The failure and ridicule of TV Tropes

This is some­thing fes­ter­ing in my mind for the past week or two; a blog post that can hardly be con­sid­ered “hack­ery”. It’s really a shame that I’ve side­lined myself into blog­ging solely about British polit­i­cal min­u­tae. I’ve got more things to blog about than just how awe­some and cool Nick Clegg is.

I’m pretty sure we know what a wiki is: a community-edited resource of infor­ma­tion, usu­ally open to pretty much every­one (some­times reg­is­tra­tion is required). TV Tropes is a wiki geared, obvi­ously, to tropes (sto­ry­telling devices) in tele­vi­sion. It’s not an accu­rate descrip­tion, really; its remit has bal­looned from tele­vi­sion to all media, and some real life exam­ples; and it’s not a good exam­ple of a wiki.

You see, cre­at­ing a wiki requires that you open up a large part of how it’s run to a wider com­mu­nity, unlike a blog, which is con­trolled solely by the peo­ple who write the posts. And when peo­ple con­tribute to a wiki they want to see a return on their “invest­ment”. This is the way Wikipedia went over the past ten years; grad­u­ally, Jimbo Wales has relin­quished most of his power to pretty much all kinds of peo­ple: most pol­icy dis­cus­sion and imple­men­ta­tion is done by the pub­lic, actions are taken by the admin­is­tra­tors, com­plex dis­pute res­o­lu­tion by the Arbi­tra­tion Com­mit­tee, and sort­ing the legal and pub­lic side of it to the Foun­da­tion. This has served Wales well; even with lit­tle non-delegated power, he is still seen as the “head” of Wikipedia and his opin­ions carry a lot of weight; essen­tially, he is the Wikipedia equiv­a­lent of Queen Eliz­a­beth II. In theory.

On TV Tropes, how­ever, this is not the case. The main admin­is­tra­tor and site owner, Fast Eddie, doesn’t seem to have got what a wiki is about. Wikis by their very nature have a very egal­i­tar­ian, anar­chic struc­ture “on the ground”. Sure, the Wiki­me­dia Foun­da­tion has a clear power struc­ture, but that’s par­tially for legal rea­sons. TVTropes is mostly at a level that doesn’t need legal struc­tures to keep it afloat. Anar­chy on the web at its most, huh?

Not exactly. You see, Fast Eddie runs a tight ship on TV Tropes. As tight as Andrew Schlafly, infa­mous con­trol freak at large owner of the far-right blog “truswor­thy” wiki Con­ser­va­pe­dia. It can be excused, to a point, by say­ing “well, he owns the site”. But as I’ve said, wikis need to have some sort of democ­racy, or at the very least, con­sul­ta­tion with edi­tors, to sur­vive. FE doesn’t do this, though. He’s widely known by his admin­is­tra­tive fiat deci­sions which seem to go rel­a­tively uncrit­i­cised by the edi­tors. Sure, get­ting rid of things such as the Fetish Fuel index was the best thing for the site, but where Jimbo Wales would use his reserve pow­ers in an emer­gency, Eddie has more active pow­ers, to the point of an absolute monar­chy of the type seen in pre-Revolutionary France.

Fast Eddie also locks pages that he sees as “troll mag­nets”, but the cri­te­ria aren’t really defined prop­erly. The result is per­ma­nently sta­tic pages because he just for­gets about them. Con­trast with Wikipedia, which says that per­ma­nent full pro­tec­tion is a last resort only. The mod­er­a­tors have a warped sense of pri­or­i­ties too. When I came across the Troper Tales page for Rape as Com­edy and tried to get it deleted, I encoun­tered sig­nif­i­cant resis­tance despite the obvi­ous inher­ent prob­lem with the page.

And, of course, the piece de resis­tance: the great sub­jec­tive trope cull. Now, I’m no fan of pages on TV Tropes that are unduly pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive, but the cull on these tropes really goes too far. Wikipedia has the right idea when it comes to neu­tral­ity: present facts, and present the facts of opin­ions, but try to find a bal­ance between those opin­ions. But we can’t even say if a work is good or bad, even if most peo­ple believe it’s bad, because it’ll some­how upset the peo­ple who think it’s good. Now, when it’s some­thing like a recent Hol­ly­wood film, the chances are that there are a size­able amount of peo­ple in that sec­ond col­umn. But surely we can make judge­ments like say­ing that the Atari 2600 port of Pac-Man was com­pletely ter­ri­ble, can’t we? I mean, a game that was par­tially respon­si­ble for the Great Video Game Crash of 1983?

