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Lately, we've been having some trouble with pages in the Roleplay/ namespace, and much debate over how to handle said pages. Problems include:
In this thread, we will discuss and clean-up these works so they conform to the rules of the wiki, and can be understood by any reader regardless of whether or not they take part in the roleplay.
Edited by WarJay77 on Jul 11th 2019 at 5:20:13 AM
I'll pipe in and say that I'm not sure that having a separate "Roleplay" namespace serves any particular purpose on the wiki. It's not that roleplays can't be troped, but roleplays that are available to the public tend to fit rather neatly under the namespace of the medium by which the public can access them. For example, Critical Role is under Web Video, and The Adventure Zone: Balance is under Podcast.
I guess the case could be made that, like Web Original, the namespace should only be used if something more accurate doesn't fit? Most Roleplay pages I've seen are for text based ones, but of course those are the ones that give a lot of trouble.
What about roleplays based on works? Would they go under fanfic?
But won't this just move these problem pages to new mediums, hiding them among actual well made-pages for works with an actual audience?
Roleplay pages are, primarily, made for their players with only their players in mind. Moving these pages to different namespaces only make these pages seem more... for lack of a better term... legitimate than they are. Harder to police, too, since they'll be in with the good pages.
Based on how we discriminate Fanfic works, I'd say free-form text roleplay that utilize a copyrighted IP would belong in the Fanfic namespace, whereas a system-based roleplay (such as Dungeons & Dragons or Traveller) using a copyrighted IP (such as Marvel or Care Bears) on a forum... (*headache*) my preference is still Literature. If they start incorporating videos and pictures with their posts, then WebOriginal or Roleplay is my opinion.
I don't see any reason why we should allow roleplays that aren't publicly accessible, except maybe as an Unpublished Work. If a troper can't go and check whether a certain trope listed on the page does actually happen as described, it shouldn't be on the site.
An even harsher suggestion I could propose would be to disallow pages for roleplays that aren't published in an easily-digestible format. If the only way to view the work is to trudge through several forum threads, each boasting a thousand posts including tons of OOC stuff, or to read 50 pages of a Tumblr blog in reverse order (as in, going to the last page, scrolling all the way to the bottom, scrolling back up to the start of the first entry, scrolling back up again to the start of the second entry, and so on) when the posts don't even include a convenient "next entry" button, that's probably a sign that the story isn't intended to be enjoyed by people other than those who are currently participants in the RP. I'm aware that this is probably a very extreme thing to do, so I don't expect this to actually happen (though I would like it if it did).
Alternatively, we could simply disallow YMMV pages for works that don't meet the aforementioned criteria since if a work is almost exclusively enjoyed by its own participants, then it's practically guaranteed that its YMMV pages will be edited almost exclusively by these participants, making it Auto-Erotic Troping.
Edited by Zuxtron on Jul 11th 2019 at 10:36:59 AM
Harsh, but going from what I've seen? I think it'd be fair. These pages are an absolute headache to cleanup- half of them aren't even indexed!- and I see little value they bring to the wiki. They aren't interesting, or informative, or up to the wiki standards. They're very rarely even formatted properly!
Take, for example, Characters.The Inventory. Before I got there, it was a mess- from zero-context examples, natter, first person, tropes not alphabetized, and more. This page was made in 2019, and yet it was an absolute disaster, with mistakes made that violate every standard we have today. And this sort of quality is not unusual when it comes to roleplay pages. Characters.Destine Enormity was even worse, with tropes not even being properly wicked, and nothing being properly alphabetized. This managed to fly under the radar for eight years.
It goes beyond the problem of the creators just being more interest in their game than the page itself. It's about a general lack of care and attention to rules, and then being able to coast under the radar because nobody looks at these pages.
Edited by WarJay77 on Jul 11th 2019 at 10:51:08 AM
I would be all in favor of Zuxtron's suggestion to go at the namespace with a hacksaw, personally. We'd need to establish some kind of standard for judging what an "easily-digestible format" is, and it would be nice to give the people who are editing these pages some kind of warning so that they can back their work up somewhere before it gets cut if they so desire, but let's get real: we all know the kind of pages Warjay is describing when we see them, and while some of them might be of some kind of value to the RP participants, they are of zero value to the wiki at large.
Edited by HighCrate on Jul 11th 2019 at 8:37:45 AM
A long time ago, I offered the opinion that roleplays are only tropable if they are intended for publication: that is, they satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
Note that I am agnostic about the namespace treatment. Roleplay is certainly a format, if not a medium, but we've allowed format namespaces in the past.
Edited by Fighteer on Jul 12th 2019 at 11:52:06 AM
I think treating the Roleplay/ namespace like the WebOriginal/ namespace would only work if we apply criteria like those. Simply applying the WebOriginal/ namespace's usage rules as-is would just lead to the problems WarJay covered in post 7 (i.e., making the problematic Roleplay pages harder to find than they are now).
Edited by GastonRabbit on Jul 12th 2019 at 9:33:53 AM
Yeah, let's table the namespace issue for now; once we've agreed on some common-sense standards and made a dent in cleanup, it might make sense to revisit it, but for now it's a distraction.
I don't think it's strictly necessary that the material not be behind a paywall / login / subscription; if Critical Role decided to make its videos exclusive to Patreon or You Tube Red, that might be a bad business decision, but that wouldn't suddenly make it untropable.
What's more important is that the content clearly be packaged for public consumption.
Edited by HighCrate on Jul 12th 2019 at 8:18:17 AM
I think there's a difference between a show based on a roleplay, which you have to pay to watch, and a Play-by-Post Game where you have to sign up to view the posts.
If you have to pay to watch the show, that's no different from all of the other non-free works we trope on this site. It's aimed at members of the general public who are willing to pay.
Registering for a forum is something that you do because you want to join its community. If a work is intended only for members of a certain community, that means it's not meant for public viewing.
Note that I said "or" in the list you're citing, meaning that if it's on a YouTube show or something, it would count regardless of whether you need a premium account to watch.
Ah, gotcha, I misread that. That makes sense.
So we all seem to agree that small, community-centric roleplays are not "published" for those outside the role play?
Does this mean most roleplays should really be in unpublished works?
Or just, you know, left off the wiki.
I'm satisfied with this post, although I don't think the work we'd be troping is really in the medium of roleplay anymore, even if it still fit the format and I dislike the non-medium namespaces.
I mean, yeah, but I just think this'll go over more smoothly if we don't remove the pages entirely. If they're in unpublished works, we don't need to be nearly as concerned over page formatting and the like because it's Darth Wiki, and being in Unpublished Works will cut down on the problem drastically by disallowing subpages of any kind- YMMV pages for a start, but also Character pages, which are a major source of trouble with these "works".
At the same time, the people who care about this content will still have their content, and won't pick fights over us outright deleting their pages.
That said, would I cry if these pages are outright cut? Not really.
The problem is that in some cases, the roleplay is technically publicly available (and therefore "published"), it's just a pain to read through, so sending it to Unpublished Works wouldn't be accurate.
I suppose that's true...
Disney Conquest and its subpages are strangely formatted in general—almost all of the examples are ZCE, the Creator page tropes the real-life players, and it's only indexed on Needs Wiki Magic Love. I'm unsure what to do about it since it has several pages going, but in its current state I don't know if it can be saved.
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