Help:Reception wikis

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Reception Wikis
This page offers a quick definition and history on the topic of reception wikis.

A reception wiki is a type of wiki dedicated to explaining why something is of a certain quality, such as good, bad, or average, with specific pointers explaining why. These are generally but not always based on the opinions of the wikis' editors. See the definition section for a more detailed explanation.

Requests for new reception wikis, regardless of their status on other wiki platforms, are currently not allowed on the Miraheze platform due to a community agreement to prohibit them after persistent vandalism, in-fighting, and spam on the wikis, but the reception wikis that existed prior to this prohibition are allowed to stay as long as they don't break any other global policies.

History[edit source]

The first reception wiki, Crappy Games Wiki, was created on July 22, 2013, on Fandom (then known as Wikia); some time afterward, other reception wikis were created, such as Awesome Games Wiki, Awful Movies Wiki, etc. Beginning in September 2018, however, the reception wikis were shut down on Fandom due to policy changes and migrated to the Miraheze project. Afterward, many wikis following the same formula were created; however, issues soon began to arise with reception wikis focusing on users, culminating in many of these wikis being shut down for Content Policy violations in September 2020. In 2021, the most popular reception wikis (considered the "mainline" reception wikis, consisting of Crappy/Awesome Games Wiki, Terrible/Best TV Shows Wiki, Awful/Greatest Movies Wiki, and Rotten/Fresh Websites Wiki) formed a wiki network known as Qualitipedia.

Unfortunately, the issues that plagued the now-closed user reception wikis (constant in-fighting, vandalism, and low-quality content) carried over to the other reception wikis, leading to an excessive drain on volunteer time and severely damaging Miraheze's reputation. Despite efforts to revitalize the wikis under new leadership, the decision was made by the Qualitipedia community to close down the Qualitipedia network on September 27, 2022; events that happened after the shutdown led to an RfC that topic-banned the approval of new reception wikis. Though existing reception wikis were allowed to remain (provided that they complied with content and conduct policies), without creation of new projects in the genre and the closure of Qualitipedia, most legacy reception wikis have closed due to lack of activity. However, some are still active on Miraheze, and others exist on ShoutWiki and Telepedia.

Definition[edit source]

This definiton provided by Raidarr, an administrator of some reception wikis and an active volunteer on the Miraheze platform, describes what is considered to be a reception wiki. This list of reception wiki qualities should not be considered comprehensive; while any listed attribute can contribute to determining whether a project is a reception wiki, having only one of these attributes does not necessarily guarantee that a project is one.

Unfortunately the clearest way to explain is simply by pointing out examples of how things work. Individual points don't make a reception wiki. Most or all of the points together do.

  • Binary scope: (Good/Bad/Neutral-Decent-Average-etc) (thing) Wiki. Exception, certain wikis that glue the two together which hint at other factors or are clearly trying to subvert this principle explicitly.
  • Formula: The substance of a mainspace page is bullet points of indeterminate size and quality, designed to 'rant' about certain components of the thing. Sometimes they'll come with sources of various quality. The objective is to list these things, not necessarily to explain where they came from, how they connect together (though some particularly long-winded pages do go in bullet point paragraphs to partially achieve this) and critically they rarely take a third party point of view and tend to read as primary or secondary sources.
  • Overall slant: The above format will typically accompany a short, often pasted from Wikipedia opening or similar in style blurb; a tagline of indeterminate creativity, the main course of above, trivia and possibly a separate reception section attempting to tie in the pointers to how the 'thing' was popularly received. If the overall reflects a personal blog or an attempt to find consensus on a piece of material is completely at the mercy of who is writing the article.
  • Management: Less crucial since this is broad and not reception wikis specifically, but the following observations are often shared. Founders/owners are treated with a degree of reverence. Admins and bureaucrats tend to have far greater agency and get away with more nonsense than in a truly Wikimedia-inspired community. In the past this came with arbitrary decision making and decidedly petty block reasons, but it's more recently been infused with 'sloppy RfCs' and some attempt at rules (though often, in finding a reception wiki the rules tend to be less than ideal and often make things more confusing). Main page wise there are pretty much two types and the commonalities are uncanny; either the "new" front page eyesore that is iconic for Qualitipedia or an older style that slaps rules, staff and a basic description/tagline on the main page.

Other factors come in but they're more individuals or trends that aren't as strongly tied with how reception wikis work, while the above tend to be the main commonalities that come together and you end up with what is known as a reception wiki.