Wrong. Appar­ently, say­ing that is “sub­jec­tive”. And herein lies the prob­lem with TV Tropes. Opin­ions about a work don’t exist com­pletely out­side the work itself. Take a look at the film Lady in the Water, where the char­ac­ter of a obnox­ious film critic was M. Night Shyamalan’s response to crit­ics who lam­basted The Vil­lage. Or, indeed, tele­vi­sion series where unpop­u­lar char­ac­ters are writ­ten out because the peo­ple hate them: Nikki and Paulo from Lost, for exam­ple. In all works other than one-and-done works, crit­i­cal recep­tion is essen­tial for fur­ther­ing a work. And indeed, there is a trope for char­ac­ters such as Nikki and Paulo: it’s called “The Poochie”, after the fic­tional dog from the industry-mocking Simp­sons episode “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show”. Luck­ily, it’s not a sub­jec­tive trope, yet.

But it doesn’t stop there. One of the most over­reach­ing and stu­pid poli­cies of the site is the whole “if you can’t say any­thing nice” guide­line that per­vades even writ­ing. This, how­ever, makes for incom­plete cov­er­age. To explain why, say, Seltzer and Fried­berg aren’t mak­ing spoof movies any more, we have to explain that Dis­as­ter Movie and Vam­pires Suck were bad and they bombed at the box office. To explain why Rob Reiner fell from an award-winning pro­ducer of The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, and This is Spinal Tap to the joke seen in the South Park episode “Butt Out”, we have to look at North, and why the film was so bad Roger Ebert famously said “I hated hated hated this movie”. But none of this mat­ters there. The prob­lem is so endemic that real-life exam­ples of a “People’s Repub­lic of Tyranny” was deleted for being “rude”.

Which brings me onto another short point: Fast Eddie has encour­aged the removal of real life sec­tions because it doesn’t fit the remit of the site. But any eval­u­a­tion of real life exposes this argu­ment as bare. Peo­ple use tropes all the time: for exam­ple, the “sus­pi­ciously spe­cific denial” gets used in pol­i­tics: for exam­ple, “I’m not being racist, but”, fol­lowed by a racist remark, or as I pointed out six weeks ago, “a fair impar­tial debate” between two peo­ple of one view­point. Tropes can eas­ily describe Real Life too: take the exam­ple of the Orwellian Edi­tor, which, like most of Nine­teen Eighty-Four, was a not so veiled slight at Josef Stalin, the undis­puted king of that kind of censorship.

And finally, the otaku nature of the com­mu­nity. No greater exam­ple can be found than the Nakama page. Nakama is, as the page describes, a Japan­ese word for a close-knit group of friends or char­ac­ters. So why use “Nakama” rather than the alter­nate titles of “Fel­low­ship”, “Com­rades”, “Coterie”, or even “Ohana” (which, as any per­son grow­ing up at the turn of the mil­le­nium, knows means “fam­ily, and fam­ily means no-one gets left behind or for­got­ten”)? Well, it’s solely because of an out­rage by anime lov­ing trop­ers when an attempt to move it to a more help­ful title hap­pened. This smarts par­tic­u­larly when some tropes named after west­ern media (e.g. “Ency­clo­pe­dia Browned” to “Con­vic­tion by Coun­ter­fac­tual Clue”) got changed for being “obscure” and “con­fus­ing”. And, as peo­ple have come to expect of the otaku, they tend to be socially stunted shut-ins who try to hide behind fake diag­noses of men­tal ill­ness, which, of course, belit­tles gen­uine suf­fers. But I digress.

There is a point to Fast Eddie’s changes: it’s to increase the rep­u­ta­tion of the site. But the dam­age has been done. From a con­trol freak admin­is­tra­tor to miss­ing the entire mis­sion of the wiki (and not as Fast Eddie repeat­edly changes it) mul­ti­ple times, and its user­base, mak­ing small changes like a ghet­tois­ing “sub­jec­tive tropes” is all full of sound and fury that sig­ni­fies noth­ing. Rep­u­ta­tional change will only come when the site treats itself seri­ously, instead of the clus­ter­fuck it cur­rently is.


  1. Hyperion says:

    As some­one who used to visit and con­tribute (as a nor­mal edi­tor, not a mod or any­thing like that), I’d like to point out that this didn’t actu­ally start until around mid-2010 or so…however, yes, it did indeed become as bad as you say, if not worse, and it’s one of the rea­sons I gave up and left in Novem­ber, never to return.

  2. Parkeronas says:

    To be hon­est, I can still enjoy some of the pages on the site, but it has lost the plot from what it intended to do, but per­son­ally, I don’t see why they should care about rep­u­ta­tion at this point, because no amount of edits will change anyone’s mind.

  3. Higgins says:

    You may want to know that Fast Eddie is try­ing to bol­ster the site’s rep­u­ta­tion by call­ing trop­ers to write pos­i­tive reviews on

  4. Kalista says:


    I’ve been a troper for a years, and I dis­cov­ered this arti­cle while googling for data about the engine TV Tropes runs on. I’ll have to say, this title did catch my curi­ous eye — kud­dos on that.

