years, sported a custom scripting language enabling its developers to release features which (at the time) OSI was "thinking about" releasing on the paid-subscription UO servers.

When I happened upon its Wikipedia article a few years ago, it had been subject to deletionists, who challenged the authenticity of the information presented. Being one of the administrators on the server during the height of its popularity, I counter-challenged with some URLs of fan pages and other related articles, and undeleted a list of staff members who had contributed to the server's evolution over time. The deletionist backed off once another former player joined in the argument.

However, due to the diligence of the deletionists, the Wikipedia page is no more. Good to know that, while history can be remembered by those who experienced it while they yet live, those institutions that are in place to remember it for all time have selective memory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mytharria
http://www.search.com/reference/Mytharria
http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Mytharria

I've Seen This Before, Easy Solution (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938164)

With the manga fanatics on Wikipedia. And the Star Wars nutjobs (myself included). And you know, I have to agree with Wikipedia on this one and I would suggest for gamers to go to Wikia and get a specific wiki on there going with the deleted pages from Wikipedia's history. There are already tons of game specific wikis on there [wikia.com] and very successful ones like Wookiepedia [wikia.com] and Mangawiki [wikia.com] . I don't understand why people have a problem with this, Wikipedia is for the normal populace -- not the hardcore fans of specific interests. So either throw in your lot with MUD wiki [wikia.com] or make a new MUDpedia or something and move on. You'll get a link in on the history of gaming page at the real wikipedia and you can go crazy nuts in your own little specific area.

Re:I've Seen This Before, Easy Solution (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938702)

I don't understand why people have a problem with this, Wikipedia is for the normal populace -- not the hardcore fans of specific interests.

Wikipedia used to be "the encyclopedia anyone can edit", normal populace and hardcore fans of specific interests alike. Coincidentally, the List of Catgirls [wikipedia.org] article is doing quite well.

The problem with notability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938178)

Mediocre RIAA and MPAA backed musicians and films are auto-notable due to the vast amount of payola they give to "reliable" sources to get spammed. Meanwhile decent indie films and bands get the {{CSD-A7}} treatment. If wikipedia cracked down on auto-notabillity articles for Justin Bieber, Willow Smith and Kim Kardashian would not exist because they are media creations and not actual m usic.

Jimbo Wales needs to stop his cult of personality as well, plus admins need term limits to stop abuse.

"vitally relevant"? (0)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938236)

Tough call that is to make, whether MUDS are "vitally relevant" (to whom, I wonder?).

But to be fair as a librarian I'd say it's not for us to judge. But there are plenty of peer-reviewed journals out there for those who believe they are vitally relevant to publish in, or indeed they could pay to self publish books on the subject. Wikipedia would then be happy to have these works referenced.

Re:"vitally relevant"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938380)

Tough call that is to make, whether MUDS are "vitally relevant" (to whom, I wonder?).

Were it not for MUDs, the MMO genre would not exist, and by now, PC gaming would be completely dead.

Wikipedians are fucking bastards, troll the truth. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938288)

They like throwing babies down the stairs and make kittens eat their shit. They have sent horses to hospital by fucking them up the ass with razors. Admins have serious mental disorders due to staying up hours a day for years on end. Its like World of Wikicraft. They get paranoid delusions and can only talk in wiki abreviations and instead of civily dealing with complaints they ba users and protect pages on their prefered versions. Stewards are even worse since they can ban people on any Wiki project. Do your bit, vandalize until your ISP range gets checkuserblocked. If enough people vandalize good faith users will move to real encyclopedias and admins will be forced to get out of their basements.

If the summary style (1)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938292)

is any indication of the flowers we could find if in chance the poster or that persons brethren may be allowed to in fact modify said obscure game entries in the previously refered to Wikipedia it may become an eventuality that it would suck to read.

I am going to deem this a "tight loss". New term, but look it up shortly in wiki. I am pretty sure its going to mean what you think it means.

"Wired is running a story" (1)

a Flatbed Darkly (1964478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938316)

Lost me there.

Wtf? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938326)

Hey well you know when you google something there are OTHER links besides wikipedia...

As far as I know I don't remember wikipedia fighting over the exclusive right to archive video game history.

Wrong reference (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938360)

Wikipedia is not the right reference to use. *shock* *horror* *how dare someone insinuate that "the wikipedia" is not the fount of all human knowledge!* The best place for research is USENET (search for "Google Groups" instead these days) because that's the only central location where games discussions went on back then. Sure, there were BBS and such, but one-node communications platforms are very limited.

