Wikipedia Shames GameMaker Studio
October 13, 2013
Unbeknown to most, GameMaker Studio is poorly documented on Wikipedia, the world’s most popular online encyclopedia. After years of fragmented editing and badly written material, the page dedicated to the engine is still substandard compared to that of competitor’s such as Unity.
Despite extensive work to revamp the page last year after the major release of GameMaker Studio (which superseded Game Maker 8.1 in late 2012) the entry is plagued with “plagiarized copy and pasted” material, poor sources, potential bias, and information that appears “like an advertisement”.
Logs show the article has suffered inconsistencies in editing as far back as 2011 and possibly longer.
As Wikipedia is seen as a highly reputable website by search engines like Google, when searching for GameMaker Studio results featuring Wikipedia are usually a prominent addition to the first page of results.
Mark Alexander, who joined YoYo Games in early 2012, is involved in the development of GameMaker Studio’s documentation, tutorials, and the YoYo Games wiki (separate from Wikipedia). He says he doesn’t view GameMaker Studio’s underdeveloped Wikipedia page as a threat to the product’s image.
“I’m not sure that anybody who’s looking seriously for a decent game design engine would take too much notice of a wiki article.
“They would be far more interested in hearing actual testimonials from users (or) seeing games that have been made with the product,” Alexander said.
When asked who he feels should help maintain the page, he said that as a community-editable resource, it should be open to reform by anyone willing to help.
Wikipedia allows anyone to submit or edit articles for review. As an unlocked page, the Game Maker Studio article can be maintained by anyone who wishes to help.
Alexander says that YoYo Games would only step in if the article displayed serious misinformation.
“It is a community project and as such it is up to the community to fix any issues. Obviously, if anything is blatantly wrong or incorrect YoYo Games would fix it,” he said.
“It’s just part of what makes Wikipedia, Wikipedia.”
7 Replies to “Wikipedia Shames GameMaker Studio”
I don’t think it’s YoYo’s responsibility to maintain the page. I certainly didn’t read the Wikipedia article before buying GMS Master, I read people’s feedback on the GMC, because that’s the smarter option.
Editing your or your company’s own Wikipedia entry is considered a major breech of Wikipedia regulations, and as such Yoyo Games are, most likely, oblidged to leave the Wikipedia entry as-is unless someone else decides to edit it.
Wikipedia is hardly reliable information I’d be looking toward more specialist sites and opinions from users of a product rather than looking at its wikipedia. I’ve been told for years never to cite wikipedia as a source and there is good reason for that.
This article is nicely documented — good job getting an interview with a YYG employee — but the headline doesn’t seem to fit: Wikipedia seems moreso to shame its own GM:S article — not really the GM:S software.
The two go hand-in-hand, though. A badly written Wikipedia article reflects poorly on the community and the software.
I don’t necessarily agree. Would it be better if the page was better? Sure. But if the page is poor, how can you blame YYG? Wikipedia isn’t their site, and they have no obligation to provide resources to create a quality article. Mark Alexander’s exactly right: it’s up to the wikipedia community to write a decent wikipedia article.
It’s more a reflection on the GameMaker user community, but it more accurately reflects that the game developer community is busy developing games. They probably don’t have time to document their own projects adequately, let alone write encyclopedia articles on the tools they use.
I really don’t care that the wikipedia article on GameMaker isn’t very good, because it’s just one site on the web, and there are plenty that have lots of information, more useful to me as a developer than an encyclopedia article would be.
I’m not blaming YoYo Games at all. I agree – it’s not their responsibility.