    I don’t know how much of a con­trol freak Fast Eddie actu­ally is (and, hon­estly, I don’t really have time to inves­ti­gate on that), but as far as I’m con­cerned, it isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a prob­lem. The only thing that really does mat­ter is the evo­lu­tion of the wiki (the actions) — the moti­va­tions behind this evo­lu­tion aren’t rel­e­vant.
    And as a troper, most of the recent major changes (last two years) on TV Tropes felt sad but right — sad, because they took part of the fun away, but right, because I nearly always felt they’d make the site bet­ter in the long run.
    To take an actual exam­ple, cre­at­ing the “Sub­jec­tive tropes” cat­e­gory did take part of the fun away from pages such as Dethron­ing Moment Of Suck, mak­ing them harder to find (by remov­ing them from works’ page)… but TV Tropes’ goal is first and fore­most to cel­e­brate fic­tion — in other words, to help it shine. When search­ing for data about a fan­dom I enjoy (let’s say, Evan­ge­lion), I don’t nec­es­sar­ily want to read about why its haters hate it — that’d take the shine away.
    In the same way, pro­tect­ing fre­quent troll sub­jects does present the ben­e­fit of dimin­ish­ing the troll fre­quency, which in turn helps make things look a lit­tle brighter.
    In a word, TV Tropes is a pos­i­tive wiki, whereas Wikipedia, for instance, is a neu­tral wiki (it the­o­ret­i­cally doesn’t try to make stuff look good or bad).
    So, yeah. Every­thing isn’t per­fect, and the fun does get reduced, but I still think the global result is positive.

    There are a few things I can’t accept in your arti­cle, though.

    Firstly, your asser­tion that “cre­at­ing a wiki requires”.
    By say­ing that, you sup­pose a wiki is sup­posed to com­ply with a model that is con­sid­ered to be good, desir­able and, to be blunt, absolute.
    I don’t think some­one who is inter­net– (or even media-) savvy would expect any­thing absolute from a web­site just because of a “wiki” tag, but that’s exactly what you’re doing here.
    Tags are just that — words to help peo­ple grasp an entity from an exter­nal point of view. A web­site labelled as a wiki will prob­a­bly con­tain infor­ma­tion about some­thing, and it will prob­a­bly be edited by a com­mu­nity.
    How­ever, once you’ve decided to get “in”, to “enter” the entity, the tags don’t mean any­thing any­more. You may dis­cover only trusted edi­tors can edit some pages, for instance — and that wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean the wiki isn’t any good.
    My point being, use tags to find what you’re look­ing for (an infor­ma­tion clus­ter), not to crit­i­cize it. Wiki never are egal­i­tar­ian by nature (ah, nature, an inter­est­ing word that is dis­turbingly easy to decon­struct); they fre­quently are egal­i­tar­ian by choice.
    TV Tropes may not be like Wikipedia, but from TV Tropes’ point of view, that’s a pretty good thing (the reverse may be true, and both are prob­a­bly right — don’t for­get, they don’t have the same goal in the first place!).

    Sec­ondly, com­par­ing Wikipedia and TV Tropes’ heads to Queen Eliz­a­beth II and pre-Revolutionary French mon­archs feels inad­e­quate.
    There’s an impor­tant dif­fer­ence between inter­net com­mu­ni­ties and the Great Britain and French king­doms — peo­ple come to inter­net com­mu­ni­ties, whereas they usu­ally don’t choose to be French or Eng­lish.
    Because of this dif­fer­ence, what can usu­ally be con­sid­ered to be wrong for monar­chies isn’t nec­es­sar­ily wrong for inter­net com­mu­ni­ties — it’s a dif­fer­ent val­ues sys­tem, since peo­ple can just leave. Fur­ther­more, inter­net com­mu­ni­ties that don’t have an effi­cient deci­sion mak­ing sys­tem usu­ally end up dying, so hav­ing a monarch can be bet­ter than not hav­ing one for the sake of the com­mu­nity. Equal­ity is a beau­ti­ful word, but it isn’t always a good thing on the inter­net (think Greater Inter­net Fuck­wad The­ory, for instance — that being said, new­bies are another good rea­son to limit rights).

    Lastly, I’d like to know why hav­ing an otaku com­mu­nity is a prob­lem.
    TV Tropes cel­e­brates fic­tion; glanc­ing at the cre­ation streams, one can eas­ily spot Japan as being an huge fic­tion works nest. Its anime and drama indus­try can quite eas­ily com­pete with the Amer­i­can TV indus­try, and that’s not even tak­ing the manga indus­try in account — this one far out­classes the Amer­i­can comics indus­try if one only looks at num­bers. Not gonna talk about video games and visual nov­els, things would get ridicu­lous.
    Because of this spe­cial posi­tion Japan is in, the pro­por­tion of Japan­ese fic­tion among TV Tropes pages isn’t exactly a sur­prise… so why would a big pro­por­tion of Japan­ese cul­ture enthu­si­asts be strange or prob­lem­atic? This whole para­graph about otaku looks like either a troll or a gen­uine otaku hate rant to me. Either way, distasteful.

