Your Duty to the Wiki

You’ve probably used a video game wiki before. If you’re like me then you’ve used them quite a lot. There’s no shame in using this invaluable resource. Some people swear off the use of the wiki, claiming that it’s cheating, or that it ruins their gameplay. But in fact the wiki, when used properly, can be the player’s best and most helpful friend. Bug fixes and trouble shooting, quest advice, monster and item glossaries, world maps, and a community of helpful players can all be found in this one convenient place.

It doesn’t matter what game you’re playing, a wiki can teach you a game’s mechanics and speed up the amount of time it takes to learn a game. From MMORPGs to platformers, a wiki can be found on literally any popular game in the spectrum. And a developed wiki, with lots of contributing fans, becomes holy handbook of the game, with information and data that even the developers of the game didn’t come up with.

But here’s the thing: A wiki can only be successful and a useful tool if it has a community that adds to its content. If everyone just goes to the wiki looking for answers, and not answering the questions, the wiki will inevitably fail. It’s sad when you go to a wiki for a game you love only to find that it doesn’t have any helpful information. But whose fault is that? It’s the fans.

If you use a wiki, even if it’s just every once in a blue moon, it’s your job, your duty, to try and contribute where there is missing knowledge. Look at the traffic of your favorite game’s wiki, and then look at the number of contributing members? Do you see the big difference?

I’ve been using the Guild Wars 2 wiki recently because I’ll admit I’ve become mildly addicted to the game. I might not play it hours and hours every day, but it’s constantly in the back of my head. So I’ve still got quite a bit of the game to learn. I’m level 80, about to beat the game, but there’s still so much stuff in the game I don’t understand. How to get a legendary weapon, what’s the max damage/max armor for my gear, where are the dungeons and how should I prepare for them, and what is structure PvP and how do I participate.

But even though GW2 is six or seven weeks old the wiki still has large gaps in its knowledge. I’ll look up a frustratingly hard vista only to find no one has added it’s walkthrough to the wiki. But I see in game many players that have figured out every Vista in the game.

It’s frustrating to look up something you really need and not be able to find it on the wiki. Sure, you should be able to find this kind of knowledge on your own, but sometimes it’s nice to have that little online crutch. I realized that my frustration to the lack of content was partly my doing, because even though I sometimes add content to Guild War’s wiki, I don’t do it nearly as much as I could.

I understand that it’s a pain in the ass to be a regular wiki contributor. It takes time, usually out of your allotted video game time, and there is no reward for doing it. But you use that information, and in return you should add some if you have it. It’s only fair. It’s only right.

So I’ve made the change. When I achieve something that I can’t find on the wiki I go ahead and add my knowledge. I might not format it perfectly, or add extremely clear and well written advice, but I try. I create new pages and add missing data. And if you use video game wikis, than you should to. If you’re not adding anything, then why should anyone else? It’s your duty, your duty to the wiki.