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Despite extensive work to revamp the page last year after the major release of GameMaker Studio (which superseded Game Maker 8.1 in late 2012) the entry is plagued with “plagiarized copy and pasted” material, poor sources, potential bias, and information that appears “like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.”