    Hum… Noth­ing to add for now, I think.
    Thanks for writ­ing this arti­cle — it was an inter­est­ing read nonetheless.

  5. If the com­ment above is typ­i­cal of the site’s users I’m not sur­prised it’s a dump. The pages I have seen gen­er­ally start with a huge block of exam­ples drawn from Japan­ese car­toons — over­whelm­ingly for­mu­laic over­long rub­bish — fol­lowed by tropes drawn from the same tiny pool of other media. It’s like DeviantArt, in the sense that it’ll prob­a­bly be around for­ever, bump­ing along at its cur­rent level, unable to effec­tively mon­e­tise itself — unlike for exam­ple KnowYourMeme, which over­laps with TVTropes in cer­tain respects, or the CheezBurger net­work. I’m sure TVTropes’ owner would love that kind of money, and he really needs to sit down and work out how he’s going to get it. Not like this.

    • Nezumi says:

      Anime is first because they started alpha­bet­iz­ing the media lists, rather than just shov­ing them in ran­dom order like they used to, and you’re unfairly hard on it, but the fact that the same few shows/books/etc. seem to be plugged repeat­edly with few list­ings of any­thing out­side that even if they’re appro­pri­ate is true.

  6. Fellow says:

    My 2011 New Years res­o­lu­tion was to leave that site and never come back. Since then, my writ­ing style’s improved, I come up with sto­ries reg­u­larly, I speak more flu­ently, I gen­er­ally avoid shounen anime, and I’m more social. Still a nerd, but less so.
    All that site will ever do for you is make you miss the for­est for the trees. That would be fine if it hadn’t been grad­u­ally declin­ing since Chris-Chan. To be hon­est, though maybe it’s just my nos­tal­gia kick­ing in, I liked the anar­chic, sex­ual forum-in-disguise it once was.

  7. Bolster says:

    Ash­ley Pomeroy: Sadly, the aver­age per­son on that site is much worse.

  8. Casual Cory says:

    Hey, found your site by Googling to see if any­one thought Tvtropes was a f***ed up as I did.

    Never been a mod or con­tribute, just stum­bled on the TvTropes site as part of my Movies inter­est. I thought Hey, neat! A wiki about the cliches and for­mu­las of films and tv, this oughta be fun. Spent about four hours on there, never going back. I also had the mis­for­tune of read­ing a page of Troper Tales; my soul has been black­ened. And I’ve stum­bled unwit­tingly into sites like Rot­ten and Ency­clo­pe­dia Dramatica.

    I’m PO’d they have the gall to call that site TvTropes — it should be called ten pop­u­lar geek Shows/Films and every Anime/Cartoon tropes. Most of the arti­cles are named from inside jokes in Japan­ese terms or other obscure things. Some phe­nom­e­nal and clas­sic movies/films/books have ten trope exam­ples. Any anime or car­toon, no mat­ter how obscure or old, will invari­ably have 40+. The only lit­er­a­ture exam­ples are from books everyone’s been made to read in high school Eng­lish or exclu­sively from a few of the fol­low­ing; Star Wars, Harry Pot­ter, Twi­light, Ani­morphs or Anita Blake or some Fan­tasy title that any­one who is over twelve and still reads has never heard of.

    I would be embar­rassed if that was my site — and I’d have already wiped it clean and started it over, with my foot on the (Prover­bial) throat of these overly sen­si­tive, deluded women and man childs that have appar­ently flooded the site with their mind bog­gling infat­u­a­tions with children’s media. Not a site for film and tele­vi­sion buffs. False f***ing advertising.

  9. […] lot has changed since my first TV Tropes blog post, which I notice is con­sis­tently the most pop­u­lar post on my blog (to my dis­may, actu­ally).  I was […]

  10. Marcella says:

    I com­pletely agree and actu­ally googled ‘tv tropes changed’ to see if any­one thought the way I did. Glad to see that this is the case.

    An issue I saw with the site is how, once, an admin (or Fast Eddie) put a trope up for dele­tion or renam­ing or some­thing along those lines. A list was in the very first post as an exam­ple of ‘what not to say’ regard­ing the issue. It essen­tially listed all of the pos­si­ble argu­ments one could have against this removal/renaming, and under­neath these pos­si­ble argu­ments made bull­shit responses as to why they thought that argu­ment was point­less. But in fact, a lot of the argu­ments listed were good rea­son for NOT removing/renaming said trope. I was furi­ous. How­ever, the admins (and the users who were wannabe admins and were kiss­ing Fast Eddie’s ass) did not care, did not lis­ten to rea­son. They did it and they did it their way with­out car­ing about the user­base. That is when I stopped vis­it­ing my once-beloved site.

