Wikipedia is a multi-language, open-content online encyclopedia operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Originally conceived as a way to distribute multimedia educational materials to developing countries, it has ballooned into one of the ten highest-traffic websites in the world, with a Google rank in the top 3 for virtually any covered topic. Nearly anyone with an internet connection can participate; the size and diversity of the resulting editor base mean that social and political activities are far more important than content. As journalistic and academic attention grew, Wikipedia's infrastructure began to influence real-world concepts of scholarship, governance, and marketing.
In the early days of the Doom Wiki, Wikipedia had a fair amount of related coverage, and several articles were used as bases for in-depth writeups here. Because the two share a wiki engine, MediaWiki, "back office" components such as templates and help pages could often be imported as well. The nascent community, infused with geek culture (thousands of articles documented Middle-earth, The Simpsons, and highway taxonomy), welcomed Doom content and encouraged power users to contribute to both sites. In a few cases, Wikipedia even disseminated news about fan projects.
Since that time, Wikipedia has increasingly excluded video game content (and pop culture without representative celebrities, in general). Far stricter thresholds for crossover media coverage were imposed, and articles about minor public personages removed by corporate decree, under the guise of editorial neutrality or personal privacy protection. The underlying goal, according to a theory popular at large fan wikis, was to push such communities toward Wikia, whose investors included former Wikimedia principals. By the letter of policy, many more Doom topics could in fact have articles if someone thoroughly scoured offline sources from the 1990s, such as magazines, newspapers, and trade journals. In practice, Doomers not only considered this onerous but were reluctant to clash with Wikipedia's voting bloc, who typically stonewall topics associated with teenagers unless procedurally forced into them by mainstream news reporting. For example, BFG Edition has a Wikipedia article because it received a modern online-heavy PR campaign with regular social media updates. DEU, far more important to the overall narrative of Doom's impact, does not.
Consequently, as of 2018, Wikipedia has very limited relevance to the Doom Wiki. It occasionally provides bibliographic guidance, and indirectly funds MediaWiki's software development, which continues to support an ecosystem of third-party database maintainers such as MancuNET. Wiki editors engaged in content research, however, are much better off simply doing their own play testing, or consulting with fellow Doomers on esoteric or historical subjects.
- This article incorporates text from the open-content Wikipedia online encyclopedia article Wikipedia:Awareness statistics, accessed 08:46, 18 February 2018 (CST).
- This article incorporates text from the document Wikipedia.org is more popular than... at the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki, accessed 08:46, 18 February 2018 (CST).
- Auerbach, David. "Encyclopedia Frown: Wikipedia is amazing. But it’s become a rancorous, sexist, elitist, stupidly bureaucratic mess", Slate, 11 December 2014. Accessed 08:46, 18 February 2018 (CST).