Old Man Murray Deleted From Wikipedia

By John Walker on March 2nd, 2011 at 10:40 pm.

Or there will be trouble.

When Rock, Paper, Shotgun is asked to name its games writing influences, only a few names come up. They include Amiga Power, Your Sinclair, early Gamer, and perhaps most noticeably, Old Man Murray. The influence that site had on games writing has influenced just about everything else anyone’s enjoyed since. RPS writers lived and breathed OMM at the time. Every time I read the archives I’m reminded how poor a job I’m doing, and what it is I should be striving for. Not to mention that it was written by Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek, who now work at Valve, penning mighty words and ideas for the likes of Left 4 Dead and Portal. And today their entry has been deleted from Wikipedia, on the grounds that it’s “not notable”. We’d like to object.

And we’re not objecting on the grounds that our own site was described by Wikipedia editors as being, “generally trivial, tangential, or otherwise not substantial enough to grant notability.” We’re objecting because one of the finest sources of games writing of all time is being ignored for extremely spurious reasons.

The criteria for an article on a website on Wikipedia are detailed here. The crux is, it has to have been written about elsewhere in a “non-trivial” way. Which gives a lot of room for interpretation.

It demonstrates one of the key flaws in Wikipedia’s criteria for inclusion: the dependence upon secondary sources beyond an object itself. It’s obviously a system that often works – if something is notable, it’ll likely have been mentioned by other sources thought to be notable. The issue starts when something was notable in an online form, but in the past. There aren’t so many contemporary pieces being written about a website that ended in… oh, hang on, I can’t check Wikipedia. I’ll just email one of the site’s writers, the notable writer behind Portal and Portal 2, Erik Wolpaw.

“The last news post is dated 01-31-2002. That sounds about right. Though now that Serious Sam 3 just got announced, it might be time to update again.”

Thanks.

And it’s even harder when the primary purpose of a site is humour. Humour – an extremely serious business – is all too often not taken seriously.

But like so many of the disputes that rear up on the encyclopaedia, this could be a personal matter. The initiative to have the entry deleted was started by user “SchuminWeb“, one Ben Schumin. He’s a fan of the defunct comedy cartoon website, Homestar Runner, which has an entry on Wikipedia that he links to. It is claimed in the discussion page on Wikipedia that Schumin has a long-running dispute with OMM. Chet Faliszek expresses his confusion about the matter here, saying he remembers helping Schumin set up his site back in the day. So what does Schumin have specifically against Old Man Murray? We’ve contacted him to find out. (Edit: Oh, he seems to have deleted my question, which seems a bit rude.)

Edit: While Schumin is declining to give a reason behind his choosing Old Man Murray (and only a week before, Portal Of Evil) for deletion, it’s hard to understand how this didn’t mean the Conflict Of Interest rule didn’t prevent his nominating.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot of anger about the decision – a lot of it unsavoury – all over the place.

You can read the deleted Old Man Murray Wikipedia article thanks to the Wayback Machine. Amazingly, references to Old Man Murray, even without a link, have been removed from Erik Wolpaw’s own Wikipedia entry. (It has since been restored. And it seems someone also tried to do the same to Mark Laidlaw’s page.)

For a primer in why we care about OMM, here’s a guide the late Kieron Gillen has put together:

1: The Crate Review System

The shame of many developers,

2. Death Of Adventure Games

The first people to use that puzzle as an example of how the genre was fucking apeshit.

3. Serious Sam: The Interview

The popularisation of Serious Sam.

4. Drakan Week Official Response.

Basically, every internet kid who is snarky is pretending to be pretending to be pretending to be people who were OMM.

5. 5 would be this

Go find your own favourite. Along with AP2, it’s one of the most entertaining and inspiring sources of writing on the internet. Which seems pretty bloody notable to us.

If you’re a developer or games journalist who was inspired by Old Man Murray, or perhaps you threatened to sue them, we’d really love to hear from you. Please email me at john@rockpapershotgun.com with your stories.

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297 Comments »

  1. Fwiffo says:

    If I was an editor on wikipedia, I’d only restrict myself to subject matter that I had at least a decent working knowledge of. Also nice to see the place holding its admins to the high standards of neutrality it prizes for its articles.
    Also also, look up wikigroaning!

  2. pipman3000 says:

    oh my god ben schumin is still mad at chet what is wrong with him? or his he mad at erik or that other guy with the mohawk whose name i forgot i think it was uhh shaun wolfgang or something. why is he mad at OMM?

  3. Ergonomic Cat says:

    I posted on the unprotected version of Schuminn’s page. We’ll see what happens.

  4. bascule42 says:

    My God, reading that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Old_Man_Murray_%282nd_nomination%29#Old_Man_Murray) is like reading the bits Iain M Banks cut out of Excession just before the Interesting times Gang turned up and kicked all the other Minds out.

    SchuminWeb, Wisdom Like Silence?

    Is there an Interesting Times Gang for Wikipedia?

    • Kaira- says:

      Reading through that link felt pretty much the same as hitting my head to brick wall with rusty spikes.
      “Irrelevant source” my ass, if you pardon my French.

      And I haven’t even heard of OMM before yesterday.

  5. frenz0rz says:

    Bloody hell. There are people who actually volunteer to delete things from history?!

    How terrifyingly Orwellian.

    • Muzman says:

      Any rule based system will attract certain people who gain some perverse pleasure in enforcing these rules with almost maniacal obsessivness. A lot of the time it seems for no greater purpose than “they are the rules”. Often they put so much effort into this that they become indispensable to the system they are working for.