    TV Tropes is (or rather, was) not known for being an infor­ma­tive well-respected wiki as it was for its jovial edit­ing atmos­phere. It used to be an incred­i­ble amount of fun for me. I used to visit it every sin­gle god damn day, with­out fail. But with the real­iza­tions that the admins are run­ning an author­i­tar­ian ship that brushes off the opin­ion of its users with an over­whelm­ing air of smug­ness? Well, in my eyes, at least, this once-colourful bee­tle is on its back and in its death throes.

  11. Nia says:

    …I haven’t noticed much about the anime sec­tion yet.But I’m sure you are all just over­re­act­ing now.There are alot more lit­er­a­ture like Terry Pra­chett and James Patterson(not as much Dean Koontz though sadly)and the large vari­ety of movies can get really obscure.The so much anime is there because anime is get­ting alot more pop­u­lar now.Even though,I am notic­ing a tightlipped and snooty theme in the How to pages.

  12. Alice says:

    Oh goooood it’s not just me!! *weeps*
    It has become dread­ful. I haven’t spent a week’s worth of TV Trope trawl­ing for about a year. They removed all the best bits…and they give no help the Wiki who’s des­per­ate to save all the (good) Troper Tales, espe­cially of Hello, Insert Name Here which was always fan­tas­tic…
    All I do on this site now is update a small web orig­i­nal thing I help with…

  13. […] movies. As of today, I’ve fin­ished Hornet’s Nest (the novel). It’s rel­e­vant, I promise.  My first post delved into the ideas of “sub­jec­tiv­ity” on the wiki, and my sec­ond about the com­mu­nity. In […]

  14. ambrtoon says:

    Thanks for express­ing your ideas. I’d also like to say that video games have been at any time evolv­ing. Today’s tech­nol­ogy and improve­ments have assisted cre­ate authen­tic and active games. Most of these enter­tain­ment video games were not really sen­si­ble when the real con­cept was first of all being tried. Just like other designs of tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion, video games as well have had to grow by means of many years. This itself is tes­ti­mony towards fast growth of video games.
    I’ve observed in the world the present moment, video games are the lat­est phe­nom­e­non with kids of all ages. There are times when it may be unat­tain­able to drag your chil­dren away from the games. If you want the best of both worlds, there are lots of edu­ca­tional activ­i­ties for kids. Good post.
    An addi­tional issue is video games can be seri­ous in nature with the prin­ci­pal focus on find­ing out rather than leisure. Although, we have an enter­tain­ment ele­ment to keep your kids engaged, every game is usu­ally designed to work with a spe­cific set of skills or pro­gram, such as math con­cepts or tech­nol­ogy. Thanks for your write-up.
    I have real­ized some con­sid­er­a­tions through your web­site post. One other stuff I would like to state is that there are lots of games in the mar­ket­place designed mainly for tod­dler age kids. They include pat­tern acknowl­edge­ment, col­ors, pets, and designs. These usu­ally focus on famil­iar­iza­tion as an alter­na­tive to mem­o­riza­tion. This helps to keep lit­tle kids occu­pied with­out hav­ing a sen­sa­tion like they are study­ing. Thanks
    Another issue is that video gam­ing has become one of the all-time most sig­nif­i­cant forms of fun for peo­ple of var­i­ous age groups. Kids enjoy video games, and adults do, too. The par­tic­u­lar XBox 360 is prob­a­bly the favorite gam­ing sys­tems for peo­ple who love to have a lot of activ­i­ties avail­able to them, as well as who like to relax and play live with some oth­ers all over the world. Thank you for shar­ing your opinions.

  15. Mutterscrawl says:

    If you don’t like the way they do it then make your own, I hap­pen to like the site the way it is.

    • Sarah says:

      That stinks quite a lot of “if you don’t like it, then you can gii­i­i­i­iit out!”.

      And thanks for telling me you like a web­site where the vic­tim of sev­eral pedophiles’ advances was banned for being “rude” to the pedophiles. And the same web­site where a page about one of the most famous works of lit­er­a­ture was deleted because obvi­ously it has the same artis­tic merit as an anime where a 10 year old girl tries to have sex with her teacher.

      I mean, fuck, you’d even get banned from red­dit for say­ing that these days.

      • Ben says:

        Wil — I very much hope you can back that up. You can’t just pub­lish state­ments like that unless you can prove they are true using evi­dence admis­si­ble in defama­tion proceedings.

