Alex Epstein is one of the main authors of the We Happy Few storyline, and yesterday he took to his blog in order to clarify a misconception about the game. In regards to the “Very Bad Thing” that the English did to regain freedom from Germany, the Wikipedia page claims it was from Nazis. But according to Epstein, the Nazis got rid of Hitler after attacking Russia, replacing them with Rommel. This was intended to get around the banning of releasing media with swastikas in it in countries like Germany.
Epstein explains the conflict he got into with Wikipedia.
So I fixed the entry.
The editor reverted to his original entry.
I pointed out that I’m the writer of the story.
The editor insisted I provide citations to prove that my edits were correct.
Wikipedia, it seems, does not allow primary sources. You can’t read War and Peace and say it’s set in Russia during the Napoleonic invasion. You have to go find an article somewhere that says it is, and then cite that.
This makes sense. You can’t have people rewriting articles based on their own interpretations. Suppose I think Annie Hall is a depressing, nihilistic movie about the futility of love. What’s stopping me from editing the entry on Annie Hall accordingly? Only this rule.
So you can not, for example, pull Marshall McLuhan out from behind the poster and have him contradict someone. You have to cite an article in which someone quotes Marshall McLuhan.
That puts a writer in an odd bind. I happen to know that it was not Nazi Germany that invaded England in We Happy Few, because I wrote the timeline and all the lore to go with it. But that’s not proof enough. I have to tell someone else, and they have to write it somewhere, and then I can cite their article, which quotes me.
So, hopefully, someone will quote this blog post in their blog, and then I can cite myself.
Hopefully, Wikipedia amends the situation soon.