      In the old days these folks were mostly confined to the public service, town councils, community groups, sporting clubs etc. Now they have Wikipedia too.

  6. Jetsetlemming says:

    People who take “wikipedia” seriously are the worst. As far as I’m concerned there should be limits to how long you can edit/view the site before it kicks you off, for your own sake.
    About a year ago, on the article on Crucifixion, there was a section called “In Anime”, talking about how the Sailor Moon girls were in a cross pose in some episode or another, complete with a picture from Neon Genesis Evanglion.
    When it was suggested in the article’s comments that perhaps japanese cartoons weren’t really a good addition to a page on a ritualistic execution style that had given birth to a major world religion, one editor in particular was FURIOUS at the implication, constantly putting it back, even adding to it, and defaming every single person who wasn’t on his side. He saw those who would disagree about the importance of anime in crucifixion to be part of a conspiracy whose purpose was not perhaps adding a bit of decency to an article on crucifixion, but instead trolls from the Something Awful forums who were singularly focused on attacking him and all he held dear (such as cartoons of schoolgirls being crucified). At one point the article’s talk page had a box at the top telling people not to engage in personal attacks, and especially not to accuse anyone of serious illnesses such as Asperger’s syndrome. I guess the calls of “Sperg!” hit a bit too close to home.
    Eventually it was spun off to an article, “Crucifixion in Art”, and that wiki editor’s contributions to it led to over half the fucking thing’s length being, again, japanese fucking cartoons. Finally however, in the end, he lost and anime disappeared forever from the article on crucifixion.
    A very rare, fleeting victory for common sense on a website dominated by spergin dudes with no hobbies but animated child pornography and being rules lawyers and self proclaimed victims on a website whose stated purpose is education and more and more seems to be instead for scum self gratification.

    • Rhin says:

      Filed under the category of “scum self-gratification”:

      See if you can search on wikipedia for “schuminweb” and count the number of articles Schumin has inserted “External links” to his personal web page on.

      The mere thought that an admin with noted personal history and conflict of interest can nominate for a deletion, and that other admins who admit that they aren’t familiar with the subject matter chime in, is nauseating.

    • 7rigger says:

      After you mentioned, I had to go and look and…

      You’ll be pleased to know that the ‘Crucifixion in the Arts’ entry still contains details about sailor moon, filed now under the ‘Graphic Novel’ section. No victory will last long with this crowd running WP.

    • CMaster says:

      And here we see a prime example of the “deletionist” attitude.
      Someone who doesn’t really know much about a subject (Animé), derides said subject as “animated child pornography” and gets very angry about it’s inclusion and how stupid it is, while seemingly supporting the inclusion of their specialist subject (video games journalism, OMM).

      That said, a section on the depiction of crucifixion in media doesn’t feel like a very useful addition to the original article, and the animé references do come across as inappropriate and unnecessary. But you see the core idea where deletionism comes from – “having stuff I think is unimportant on wikipedia undermines the project as a whole. Therefore stuff that I’ve never heard of/don’t care for should be removed.” Equally, decency isn’t something a good encyclopedia should give a shit about. Accuracy (verifiability in wikipedia’s case) and coverage are.

  7. Tagert says:

    The thing I find interesting about this is that I fully expect the article to return – And very soon after there will be a ‘Old Man Murray Deletion Debacle’ topic in the article, discussing how it was almost deleted.

  8. obo says:

    Articles deleted by SchuminWeb on Deletionpedia:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=schuminweb+site:deletionpedia.dbatley.com

    960+ results.

    Examples of articles deleted by SchuminWeb that now have articles on Wikipedia:
    http://deletionpedia.dbatley.com/w/index.php?title=Tabitha's_Secret_(deleted_02_Jul_2008_at_04:40)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabitha's_Secret

    Schumin deleted it in June 2008. It was reposted; Schumin tried again to delete it in August 2008, where it was voted to be kept. The deleted article has the same information and lack of attribution as the kept article.

    http://deletionpedia.dbatley.com/w/index.php?title=Angelle_Brooks_(deleted_18_Jul_2008_at_03:05)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelle_Brooks

    Schumin deleted it in June 2008. It was restored Feb. 25, 2011.

    http://deletionpedia.dbatley.com/w/index.php?title=1949_World_Ice_Hockey_Championships_(deleted_24_May_2008_at_02:01)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1949_World_Ice_Hockey_Championships

    Schumin deleted it one day after it was created, May 2008. It was restored April 2009.

    http://deletionpedia.dbatley.com/w/index.php?title=Indian_Omelette
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Omelette

    Schumin deleted it in Sept. 2008 with the reason “can’t even verify such a thing exists.” It was restored Jan. 2009.

  9. obo says:

    And, of course:
    http://twitter.com/SchuminWeb/status/43143325208948736

    wherein he elevates the discussion by staying away from ad hominem name-calling

  10. Tei says:

    Wikipedia has changed to this, and I have see this thing repeat a lot of times, always in the most ignorant way. The people that admin game articles have absolute no idea of video games and will delete everything than can’t be linked to a scholar reference. This is designed so the wikipedia is not a collection of internet culture, but the result is that almost all digital culture will be deleted.

    For the most part we have “lost” wikipedia.