        In response to the orig­i­nal arti­cle, to me much of it seems rather straw man. I think you’ve built up an image of what wiki is sup­posed to be seem­ingly based only on what you per­son­ally would like the word “wiki” to mean.

        If you can point me to evi­dence that the inter­net in gen­eral has agreed that “wiki” means every­thing you’ve assumed then fine — I think the most you can then rea­son­ably say is “this is not a wiki and call­ing it a wiki is mis­lead­ing for these reasons”.

        Oth­er­wise why give a toss about what goes on behind the scenes (and it is very much behind the scenes — only a tiny frac­tion of the site’s users ever con­tribute any­thing) pro­vided there’s no law break­ing, dis­crim­i­na­tion based on pro­tected char­ac­ter­is­tics, trope-producing sweat­shops etc. involved in the whole cir­cus? It’s not like the web­site is a pub­lic body or has to be in any­way account­able to any­body (except in so far as it has to con­duct itself in com­pli­ance with applic­a­ble laws).

        Whilst I agree with some of the points in the orig­i­nal arti­cle, as above, I can’t see how you’ve sup­ported the cen­tral assump­tion on which it is based.

        • Sarah says:

          There was at least one user who forum reg­u­lars knew to be 15, but they would still hit on her any­way. It’d be bor­der­line okay if it were peo­ple her own age, but these were adults flirt­ing with her. After com­plain­ing, I believe she was banned for being mean to her harassers. And yes, the TV Tropes page for Lolita was tem­porar­ily deleted because many trop­ers didn’t see any dis­tinc­tion between it and sev­eral pedophilic anime series.

          And the entire pur­pose of a wiki is com­mu­nity edit­ing. Oth­er­wise it’s just a sta­tic web­page. You can use soft­ware such as Medi­aWiki to host con­tent (for exam­ple, FAQs/knowledge bases), but they’re not referred to as wikis as such.

  16. Ben says:

    Fair enough, but from the point of view of the aver­age user that’s an irrel­e­vant sideshow that most never even get close to know­ing about (I don’t con­done it, I just don’t think it has any real­is­tic con­nec­tion to the main­stream parts of the site).

    Com­mu­nity edit­ing” doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily come with heavy doses of egal­i­tar­i­an­ism attached and there’s an argu­ment to say that some sta­tic­ity (if that is even a word — but I’m sure you know what I mean) is a good thing because it guards against tit-for-tat edit wars and cre­ates a more sta­ble resource. The point is that isn’t only one way to do it such that every other way is wrong.

  17. […] but unsub­stan­ti­ated claims we’ve heard, via anony­mous tips, SA forums, and else­where, that vic­tims of pedophilic attacks on TV Tropes were banned for com­plain­ing about the attacks, while as we’ve seen the pedophiles may have been allowed to return. It seems mind-boggling that […]

  18. Colonel McBadass says:

    None of you men­tion the one who was wrong­fully banned? The one who called that girl out for com­ing to a dis­cus­sion board only to mock every­one on the other side of the argu­ment whilst pro­vid­ing no argu­ments of her own? I was banned twice because an idiot abused their power, and then attacked by you igno­rant, hyp­o­crit­i­cal, sel­f­right­eous pieces of shit, and when I get MY hands on power, I’m going to destroy TvTropes and some­thin­gaw­ful, and ruin the lives of every sin­gle God­damn goon.

  19. Colonel McBadass says:

    No mat­ter how long I have to wait, you deluded pieces of shit are going to pay. You can think I’m full of shit all you like, in fact, I encour­age it. The fact that you’re all so sure I’ll never get back at you will make all the more sat­is­fy­ing when I do. Boy, I’ll bet lola will lose her shit, I’m telling you, I would pay through the ass to see her reac­tion. Some­thin­gAw­ful shut down, all the goons’ futures com­pletely destroyed, and me, Colonel McBadass, rub­bing it in every sin­gle day. Hey, cra­zier things have happened!

    • OhManOhMan says:

      no 1 currrrrrrrz

      • Colonel McBadass says:

        Yeah, but see, I don’t really cur­rrrrrrr if any­one cur­rrrrrrrz, I just like chat­ting with you guys.

        • Fats says:

          Aww shit we’re all gonna be sorry when Low­tax sells his cash cow to broke pedophile Colonel McBadass

          • Colonel McBadass says:

            You’ll be sorry when your lives have been anally dry-fucked, and Low­tax won’t sell me jack shit. He and Fast Eddie will shut down their sites and I will build suit­able replace­ments for them. (Prefer­ably with­out sel­f­right­eous sui­cide baiters or peo­ple who come to dis­cus­sion boards to act like retards.)

          • illumnaughty says:

            Spuds McTit­sa­lot, you’re con­fus­ing real life with your flesh­light again.

