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A few months ago, TV Tropes implemented a new policy concerning troping unreleased, upcoming works. As with any new policy, there have been some growing pains. Rather than clutter up the Unreleased Work Page Cleanup Thread with debates; this thread is to discuss the new policy, where it works and where it doesn't, and possibly some areas where it can be improved.
The policy itself can be found at Administrivia.Creating A Work Page For An Upcoming Work.
The most obvious thing that comes to mind is the Pokémon Masters release date question: does a work released in a small number of markets still count as "released"?
(Page currently located at Pokemon Masters while its status remains in limbo.)
The other question spawned by that discussion was, "should people make pages for works they haven't personally experienced?"
So we have two issues here: One is a question of what does and doesn't count as a "released" work, the other is a question of how much knowledge about a work someone should have to make examples for said work.
I agree that you should have to experience a work before editing its page, but I think that when it comes to games, watching other people play can count as experiencing it, especially when it comes to things like cutscenes, which are non-interactive so watching them in a video is the same as watching them in-game.
Edited by Zuxtron on Aug 3rd 2019 at 9:39:16 AM
The reason I took issue with that statement is that I've made pages based on works I've not experienced personally, but have learned about through reviews or analytical videos about the work in question. It's not like I go around adding tropes willy-nilly based on gags from the reviewer or subjective information, I look at the parts of the work supplied, see what happens, and write about it, or otherwise take notes from in-depth descriptions about what happens.
Mostly I do this for Alternate Reality Game or films so obscure or otherwise hard to find that I need to learn about the details second-hand. Especially with the ARG category, because those have so many pieces and details and clues, that trying to learn about the details first-hand after the completion/abandonment of the game is a very difficult, time-consuming, and confusing task, especially since information can easily be lost by the time I try to make a page.
I just...I don't see why me watching someone else discuss a work and using the information given to make a page makes that information somehow less valid than if I'd experienced the work personally. Maybe I can't discuss the work entirely, but, I can at least discuss the clips shown to me, or the basic plot and characters, or things like that, because that sort of information doesn't require a personal deep-dive into the work.
I agree that watching a video of a game is sufficient for troping in most contexts, except gameplay-related stuff like That One Boss.
For releases, I'd say we should confirm the type of release as is. Beta testing(if public, we can still trope it as long as videos exist and can be cited), pre-release(again, as long as videos exist), and anything after that is a full release.
For experiencing, watching let's play is fine. You just can't add some tropes that are YMMV or anything related to difficulty(for the most part. Stuff like camera issues might be possible depending the contents of the video itself).
Is there anything to actually discuss about the "experienced the work" question?
The question had a surprisingly big impact on the policy's creation, but it seems like it's been definitively answered at this point. Secondhand "experience" of a work is admissible.
Edited by bwburke94 on Aug 3rd 2019 at 11:29:25 AM
I don't know, ~High Crate was adamant about it, so I think it might be worth hearing the other side even if most of us are in agreement.
Plus I suppose there's the question of what tropes shouldn't be admissible secondhand. A few have already been mentioned above.
I could have sworn we had a policy (pre-dating the one under discussion) that said yes, a released work is a released work, but I can't find it. Maybe I'm just thinking of There Is No Such Thing as Notability—no matter how minor the work or how narrow its release, if it's out there for consumption we can trope it.
I supported this policy in the planning stages, when the focus was on preventing people from adding knee-jerk reactions to YMMV pages, and obvious speculation to trope pages (like adding Arc Symbol and Darker and Edgier to Frozen II's page based only on random, cherry-picked things from the trailer).
If that were still the focus then I'd have no issue with it, but instead, it almost immediately devolved into inane stuff like 'You don't know that Final Fantasy VII Remake is going be The Remake of Final Fantasy VII, you haven't played it'. And that's not me making a strawman...
Basically, I feel that the policy is laughably over-restrictive, and I'm starting to wonder if people adding knee-jerk reactions to YMMV pages was even that big of a problem to begin with...
To be fair, that post to me seems more like HighCrate calling the example a ZCE, rather than outright speculation.
