Zelda Wiki becomes independent months before Tears Of The Kingdom

Link holds his own against a wild monster in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wilds DLC The Master Trials.

earlier this month, The wiki hosting company Fandom has taken over several gaming sitesincluding giant bomb and GameSpot, in a $50 million acquisition. And that exorbitant price of the sale, coupled with what the site describes as “questionable staffing decisions” at the company, has prompted the Zelda wiki to break free from “company consolidation” and claim its independence from fandom.

Opened in 2005 and independent until its transfer to Gamepedia hosting in 2017, the Zelda Wiki is one of the largest fan-run game wikis ever. With thousands of entries from games across the franchise, you could spend days or weeks scrolling through the digital encyclopedia and still probably not complete it completely. It’s my go-to place when looking up information on a specific enemy or weapon in Nintendo’s popular franchise, and it contains 11,199 items. However, now you need to visit a brand new site if you’ve bookmarked and/or visited the old Zelda wiki.

staff on the site announced this week on Twitter that “after many months of preparation” the site is now completely independent of fandom or other organizations.

“For over a decade, from its inception in 2005 until its transfer to Gamepedia in 2017, the Zelda wiki was a completely independent site,” wrote the wiki’s EIC. “Following the broadcast and subsequent acquisition of Gamepedia by Fandom, Inc., the site sought to continue its mission of curating an editorially independent, high-quality, fan-run wiki. However, we have come to believe that these ideals are incompatible with fandom.”

There was a reason for such a scathing statement. Citing fandom’s “recent acquisitions and questionable staffing decisions,” Zelda Wiki staff said it wants to “keep the internet free of corporate consolidation” and “hegemonic control.” As such the team moved the wiki to a new homealthough the fandom still running.

Reactions to the news online have been overwhelmingly positive. Several people called here a big win for the Zelda Wiki while others look forward to it less advertising and a better division on the website. Even the twitter account for the fallout wiki, one of the few to publicly quarrel with fandom over intrusive videos and ads on the site, congratulations to the Zelda Wiki team due to leaving the company. In general, there is some public skepticism about the growing influence of fandom on fan-run wikis, which have provided the community with useful free resources about major franchises. As such, there are now even shared resources for alternatives to fandom wikis, and some encouragement in the comments accompanying this announcement to get more wikis to do the same. Although there are independent wikis, over the years fandom has become the more dominant site when people google for specific topics.

In Discord messages with kotaku, community contributor ModdedInkling, said the old fandom wiki will be “continued to be updated” by some volunteers who have chosen to stay there. However, almost everyone else will be moving to the site’s new domain. ModdedInkling also explained what this independence means for employees.

“Being editorially independent means having full creative control over the wiki’s content according to its own policies, as opposed to fandom’s policies,” said ModdedInkling. “This includes the overall look and feel of the wiki (UI, templates, etc.), which has been one of the main themes of many independent wikis that forked from fandom. Another interesting topic is avoiding mandatory censorship. Certain wikis also have content that includes social politics and ethics that are often restricted by fandom but deemed relevant by the community.”

ModdedInkling extrapolated the nature of fandom’s alleged censorship. He said that while nothing was blocked on the Zelda wikia (at least to his knowledge), some changes were made to entries after publication on other wikis.

“Basically, fandom’s policies may invoke a degree of censorship on certain sensitive topics, even if relevant to a work of fiction, if deemed to violate their policies,” said ModdedInkling. “Sometimes it can also mean changing your information, even if it’s less accurate. This can be done through a variety of issues such as: B. Discussions about changing a character’s traits retrospectively, even if changing them was historically inaccurate.”

ModdedInkling brought up a case where fandom’s policies got in the way of providing what they believe to be accurate information. On Wookieepediathe digital encyclopedia for Star Wars, there were alleged complications in changing the name of someone who later came out as trans.

“There was a debate about the naming conventions of someone who later identifies as trans,” ModdedInkling said. “The mandate was to retrospectively change all names displayed for the person or character, even though they weren’t so referred to at the time. I can’t remember if it was a real person or a fictional character. It didn’t lead to a bifurcation, but it was a concern NIWA had about possible examples with character pronouns like Vivian Paper Mario: The Thousand Year DoorSheik out ocarina of timeor Vilia off breath of the wild.”

ModdedInkling clarifies the example of this kotaku, saying that it is not representative of his or the rest of the Zelda Wiki team’s beliefs. He noticed the Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance, a network of other wikis for Nintendo games, aims to “handle sensitive topics carefully to avoid any form of misrepresentation”. This, he noted, aligns with the ideals of the Zelda Wiki teams.

kotaku has reached out to fandom for comment.

The Zelda Wiki is just the latest digital encyclopedia to split from its parent company, and the third to split from fandom specifically in recent times. Earlier this year, the team behind Terraria Wiki announced on Steam that it will host a new website separate from Fandom. Meanwhile the Runescape Wiki went indie years ago in response to Company policy that enforces autoplay of videos in posts. The Zelda Wiki can now be found in the NIWA databasewhich includes other independent volunteer sites such as Bulbapedia (the digital encyclopedia dedicated to all things Pokemon) and SmashWiki.

Updated 10/21/22 6:30pm ET: Added a clarifying statement from ModdedInkling.

https://kotaku.com/zelda-wiki-fandom-tears-of-kingdom-botw-2-nintendo-1849688629 Zelda Wiki becomes independent months before Tears Of The Kingdom

Curtis Crabtree

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