In Video Games, What's Worth A Wiki Entry?

The amount of video-games related content on Wikipedia is staggering; I can't recall the last time I entered a title into its search and could not find a complete entry. As Wired writes, however, not everything passes moderation. Should it?

Mark Brown, writing for Wired UK, brings up the matter of MUDs - multi-user dungeons, the forerunners of massively multiplayer online games. Obscure but influential cornerstones of that series had their pages marked for takedown or deleted altogether in a conflict that escalated to accusations of ulterior motive and, one imagines, feelings of marginalization.

MUD advocates felt that with their information almost entirely coming from a questioned source - online logs, sort of the Internet's oral history - it was perhaps best to open their own Wikia for the topic. And that spiderwebs into another dizzyingly comprehensive repository of video game information, the title specific sites like The Vault (for Fallout) or WowWiki (for World of Warcraft).

Brown reasons that Wikipedia can't archive every detail about video gaming, nor should it be obligated to; but it plays a de facto, vitally important role to archiving the history of the medium.

My question would be, is what is published now on Wikipedia, however interesting and useful to our community, still too much? Or is the site too vast to be overrun by - or even appear to be overrun by - any community of enthusiasts?

Should Wikipedia Be Responsible for Gaming's History? [Wired]


    Not really related to the above topic, but i have stared a wiki for Trials HD if anyone is interested. it is:

    There are a huge amount of secrets within the game from cave paintings to binary code to DNA sequences and astrological references... and squirrels.

    Feel free to check it out and contribution would be appreciated. Even if you don't have the game, the pictures are up there so you could still figure something out.

    These were all in the original game and the first DLC but to date, over a year later no one really knows what it all means.

      Thats cool.
      Any plans on expanding it to include stuff like tips and tricks for each of the tracks?

        Given the massive size of the task of getting the secrets together this site will not be expanded. There are really helpful tips on the trials hd developer forum and I am more than happy to offer advice.

        Send a fr to FatShady live if you want.

    I think video games are as artistic or culturally significant as movies, an opinion that I do think seems to be spreading, or becoming more justified as their popularity grows. In which case they should be allowed as much space as similar mediums such as film and TV. I'm sure there are less games on wikipedia than films, but I wouldn't mind if they were equal either.

    I remember a big shit-slinging match a few years back when a few Gundam fans got a bit over-enthusiastic and started listing the different model Gundams with their own pages. The moderators of wikipedia didn't like that at all and deleted them, and it ended up with a very senior one saying something to the effect of "if I had my way none of this cartoon crap would be on wikipedia".

    No idea how it all ended up, but plenty of entries are somewhat silly in their depth (eg was reading the Red Dwarf entry last night and The Cat's species had its own page?!), but most seem ok.

    I appreciate dedicated wikis (like the Fallout and Halo wikis) but unfortunately they tend to be a bit less professional, without consistent information. But I suppose that's what you get when it's by the fans for the fans.

    "Or is the site too vast to be overrun by – or even appear to be overrun by – any community of enthusiasts?"

    ^^ This.

    let the MUDdites have thier fun..

    I've been thinking lately that a pop-culture wikipedia spin-off could be useful, instead of clogging up the real wikipedia with our mostly useless cultural detritus.

    But that raises the question of who would host it, and if wikimedia is expected to host it, then what's the point really?

    I personally never understood Wikipedia's propensity for deleting stuff. It's not like they're got a limited amount of storage or something: there's room on there for pretty much every detail about pretty much every topic. If there are people willing to look after the pages, then why delete them?

    It's certainly a policy that is not enforced with any kind of uniformity. The amount of junk on wikipedia about random heavy metal bands that nobody has heard of is nuts: every second topic seems to be linked to some obscure heavy metal band in some way!

      I believe all Wikipedia pages are hosted on their servers. It remains ad-free by relying on donations to maintain their servers.

      Yeah, their servers are very expensive and they run on donations only.

      Also, as an encyclopedia the content has to have a certain level of notoriety to be 'worth' including. This is really open to abuse, and probably biased against more obscure, older games, but the site's policies are there for a reason. A flood of nonsense articles or obscure content would lower the standard of the whole Wiki and take up a lot of admin time.

      Besides, with Wikimedia software people can create obscure wikis very easily.

    Wikipedia: "The Online Encyclopedia That Only a Handful Of Our Senior Moderators Can Edit".

    Wikipedia is rubbish in that only information that whoever is "in charge" of the particular entry, deems worthy or accurate, gets to remain on the site.

    I've seen pages where false information remains in an article, because of some Wiki editor's misconception.

    Wikipedia of games.....done

    Wikipedia has clear policies on what gets an entry. A topic needs to have significant coverage in reliable independent sources. These MUDs are getting down because they never got written about outside of fansites and forums, and thus there's nothing to put in an encyclopaedia entry that can be traced to a reliable source. Wikipedia's goal is not to archive ephemera, or even to undertake historical research, but only to collate and regurgitate the analsysis and research of others. If you want an article on a MUD, do the research yourself, get it published somewhere that has editorial oversight, and then direct a Wikipedia editor to your work.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now