Still, I agree this may have gone a little far. Someone on the thread mentioned a "beyond reasonable doubt" clause, and I think that'd be smart. That is, if an example is most certainly valid (and, assumedly, is written with context and such), it doesn't need to get flagged as "speculation" for lacking a citation or whatever. Things like Pokemon types, for example, are hardly something that can be proven false in the final product- the starters will always be Grass/Fire/Water, and so mentioning that Scorbunny is a fire-type is stating an objective, non-speculative fact, true beyond reasonable doubt.
Edited by WarJay77 on Aug 3rd 2019 at 12:31:37 PM
Alright. The specific wording of the FFVIIR example was:
Not being familiar with the original game beyond its basic plot summary, I'm not sure whether any trailer footage actually matches footage from the original, but it's beyond ludicrous to claim that FFVIIR isn't a remake of FFVII.
While I think the policy is a little over-restrictive, I also think that part of the problem is that some tropers (not just HighCrate, though he's the most high-profile) are going above and beyond what the policy states in their crackdowns.
In terms of policy over-restriction, my major issue is that I don't get why some official sources are valid and others aren't. Why are a press release or official website considered less reliable than a trailer?
I actually have seen a knee-jerk reactions problem for some YMMV pages, especially if the work is hated out the gate or garners some sort of backlash before release — see YMMV.Thunder Cats Roar for the former and YMMV.Pokemon Sword And Shield for the latter.
I think ~Round Robin's comment two posts down better encapsulates what Primis is trying to get across. This is, again, referring to the game that literally has "remake" in its title.
The rules as they stands now are confusing, and, like I just said, counterproductive.
One of the reasons these rules were established was to cut down on the cleanup of pre-release speculation on works after they released; however, since the thread just goes "good enough" whenever a work actually releases and never looks at it again, that leaves the people who actually have seen the work to deal with the commented out "speculation" and everything having "in the trailer" in it, leaving them to do more work then if the page was just left alone, since it's not our problem despite the fact that we added it in the first place.
Edited by Crossover-Enthusiast on Aug 4th 2019 at 6:11:00 AM
The one thing I can say is that, while lurking, I've seen things I both agree and disagree with being hidden or cut. For example, some examples had gotten hidden purely on account of being ZCEs, rather than for lack of proper citation, and I think that's an important distinction to make. Of course, I might be a bit strict on what does and does not constitute proper context, but I think the general idea is that in some cases, while we may know a trope occurs, "Trope Happens" is never considered proper context, and if there's no way to add proper context yet...
I guess what I'm trying to say is, there's been a lot of unnecessarily strict rule enforcement, but lacking context is always a valid reason to hide an example, and it just so happens that a lot of tropes are hard to give proper context for, if the work hasn't been released yet.
Well said. I've said over and over again that the problem is often not that we don't know whether a trope will apply, it's that we don't know enough about how and why it applies to give an entry full context.
I strongly disagree with the proposed "reasonable doubt" standard, simply because there is no agreement or proposed standard on what a "reasonable doubt" is.
As for Pokemon Masters, at the time that discussion was happening it wasn't even known whether the version being released in Singapore actually was the final version of the game; most sources were referring to it as some kind of feature-limited preview build, and the nature of those limitations was yet unknown. People were pushing for a page to be created now now now, before things had a chance to settle down and details could be made clear.
That's why bright-line rules like "only tropes actually present in materials to which the public has access are valid" are necessary. Because while individually most tropers have the best of intentions, there's always somebody who's that excited about their personal favorite highly-anticipated work to throw all reason to the winds.
You put enough of those people together, and good intentions or not their behavior in aggregate starts to resemble a pack of raptors testing the fences for weaknesses. You make enough exceptions to the policy, and the policy becomes meaningless and folks go right back to spinning wild speculation out of the thinnest of sources.
Edited by HighCrate on Aug 4th 2019 at 9:26:25 AM
That’s a misrepresentation of the parties involved. Most people involved in the discussion had a thought process of “We have information, so no harm in creating the page.” I was definitely willing to lend weight to problems that could arise by having a page visible to an uninformed userbase, in spite of actually having played the game myself.