  11. MadTinkerer says:

    Wikipedia is fantastic for referencing purely objective things, like math, science, and programming. For anything subjective it’s borderline useless.
    Ever since Kris Straub successfully got Checkerboard Nightmare deleted from Wikipedia (that’s his own comic: he was doing it to expose how broken Wikipedia’s process is), Wikipedia has been proven to be deeply flawed. I’m surprised that a website that hasn’t been updated for nearly nine years (OMM) hadn’t been deleted years ago.

  12. MountainDont says:

    Well, the review has been rejected (did anyone think a Wikipedia admin would reverse his own opinion?):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Lifebaka#Old_Man_Murray …and it’s already being voted against in the Deletion Review: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2011_March_3#Old_Man_Murray So it looks like that’s it, the assburgers win, lead by [NO INSULTS FFS! - Ed].

  13. Masem says:

    Those of you reading this, the best thing you can do right now is *NOT* comment on the deletion review. The more the topic is meat-puppeted (comments by different users from offsite in reply to a specific user’s request), the more likely they will ignore comments about this.

    I have a logic to my review process here.

    • X_kot says:

      I respect your desire to work within the confines of WP’s internal bureaucracy, Masem, and I will refrain from posting any further (I’m Sir Gareth), but winning this case without addressing administrative abuse of powers will be a hollow victory.

    • Tannhauser says:

      Part of Wikipedia’s downfall this, the only way to combat super-users is to be one. If you show up out of the blue in a discussion, you are a “meatpuppet.” Despite the fact that external sites are the way any normal person is going to discover these sorts of issue. The simple fact that you haven’t dedicated your free time to Wikipedia makes your contributions worthless in the eyes of the people who have control over the content, regardless of worth.

      Not to mention the entire rule-lawyer attitude that seems to have pervaded Wikipedia. It is a nightmare to try to correct even factually incorrect data if the article is being watched by a super-user. They can always justify it and “prove” that your contributions lacked merit too by citing this or that.

    • X_kot says:

      *sigh* Where’s my whiskey at?…

    • Muzman says:

      I considered dusting off my account for a few words, but I realised everything I’d have to say could be deflected with “we are executing policy. You are arguing that the policy is wrong. Please read the guidelines, and the guidelines for the guidelines, and the guidelines for changing the guidelines and also take note of ‘what wikipedia is not’ (bullet point one: ‘A place where you ask what Wikipedia is’). If you are still unhappy, please file a complaint with issue resolution. Fill out one of these and join that cue over there.”
      Points to any brave souls willing to go the distance.

      The larger problem I see, above Schumin seemingly making mendacious edits, is that there’s no assesment of whether a deletion nomination is warranted in the first place. The adjudication merely proceeds on the case of who files it and accepts whatever defense is offered (and no one may be around to do it, there being no guarantee the admin is going to do the legwork themselves in the absence of such).

      There needs to be a new policy to guard against mendacious deletion. If deletion truly is the last resort (as the guidelines claim) then anyone nominating an article for deletion should first have to ‘prove exhaustion’ of all other methods to fix or improve the article before any nomination can proceed. Failure to do this means the article stands, regardless of any ostensible flaws. As it stands it’s too easy for drive by bureaucrats to go around effectively botting things into the bin before anyone has a chance to defend or repair them.

    • megalomania says:

      Don’t get overexcited. SPAs/meatpuppets aren’t ignored a priori. They’re just ignored 99% of the time because they don’t take the time to understand the way in which decisions are made on Wikipedia and the criteria on which they are decided (which really just takes a matter of minutes, not days, trust me). Imagine if a lawyer stood up in court and shouting things like, “My client is clearly innocent! He is one of the most innocent people in the world! The plaintiff has an obvious bias against my client! The judge knows nothing about armed robbery, how can he ever decide whether my client is guilty or not? This whole court shows how the legal system was fundamentally broken compared to some golden age of justice I heard on the grapevine existed at one time.”
      In an AfD (Article for Deletion), don’t:
      - nakedly assert that the topic is notable/not notable
      - personally attack the nominator or people , even if they deserve it
      - rail against the injustice of Wikipedia or its policies, they actually make a great deal of sense if you take some time to look into them properly and they’re not changing any time soon
      Do:
      - read the policies on notability and verifiability first
      - look for sources and provide links to them
      - discuss why the sources you have find meet general and specific (e.g. for video games) guidelines for reliable sources, and how they establish the notability of the topic
      If you follow these instructions your arguments will be considered at an AfD, even if you have no other edits.

      Although realising the unlikelihood that this will happen, I’ll just echo Masem: stay out of it, the only way the deletion is getting overturned is by the reasoned arguments of people who have some experience on Wikipedia and don’t think it’s a fundamentally broken system.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I actually got my used-once Wikipedia account* out and was going to post in the debate, but I realise i haven’t time today to figure it out properly. The comment about “giving in to trolls” was somewhat frustrating. With the greatest of respect and a moment of total ego, RPS contains some of the foremost writers on games the medium has ever seen. If we say it’s notable to gaming history, it is.
      I’d have phrased less monstrously, of course. Point being: a bad deletion attracting outside coverage is to do with people being expert in a medium. The editors aren’t.
      Another useful reference as pointed to me from here…
      http://twitter.com/#!/quimicefa/statuses/43246584619745280
      This book:
      http://www.casadellibro.com/libro-mondo-pixel-vol1/1202306/2900001256942
      Article about Old Man Murray.
      KG
      *Used to post information about Consolevania, ironically enough.

    • Voidy says:

      Masem:
      Those of you reading this, the best thing you can do right now is *NOT* comment on the deletion review.

