We are not a reliable source

Thread in 'Discussion' started by tepples, 15 Nov 2008.

  1. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    An editor of Wikipedia assessed Wikipedia's article about Tetris and gave it a C. Jappalang identified these issues, among others:
    • Wikipedia is not a game guide. It doesn't need a list of the colors of tetrominoes in every pre-SRS game. It doesn't need an analysis of the difference between naive and recursive gravity. In general, it doesn't need in-depth discussion of game mechanics unless a mechanic has had a significant impact on the game's reception, as in the case of infinity in Tetris Worlds or the allegedly unbalanced T-spin reward in Tetris DS versus mode, or the mechanic has been subject to scholarly analysis, such as the ideal uniform uncorrelated randomizer that older games approximate.
    • Ideally, each claim in an article should cite multiple sources, so that readers can verify that the sources are reliable. Does a source more mainstream than Vadim Gerasimov's own web site back up that he worked with Mr. Pajitnov to develop Tetris for MS-DOS?
    • Tetrisconcept.com is not a reliable source. Blogs, forums, and publicly editable wikis are excluded from the definition of reliable sources. Therefore, every time the article cites Tetriswiki, it gets removed and replaced with [citation needed], and someone else can just remove anything unreferenced. The official Wikipedia view on the topic is a composite of what reliable sources have published. For example, Wikipedia officially thinks that Tetris still uses the memoryless randomizer and therefore cannot be played forever because unlike "Tetris is hard, even to approximate", CT's "Playing forever" article hasn't been published in a scholarly journal.
  2. I can't really say that I care.

    In my opinion it's their problem, not ours. If anything it shows that tetrisconcept is a more reliable source than wikipedia.

    I'm not actually upset, but I do find it odd that something mathematical, using simple logic any highscooler should have, isn't in and of itself a valid source. The information is everything... Where it comes from doesn't even matter. So it's not a valid source because the reviewer was too lazy to read it?

    Rant aside, what would the minimum requirements be to make it a valid source? I seriously doubt the Journal of Recreational Mathematics or what not cares.
  4. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    Unless and until it's published by a third party, it's prohibited original research.

    Wikipedia is up-front that it doesn't give a dropping about truth:
    It's not a valid source because it isn't a "credible published material[] with a reliable publication process" (quoting Wikipedia:Reliable sources). Open wikis in general lack "a reliable publication process".

    Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research, and Wikipedia:Reliable sources define this. If the journals don't care, then Wikipedia assumes its readers don't care either:
    But even if tetrisconcept.com can't be a source, it isn't completely left out: it's still the second external link on the article, right below tetris.com. ELs (sites listed in the "External links" section of an article) are held to a different set of standards than sources. In general, an EL has to be highly relevant, non-infringing, readable by anonymous users, either written in English or the subject's official site, not presented as an advertisement, and added to the article by somebody other than a maintainer of the site.
  5. I'm glad we're EL compliant. =] Other than that, I would have to agree with Wikipedia on their policies. Their "no wiki's policy" does smell funny, though. =b Are game manuals Wikipedia:Reliable sources compliant? In that case, Wikipedia wouldn't think Tetris still runs an amnesiac randomizer.
  6. jujube

    jujube Unregistered

    i think they would come back with something like "but in the last 10 years, there have been at least 4 randomizer variations used in official tetris games" (history 4, history 6, 7-piece bag, 8-piece bag). going off on such a tangent to explain the differences and implications of these unique rulesets might not fit into their idea of a "general overview". and that pretty much sucks.

    i think i'll see wikipedia in a different light from now on. i'll have the feeling that what i'm reading there has been unnecessarily minimized. okay, the argument against including info from unestablished sources makes some sense, but i don't understand why they think the reader only wants to scratch the surface in a topic. reading wikipedia isn't homework that you might not want to do ("read these 10 articles that i've chosen and write a summary of each for tomorrow"). you wouldn't be there if you weren't interested in learning about something. if the article seems overly detailed and lengthy, you can always skim through and find the good stuff, assuming the info is presented in a logical order and organized properly.
  7. orz


    wikipedia is an awful website and i rage just from seeing the name

    DIGITAL Unregistered


    I could care less about how "reliable" our wiki is. Wikipedia's policies are so damn strict that the range of content they have is shit at best for a given subject. Unlike Wikipedia, we aim to gather every Tetris detail known to mankind. We're not a general purpose wiki. [​IMG] Having sources would sure be good but that's if you're talking about technical stuff regarding the mechanics that can be proven. When it comes to things like strategies, how the hell are we supposed to prove those? Should we just take them off? Frankly, I'd prefer to keep them if they have a reasonable basis.

