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Wikipedia Games

Old Man Murray Entry Deleted From Wikipedia 432

shoptroll writes "In what can be best described as an unfortunate interpretation of the 'notability standards' at Wikipedia, Rock, Paper, Shotgun reports that the entry for Old Man Murray, once a mainstay of PC Gaming reviews and commentary, has been deleted. A sad day for gaming journalism everywhere." This is notable both because Old Man Murray was completely and totally awesome, but also because it was notable and influential on countless writers.
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Old Man Murray Entry Deleted From Wikipedia

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  • Welcome to Wikipedia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @11:25AM (#35369122)

    I used to contribute a fair amount to Wikipedia to get my brain going in the morning. I quit doing so a couple years ago, because the whole infighting and "notability" crap was ridiculous. Every single character from a book, movie, cartoon, video game, anime (pokemon, etc) gets a many-paged detailed entry while real people quickly get the brush because someone gets a thorn in their ass over something. And those "somethings" are hard to pin down. Some entries surprisingly don't exist, while others (someone with a podcast you've never heard of or who is supposedly some self-described social media expert, etc) gets an entry. That idiot from "Hot For Words" even has a wikipedia entry.

    I won't be surprised if a lot of things get deleted in the next few years, because a bunch of people who are twelve years old today will, in the future, say "I've never heard of this Commodore thing, it must be totally made up. Or at least not notable enough, or I'd have heard of it! DELETED!"

    Of course, I don't know how you'd solve the problem, either. It's not a solution to just say absolutely everything can be a wikipedia article. Every self-promoting jackhole is going to create their own entry, then and the quality of each article itself will drop. On the other hand, how much attention can really be given to the countless deletions that are proposed? Especially since, while some deletions occur with no discussion and immediately, others drag on indefinitely and are knock-down drag-out events. It's not a solution, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to raise the bar for deletions, at least. It should be a lot harder to delete something that isn't obvious spam or vandalism than it is to create it.

    There's also DeletionPedia [], though I can't really tell what the current status of the site is.

  • Notability rating (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Twinbee ( 767046 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @11:28AM (#35369172) Homepage

    Probably the best solution to this deletist/keepist nonsense is to rate articles according to their noteworthiness. This rating can either be derived according to how many other articles link in, or according to human judgement. Using this system, lower ranked articles will be naturally found far less, but at least they're there if you dig. It'd work like pagerank to a degree.

    Keeping or deleting is otherwise a false dichotomy. There isn't a magical line that makes an article suddenly not important any more. There are however shades of grey.

  • by C_amiga_fan ( 1960858 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @11:49AM (#35369410)

    >>>What is unclear about the word "published"?

    What will Wikipedia "cite" when books/magazines stop being published, and only exist in the ephemeral world of the web? I guess all articles will have to be deleted from wikipedia..... or better yet, make a sane world that doesn't require sources to be published on dead trees/weeds/hemp.

    Also looking over the discussion it appears KEEP was the dominant vote tally, but somehow the page still got deleted. This is a bit like how Florida tallied votes in 2000.... "Hmmm. 20 keeps; 15 deletes - it's clear who is the winner! Delete."

  • by trifish ( 826353 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @11:59AM (#35369534)

    You know what should make your scratch your head? The problem you have just described at the same time happens to be the very essence and fundamental principle of Wikipedia. That anyone, including stupid morons, trolls with hidden agenda (competitors), and outright psychopaths can edit it any and every second, repeatedly and infinitely.

    It follows that Wikipedia is, and has inherently been from the very beginning, a fundamentally flawed experiment. Thanks god Google is starting to realize this and is moving the Wikipedia result to SERPS position #5, while the first 4 links point to the authoritative or official site (if one exists).

  • Which is a euphemism for "all the deletionists get butthurt when they can't hide from the public backlash".

    What does this word mean?! Is this some kind of idiom? Does it mean chagrined, petulant, passive-aggressive? The etymology makes no sense to me(Am I being "butthurt" in writing this post?). From what I can tell, it appears to be some concocted offspring of the 'chan message-boards.

    In any case, as I've said in an earlier post, Slashdot is not 4chan. Can we please all try to keep comments above a 4th grade reading level?

