6 Hilariously Nerdy (Surprisingly Epic) Wikipedia Fights

Ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? It's what happens when a moron, taken to task on his skills at not being a moron, vastly overestimates just how much of a moron he isn't. Wikipedia articles are Dunning-Kruger digitized. Someone writes an encyclopedia page, then thinks they're an expert because they wrote an encyclopedia page. But lack of oversight makes this as effective as claiming to be an astronaut after writing about urinating in space; like zero-G pee, the reality is far more complicated. And when multiple random strangers try it together, things get awful for everyone.

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6
Final Fantasy's Aerith Vs. Aeris

Square Enix

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Final Fantasy has a wider following and more coherent apocalypses than most doomsday cults. (Though with 15 "final" fantasies so far, the series is about as good at keeping its promises). One of the most famous characters by far is Aerith Gainsborough, adorable virtual shish kebab of the PlayStation One.

Square Enix
It looks like she should just pop

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Final fanatics have put more effort into tracing her name's history than most royal families. There have been faces on currencies with less documentation. It's neatly summarized on the regular Wikipedia page:

Wikipedia
Why this looks perfectly sane

Seems simple, right? Actual name, earlier version of the name, and not a single mention of tentacle porn. For most of you, the difference between "Aeris" and "Aerith" is so tiny that you're sort of upset I even mentioned it. But that line is the tip of 18,000 words of vicious online bullshit. Not debate, not discussion -- just a flaming screaming match with people posting entire new subsections just to call everyone else involved an idiot.

Wikipedia
Someone here has definitely lost their mind, yes.

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These chucklefucks got more upset than a Klingon with a lisp trying to voice-deactivate a ship's self-destruct. They argued for longer than most players even remembered playing the game. They argued the validity of Japanese translations with all the linguistic skill and respect of sex tourists.

Wikipedia
Yes, that last one DID redefine the Hebrew until it ended in "s" instead of "th."

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It's a way for the worst kind of nerds to claim they're "better" fans than everyone else. Like many infinite internet arguments, it's driven by the delusion that there can be objective truth about fictional values. The real answer is laughably simple: It's a made-up thing, and even the people making it up didn't give a s**t. But those points hurt when you've replaced your personality with PlayStation discs. Which I guess is why armies of alleged adults who encountered FF VII when they were eight years old have decided that pixelated fart in the wind has made up their entire identity. And they've found nothing better to do in their lives since.

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5
Cloverfield's Monster

Paramount

Language changes with time. There are three approaches to this:
Descriptivist: Words mean what we say they mean.
Prescriptivist: Words mean what older people who are now dead said they meant ages ago.
Dickdicktivist: Words mean what we all think they mean, but I must stop everything to "correct" people when everyone already knows what they meant.

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Dickdictivists say, "Actually, it was Frankenstein's monster. Frankenstein was the scientist. Which of course I know, because I saw I, Frankenstein in 3D. Twice." And this Dickdivism is compounded in a situation wherein we don't have a whole catalog of s****y movies from which to take our guidance, like with Cloverfield.

Wikipedia editors became their own Frankenstein and monster combined, hacking together an all-new abomination out of all the worst bits of people who used to have lives, when they tried to name the monster in Cloverfield -- a monster that producers just didn't bother officially naming.

Wikipedia
Rational discourse.

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This sent Wikipedia editors into an existential meltdown. They wanted to make a page about the creature, but didn't know what to call it. Or rather, some knew exactly what to call it and that everyone else was A LYING SHITHEEL HERETIC.

Wikipedia
The thrust and parry of intellectual debate.

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For months, they waged most pointless war imaginable. They didn't know the movie wouldn't name it back then. As far as they knew, the real answer was only weeks away, and they STILL stayed up at night capslock SCREAMING at each other over Cloverfield (Monster), Monster (Cloverfield), Clusterfuck (Motown), Clamshucker Mumblenuts, (Crowded Bus) Mobstopper, and so on. They even invoked the invasion of Iraq to bolster their arguments about naming a fictional special effect.

Wikipedia
"This nightmarish slaughter will help in my argument about a fake monster name!"

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Which shows that editing Wikipedia is worse for your sense of perspective than M.C. Escher-designed beer goggles.

4
Silent Hill's Obsession With Forced Hospitalization

Konami

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The Silent Hill series includes some of the greatest horror games ever made, but even in the best ones, the plot is totally fucked up. They have explanations like "a child thought your apartment was his mother and grew up to become a murderous dimension-wizard," and I swear there are no words missing from that summary.

Konami
"Who ordered the Roswell Extra Crispy?"

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It gets creepy to start nitpicking plots like these. Which is how the Silent Hill Wikipedia discussions ended up sounding like Hell's quarterly ISO-666 report on the proper bureaucratic synergistic labeling protocols for the seventh circle. They're the most demented discussions about exact wording you've ever seen. There was a full-on feud over whether the word "forced" should be before the word "hospitalization" as it related to a demonic murder-child possessed by an evil god who happened to be in the burn ward. And no, there is no situation on this or any parallel nightmare-dimension Earth where that argument is a good thing. The result looks like it was drafted by Hell's attorney as a punishment for lawyers. This is just a tiny part of the terrifying text barrage:

Wikipedia
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND against reading all that, and probably should have said that earlier

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But this wasn't just a grammar torturer. This s**t got personal. User "Yomiel" had chosen this Silent Hill to die on -- specifically, the bit about how Alessa had been forcibly imprisoned in a nightmare terror hospital, not merely imprisoned. He was worse for that force and how it applied to an obsession with women and people being burned without dying than Anakin Skywalker. Get it? Force? Burning? Yeah, you get it.