      Megalomania:
      SPAs/meatpuppets aren’t ignored a priori. They’re just ignored 99% of the time [..] Although realising the unlikelihood that this will happen, I’ll just echo Masem: stay out of it

      Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit
      Editors of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia use “meat puppet” to deprecate contributions from a new community member if the new member was (apparently) recruited by an existing member only to back up the recruiting member’s position.

      I hereby urge RPS authors and all RPS readers to ignore Megalomania as an obvious meatpuppet acting on behalf of Masem and ignore Masem as an obvious meatpuppet acting on behalf of Megalomania. They basically argue the same points and ask you the same thing: to stay the hell out of the free-as-in-speech community project; no further proof is necessary. The assumption that each of them may be doing this of their own volition and therefore may not deserve to be named ‘meatpuppet’ is too bloody hard to wrap my head around.

    • Masem says:

      I understand the larger issue of Schumin and OMM and a likely history in the OMM days.

      The point to understand is that Schumin did not abuse his admin powers in any step here. Nominating an article for deletion can be done by any user (even non-registered ones, I think). John Q Smith could have done the same thing and we’d be on the same boat. I don’t disagree that how fast Schumin went to remove all OMM links as soon as the article was deleted the first time somewhat iffy (but again, not wrong, and not an abuse of admin powers). So while the history between Schumin and OMM is there, our hands are tied from doing anything about it.

      The crux of this deletion, and why I stepped in, is that the outright deletion of the article based on the number and array of sources did not support outright deletion, at best keep no consensus, at worst redirect to a section on Erik Wolpaw’s article. OMM is a likely search term, there is no need to wipe it out from WP. Thus the review is based on looking at the closing admin’s reasoning and seeing if it was the best solution based on the evidence given. As it currently states, there’s a trend that it was the wrong decision, but we’ll see.

      The reason I’m cautioning people from jumping in is that when there are internal or external campaigns to try to alter standard op on WP, this usually results in positions favored by these additional users to be considered in a negative light. Trying to bring up the Schuman/OMM conflict will not help this cause at this time, nor will say “but of course OMM is notable”; but adding statements that point to flaws in the closing arguments are appreciated.

    • Masem says:

      Also to comment on the term meatpuppet:

      Wikipedia’s decision process is not a democracy. We don’t work on the total number of votes in the system (ie we often call any call to oppose or support a viewpoint as “!voting”) but instead consider the strengths and weaknesses of an argument.

      There is nothing wrong in general with an anon user coming on and contributing productively to an ongoing discussion. We want that, in fact.

      We do, however, have problems when a mass number of users that haven’t otherwise participated in the discussion enjoin it and basically say the same thing as to weight the volume of text in favor of a specific point. Such additions add little, and can make the discussion more hostile to those on the opposing viewpoint if its a heated topic. This is why we tag “new” users to a discussion, because if they haven’t shown interest in the area before, why are they suddenly interested now?

      9 times out of then, this is because, internally or externally, someone has canvassed a notice to encourage people to jump in to try to swing the discussion. When its internal, it’s rather easy to chase down by looking at contribution histories. When its from an external site (technically, this article on RPS would be an example of such), it is more difficult to trace down without some Google sleuthing. We, unfortunately, do call this “meatpuppetry” for simplicity’s sake, and it is not meant as a slur on any specific person involved but on the action itself, trying to get other users to support your side without “revealing” that interaction.

      Now, that said, people immediately calling out others as meatpuppets is not civil unless you have proof (there are channels for this on WP proper). But when we’re talking about the action in general, it is not mean to be a slight to anyone that may want to join in. But if you join in and repeat what several others have already said, it’s difficult not to see this action as such.

      Again, why I caution: don’t jump into this without having a well-thought out reason (most offered on this discussion area are not that type), otherwise it will likely be that your comment will be trivialized as meatpuppetry.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Note the contrast between Masem’s last two posts. Commenting on the Schumin/OMM conflict is unwelcome. But labelling outsiders “meatpuppets” is totally cool. Certainly, doing so didn’t cause people to ignore what Schumin had to say. Ad hominem against insiders is forbidden, against outsiders is not only permitted, but built into the very infrastructure of Wikipedia itself.

      I wish you wikipedians luck in rectifying this particular error. But you should just admit that it’s a community of insiders. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that–any source of knowledge is ultimately going to have to make subjective judgment calls where others will disagree. It’s just a matter of admitting to what everybody already knows.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Also, the key to remember is the Wikipedia is a community of insiders, and so when Wikipedia fails, it’s the insiders who failed. Not me.

      Good luck, insiders.

    • Nick says:

      So, its not open at all, not allowed to be edited by anyone, just those who have deemed themselves worthy somehow? What a crock of shit. What it looks like to someone who merely reads wikipedia is a bunch of sad little men flexing the only power they have in the world. The fact someone like HalfShadow is a senior editor or something is just absurd, who is actually in charge of all this? Because people like that should not have any power over anything.

    • Deano2099 says:

      “The reason I’m cautioning people from jumping in is that when there are internal or external campaigns to try to alter standard op on WP, this usually results in positions favored by these additional users to be considered in a negative light.”

      See I know you’re trying to help but you’re failing to realise the rank hippocracy you’re highlighting here.

      Your initial position is that the choices regarding deletion and such are a matter of policy, and that people arguing against the deletion by saying policy is wrong, or by simply saying they think the article is notable, will not help. They won’t help as the decision will be based only on the rational arguments given.