    1. We ARE a game guide. Sorry Wikipedia, you lose.
    2. Proving every little detail is overkill for a game guide. Having multiple sources for a technical claim is overkill for a niche community.
    3. We gather AND GENERATE new information. We don't copy from other "reliable" sources.
  9. There seems to be a lot of wikipedia hate going on here. I honestly don't see why.

    Wikipedia is (one could argue that it only "strives to be") an encyclopedia. Encyclopedia's are for general knowledge. Not for overly specific knowledge.

    Here (provided it's a persistent link):
    Is Britannica's article on Tetris. (It'll repeatedly say you're trying to access a premium article, but just keep clicking the X in the black box when it prompts you to try a free trial.). You don't really need to read it all. But I want you to notice is, it is short. It is concise.

    Simply because wikipedia has the capability to hold limitless amounts of textual information does not mean that it is obligated to do so. If I want to read a lot on a subject, I don't consult an encyclopedia.

    If I want to read a lot about Hitler, I buy a book on the subject.

    If I want to read a lot about Asperger's Syndrome, I buy a book on the subject.

    If I want to read a lot about Tetris, I read the wiki here.

    Jappalang is definitely right about the fact that there doesn't need to be an explanation of the colors of various Tetris games. That's not part of general knowledge. I think his main point is that the Tetris article appeals to the "geek" side. Which is true. If I was not super into Tetris I would not care, nor want to read about any of that. I feel like the only reason any of us care about Jappalang's concerns is because that information is particularly important to us. But I still don't think it belongs in an encyclopedia.

    I can somewhat understand the frustration that the all the work that is put into the wiki here is ignored, but if you think about why the rules are in place, it make sense. Even though everyone here knows the information we provide in the wiki and the forums is extremely accurate, it doesn't change the fact that anyone could come by and change it, or that it is largely unverified. The editors of wikipedia are not trying to be "mean" doing this. The fact is that an exception can't be made just for the Tetris article simply because there is not a lot of "reliable sources" out there on it, but there is a lot of good info here.

    I think the article needs to be completely reorganized, because at the moment, I find it pretty hard to read. Will I do it? No, because I don't care enough about that specific article.

    I'd really, really like to know why you hate it so much. PM me unless it sticks to this topic I suppose.

    Edit: PART TWO!

    ... EXACTLY! We are here to do what wikipedia will not. I see no reason to hate wikipedia for that.

    There is no reason to keep information for informations sake in an encyclopedia. Shall we add the solutions to various math problems (2 + 2 = 4) or information about my mother who no one has heard of simply because they have reasonable basis?

    Exactly. So we are ABSOLUTELY a better source of SPECIFIC information about Tetris. Which is not wikipedia's job. No reason to hate them for that.

    Fair enough I suppose. If you want to hate wikipedia, this is a good reason. The rules are there for a reason, but they can indeed seem overbearing.

    Which is original research, which wikipedia does not like. Also the wiki is a wiki, and citing something anyone can change is not a good idea. (Wikipedia never cites itself)

    So I conclude this post: I still fail to see why people are taking this so personally. Tetrisconcept and wikipedia have completely different goals. Simply because they are striving toward their goal in that article does not make anything here less accurate or less relevant. It just means it's not permissible on wikipedia.

    Tiny edit: I'm particuarly interested in Tepples' take on what I've said here, as he is actually a contributor there which I greatly respect. While I don't contribute, I love the website to death, which is why I'm doing my best to defend it here.
  10. I agree that article is a mess as is. My objection though is how you could justify dismissing something really cool and interesting like my Playing Forever article. There's no room for subjectivity... You read it, you "get it", and you agree. I think it's perfectly reasonable for a general article to mention that pure random Tetris games doom you to die and modern guidline Tetris games can be played forever. If someone cares more they can read the sources.

    I understand the sourcing thing but raw logic should get the respect it deserves, especially when you don't have to be very educated to follow it.
  11. i agree with kasumi, its an encyclopedia, we shouldnt present the general populace with complex terms that they do not understand including 7bag, 4mem/6mem etc etc. that wikipedia d00d was right.
  12. I once tried to write a very accurate article in the medicine part of the french wikipedia and I had a very similar mail to which I answered that the sources were written in my PhD in dental surgery brain. They didn't appreciate and the article is still as crap as it used to be [​IMG]
  13. Muf


    tl;dr wikipedia is shit, let's all go read Knol instead.
  14. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    Claims from self-published sources need a corroborating third-party source to justify their notability. Otherwise, see an essay about "fancruft" on Wikipedia.

