Victory! Old Man Murray Is Back On Wikipedia

By John Walker on March 4th, 2011 at 12:17 am.

I hand made this. Hence it looking so dodgy.

Old Man Murray has been reinstated on Wikipedia!

After we began our campaign yesterday, there’s been a remarkable reaction. A quite extraordinarily evidenced article is now on the encyclopaedia site, with more references than the New England Journal Of Medicine. It’s a splendid sight, so congratulations to everyone who weighed in. Especially WP editors, OverlordQ and Masem, for their amazing efforts. (Just need to rescue the Portal Of Evil page now!)

But we’re not leaving it at that. We have something incredibly special lined up for tomorrow. Be sure to tune in at 2pm (Friday) afternoon.

Which makes this the last call for any developers or journalists who would like to tell us why they loved/hated Old Man Murray, and why they think it is notable. We already have the most extraordinary collection, but we’d love to see any more that people may want to send in. Please email john@rockpapershotgun.com with anything you might want to share.

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95 Comments »

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  1. Kaira- says:

    Hurray!

  2. xbolt says:

    Today is a good day!

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      Rinox says:

      Every one of you deserves a medal!

    • karry says:

      Sooo…you are celebrating the saving of a wiki entry on the old webpage, which is full of “reviews” that all reads like bad forum rants which the net has more than enough, and doesnt give any factual information about the game in question ? Good job !

      Looked at the OMM page for the second time to see if i’m still missing something. Nope, another three minutes of my life lost forever.

    • Urael says:

      Karry – you are quite the negative personality, aren’t you? Glass half empty – grrmoanhiss. Have you got anything positive to say about PC games or do you just like being a contrarian?

      One would have thought that if you don’t like something you’d be much better served by commenting on stuff you do like and not trying to spoil everyone else’s party?

    • Dervish says:

      A true OMM fan would never use “glass half empty” in such a negative way.
      Speaking of half full of piss, though, the writing on this wiki entry is kinda bad. The “Themes” section reads like a high school essay and not an encyclopedia entry. Oh well, at least the citation links are pretty useful.

  3. Hybrid says:

    Thank you to everyone who had a part in bringing it back!

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    You may strike us down, but we only come back more powerful than before… a bit like a Weeble

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    shoptroll says:

    Looking forward to seeing the feature. Pretty amazing you guys could pull something together so quickly and smack in the middle of covering GDC.

  6. safetydank says:

    Score one for Justice!

  7. kwyjibo says:

    Good work.

    Don’t stop at OMM though. If something is important, and worth remembering, someone needs to write about it, someone needs to preserve it. Oral histories won’t survive history.

    It’s one of the reasons I love Retro Gamer, mining lost gems and giving them new light. They’re doing games a service, never die.

  8. crainey92 says:

    FUCK YE (SORRY I JUST CAN’T EXPRESS HOW HAPPY I AM WITHOUT USING CAPS AND SWEARING.)

  9. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Old men are the future.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Won’t somebody please think of the Old Men!

    • speedwaystar says:

      “won’t someone please think of the Electronic Old Men”
      FTFY :)

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    Diziet Sma says:

    Well done RPS and it’s collective hive.

  11. Navagon says:

    Woo! The internets have just been improved.

  12. Guiscard says:

    Masem probably would have put it up for deletion review anyway, regardless of RPS, but its good its back. This is more Wikipedia’s editors cleaning up their own mess. They’re not all incompetent you know.Hopefully this result will give less cause for the unjustified bashing the site got in the other comments thread. When Wikipedia works, it works really well.
    Fingers crossed for your upcoming feature to be a detailed history of Old Man Murray and its impact. Something that would help the article develop nicely.

    • Manley Pointer says:

      Did Masem start the deletion review before RPS’s article was published? Despite the protests of some wikipedians posting in the comments here, it seemed like the talk page only built up a critical mass of complaints after Walker’s RPS article (and the slashdot link to it).

      Though I don’t know exactly how wikipedia’s deletion reviews work, it seems kind of dubious that Masem’s appeal would have gone through on its own. It was sad to read the talk pages for the deletion and see the undisguised contempt some wiki editors have for any writers who aren’t already entrenched in their community. The OMM page was clearly notable from the start, but the editors who supported its deletion were more concerned about resisting pressure from “the Internet” than acknowledging the overwhelming number of media references to OMM people dug up. I don’t believe wikipedians would have revived the page without Walker’s heroic article.

    • Rhin says:

      Indeed, following the votes to overturn the deletion, the massive influx of admin attention happened mainly because of RPS (and slashdot’s link to the RPS article)

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      Nathan says:

      The DRV page is an interesting read from top to bottom. I’m glad that throughout it read as if the vast majority of posts were from well intentioned editors and admins putting across their opinion and sometimes (as you’d expect!) genuinely disagreeing.