          • Colonel McBadass says:


          • illumnaughty says:

            Oh, I don’t think anyone’s made a mis­take about you. You’ve said in the past you’re a pedophile. You’re also over­weight. You also feel agres­sively enti­tled to any­thing with a vagina. QED

            (seri­ously, what’s with the sui­cide bait­ing com­ment? do you think the only peo­ple who mock you are from SA or TVT?)

  20. Colonel McBadass says:

    Shit, I for­get it.

  21. Colonel McBadass says:

    Thank you for prov­ing my points.

  22. Trevor says:

    You for­got about all the pedophiles and rape fetishists. They had an absolute fit when the site was (rightly) scrubbed of some pretty sick shit back around April.

    Not that it could fix the biggest rpoblem with that site — a user­base of tone deaf dweebs who con­fuse list­ing “X Hap­pened” with real analysis.

  23. Trevor says:

    You for­got about all the pedophiles and rape fetishists. They had an absolute fit when the site was (rightly) scrubbed of some pretty sick stuff back around April.

    Not that it could fix the biggest prob­lem with that site — a user­base of tone deaf dweebs who con­fuse list­ing “X Hap­pened” with real analysis.

    • Trevor says:

      Fek­ing thing posted twice…

    • Sarah says:

      I didn’t, actu­ally. There are two more posts on the mat­ter, one of which talks about the rape and pae­dophile obsession.

    • Nezumi says:

      It was scrubbed of some “sick shit.” It was also scrubbed of things that have a rep­u­ta­tion they don’t actu­ally live up to of being “sick shit.” Kodomo no Jikan and Lotte no Omocha stand out in that — there are legit­i­mately art­less pedophilic anime and manga with no real redeem­ing value as works of lit­er­a­ture. (not going to get into any other value or detri­ment they might or might not have beyond this, because that gets ugly, fast.) These are not exam­ples of such. In its ear­li­est stages, it was even scrubbed of noted, respected works of art that had some ques­tion­able con­tent, like “Lolita”, before peo­ple finally said “this is stu­pid” and started orga­niz­ing the clean-up to some degree.

      I’m… mixed on the Rape tropes. On the one hand, they’re ugly, smelly, nasty tropes that shouldn’t exist and their pages are trig­ger­ing by their very nature even if they’re han­dled with the utmost deco­rum and sen­si­tiv­ity (which they aren’t, gen­er­ally — the lat­est ver­sions are actu­ally ”toned down” from even more hilar­i­ously awful older ver­sions which mostly had names like “Rape is Okay if it’s ”) but unfor­tu­nately, they do exist, and thus do tech­ni­cally fall under TV Tropes’ purview.

      Fast Eddie is ridicu­lously total­i­tar­ian. He once removed a type of for­mat­ting from the wiki (strikethrough, inci­den­tally) solely because he per­son­ally dis­liked it. In this case, he didn’t even pre­tend to have a bet­ter reason.

      And yes, some things were point­lessly named after Japan­ese terms or the like. Fast Eddie has heav­ily fought against this to the point of tak­ing it too far in the other direc­tion, though, try­ing to rename tropes like “Tsun­dere” that really don’t have a good alter­na­tive Eng­lish title — the par­tic­u­lar pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with and delin­eation of this char­ac­ter type are specif­i­cally Japan­ese, and due to less atten­tion to such char­ac­ters in the West out­side of anime and manga fan­dom that’s prone to just using the Japan­ese turn, there really isn’t a sim­ple word or phrase in Eng­lish that does a good job of encap­su­lat­ing the char­ac­ter type.

      …So, yeah. I def­i­nitely think TV Tropes has prob­lems, and I def­i­nitely think the arti­cle is right about some of them… but in oth­ers I think its analy­sis is too two-dimensional, and in yet oth­ers I think it’s flat out wrong about what’s the problem.

      That said, I’m just now get­ting to your third post, Will, which is unar­guably about things that are hugely wrong with both TV Tropes and the larger soci­ety. (both inter­net and offline) Just read­ing it makes me very glad I stayed away from the forums, where the worst of it hap­pened, only going if I had an issue to raise with regards to man­ag­ing or edit­ing a site which I am increas­ingly dis­tanc­ing myself from as it goes down in flames due to a com­bi­na­tion of a com­mu­nity far more toxic than I ever real­ized and a total­i­tar­ian admin who — when not engaged in his own mis­guided per­sonal cru­sades — is more inter­ested in treat­ing the symp­toms than the actual problem.

  24. Enigma says:

    See, if the site had any sort of qual­ity con­trol, you might have a point about the real life sec­tions. In prac­tice, they lead to the most mind-numbingly narrow-minded and idi­otic exam­ples of the lot, filled with overly shel­tered teens/young adults putting thinly veiled whin­ing about their lives into video game tropes and try­ing to squeeze in their skele­tal knowl­edge of com­plex for­eign rela­tions into sim­ple fic­tion cliches. Yes, peo­ple use tropes all the time in real life, but your argu­ment assumes that the peo­ple who edit that site are mature enough to han­dle the real life sections.

