On February 22, a wikipedia editor named Ben Schumin began trying to take down the wikipedia entry for the late 90’s/early 00’s video game website Old Man Murray. This is the story of how it went away and then came back again.
CONFESSION TIME: I used to post on a message board that Schumin and a handful of other wikipedia editors also used to post on. I’m a bigger nerd than I let on (I think).
This all started years ago when I was still in high school. I posted on a now-defunct website called portalofevil.com that was run by a handful of vaguely famous video game writers. There was a lot of typically trivial internet message board shenanigans going on. Schumin and a guy called Halfshadow weren’t very well-liked there, but they stuck around for a while, god knows why. They said some truly embarrassing things there.
One of the people who ran Portal of Evil, Chet Faliszek, also wrote for Old Man Murray. The Portal of Evil page on wikipedia was deleted some time last month. Around the same time, Portalofevil.com was taken down due to some legal threats. In order to hide the last remaining bit of his shame, Schumin took it upon himself to delete the wikipedia page for this website.
A few weeks after the site goes down, Schumin and Halfshadow turn their sights on Old Man Murray. OMM has actual fans, and is apparently considered groundbreaking video game journalism. Yes that is apparently a thing.
So when he deleted it, video game enthusiasts noticed, and ended up having several debates about the flaws of a widely-used source of information like Wikipedia being curated by volunteers. This is happening on the same Wikipedia that you use to look up articles on the velvet revolution. This is how the wikipedia sausage is made, and I think this is a good reminder to take it with a grain of salt and ALWAYS check the bibliography for the article. Wikipedia editors are CRAZY sometimes. You’d kind of have to be.
Anyway, the article is back up. Cooler heads prevailed this time.
It is also worth noting that one of the other people calling for OMM to be erased from wikipedia was video game writer Roberta Williams.
History isn’t written by the victor any more. It’s written by this guy:
I don’t even like video games that much, you guys.