User:Time Turner/unfinished

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Proposals

Remove categories and lists relating to allies

Before going into the meat of the proposal, the issues of allies has been discussed in the past here, here, and here. Less bulldozer-y approaches have been suggested, but to be frank, none of them are particularly satisfactory for me.

Simply put, I don't see the justification in having the List of allies and the various categories (Donkey Kong, Super Paper Mario, Wario, Yoshi, and of course the main Allies). First, take into consideration the basic categories of the wiki: characters, enemies, items, levels, abilities, and so on. All of them are distinct from each other, and in turn, there should be no overlap between them. Measures have been taken to ensure this, with one proposal ensuring that species occupy a separate space and another proposal that split items and objects. Now, take a look at the list of main categories outlined on MarioWiki:Categories, and you'll notice that "allies" are also listed up there. This ends up colliding into the same issue faced by the items and objects: how can a category be considered the broadest category possible when, by definition as a subcategory, there exists something above it? All allies are necessarily either characters or species, so as is, there's an uncomfortable contradiction here. You might say that this is grounds to remove the allies from that list, but not to outright delete it, and I might have agreed if I didn't have other issues with the allies.

This is something that partially builds on the deletion of Category:Heroes: we don't have a definition for an ally in the slightest. List of allies says that it includes everyone that has "at one point or another stood against the various enemies", but that's unhelpfully vague and entirely inapplicable to situations in which there aren't any enemies involved. You might have a sketchy idea of which characters are and are not allies, but that idea almost certainly goes counter to everyone else's idea. Even then, our current implementation of the term "ally" is shaky at best and nonsensical at worst. To use the Yoshi Allies category as an example, all of the playable characters are listed as allies. The actual people going on the adventure and doing all of the action are merely allies. If they're considered as allies because they help each other, is Mario an ally in every game he's in just because people help him? I could go on in this fashion: why is King Fret an ally when he's nothing more than a hostage, why is KP Pete an ally when he, at best, acts friendly with Mario and nothing more, why is Fire Mini Mario an ally when it's a form of the main playable character, why is Mad Scienstein an ally when most of his encounters feature him as a villain and he is only helpful to the player on a few occasions by happenstance (and not by his own volition, no less)? That last point also touches on another issue, with many of these completely varied characters and species being grouped together because of, at best, one of their actions, and these actions can vary wildly. Characters who act as nothing but roadblocks to the heroes for the vast majority of their appearances, such as Bowser Jr., get to be tagged as allies because of a single instance of helpfulness, and that just doesn't make sense to me (as an aside, I can't even tell where Bowser Jr. acts as an ally). There are echoes of Category:Hostages in this: offbeat, tenuous connections are of little functional use to the wiki.

The idea of allies for the wiki is such a messy, ambiguous, easily muddled grouping that I don't think that any possible solution beyond nuking the entire concept of allies would be satisfactory. Even if somehow, the community came together and unanimously decided on a rigorous definition for allies, what then? What value is there in grouping together characters and species with an arbitrary definition? What do I get from this that I don't get from other categories? What reason do I have to care about the fact that this one NPC gave Mario some coins one time, especially to the point where it elevates them to a unique category? I'll be just as redundant as the allies and say that there's no point in having them on the wiki.

Proposer: Time Turner (talk)
Deadline: [insert a deadline here, 7 days after the proposal was created (14 for writing guidelines and talk page proposals), at 23:59 GMT, in the format: "August 8, 2011, 23:59 GMT"]

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