    Jappalang mentioned in the assessment that if we can find mainstream or scholarly third-party sources for the implications of the mechanics of Tetris, splitting the mechanics to a separate article "Mechanics of Tetris" would be just fine.

    An authority on dental surgery is not an authority on Tetris. See Appeal to authority.

    For the randomizer issue, I'd recommend trying to find a review of Tetris Evolution that mentions the "Dirty South Style Back-to-Back Tetris" achievement, which requires 12 lines in 3 pieces.
  15. Of course not, that's why I wrote something for the medicine portal of wikipedia (was about halitosis) but since I didn't provide any source (I didn't bother to look for any), they didn't want to publish my stuff. I first thought my PhD would a reliable-enough source but naaaaah, they wanted more (or maybe less, considering how technical I've had been lol)
    Btw, there's no way I would be able to write anything about tetris. I just don't understand most of the things you talk about here (even though I try when I feel it can help me improving my skills) [​IMG]
  16. jujube

    jujube Unregistered

    from the Britannica tetris article:
    "Though numerous sequels have been spawned, Tetris games almost always have the same play mechanics: differently shaped blocks drop at varying speeds"

    if i knew nothing about tetris, this is what i would be thinking:

    in what shapes are these blocks?
    which blocks fall the fastest, and which fall the slowest?

    sure, you have to play a game to really understand it. but a vague statement like that seems to raise more questions than it answers, and could easily create misguided perceptions of the most basic game mechanics in tetris.

    "Pajitnov claimed he created the name of the game by combining the Greek prefix tetra, which refers to the four squares contained in each block, with the word tennis."

    how are the squares arranged within the block? (i'm picturing a rectangular block containing four squares and some empty space, and rotating this rectangle causes the squares inside to change position.)

    there's a word that perfectly describes the shapes of tetris pieces: tetrominoes.

    i was going to give this statement a pass:
    "The goal of the game is to prevent the blocks from stacking up to the top of the screen for as long as possible."

    but i read further and found this:
    "The Tetris franchise endured years of litigation regarding licensing rights, but this did not stop the game from being featured on Nintendos Game Boy, where it rose to stardom."

    if this was the version that made tetris popular, not the original version which had one mode and one objective, wouldn't it be more precise to point out that there are ulterior goals in the game, such as scoring points or completing x number of lines? it's kind of like saying "the goal in the biathlon is to avoid shooting yourself in the foot".

    i don't mean to totally bash Britannica here, but i get the feeling that they're avoiding any and all complication in this entry. this isn't good for readers of any interest level IMO. i wouldn't go so far as to say that wikipedia is taking the same approach in their tetris article though.

    this needs to happen! how do i found source?
  17. Can we cite the Gamespot review where they say broken like 20 times while reviewing Tetris Worlds, the flagship guideline game?
  18. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    I believe the article already does cite "Jeff Gerstmann, Ryan Davis (19 April 2002). "Tetris Worlds for PlayStation 2 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved on 12 November 2008."
  19. kapat

    kapat Unregistered

    didn't caffiene totally bitch that guy out?
  20. Jujube: Fine, all that you've said is acceptable about Britannica's Tetris article. I'm not going to argue with your concerns there on any point.

    However that's actually a reason to LIKE what wikipedia offers, because it certainly has more than any other encyclopedia, while still remaining a source for GENERAL knowledge. All of the concerns raised in the wikipedia article were mainly confined to the overly specific descriptions of tetrimino colors, ETC, and not enough of the things you found fault with in Britannica's article. Things an encyclopedia should focus on. And I again can understand that tetrisconcept not being considered "reliable" may seem offputting, but I still feel like that's only because the information is personal to a lot of us. From a third party's point of view, it's really not verified.

    Also, my argument was not that Britannica's article was better. I simply posted Britannica's article to give some perspective to you, considering you said that from now on you'd feel wikipedia was "unnecessarily minimized".

    Other encyclopedias are certainly minimized, because they usually have to fit into some kind of print. With Wikipedia this is not the case, so it does keep a lot of good information while still a source of general information.

    In short: I just want you to realize Wikipedia is not unnecessarily minimized, and not let this decision affect your opinion of the site as a whole.

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