      That’s perfectly fine and how things should be. So if you want to say to people “don’t waste your time as you’ll be dismissed as meatpuppets and won’t affect the debate then that’s fair enough”

      But what you’re actually asserting is that people doing that could harm the process, because it would cast legitimate comments in a negative light. Do you not see the issue here? On the one-hand you’re asserting that the admins will make an objective decision based purely on the arguments given and on wikipedia policy. Then on the other hand you’re saying not to piss them off as it might bias them against us.

      By all means ignore ‘meatpuppetry’ if that’s policy (though I’d suggest you call it something less inflammatory), but why on earth should meatpuppetry reflect negatively on a side of the argument? Sure I get that it will annoy the admins by creating more work for them to go through, but that won’t ultimately affect the notability of the article will it? But if it will affect the choice made then clearly admins are making the decision on more than just what is strictly notable.

  14. Yosharian says:

    I just looked over the discussion page at wikipedia, it’s fucking disgusting. I never saw a more idiotic and closed-minded bunch of morons on the fucking net. It beggars belief that these idiots are in charge of anything at wikipedia.

  15. Hybrid says:

    The more I think about this, the more frustrated I become…

  16. dadioflex says:

    See, all that tilting at Fox’s windmills was a massive waste of time. THIS is a serious topic where RPS can have a material effect and very likely a positive outcome.

    I revisited OMM almost daily for at least three years after they stopped posting, just in case…. and I was last back there about a month ago just catching up with some memories.

    • Towercap says:

      I’m interested in both stories.
      Also, the FOX reporting was not a waste of time — RPS obviously made enough noise to garner a response from the authors of the original story. If anything, that should serve to show that MSM cannot pull off cheap shots on account of the video game industry.

  17. Phillip Culliton says:

    Short form of my original comment: Schumin needs to stop being an admin.

    Addendum to the short form: I’ve read all of the discussions related to this, and it strikes me that a handful of people who seem to either a) have an agenda or b) have no idea what they’re talking about are deciding what information I should have access to. Err… that’s great. Wikipedia sucks as an encyclopedia but is GREAT as a first point of reference on a trail to more in-depth sources. Don’t remove stuff just because you think no one cares about it, all right?

  18. Jimmy Z says:

    Careful now, don’t stir the hornet’s nest or you might find Rock, Paper & Shotgun’s page deleted next. It has two shouty boxes in it already! Be wary of the wrath of the assburgers!

    On a serious note, this is absolutely fucking ridiculous. Even though I’m personally not familiar with OMM, it should be blindingly obvious to anyone, just based on all the sources pasted on the Wikipedia talk page alone, that we’re talking about an important piece of game journalism history here, that definitely deserves a Wikipedia article. Especially since there are already tons of articles on WP on subjects far more obscure, poorly referenced and of absolutely no fucking significance at all.

    What a fucking disgrace and reading all those smug self-important fucks congratulate each other for defending their precious circle jerk arena against “non notable” subjects positively makes my blood boil.

  19. Risingson says:

    I said it before a dozen times and I say it now: the GK3 puzzle rant is one of the Godwins of the adventure genre: don’t blame the entire genre for a puzzle that lacks context in a game. Or don’t blame the entire genre for a design flaw in a game.

    • phlebas says:

      Much as I absolutely agree and would be quite happy for that article never to be quoted in my hearing again – ‘Not notable’?????

  20. Dreamhacker says:

    I’m not sure you can do much about deletionists. Once they make up their mind about deleting something, they will go to extreme lengths of stupidity to defend the deletion.

  21. Harkkum says:

    …and there I was thinking that the Finnish version of Wikipedia was filled with bickering and ignorance. This non-notability criteria they have has proven out to be a bit too powerful a tool for them to handle. I am eagerly anticipating them to remove entries such as “love”, “happiness” &c. as there hardly can be any evidence from such that cannot be called irrelevant.

    For offly long time now, Wikipedia has had a strange policy of accepting a monolith truth on matters that hardly fall under such category. It all reminds me from the eloquent argument by B. Russell on the nature of yellow (or ostensive concepts in general, I guess): although yellow as a colour can be depicted using a graph showing its wave length it hardly tells anything from the colour yellow as such. This all would, according to Wikipedia, be mere hearsay as colour yellow can only be scientifically proven to denote those very wave lenghts.

    I do hope that one day Wikipedia can lose its stigma of being the playground of the-not-so-witty-I-know-it-alls and leap back to being a discussive forum where verisimilitude to truth is found not in the heads of few but in the discussion of many. ‘Till then, bring on the Book BBQ, El Presidente!

  22. Ice-Fyre says:

    The people need to rise up (Egypt style!) and stop this crap. The admin on wiki are as useful as our MP’s tbh

  23. Robin says:

    Regardless of megalomania’s talk of ‘persistence’, once something is rejected once from Wikipedia, it’s near impossible to ever get it in there, irrespective of how well it fits their arbitrary rules.

    Missing in action:

    Canabalt
    David McCandless
    RLLMUK Forum (of course the US equivalent NEOGAF is fine)
    Blue’s News

    It just isn’t possible to get a consistent historical perspective on games from Wikipedia when huge pieces of the foundations are missing.

    • oceanclub says:

      WHAT? You’re serious? They deleted an article on David McCandless? I remember this guy from games magazines in my childhood; he’s still around after 30-ish years.