  25. The Accuser says:

    Ooh, I can’t wait to see the look on your face!

  26. Masonicon says:

    Well! I once Trop­ing in the TVtropes only to got Banned repeat­edly from TVtropes web­site itself just because I telling Trop­ers that Polit­i­cally Cor­rect shit(that peo­ple calls “RL Issues”) isn’t the only things that mat­ters and hap­pens as well exists In our Home Sweet Home Uni­verse as well I also tells peo­ple in TVtropes that Con­spir­acy The­o­ries and ‘Fringe’ stuff in Gen­eral are Real Life exam­ples of more Sci-fi and Fan­tasy tropes

    oh yeah I also makes TVtropes page of my Project: only to later got deleted from TVtropes and peo­ple from TVtropes don’t want my Project any­more in TVtropes just because my project are Conspiracy-laden not to men­tion some peo­ple out there accuses my Project for Canon-rape and turn­ing canon char­ac­ters into Mary Sues regard­less the best thing that I do to bal­anc­ing it’s char­ac­ters, so that’s why I make this video: as response of the dele­tion of TVtropes page of my Project

    another rea­son peo­ple from TVtropes don’t want me in TVtropes is: I’m the only one in TVtropes that averts “all Trop­ers are Skep­tics” trope

  27. Nope.avi says:

    I know this might get replied with ridicule and attacked by extrem­ists of both sides,but:
    TV Tropes wiki is A-OK,as far as I’m con­cerned
    The forums on the other hand suf­fer from incom­pe­tent mods and an EXTREMELY overly so-called “accept­ing” creator/head mod
    Is it sick that these imbe­ciles and fail­ures in morality(Pedophiles,murderers,supremacists and racists,I mean) are allowed to stand among us?Yes.
    Should they be allowed to be post on these forums?Fuck no
    Does the site suf­fer from extremely idi­otic management?Of course
    But the rest of the community(most video game forums I’ve seen,anyway) are pretty tame and look down on the above men­tioned filth,hell it was “said” in every arti­cle men­tion­ing them that the Fetish fuel and Troper tales pages were dis­turb­ing as hell,it was put in the Night­mare fuel page.

    And let’s face it,just because there’s a dark cor­ner WITH these people,doesn’t mean that the rest of the com­mu­nity has to suf­fer from it.

    There were kids that killed their par­ents for Halo,there was the Aurora shooting,Hitler liked dogs.

    Every site,group,country,planet,race,whatever the hell you want to call the col­lec­tion of peo­ple at the moment,has filth among them,no exception.

  28. satori says:

    Hi! Old arti­cle, also good arti­cle! It’s kinda hard to really com­ment on it in 2014 with­out being inti­mate on recent events, what­ever those may be. I take issue to one thing, though: the bit involv­ing Pac-Man and “sub­jec­tiv­ity”. I could go on and on about skep­ti­cism, but I think it’d be bet­ter to just explain the situation.

    Pac-Man, as well as E.T., were never really cri­tiqued at the time of their release. Both were also huge suc­cesses, with Pac-Man in par­tic­u­lar sell­ing a truly insane amount; the prob­lem was that Atari printed a sim­i­larly astro­nom­i­cal amount of copies. In fact, that was sim­ply one prob­lem of a large pack­age known as “Atari’s gen­eral incom­pe­tence”. The Crash was not caused by the qual­ity of these two games, but sim­ply by a bunch of really bad busi­ness deci­sions on Atari’s part.

    Mov­ing on from that, I have no prob­lem declar­ing that Pac-Man is a mis­er­able port in every con­ceiv­able way, while E.T. is a com­pletely mis­un­der­stood work of genius. Here’s the thing: so is Raiders of the Lost Ark. RotLA is a game made by the same pro­gram­mer with many of the same con­cepts and the same exe­cu­tion, and so by all rights is as “con­fus­ing” at E.T.; some­how, it has never been so crit­i­cized and is com­monly hailed as a classic.

    That is what the sit­u­a­tion is: E.T. and RotLA are a pair of games that are com­pli­cated enough to require a small 10+-page man­ual, and exactly one of these games had been “crit­i­cized” for it by some ran­dom arti­cle writ­ten in the mid-‘90s that would prob­a­bly be con­sid­ered flame­bait if it had all been moved to 2014. This game deserves bet­ter than some preach-to-the-choir hack/“nerdy” tech­ni­cal break­down that flatly refuses to change what may as well be anti-thinking.

    Oh, and since some­one will likely com­ment about that mean­ing­less cart grave, they recently decided to dig it up and found very lit­tle, hash­tag wow hash­tag whoa.

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