This morning, as I submitted a wiki edit for the Weeping Lily Meadow page, I achieved an arbitrary milestone. As I write this, I currently have 100,285 points. Yes, some users crossed this plateau long before me with rather alarming speed and have left me and pretty much everyone else in the dust. But as a relatively steady contributor toward Giant Bomb's wiki since the site's inception, finally hitting that hundred grand mark feels pretty good. It's been fun seeing the wiki take shape since the early days of the site, when it was all Jeff, Ryan, Brad and Vinny could do to keep up with the insane influx of submissions. Since then, a good chunk of the wiki has become well fleshed out and fairly informative, while other pages still have a lot of work left to be done.
The Wine and the Roses
My general stance toward contributing to the wiki has generally never been to focus exclusively on a single page. I look at some point totals wracked up on pages, point totals north of ten thousand, and it still boggles my mind how someone could find that much to say or find that many images to add specifically to a single wiki entry. Hell, the most I have for any one page is 3,073 points, and that was after over a year of continuous edits. That being said, I've contributed to a wide range of pages over the years, some far more than others.
For those of you wondering what it really takes to contribute to the wiki, it's really not that difficult. Find a page for a game, or a character, or a concept, or location, or whatever, and just add what you know. If there are any blanks in your knowledge, do the research, but don't plagiarize. Use your own words. Even if all you feel you can add is a grammar correction here or fix a misplaced punctuation there, then you're still making the wiki better. Lord knows how many times I've opened the editor specifically to remove the italics from game titles. (No, the style guide for Giant Bomb specifically says don't italicize. So don't. Really. Seriously. Please.)
The point is, anyone can add to the wiki. Don't see a concept that you think would fit some games? Create it. Wonder why there aren't any images of that character you like so much? Add some to his gallery. Feel a need to nerd out in a long-winded description of a game's mechanics, story, and its thematic relationship to Vegemite? Then by all means, do so. The only thing stopping you from contributing is yourself.
The Beer and the Pizza
Well, maybe not just yourself. Despite all of the ups, there have been a fair share of downs in the past three years, as well. Most recently, the image uploading system broke down, and last I checked, it's still broken if you're using Firefox. Like all things software related, bugs happen, but the Top Men are in general on top of the worst cases. So don't let the fact that you can't upload that super-awesome picture of Quetzalcoatl get you down. The time will come.
And when you've contributed as much as I have, the time will also inevitably come when someone edits your work. Don't take it personally. Keep in mind that this is a wiki. It is not my personal playground, nor yours. If someone feels the need to clean up that text you added, or move some of it over to a page of greater relevance, they have the right to do so. The last thing that the wiki really needs is a Wikipedia-style edit war. Because holy hell, those guys are cutthroat. For any wiki editing questions you have, use the Editing & Tools forum. If you find a page is a duplicate, or for some reason you believe a page is inappropriate for the wiki, inquire in the Delete & Combine Requests forum. But!
- Don't be a complete asshole about it. That Rape page might have more relevance than you know.
- Don't be offended if someone suggests a page you worked long and hard on should be deleted.
Defend your actions intelligently and firmly, but the moment a moderator or staff member steps in and makes a ruling, particularly a ruling you don't agree with, learn when to let go. It doesn't make your contributions any more or less valid; you just can't win every battle.
And for goodness sake, don't be that guy that, in the early days of the wiki, became so offended by an edit I made to a page he "claimed" that he started deleting the full contents from wiki pages that, regardless of the contributions of others, I happened to be the top editor of at the time. That is what is called being a childish prick. No one likes those.
And Now, A List!
Before writing all of this up, I went ahead and compiled a simple list of pages for your entertainment, derision, and dare I say, arousal. It is a list of ten of my favorite pages on the site that I have contributed toward at degree or another. Egotistical? Most certainly. But it's my list. Contribute some to the wiki, and you too will have the power to stroke your very own Giant Bomb ego.
Favorite Wiki Pages That I Have Contributed Toward.
|1. Metroid: Other M|
Holy Christ. I spent more time editing this page than any other across nearly every aspect, from the article text to the most esoteric of concepts that could legitimately be associated with the game. Obsessive? Yeah, probably. But looking at some of the other wiki pages and their top contributors, a little north of 3,000 wiki points is still pretty small potatoes.
According to my wiki history, Ike's page is the first page creation submission that I had approved, way back in the first days of the site when everyone and their mother was rushing to be the guy to create the Tifa Lockhart page. Those were chaotic times.
|3. Castlevania Judgment|
Yes, it's a bad game. But damn it if I didn't at least give it a chance. Probably more of a chance than it deserved, honestly. But I felt compelled to fill in the wiki for it.
|4. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4|
I'm not anywhere even close to being one of the top contributors for this page. Far more people took far more time to fill in every last exacting detail during the height of the P4 Endurance Run. But that collaborative effort managed to create one of the best wiki pages on the entire site.
Of all of the concept pages I've created, this one is probably the most commonly used and referenced. I was honestly surprised that no one had created it before I had gotten around to it.
|6. Digital Devil Monogatari: Megami Tensei|
When the wiki task system was first instituted, this game was one of the first and biggest tasks I took on. I'd love it if someone with even more knowledge of the game could flesh it out even more.
There are roughly a hojillion Dynasty/Samurai Warriors pages that I've contributed toward, but I just have more of a fondness than Nene than any other. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's just the absolute hilarity of the way she's depicted as a ninja housewife (housewife ninja?).
|8. Multimedia Celebrity Poker|
Another big team effort I contributed toward. Beware the true form of Jonathan Frakes!
Another page creation of mine, though others pretty much came in and made it their own. (Call it Castletroid and I will end you.)
|10. Queen Zeal|
Another page creation of mine from the site's early days, I also wrote the bulk of the article text as it currently stands upon this list's creation. What can I say? I'm a sucker for psychotic women with ridiculous hair and garishly colored dresses.
To those of you that prefer western games, I apologize for the above display.
Actually, no, I take that back. I don't. Sorry!
Contribute What You Want
But in all seriousness, don't be afraid to add what you want, so long as it doesn't violate any guidelines. Hell, I'm the guy responsible for creating the Rape and Incest pages. These aren't topics that are exactly appropriate for polite society, but seeing as there are games that feature or reference them, they are appropriate concepts for the wiki. Once again, if there's a page that you feel is missing and that has a legitimate reason to be here, then by all means, add it.
If you're still not sure where to start, just browse around the different page categories. There are countless games that are missing their full casts of characters. There are location pages that are little more than lists with no description of what makes them significant to the games in which they appear. There are concepts that are so ill-defined that no one can seem to agree on what exactly the page is meant to reference. There are publishers and franchises with no known histories. All it takes is a little searching to find a page that could use at least a little help. You add a little here, a little more over there, you knock down the wall down that way and add a whole new wing, and well, suddenly the place is looking a lot spiffier than it was before you got here.
There's a lot you can do. And regardless of your drive, if you work at it long enough, you'll hit that six-digit point total eventually. The thing is, you won't ever get there if you don't contribute and contribute well. And Giant Bomb can always use more quality contributions.