      Some of it was stupidly cliquey, of course: “Oh goody. I can’t wait to see what happens next when the drooling masses on the internet note one of their “pet” articles is getting deleted.” and this is a huge problem that faces Wikipedia. But it’s a web community, it’s hard to expect anything else.

      (For what it’s worth, I don’t think that it was clear, from the perspective of someone unfamiliar with the subject matter, quite how notable in the traditional sense OMM is. And Wikipedia’s definition of notable crucially varies an awful lot from the ‘normal’ definition. This is a nuance that it’s easy to miss.)

    • Guiscard says:

      Well, I think the important thing to remember is that not all Wikipedia editors are imbeciles like Schumin and his supporters. There’s good people there who do damn good work on video games articles, despite the stigmatism they can receive from both on and off the site.

    • Masem says:

      I originally saw RPS’s article – when it was nancent, like at 20 comments and came up in my RSS feeds – and thought it odd it was deleted. I reviewed the history, saw what I think was a wrong decision by the closing admin, and proceeded with what I did (tried to talk to the admin to close then DRV it). I also saw what SchuminWeb’s activities were and thought that odd (I maintain the Portal article so recognized his name when he removed OMM from Chet’s name there) – and initially was going to call a COI issue, but realized that he did nothing “wrong” with the AFD process.

      Now, what I think would have happened if there was no big push of outside users was likely the same thing – just 7 days from now – the regular WPians that I recognize were all in favor of overturning At worst, we would have had an OMM section under Erik Wolpaw’s article. Process was seen through, and all those that supplied additional sources are exactly what we needed to assure we’ll never see OMM deleted again.

    • RiptoR says:

      @masem: I’m really grateful for what you’ve done for the article, but it really baffles me that you (and some other editors) still don’t think there was a conflict of interest with Schumin. Don’t get me wrong, it is true that he followed the AfD process correctly. But he should have never even have been allowed to start the procedure in the first place, especially when you consider his personal history with OMM and its writers.

      While it’s true that he might not even have a personal grudge towards OMM and its writers today, the history he has/had with the site clearly makes it a conflict of interest. On top of that, you yourself even said he had been editing out Chet’s and Erik’s names from other articles prior to the deletion request. Even total outsiders can see that he clearly had a personal agenda there.

      You can quote all the WP:WHATEVERS you want, the whole debale around OMM has shown that those policies are sometimes a good cover for “established” admins to hide behind. Or to completely ignore them if they aren’t convenient (the WP:COI comes to mind here). And it’s stuff like this that gives Wikipedia a bad name.

      Again to be clear, I’m not saying that all wiki editors are like this, the reversal has shown that there are a lot more “good” editors than “bad” ones. And I understand that there must be policies to weed out completely irrelevant entries, but what use are these policies when they are clearly flawed themselves?

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      oceanclub says:

      “but it really baffles me that you (and some other editors) still don’t think there was a conflict of interest with Schumin.”

      That’s the part I really don’t get either. As noted, it wasn’t just the OMM article; he was editing related names out of other articles as well. Are Wikipedian admins claiming this was just coincidence?

      P.

    • Meat Circus says:

      I think the point is that Schumin did not delete the article, he just nominated it.

      The deleting editor may have taken Schumin at his word, and therefore come to the wrong decision, but had no conflict of interest himself.

    • Voidy says:

      Kudos to Masem for helping to resolve the issue in the most polite (to both sides) and nice way possible. Thank you!

    • Masem says:

      @RiptoR: Actually, I do believe that SchuminWeb was editing in bad faith (carrying a grudge to WP), but for all practical purposes, he did not abuse his admin powers, or the abilities of a normal editor, in his actions. He didn’t edit war, the AFD process was by-the-books, and the like. It’s very difficult to convince admins to take significant action on very little problematic evidence, and certainly nothing about the AFD alone could be taken as a reason to remove his admin abilities.

      Trust me, there are worse battlefields on WP where it is impossible to lay down action even though people are taking a very baised stand. (for example anything dealing with the modern state of Jeruselem, or anything dealing with Northern Ireland vs Ireland the country).

      If anything, my biggest problem was the closure of the AFD as “delete” without any of the other possible options considered. And that wasn’t SchuminWeb that closed it.

  13. obo says:

    Notably, your NEJM namedrop made some editors at the Neej very, very happy.

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    mpk says:

    I don’t care what anyone says, for this and the Bulletstorm articles John Walker deserves a medal and a special hat for being Fucking Awesome.

  15. cjlr says:

    I just went back and read some articles. There were jokes about Duke Nukem Forever being delayed. How far we’ve come.

    I propose we combine any official time-to-crate score with a new, more modern update – official time-to-chest-high-wall score.

  16. JFS says:

    Wave your flags! Down with the nerds! Yeah… no, not us. The other nerds. Yeah – exac… yeah. You know what I mean.

  17. Walsh says:

    One of the sourced items in the OMM wikipedia: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/five-worst-gaming.php

    A review from a Mr Kieron Gillen is critiqued to some amusement.

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      Nathan says:

      It didn’t strike me the last time this article made the rounds, but Mr Gillen looks just a bit like the Merovingian. Maybe.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I genuinely can’t tell if the writer is being serious. If he is, my faith in humanity just plummeted. Again.

  18. Shatners Bassoon says:

    May it live on forever more!

  19. Consumatopia says:

    Kudos to the good people at both RPS and Wikipedia for their hard work. The system works!

    • Consumatopia says:

      Actually, this whole episode gives me a whole lot more respect for Wikipedia editors. It’s by their sheer force of will that a system that doesn’t really make sense actually works. Not all the time, but surprisingly often. Surprising in the sense that if you spend a couple seconds thinking about it it’s kind of weird that something like Wikipedia can exist at all. It’s like Kafka’s The Trial, but with a happy ending.

    • Harkkum says:

      You know there’s something special happening when Internet forums get a reference to Kafka — and does it correctly.

  20. Gabe McGrath says:

    “Bam! Wiki job!”

  21. jeremypeel says:

    Wahoo! We’ve got more agency here than in Alpha Protocol.

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    Gabbo says:

    The RPS Hivemind should replace the current DOW2 background with a warehouse full of creates in honour of the occasion.

  23. Walsh says:

    50 giant squid having a tea party just….

    ran out of sugar

    YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  24. Javier-de-Ass says:

    hehehe. congrats to old grumpy murray

    TIME TO CRATE

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      stahlwerk says:

      I find it amusing that Wolpaw would then go on and create the weighted companion cube, arguably the first NPC(rate) in the FPS genre.

    • speedwaystar says:

      do you know, i never thought of the connection! well spotted.

  25. roosten says:

    Well, huzzah. Thanks very much to the Wiki insiders who helped bring this about.

    Edit: Having seen how well sourced the article was it astonishes me that it was deleted in the first place.

  26. foda500 says:

    The Deus Ex walktru is my favorite piece.

    Edit: wrong article.

  27. Zee says:

    Now it’s time to get bluesnews back in wikipedia too!

    http://www.bluesnews.com/s/119279/out-of-the-blue

    • rei says:

      I genuinely think that’s a bigger shame than OMM getting deleted.

  28. haircute says:

    Fantastic news! Going to go read a few of my fav articles and wear my Erik shirt I made back in ’00. Well, as soon as I make another one which means I’m going to have to find my finger paints…

  29. Redcoat-Mic says:

    Just read the “America Under Attack” article:
    http://www.oldmanmurray.com/features/21.html

    Why’d you bother?

    • haircute says:

      Take that back!

    • Eightball says:

      I just read it and preserving OMM seems even more important

    • sebmojo says:

      You buffoon. This remains comedy gold:

      I’d kind of hoped that my life spent in the simulator would have prepared me for battle when the time finally came. Unfortunately, it seems to have mainly prepared me to play new videogames without having to first read the manual. As it turns out, the sedentary life of a gamer has made me physically weak and also a coward. I’m furious, but scared and impotent when it comes to meting out the Rutger-Hauer-style blind vengeance that I crave. I’ve spent thousands of hours playing Heroes of Might and Magic, but here, in the end, I’m simply a Victim of Might and Magic. Inactivity has left me with brittle matchstick arms. With one hard slap, a Muslim child could make me explode into a cloud of dust like a mummy. Touched by a relatively harmless Islamist sparkler, I’d evaporate in a burst of flame, also like a mummy. Gaming has effectively turned me into a mummy – a motionless,dessicated South American mummy like you’d see on Nova, though, not the Egyptian kind that can climb walls and punch a hole through your chest.

  30. Urthman says:

    You might enjoy my Top Ten List of Old Man Murray Articles that John kindly rescued from the spam filter and posted to the original thread.

  31. haircute says:

    Also, because, even though I suppose the writing might seem a little over done or forced or something else now it wasn’t back then. For my part, OMM (and The GIA) changed the way I thought about and appreciated games even though I had been enjoying them for nearly twenty years at that point. OMM, like RPS and some commenters said in the last thread, influenced a lot of developers and journalists that are around today. And, I know this sounds like a jab but bear with me, OMM was pretty important to those of us who are naught but mere mortals: the Players.