    • shoptroll says:

      Blue’s News is a funny case because it looks like it was removed back in 2008, yet it’s listed as reputable source in the Video Games/Sources page. This goes back to one of the core problems with Wikipedia currently: too many cooks in the kitchen creating a problem of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.

  24. Hybrid says:

    An admin that has a fan art page dedicated to himself… ugh, makes me sick.

  25. faelnor says:

    The problem here is that a normal person, after marking the article for deletion and reading the amount of feedback, would try as much as possible to gather all sides of the argument and encourage kindly the opposite side to provide an unique and large list of quotes and links that might justify the inclusion.

    It seems to me that such content was provided, although a bit on the trifle side (see point 2 below), but wasn’t allowed much time to be gathered and considered in a composed and fair manner because of the lack of tact and one-sided decisions of wikipedia admins (point 1).

    So there are two problems here :

    1. Personal problems of narrow-minded wikipedia admins resorting to speedy deletion while there is a whole wikipedia arsenal to encourage improving the contents or providing sources. Especially funny when the said admin pretends to be an “inclusionist”.
    There may also be lack of fairness due to an ongoing feud/agenda between the deleting admin with OMM but this remains to be proven.

    2. The fact that large paradigm changes in videogaming website networks and fast evolution of game journalism since the late 90′s led to everyone being deeply influenced by their writing but without stating it loudly. Every self-respecting PC gamer knows OMM and how influencial they have been but since it wasn’t published like AP, relevant and extremely notable discussions about OMM articles probably found their place in the private sphere of game reviewers (forums, comments, chat, etc.) rather than the front page of wired.

    I think now is the time for game journalists to claim their origins by establishing OMM’s notability and giving a huge middle finger to that despicable electronic old man (without flexibility).

  26. Tokjos says:

    According to his userpage on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:SchuminWeb) he is both an “Inclusionist” and an “Exclusionist”. Does it mean he can’t decide what he believes, or that he’s accepted that he is an hypocrite?

    • faelnor says:

      No it’s wikipedia’s stupid way of saying that he’s both in favour of keeping articles when in doubt but to exclude content that doesn’t comply with wp policies from these articles.

      Basically it doesn’t mean anything, but it neatly shows how dumb it is to try to solve the inclusion/deletion gordian knot using fixed and universal rules. AND IN THE GAME

  27. clive dunn says:

    Just for clarification, WIKIPEDIA IS DEAD.
    Or rather,, Wikipedia is a zombie. Just a walking corpse that everyone with any sense stopped trusting a long time ago. It’s a crying shame because it could have been fantastic but as with most human endevours it was corrupted beyond the point of redemption.
    R.I.P

  28. Jacques says:

    What I find scary, is that on his user page, Schumin says he’s got an interest in web design.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:SchuminWeb I guess he never bothered taking that interest to his own personal site.

    With all the drama that went on recently with MUD’s getting deleted for not being “notorious” enough, and all the current nonsense, wouldn’t it make sense to leave Wikipedia to it’s bullshit and strike out and make a new wiki site, that documents gaming’s history?

  29. 7rigger says:

    I’ve learned a lot about wikipedia this morning. Unfortunately it’s all disappointing.

    In my opinion deleting pages from what could be an infinite repository of knowledge is just silly, but it’s not my site or decision.

    And I never read OMM, but I distinctly remember reading articles elsewhere, especially the Start-To-Crate one. I think it may have been in PC Zone

  30. roosten says:

    Looking through the various articles concerning this deletion on Wikipedia itself just made me sad, and reminded me why I stopped editing there. Apparently as long as your interlocutors are new, they can be dismissed out of hand as ‘meatpuppets’. The sheer arrogance of that position, and of some of the administrators involved in this deletion, truly dismays me.

  31. mrjackspade says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2011_March_3#Old_Man_Murray

    Starting to look promising – a lot of more established editors are throwing their weight into this argument and someone’s finally formally cited this page as supporting evidence.

    It’s all nice and civilised but I’d much rather we got OMM back in a public lynching of the dude with an abnormally high BMI and a grudge who started it all off in the first place.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      They keep using bizarre acronyms. It’s quite scary. Like watching a cult meeting.

    • bascule42 says:

      Now that looks like the Interesting Times Gang.

    • shoptroll says:

      The amount of jargon and inside baseball I’ve seen on display while wading through this entire debacle has been fascinating and at the same time absolutely mind numbing. I totally get the need to have all these policies and procedures to keep vandalism out and prevent people from putting absolute drivel in the Wiki. But there comes a point where the terminology and number of policies in place almost require a week long training session to fully make sense. Which is extremely off putting to the casual observer or user.

  32. Nick says:

    I find this meatpuppet term extremely annoying. Who the fuck do they think they are exactly?

    • oceanclub says:

      “Who the fuck do they think they are exactly?”

      A self-perpetuating clique?

      P.

    • 7rigger says:

      After following the link mrjackspade left, I was amazed to find out how much they used this term. Do they realize how it makes them sound? I understand they they should not listen to everyone, as it would be impossible, and that they need verifiable sources for arguments left…

      But dismissing people as ‘Meatpuppets’? It’s quite clearly being used as a derogatory slur for anyone that they see as an outsider. I think this may stop my habit of slipping into a Wikicoma on quiet nights, now that I know how they truly think of me.

      *edit*

      oceanclub got it spot on :)

    • Nick says:

      Especially as one of the biggest offenders seems to be the guy with admin rights… is there somewhere we can complain about improper admin conduct? I’m actually genuinly disgusted.