  • Re:Moderation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2011 @12:43PM (#35370052)
    Perhaps it is because most 'irrelevant' information often ends up on wikia, which is advertisement sponsored wiki hosting service, and which belongs to Wales.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2011 @12:46PM (#35370096)

    So, two uncontradicted facts: (a) Schumin has a personal history with the people behind the site whose page he deleted and (b) from his user page and web site, he doesn't appear to have any gaming knowledge whatsoever. Yet the rest of the Wikipedia clique ignore these facts when rushing in to defend his action. I first contributed to Wikipedia back in 2004, and I note my last contribution was over 9 months ago as I got increasingly exhausted with having to defending and revert the most inoccuous edits to topics I'm knowledgable on, from self-appointed admins who knew absolutely nothing about the topic at hand but simply had their own bugbears (in one case, an admitted interest in pederasty). Even Wales says 50% of all the edits are done by just 0.7% of the users; anyone claiming that such few people know so much stuff is deluded. The fact is, after a decade, it takes a particular type of personality to fit in with the Wikipedia mindset and not be actively repulsed by it.


  • Re:Notability (Score:5, Interesting)

    The key to solving this is appreciating that Wikipedia is not a machine where you put in good information and get out the encyclopedia you want to see, it's about actually dealing with human beings on a large-scale collaborative project which has differences of opinion.

    In fact, Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia at all. Wikipedia is in fact a game, specifically its an MMORPG--[NSFW] [].

    This isn't just the opinion of the internet diplomacy bridage of encyclopedia dramatica. It's also shared by the former editor of Encyclopedia Britannica []. He also gave this opinion more explicitly in a documentary about the influence of the web, which I can't find at the moment.

    So Wikipedia is essentially a game. For the players, the stakes are not exactly high. Ultimately nobody cares how much "WP:EXP" they ammass, or how high they rise on the "WP:SCALE".

    But for the rest of the world, the stakes are currently enormous. The reality is that Wikipedia is becoming the world's foremost gateway to knowladge. The end result of these players, their petty squabbles, cliques, and infighting, are the pages which the majority of the world is being directed to when it seeks information and learning. Needless to say, this is a disaster.

    The dreadful fallout from so much politics and melodrama leaves pages that are essentially babbling and incoherant. I've ranted about this before [], so I'm not going to repeat myself here, except to say that in my opinion, the Wikipedia pages on mathematics are actively damaging the future of mathematics, probably turning many budding mathematicians off the subject before they discover anything about it. Wikipedia shows mathematics in its worst possible light, because no mathematician is allowed near those pages. As an expert, I know this is true of mathematics, but I suspect it's the same for many other subjects.

    Our discussion here are of no avail. Ultimately the only solution to the Wikipedia Question will be to remove it from the control of Jimbo et al and place it in the hands of an international, cross institutional, academic body. People who could actually run a depository of knowladge, instead of playing games with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2011 @01:09PM (#35370342)

    You're right. I quit bothering with Wikipedia, because it wasn't worth the hassle. Who wants to volunteer for an abusive relationship? Not me.

    The last article I wrote was on the man who designed the Mars Lander airbag system. It was initially rejected because an editor said it was "original material" (I know the man and his family personally, and worked with him for five years or so) and had "insufficient references" (I only had a few links) and, bizarrely, because the gentleman in question was "insufficiently notable for Wikipedia".

    So I rewrote the article with links to a couple dozen of the man's patents, cites from several books on aerospace history, a list of notable achievements he's had in the space biz, and links to his community activist and public service accomplishments. It was again deleted, on grounds that "it reads like hero worship". The funny part is, I don't even really like the guy! I just thought he ought to be in Wikipedia... but apparently not.

  • Re:Moderation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by parlancex ( 1322105 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @01:29PM (#35370550)
    I've seen this happen first hand to useful and pertinent information on existing articles.

    I authored a patch for a (notable?) SNES game a few years back called Seiken Densetsu 3 that allowed it to be played as 3 player. Many years before that a patch was created to play the game in english. The existing wikipedia article already had a story description as well as character descriptions and things of that nature, as well as information describing the english patch.