Wikipedia
I have never cared this much about my own pets

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This is the sort of substory that the original Silent Hill writers would read and go "Wow, that is screwed up", before going back to programming people slam-dunking decapitated dog heads.

3
Street Fighter Statistics

Capcom

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The Street Fighters should be the easiest fighters in existence to document. They're entirely made of 1s and 0s, they're stars of the most popular fighting games ever made, and even though they're masters of combat, they can't escape the game to kick your ass if you write something they don't like. So why doesn't Wikipedia include their heights and weights? Because Wikipedia is run by auto-obsessives who consider the most vandalized site in existence more reliable than reality itself.

Wikipedia
You're writing an encyclopedia page about video game character. You are way past deciding what's inane.

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That quote is more educational than the rest of the encyclopedia. The editor decided that the source material was inane, stupid, and had no place in their perfect data palace. Eliminating things that actually exist because they don't fit your beautiful theory is how you get Tom Cruise and rogue AIs exterminating all life on Earth. Though if the AI is born from from Wikipedia, we'll be fine, as we'll be able to distract it for years by spelling the Serenity crew's names wrong.

The article suffered worse back-and-forth than a sandpaper condom. Which is odd, since I found the characters' heights and weights in the first two minutes of playing the game. In 1991. When I was 12.

Capcom
OK, yeah, it's pretty inane.

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Those values would change in later games, which I know because they wrote them down each time. When your encyclopedia contains less useful info than a game manual, you've reversed the polarity of knowledge and are now sucking brain power from innocent bystanders. On the upside, it looks like Ken finally found a problem that can't be solved with a dragon punch.

2
WrestleMania III

WWE

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Get over your flat Earths, blow away your chemtrails, and hang up your lizard-person human skin-suit, because Wikipedia editors are about to blow your tiny mind right through your tinfoil helmet: Wrestling is a conspiracy!

Wikipedia
"Guy who can't be bothered to check Wikipedia" is the BEST at editing Wikipedia!

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In 1987, WrestleMania III was the greatest thing mankind (the species, not the wrestler) had ever seen. Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant promised the most epic match that had ever been filmed, and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat versus Randy "Macho Man" Savage actually delivered it. Their blows couldn't have caused more excited screams if they'd been given in a back alley with a 70 percent discount.

WWE
Art in motion, and also a pink starry package with visible crease.

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But exactly how many thousands of screams were heard? And how could that matter to anyone but the brave time-travelling heroes who prevented a planet-shattering outbreak of Hulkamania? The only answer was an eight-month edit war over the attendance figures, based on little more than how big the crowd looked to people who either remembered being there or saw pictures. Was it 93,000 or 78,000? It's a genuinely meditative exercise to try to understand the kind of mind to whom that would matter. You could be trapped down a well being used as a Polish deli's outhouse, and thinking about someone obsessed with that would make you feel better about your life.

Wikipedia
"Random a*****e's Complaining Grandfather" would win that year's Pulitzer

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Like all wrestling arguments, it's impossible to resolve, because everyone believes everyone else is biased, lying, or in cahoots with the McMahons to secretly steal their precious belts. One side insists the WWE's own figures are unreliable, and once you declare WWE an unreliable source about the WWE, you've gone through the kayfabe looking glass into a world where even John Cena fears to tread. The other side claims the first has an unforgivable anti-McMahon bias. As if anti-McMahon bias was anything but proof that you know what wrestling is. Anyone without an anti-McMahon bias is probably still wondering why none of the wrestlers have been disqualified for using chairs.

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1
Star Trek(:) I/into Darkness

Paramount

Star Trek Into Darkness had a lot of problems. But the nerdiest fans weren't upset by Captain Kirk versus 9/11, Scotty rendering Starfleet obsolete, or Bones discovering and immediately forgetting an immortality serum. No, they spent 40,000 words arguing about whether the movie's wiki page should say "Into Darkness," "into Darkness," or ": I/into Darkness." They couldn't have been more self-referentially obsessed with colons if they'd become a circular Human Centipede.

Paramount
There's no "I" in team, but there were far too many Is in this clusterfuck

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The arguments started three months before the movie was released. If the fans had put this much effort into the laws of physics instead of the laws of capitalization, we'd have actual warp drives.

Wikipedia
This was from ONE DAY. THREE MONTHS before the movie was released.

Their obsession with irrelevance opened a portal into a dimension of pure pettiness. Their talk page wasn't just busy; it was forming a whole new society based on the least-busy people alive bullying each other and themselves.

Wikipedia
No one has nerdily owned themselves this hard since NDR-113

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It was a crowd-sourced novella about a single letter. It was like that Next Generation episode where the number three turned up everywhere: the single character was a clue, and here "i" wasn't the number of pips on Riker's collar, but the imaginary number, reminding people that they were wasting time on a made-up difference. I've written Starfleet conspiracy theories and an entire alternate Trek series, and I want to wedgie these people so hard that they'd need a tractor beam to extract their underwear from their subspace distortions. I'm getting paid to write about this, and I still feel that my life is worth less just for mentioning it. They missed more points than the people of Melona IV trying to shoot at the Crystalline Entity. Yeah, I said it. Buncha wiki-freaks.

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Enjoy more nerdy glory with Luke's Science Humor at ZERO POINT COMEDY, and The Greatest Ghostbusters Games

Luke has a mailing list, website, tumbles, and responds to every single tweet.

See how Wikipedia members use page vandalism like a gang in a turf war in Wikipedia Hates Women: 4 Dark Sides of The Site We All Use, and find the strangest sexual pictures in The 6 Most Terrifying Sex Illustrations on Wikipedia.

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