    • safetydank says:

      The hypocrisy on display is stunning. The wikipedia page describing the term Meat puppet notes that it is “pejorative” term used in a “deprecating” manner. And yet it gets bandied about freely between calls for civility on the page.

      That very page had a much better definition of meat puppet – “a person who disagrees with you”.

      And digging into the posting histories of Schumin’s biggest Wikipedia cheerleader “HalfShadow” is disturbing to say the least.

      He fits the clinical definition of psychopath. Literally.

    • mrjackspade says:

      Halfshadow: “Actually, given the manner of her death, it’s most likely she did. C*ck, too.”

      WTF? Is this talking about what I think it’s talking about?

    • Kadayi says:

      Admin abuse and contempt is an age old story.

  33. wayreth says:

    In all reality, if this isn’t reversed in 24 hours… well then wikipedia has made a huge mistake they will never actually be held accountable for.

  34. bonjovi says:

    Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Wish Wiki would go back to the original style.

  35. Devenger says:

    Best of luck to those trying to resolve this error. We can hope that this incident makes the site notable with less of a doubt. If the worst comes to the worst, perhaps the escalation of this conflict will actually become notable in its own right… so if people don’t stop trying, it’s bound to work eventually (else Wikipedia has been completely compromised by its own administration, which is… possible, I suppose).

    Also, I am disappointed that the link to AvCP is broken. I really wanted to catch them all.

  36. Wilson says:

    The meatpuppet thing is extremely sad. Surely the way to deal with a rush of people from outside sites is just to refer them to the proper procedures and take on whatever relevant information they do bring. I read one person on that deletion thread doing that, but it was mixed with others putting across thoughtless dismissal and even one person suggesting that they had to leave the thread deleted now or it would be a victory for outsiders coming in and commenting (he called them trolls). It’s disappointing that some contributors to something aiming to be an unbiased source of information could have fallen prey to such a basic prejudice as fear/dislike of outsiders. Don’t they have any pride?

    • detyfus says:

      As Lore Sjöberg says, in Wired so you know it’s true:

      It will help to familiarize yourself with some of the common terms used on Wikipedia:
      meat puppet: A person who disagrees with you.
      non-notable: A subject you’re not interested in.
      vandalism: An edit you didn’t make.
      neutral point of view: Your point of view.
      consensus: A mythical state of utopian human evolution. Many scholars of Wikipedian theology theorize that if consensus is ever reached, Wikipedia will spontaneously disappear.

      http://www.wired.com/software/webservices/commentary/alttext/2006/04/70670

    • safetydank says:

      Navigating Wikipedia legalese is like a hazing procedure for the regulars. They’re not there to make the process accessible to outsiders, they are cementing their internal power structure. Using the us-and-them terminology of “meatpuppets” differentiates the editors from the unwashed masses.

      For a site founded on the premise that anybody can edit anything it is profoundly sad to see admin rights concentrated in the hands of an insular minority.

      It’s not a systemic problem yet, and Wikipedia’s still the best we have. But these abusive admins have no oversight and are running Wikipedia as a personal fiefdom to grind their axes, and that is not cool.

      As far as I’m concerned these admins can go WP:CHOKEONABUCKETOFDICKS.

    • D says:

      ^ NSFW and is indeed what it says.

      Edit: Well I guess, technically it’s more of a basket..

    • Eclectic says:

      detyfus’ comment should be deleted as the source he cited is not notable. Try using a more accepted secondary source instead, like this one.

      http://www.economist.com/node/10789354

    • safetydank says:

      It’s okay, they’re just yams. Mostly.

    • El Stevo says:

      Oh, they are not yams. The following link is technically safe for work, but is still rather revolting.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk5NA9E9QeE

  37. Kdansky says:

    The thing that shocks me is that Kotaku, Gabe Newell and PC Gamer are apparently not trustworthy sources. If it’s not on wired (the only tech-magazine mentioned), then it doesn’t exist. Also “the page is not online anymore” is a great reason! The Romans are dead, the second world war has ended and we don’t need articles for anything past the second of march 2011, right?

  38. Teddy Leach says:

    Nothing is notable. Everything must be deleted.

    What gets me is that there are thousands of pages dedicated to incredibly obscure albums by incredibly obscure musicians, and yet they never seem to get deleted. Just hit the ‘random article’ button a few times. You’ll be amazed at the stuff on there.

  39. utharda says:

    F wikipedia. Especally F Jimmy “can I borrow a fiver” Wales. Also F all those little twits who get their joy from being wikipedia nazi’s. I haven’t used wikipedia in years, precisley because of the editors. When I want to find something out, I use the modern encylopedia… its called google.

    Sorry, its a sore spot, and its still before 7 am here.

  40. Gary W says:

    Why does it matter if an oldmanmurray article is being deleted from Wikipedia (a site I’ve never heard of)?

    If you like oldmanmurray, then tell your kids about it. They’ll probably look it over, and hate it instantly — as the younger generation should. However, if the writing has any merit, then it’ll persist in spite of the absence of some pompous encyclopedia entries.

    Personally, I prefer the articles of the late H.L. Mencken to anything Erik wrote, good though it was. Remember him?

    • Phillip Culliton says:

      Heh, apparently I missed the irony. Err, thanks Kieron.