    Shortly after I released my patch someone (not even me!) added information about it to the wikipedia article for the game, just a short sentence or two with citations linking a notable ROM hacking website with more information. A few weeks later the information was deleted for not being notable. Afterwards in google searches related to my patch I saw lots of forum posts with confused people trying to determine whether or not a patch existed, some saying the information was on Wikipedia, others saying they couldn't find it there.
  • by aeroelastic ( 840614 ) <> on Thursday March 03, 2011 @02:20PM (#35371128)

    They kept using the slang term "meatpuppets" which is apparently somebody who enters the discussion after being tipped off on it taking place.

    How else would you go about entering a conversation that you did not start? How is that possibly a bad thing? Especially for a community based website!

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gma i l .com> on Thursday March 03, 2011 @02:30PM (#35371238) Journal

    Well this was informative. Before reading this article and the comments, I had no idea who Ben Schumin was, or that he was a fat whiny anti-war inclusionist exclusionist precisionist lolcow who deleted wikipedia pages (against the will of the majority and in the face of evidence of notability which he requested, and then ignored when it was brought to him) referencing websites made by a person who once made fun of him.

    Now I know. And knowing is half the battle!

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @02:31PM (#35371246) Journal
    Unfortunately, this is exactly the argument that I've seen in the past for deleting 'non-notable' articles. Someone marks the article for deletion. This deletion notice is then linked to from somewhere that the people who are interested in the topic at hand frequently read. People in that community log in, post citations, and vote for keep. All of those keep votes are disregarded and the citations are ignored, because they were all from people who created their accounts specifically to comment ('meatpuppets'). End result: Wikipedia becomes one page less useful. The Wikipedia procedure seems to be set up so that it's very hard once an article has been nominated for deletion to get it to remain. I gave up contributing to Wikipedia a couple of years ago - what's the point in investing your time in creating something when someone else may come along and delete it on a whim?
  • An exercise in form (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @02:44PM (#35371390) Homepage
    I really like this story, there's a lot going on.

    Firstly, I won't be donating to Wikipedia again. This is not because I'm an OMM fanboy taking my bat home in a huff, although I am also that. But actually, it's because this story has made me look into Wikipedia more, and apparently this shit is rife. I guess I should have known that, but I'd always been scared to check because I still had some faith in one human endeavour and was happy to let things stay that way, until I felt some pressing need to know otherwise. Well, game over on that front. Back to total misanthropy for me.

    Secondly, it's actually quite an interesting read because the Schumin guy who nominated for deletion, is evidently really, really, pathetic. And not in a kind of sad and disappointing, move along cowboy way, but actually to a degree that's almost gripping. This article highlights an almost iconic exemplar of the form of pathetic, to the degree that it's actually compelling.

    To whit, and as best as I can tell from summaries, a man who is mocked - for being pathetic no less - by a popular gaming culture website waits a DECADE for revenge, whilst the world moves on around him, and the revengee behind the site goes on to pen dialogue for a video game that many people rightly consider one of the genuinely enduring classics of the new age.

    This 'revenge', and I use the term loosely, is a heartfelt, but misguided attempt to remove all evidence of revengee's classic projects from Wikipedia, which is petty to an alarming degree, but also absorbingly impotent. Seriously, I would be amazed if anyone involved in the original site gave one flying fuck, because they're probably too busy banging hookers on their jetskies right now. On a lake of money.

    And after literally waiting until he thought this site had decayed into irrelevancy and finallly making his move, he discovers that half the internet still cares, the whole thing goes Barbara Streisand, and we just get to see what a massive, unerring loser at the peak of his skills really looks like.

    And, damn, I've enjoyed the ride... but that's sadly all it is. Because tomorrow, said loser will have lost his momentary connection to relevancy. And OMM will still have rocked my world.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:53PM (#35372978)

    Wikipedia absolutely loathes outsiders, though, so who knows if it will be restored?

    Yes, I noticed that. The fact that several editors repeatedly refer to anyone else posting as a "Meat Puppet" was rather annoying.

    Yes, I can understand that the editors would prefer that the signal-to-noise ratio be kept to a minimum on the discussion page, and that Wikipedia has its own Points of Order and all, but when you are referring to your user base as "Meat Puppets" then it truly shows your level of contempt for them.

    Made me firmly decide to never give them money, and to stop using Wikipedia and go to other sources instead. Anyone know of good alternatives?

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev