Wikipedia RPG Article
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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:42 am 
 

I was wondering if anyone had ever read the article on RPGs in Wikipedia. I follwed the links to it from an auction and found it informative though I took exception to the follwoing:

Gary Gygax - Early TSR material, often called "The Father of D&D"

David A. Hargrave - One of the "Grandfathers" of the modern RPG and creator of Arduin

Now not to slight the great work of Mr. Hargrave but I am thinking that Gary is getting the short end of the stick there. Sort of like saying Gutenberg printed early books and is often called "The Father of the Printed Bible".

All I had to say. I just wanted to rant about something.

Here is the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_playing_game


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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:54 am 
 

I can only assume how it was written, "grandfathers" was meant to mean he's old (course he died in 1988)
Just like our Founding Fathers are older then anyone's grandfather.

Rob Kuntz doesn't have a page on Wikipedia..now that is odd.

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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 12:40 pm 
 

Don't rant Marilith.  Just do what I did, and edit the entry.

The beauty of Wikipedia is that you can fix errors.



  

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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 4:17 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:Don't rant Marilith.  Just do what I did, and edit the entry.

The beauty of Wikipedia is that you can fix errors.


While interesting to look through, Wikipedia is the largest pile of shite since MySpace.  Every single time I've used it for any general topic, I've found error upon error upon error in the entries I've seen. Basically anyone can enter anything, and they do.  A bunch of talk show hosts in Dallas for a sports station entered their personal info like they were famous people (as a joke) and it's been up for awhile, supposedly it's always going to be "deleted" but it never has been.  Near to being worthless.

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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 4:51 pm 
 

Actually Wikipedia is a pretty good starting point for basic research, which is all an encyclopedia has always been.  Wikipedia can certainly be abused and contain errors, but in science, for example, the British journal Nature found Wikipedia up to snuff with the venerable Britanicca (which also has errors and goes out of date faster).  

Nature article

As for MySpace, well, it's trite nonsense that will be superceded by other trite nonsense faster that one can say Friendster.

  


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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 4:52 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:While interesting to look through, Wikipedia is the largest pile of shite since MySpace.  Every single time I've used it for any general topic, I've found error upon error upon error in the entries I've seen. Basically anyone can enter anything, and they do.  A bunch of talk show hosts in Dallas for a sports station entered their personal info like they were famous people (as a joke) and it's been up for awhile, supposedly it's always going to be "deleted" but it never has been.  Near to being worthless.


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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 5:04 pm 
 

VermilionFire wrote:Actually Wikipedia is a pretty good starting point for basic research, which is all an encyclopedia has always been.  Wikipedia can certainly be abused and contain errors, but in science, for example, the British journal Nature found Wikipedia up to snuff with the venerable Britanicca (which also has errors and goes out of date faster).  

Nature article

As for MySpace, well, it's trite nonsense that will be superceded by other trite nonsense faster that one can say Friendster.


There was a pretty good article in Wall Street Journal awhile back about the Wikipedia/Britanicca dust up. Sorry I cannot annotate as I read it but don't remember when.  Basically, Britanica refutes all the assertions of the journal Nature and says their own researchers found so many errors as to make many Wikipedia articles functionally worthless on certain topics.  Wikipedia naturally refutes this.  I don't speak from a position of authority, but the few times I've had to use Wikipedia it's been about as useful as a chicken fart.  If I was a teacher of any sort I'd forbid it being used as any sort of reference or source in writing a paper.  But YMMV. I just read over a lot of the RPG entries and only found a few errors, as a general source of that subject it wasn't absolutely useless.

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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 5:52 pm 
 

Actually, it is indeed useless, since the data would need to be verified as correct. If you looked at the data and knew it was correct, it was useless to you, since you already knew. If you looked and didn't know if it was or not, still useless, since the method of verification used (and one would be necessary) would be a better original source than Lickmypedia.


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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 6:12 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:Actually, it is indeed useless, since the data would need to be verified as correct. If you looked at the data and knew it was correct, it was useless to you, since you already knew. If you looked and didn't know if it was or not, still useless, since the method of verification used (and one would be necessary) would be a better original source than Lickmypedia.


That goes for anything published, whether it is in binary or paper/ink.  Errors, lies, selective truths, spin, etc. can make it through gatekeepers of paper/ink consciously and unconsciously as easily as in this new digital medium.  

I read that WSJ article as well, and then Nature responded that the WSJ had gotten things wrong in its article too.  

Moral of the story: be skeptical (in Greek meaning a person who thinks a lot) of not only binary publishings but also paper/ink ones.  
It is especially ironic that we're debating this in a digital medium with peer review a la Wikipedia.  
For example, which is more accurate and useful, the Acaeum or Heroic Worlds?  Or the Acaeum or the RPG Price Guide List by Truman?

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 7:25 pm 
 

VermilionFire wrote:That goes for anything published, whether it is in binary or paper/ink.  Errors, lies, selective truths, spin, etc. can make it through gatekeepers of paper/ink consciously and unconsciously as easily as in this new digital medium.  



I have to agree with the portion above. How many people today read larger news papers or watch to the big three networks for their "truth". Anyone who beleives everything they see, hear or read without looking for some other source to help validate it is marching blindly to the beat of a biased drummer.

I realize Wikipedia is written by individuals. I was just commenting that the person writing the article may have been coming from a viewpoint that did not favor the true history of the genre and wanted to make someone they favored perhaps more important than others who were that important.


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Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 7:29 pm 
 

I'm well aware that the mutability of information on Wikipedia is a double-edged sword.  I have in fact used Wikipedia as the start of research for a project of mine, and then dug deeper using books I own.  But then again, I'm also old school.  Back when most of us were in high school (secondary school for UK?) we were taught never to use the encyclopedia as our only source of research.  Wikipedia is just another form of encyclopedia, but unfortunately, today's high schoolers, among others, seem to believe it to be the end all be all for information.

I know I paint with a wide brush, but it's this idea that anything presented on the Internet must be correct that is tripping up the kids that are using Wikipedia and at the same time forgetting that basic rule of research: never rely solely on the encyclopedia.



  
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