      Edited to add:

      a) That’s some nice irony, Gary!

      b) Given what I’ve read in the Wiki discussions on Wikipedia itself, I thought someone had decided to come here and say precisely what the Wiki people have been saying over there, so the irony wasn’t as dissonant for me as it might have been. I think the upshot of this is I should stop reading the Wiki discussions.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      (Phil – you may have missed a little irony in Gary’s post, btw)

      KG

  41. Coins says:

    Sweet heavens, those wiki admins are more bone-headed and oblivious than my local government clerk.

  42. wisnoskij says:

    Sounds like typical Wikipedia stuff to me. If it does not matter to the normal wikipedia editor then it is not worthy of inclusion.

  43. MuffinHunter says:

    Not that Wikipedia editors’ double standards are news to people, but if the Orange Smoothie Productions (OSP) article that I started is still up years later, there’s absolutely no basis for taking down the OMM article.

  44. bascule42 says:

    You know that bit on Star Wars with BK tells Luke “you’ve just entered a larger world”?….well, reading all this about how wikiP is managed and the “debates” with a certain person and his smaller orbital bodies, has been the opposite of that. It’s like some greasy guy has put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Do you wanna see some puppies”…I always thought of wikiP as a good start to finding info…And now I find It’s tainted, soiled, a thin layer of skin with rot and maggots infesting the undersurface. I never knew. I. Never. Knew.

  45. 7rigger says:

    @CMaster
    I personally am not for deleting information, but appending it to documents relating to other matters is more what I’m getting at. Why couldn’t it have had it’s own article?

    The references on the wiki page lead to a book that states “the continued figuring of anime in terms of Judaeo-Christian theological tradition is deeply problematic”

    And then it’s rammed into an article about Crucifixion in the Arts? Couldn’t he read his own reference and simly create a page for it? It has notable references.

    *edit* Not a reply fail, my fail. Remember to actually click the ‘reply’ button Dave!

    • CMaster says:

      I was referring to Jetsetlemming’s post, not yours 7rigger (I didn’t see you calling an entire media form child pornography anywhere). As said, I don’t think that the said example was one that merited inclusion, or that the behaviour (as described) of the editor in question was at all reasonable. Merely that JSL was espousing the general attitude that leads to all these deletions.
      I also recognise that notability is a necessary criteria to prevent wikipedia becoming nothing other than a hive of self and corporate promotion. I just feel that the bar is set rather unfairly by editors prejudice, combine with the fact that deleting articles is one of the best ways to get yourself promoted in wiki’s hierarchy. (see admins in OMM’s article dismissing Kotaku, PCGamer, etc as “just some unreliable blogs”). This sense that some people have that if Wikipedia covers things that aren’t “important” then it undermines the project.
      Personally, I find the project more useful when it does cover all sorts of fields with lots and lots of articles. 1950s comic books may not be especially important in most senses – neither is say the mass of distant stars or the historial farming technqiues in eastern russia. But I like being able to get an overview of things like this when I want. When people start pruning stuff like that as non-notable, it frustrates me as it takes away something I’d like to read, even though I don’t care about it. The people who removed it seem to feel that because they don’t care about it, then it shouldn’t be on there.

      Edit: I’m also not that fussed about OMM having an article, certainly not outraged at it’s deletion. I just think it’s a typical example of the nature of wikipedia – there’s enough material easily found that references OMM out there to make it clear it isn’t a self promotion thing. Therefore what good does it do to delete the article?

    • 7rigger says:

      Ah, ok. Got my knickers in a twist over nothing then :p

      I have discovered an evil, ugly side to my quiet Wikicoma’s though. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to space out at an article again without thinking about meatpuppets.

      Who am I kidding? Of course I will. I’m a geek :)

  46. crainey92 says:

    Although I havn’t personaly read OMM I can only guess that it’s very notable if RPS is inspired by his work therefore I would come to the assumption that it was bloody good and defintely noteable. I love how RPS stands up for what is right, well done noble gentlemen.

  47. itsallcrap says:

    The Your Sinclair site linked is just a fan site, of course.

    For YS as recalled by the generally excellent J Nash, see YS2/100:

    http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/ap2/ys2/

  48. Kid_A says:

    “To put this in perspective, everyone who’s voted “keep” (the legitimate votes, anyway), is voting not to delete an article about a site that (and let’s face facts here) has been dead for nine years. I have no idea why the site even still exists.”

    Right, so anything that’s been dead for 9 years shouldn’t have an article on it?
    Goodbye, everything that happened more than 9 years ago. Crap, there goes the First Gulf War. Shit, goodbye Cuban Missile Crisis. Roman Empire? Fuck, not notable, sorry.

  49. sexyresults says:

    Upon seeing the link to RPS here’s what one of these Wikipedia fucking animals had to say
    “Oh golly, a site I’ve never heard of before today has their collective panties in a bunch, so I guess we’d better rethink the whole thing. Cripes… HalfShadow 00:55, 3 March 2011 (UTC)”

    • sexyresults says:

      Clearly reveling in their win. It has been reviewed a second time and it stays deleted.
      After someone pointed out his conflict of interest he came up with this pearler
      “Actually, it’s my dick that’s huge, not my CoI. Thanks, though. HalfShadow 01:11, 3 March 2011 (UTC)”

  50. RevStu says:

    The equation when it comes to Wikipedia is simple: do you care more about the thing you’re trying to achieve than the ranked armies of deletionists and destructionists do about flexing their own power? The chances are that you don’t, so by far the best thing to do is turn the other cheek, because it’s only your own life you’ll be wasting. Fucking up Wikipedia IS their life.

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