Edited by ShinyCottonCandy on Aug 4th 2019 at 2:26:08 PM
Yeah, I think the issue boils down to the way people are perceiving the issue. If you see it as people rushing to get a page done just to have a page, then sure, it comes off as unreasonable and silly. If you see it as people trying to follow the spirit of the new rule and trope a work that has been released, then trying to prevent said page is what seems silly and unreasonable.
HighCrate, I understand your point of view, as I too thought that pre-release works shouldn't even be troped. But I think you're letting your own personal feelings about the situation color your perception of events. I don't think there's anything wrong with making a page for a work that may only be available in a corner of the globe, as a released work is automatically fair game for a work page so long as the page follows pre-existing rules and the work isn't porn.
What the real problem is, is that the work exists. It's been released. There's footage of this work. This is less about unreleased works and more about the idea that people shouldn't trope a work they've not directly experienced, and that's something I disagree with you on. As long as the examples are written objectively and can be verified by others who of the work, does it really matter where the information came from? (That is, if the information isn't from external sources, but the work itself).
I still don't think it's unreasonable to expect that someone involved in the creation and editing of a page should actually have first-hand experience with the work. It's one thing if some people editing the page have experienced it only at second-hand, but if literally no one involved in it is capable of confirming the others' edits through actual first-hand personal experience, the safer route is to wait.
I recognize that such a principle is more or less unenforceable and I'm not advocating that it be made a hard-and-fast rule or anything.
But especially in a weird edge case like Pokemon Masters was at the time that discussion was taking place, where there were contradictory reports coming in from all over and there was no one here who could actually say "these are accurate; these aren't" from personal experience? What exactly is lost by waiting for things to become more clear?
Now that there are people on this site who have come forward to say that they have played the game and are willing to vouch for the accuracy of what's in a work page about it? Sure, of course, go for it, create a page. But that wasn't the case the last time the subject came up, and so I maintain that the best move at the time was to wait.
Edited by HighCrate on Aug 4th 2019 at 2:35:00 AM
What about more obscure works, the kind of things others don't have interest in? If one person has enough knowledge of a work to make a page for it, even if that knowledge came second hand, they shouldn't be discouraged from making it just because other tropers either don't know of or don't care enough about the work in question to make a page, even if they've seen the work firsthand.
I mean, the line is blurry, and while some tropes shouldn't be added without personal experience, other tropes can be objectively spotted even from foreign game footage on YouTube.
We need to assume good faith, and that includes assuming the abilities of people to be truthful and objective and accurate when discussing a work, even if their knowledge isn't from a personal viewing/reading/etc. If there's information added that proves false, cut it, but preventing page creation in general is cynical.
With all due respect, HighCrate... yes, I believe it is unreasonable to insist that there be someone with first-hand experience when the work isn't publicly available and therefore there is no opportunity to get that first-hand experience. If we're not supposed to talk about unreleased works at all because nobody can validate every last detail, then the policy should ban those works altogether in the first place. But that's not what the policy is, or what it was meant to be.
Actual videos of playthroughs are at least verifiable too. That should be enough if it isn't first-hand.
This way we can cite stuff. Also, we should be practicing good faith too. There's no "pack of wolves" to worry about in these kind of situations. That's silly.
I guess I'm having trouble putting myself in the mindset of someone who cares enough about a work to create a work page for it, but not enough to actually read the book / play the game / watch the film / etc. if it's available.
That's... just plain not the case. The policy is that we're not supposed to trope works that aren't publicly-available and can't be verified; we can only trope things that are publicly-available and verifiable, like trailers and demos.
At the time that re-creating the Pokemon Masters page was first proposed, publicly-available information was spotty and contradictory. Since then it seems like things have settled down a little, but I maintain that waiting was the correct decision at the time.
"Good faith" only goes so far. Just because everyone honestly believes that this exception to the non-speculation policy is obviously justified doesn't prevent the unintended consequence of rendering the policy toothless. It's not a lack of "good faith" to point out that if we don't enforce the policy, we might as well not have it.
Edited by HighCrate on Aug 4th 2019 at 7:53:17 AM
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