This has always been a problem with Wikipedia (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938376)

Wikipedia is lousy for a lot of recent history precisely because (as soon as you drift away from relatively mainstream stuff) so little of it has been documented elsewhere on the web - I've seen plenty of articles myself which I'm 100% certain are factually inaccurate, and I can name the inaccuracies - but I can't find an appropriate citation. So any correction I make is likely to have a very limited life expectancy.

Re:This has always been a problem with Wikipedia (4, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938460)

just plaster it with [citation needed]

Re:This has always been a problem with Wikipedia (4, Interesting)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938898)

I spent a while doing that on every article I could find. Almost every article on Wikipedia is grossly deficient in citations if you follow the regulations some nerd throws at you. So I got fed up and went to one of the more objectionable's favourite page and started adding [citation needed] after every factual statement that lacked verification. There's a shocking amount of things that are just accepted on pretty much any Wikipedia article.

I got banned for a few days for that.

I think I'm going to go back to it, actually, and see if I can get the whole IP range of my city knocked out.

Re:This has always been a problem with Wikipedia (1)

Nick0000000 (1321821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938534)

Wikinewb here but, surely in that case just remove the inaccurate info...

Re:This has always been a problem with Wikipedia (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938920)

And then someone changes it back. Unless you're unemployed and have absolutely no life you can't win; people camp on their favourite page and revert a few times. Then it gets locked down through too many reversions and they go running and crying to some admin for "arbitration" which they win because they've got a longer history on Wikipedia. This happens regardless of whether you, as a genuine expert in the field with access to relevant, well-sourced citations, are right or wrong.

Wikipedia isn't knowledge by democracy, it's knowledge by whoever can spend the most time camping.

Re:This has always been a problem with Wikipedia (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938912)

I've seen plenty of articles myself which I'm 100% certain are factually inaccurate, and I can name the inaccuracies - but I can't find an appropriate citation. So any correction I make is likely to have a very limited life expectancy.

Even in that case where your edits would likely be reverted, you still must make it and/or discuss it in the talk page.

Wikipedia is designed for that eventuality; it exposes not only the article's contents but the process by which editors arrived to them. If you know for true a fact but can't provide references, explaining that in the talk page will expose the situation to future researchers.

Someone really interested will read through the talk archives or even the change logs to find what has been discussed for inclusion and what has been rejected. Scholars could read your comment in the future and be able to cross-reference with other sources, finally being able to assess its accuracy.

Re:This has always been a problem with Wikipedia (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939276)

Wikipedia is lousy for a lot of recent history precicely because ... so little of it has been documented elsewhere on the web

Sources you cite on Wikipedia don't have to be on the web. That being said, "recent history" is usually first found in newspapers and magazines, which usually have a web version. And if the news didn't show up in significant newspapers or magazines, it's probably because the news was insigificant.

Given that Richard Bartle is still alive... (3, Interesting)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938404)

... and writing books, I don't think we really need to worry about what was said on Usenet. Why not go to the source?

There's already a site for this (1)

raphael75 (1544521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938778)

http://www.mobygames.com/ [mobygames.com] already lets users document every game ever made, and it was around before wikipedia.

Early internet history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34939052)

This problem affects a lot more than games. I know for a fact that as early as 1992, chat board and IRC users used "OMGWTFBBQ" to mean "Oh My God, What The Fuck, Be Back Quick".

Usage:

"OJ Simpson is in a car chase on TV!"
"OMGWTFBBQ!"

I can't prove it though, so it won't ever be in the historical record. I can tell people about it but I'll just sound like some sad old man bullshitting.

The current state of gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34939320)

http://libregamewiki.org/ [libregamewiki.org] A free as in freedom games wiki.

I, for one... (1)

yerpo (1370359) | more than 3 years ago | (#34939438)

... support the Wikipedia rules about notability. Some line has to be drawn, and without good sources, there's no way of telling that a user "Alex1648" (for example) is a genuine old gaming enthusiast as opposed to a 15-year old troll who made a story about it last Monday and set up a website. And if nobody but MUD players argues that this-or-this title was "massively influential", an uninvolved person would reasonably argue that maybe, just maybe, they're overstating its influence. Be it because of emotional attachment, or anything else, why would that be relevant? If we let MUDs slip through the guidelines, what's next? Cigarette lighters? Dish-washing brands nobody has heard of? Car salesmen? Why would they be deprivileged then? Surely they must've had massive influence, just look at how many people wash their dishes, light their cigarettes or buy cars (more than there are MMORPG players, surely).
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