Earlier this month Wiki-hosting company Fandom has collected several gaming sitesincluding Giant Bomb and GameSpot, in a $50 million acquisition. This exorbitant sale price, along with what the website called “questionable personnel decisions” at the company, led Zelda Wiki to escape “corporate consolidation” and assert its independence from Fandom.
It was launched in 2005 and was independent until it was moved to Gamepedia hosting in 2017. The Zelda Wiki is one of the biggest fan games wikis around. With thousands of entries from games across the franchise, you could spend days or weeks flipping through the digital encyclopedia and probably still not finish it. This is my go-to resource when looking for information on a specific enemy or weapon in Nintendo’s popular franchise, hosting 11,199 articles. However, if you bookmarked and/or frequented the old Zelda Wiki, you will now have to visit the brand new website.
On-site staff announced on Twitter this week that “after many months of preparation” the website is now completely independent of Fandom or any other entity.
“For more than a decade, from its inception in 2005 until its move to Gamepedia in 2017, the Zelda Wiki was a fully independent site,” wrote the wiki’s EIC. “Even after the transfer and acquisition of Gamepedia by Fandom, Inc., the site sought to continue its mission of creating an editorially independent, high-quality fan-driven wiki. However, we believed that these ideals were incompatible with Fandom.”
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There was a reason for such a harsh statement. Citing Fandom’s “recent acquisitions and questionable personnel decisions,” the Zelda Wiki staff said it wanted to free “the internet from corporate consolidation” and “hegemonic control.” So the team moved the wiki to a new homethough One of the fandom it still works.
Online responses to the news have been overwhelmingly positive. Many people called it to a great victory For the Zelda Wiki, others are looking forward to it fewer ads and better layout on the site. Even the Twitter account for the Fallout Wiki, one of the few to openly dispute Fandom over intrusive videos and ads on the site, Congratulations to the Zelda Wiki team to leave the company. In general, there is public wariness about Fandom’s growing influence on fan-led Wikis, which provide useful free resources to the community about major franchises. So now there is even Shared resources for alternatives to Fandom Wikis, and a little encouragement for more Wikis to do the same in the comments from this announcement. Although standalone Wikis exist, over the years Fandom has become a more dominant website when people turn to Google for certain topics.
In Discord messages Kotaku, community worker ModdedInkling said the old Fandom wiki will “continue to be updated” by the few volunteers who have chosen to stay there. However, almost everyone will switch to a new website domain. ModdedInkling also explained what this independence means for the staff.
ModdedInkling explained that being “editorially independent” means having full creative control over the wiki’s content within its own policies, as opposed to Fandom’s policies. “It also includes the general appearance of the wiki (user interface, templates, etc.), which is one of the main topics discussed by many independent wikis that branch out from fandom. Another topic of interest is censorship avoidance. Some wikis also contain socio-political and ethical content that is often restricted by Fandom but considered relevant by the community.”
ModdedInkling extrapolated about the nature of Fandom’s alleged censorship. I said that while nothing has been blocked on the Zelda Wikia (as far as she knows anyway), there have been some changes to posts since publication on other wikis.
“Basically, a Fandom’s policies may impose a level of censorship on certain sensitive topics, even if it is deemed to be against their policy. “Sometimes this may involve changing information, even if it is less accurate. can occur through various topics, such as discussions about reversing character traits”.
ModdedInkling brought up an example of a Fandom’s policies preventing what they consider accurate information to be available. where WookieepediaThe digital encyclopedia for Star Wars claims that there were complications with changing the name of someone who later came out as trans.
ModdedInkling said, “Then there was a discussion about naming conventions for someone who identifies as trans.” “The mandate was to change any of the given names for that person or character backwards, although that was not the case at the time. I don’t remember if it was a real person or a fictional character. This didn’t cause them to panic, but NIWA’s presence in potential examples of character pronouns like Vivian was a concern. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year DoorFrom the sheikh Ocarina of Timeor Vilia Breath of the Wild.”
Kotaku Fandom has been contacted for comment.
The Zelda Wiki is the latest digital encyclopedia to split from its parent company, and the third to split from Fandom. The team behind the Terraria Wiki earlier this year Announced on Steam it will host a new site separate from Fandom. Meanwhile, the Runescape Wiki gone indie in response to years ago corporate mandates that force videos to autoplay in writings. The Zelda Wiki can now be found here Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance databaseincludes other independent, volunteer-run websites such as Bulbapedia (a digital encyclopedia dedicated to everything pokemon) and SmashWiki.
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