    • haircute says:

      shit man forget that. the writing is not overdone or nothing that shit is tight so forget i even said that first sentence peace im out OMM BACK!

  32. Novotny says:

    Congrats to everyone!

  33. gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

    So glad to see Schumin lose one. God, that old Portal of Evil article about his personal website was a roar!

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    Saul says:

    Bizarrely, I never read a whole lot of OMM back in the day, even though it was pretty much right up my alley, but I’ve seen few gaming sites mentioned with such reverence over the years. I’m glad its wiki page is back. I just read the “crate review system” article for the very first time and it made me grin.

  35. dadioflex says:

    http://www.oldmanmurray.com/features/727.html

    That’s my favourite.

    “Stay away everyone, Dave is a clothes stealer!!! He wrote the clothes steal hack!!! He’s a CS! CS!”

  36. TuesdayExpress says:

    What a sha acclaim!

  37. speedwaystar says:

    we need to enshrine Old Man Murray’s googly-eyed face by injecting him into the memeosphere (urg) as a ragefaces-style image macro. forget trollface, forever alone and fuck yeah: “try not to be such fruits”.

  38. Muzman says:

    Lead line “Internet nerds at Wikipedia forced to respect internet”

  39. apa says:

    I like this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Old_Man_Murray#Why_is_this_page_even_here.3F

    She probably didn’t like the stabs at puzzles and adventure games ;)

  40. DeepSleeper says:

    I absolutely hate Old Man Murray. Always have.

    I’m thrilled that the wiki entry on it has been rescued from deletion. It’s clearly important and a critical part of games writing history.

  41. Tei says:

    But, is this the end?, like a Kafka novel, the wikipedia process have no real exit.

  42. Hoaxfish says:

    Kinda makes you wonder how many other “non-notable” articles have been flushed from Wikipedia while everyone else just wasn’t looking. I’m betting most people don’t regularly check Wikipedia’s OMM article to see if it is there or not. Much like you don’t check that 1+1=2, you just assume it is.

    Also.. does this article (and others that may relate to the same subject), about fighting wikipedia, also count as reference to OMM’s notability… or would wikipedia have a bit of a fit if they had to add articles that shows wikipedia flaws, or at least those of specific individuals within wikipedia?

    • edit says:

      I think it is definitely significant and worth being added to the article.. Someone with a wiki account should simply add it and see if there is any backlash.

  43. megalomania says:

    I’m glad OMM got rescued from a bad AfD, but I think this comment from a well-respected admin on Wikipedia that popped up in the deletion review is worth thinking about:
    “As soon as gaming journalists start actually writing about gaming history instead of relying on Wikipedia to do it for them, maybe there will be some real sources to base this article on.”

    The reason articles like this are vulnerable to deletion is because the have to be written relying on scattered sources that mention the topic tangentially. That makes it difficult to explain why the topic is notable to people who don’t have prior knowledge on it. Were there a single post on a respected gaming site that was /solely/ about Old Man Murray and its impact, the article would never have been deleted in the first place.

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    Gap Gen says:

    In the Discussion page:
    “Only ranked 694,502 on Alexa, therefore not notable. Oh I forgot, it’s American so the Wiki Fascist editors have to include it. –RobertaWilliams” (i.e. the game designer, allegedly)

    Hmm.

    • Nick says:

      She’s just mad cause they took a pop at her.

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      Gap Gen says:

      I guess if you only personally offend 49% of the people on the web then a majority of the people still like you.

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      shoptroll says:

      If you look at the history on that it’s really questionable as to whether or not it’s actually her. There’s numerous edits trying to get that line added in (including some foul language) properly. Also, the comment was made almost 5 years ago.

      For what it’s worth, she’s pretty much kept out of public eye since departing Sierra. Ken’s been much more in touch with the gaming community.

  45. bascule42 says:

    The ITG saved the day. Huzzah.

  46. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    From Twitter, some background on the whole Portal of Evil/OMM/Schumin/Halfshadow drama:

    http://youngbums.tumblr.com/post/3633921110/the-worlds-smallest-war

    P.

  47. thecat17 says:

    I hope the notoriety and rising internet stardom that comes with being mentioned on RPS is enough for a female reader to take one for Wikipedia’s sake to find compassion in her heart and finally pop SchuminWeb’s cherry.

  48. Premium User Badge

    sendmark says:

    So by attempting to take their bitter revenge all SchuminWeb and Halfshadow accomplished was to revive the popularity of Old Man Murray and bring their past shame back to light.

    Well done.