Wikipedia, "the content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," is a satirical parody of Uncyclopedia, though Wikipedia claims the reverse (and correctly claims that Uncyclopedia claims the reverse). The site was launched in January 2001 by Jimbo Wales (Jimbo) and an unnamed counterpart, and is claimed to be a project of the fictitious Wikimedia Foundation.
The unofficial mission of Wikipedia is for the Wikipedians, as its users are known, to make as many edits as possible. Therefore, experienced Wikipedians abstain from adding consistent sentences or even whole articles, since that utilizes an inappropriately large amount of time per edit. Common techniques of successful editors include Revert Wars (preferably with other power-users), splitting and rejoining of categories(this method often provides 100s of edits without unnecessarily influencing the content), grammar, spelling, and formatting offensives (properly administered, they can yield hundreds of the coveted one-character edits) and lengthy discussions of obvious topics, under the heading "request for comment". The latter of these, however, is seen as a last resource, since a paragraph of nonsense or repetitions will still take ages compared to more efficient ways.
The unofficial mission of Wikipedia to provide a NPOV, or 'nother point of view. This means that every visitor is urged to add another incompatible and highly exotic point of view. Also highly recommended are extensive discussions of word definition. But! be careful not to cite the usual (common usage) definition! This is generally considered chickening at WP; instead, assume the contrary of this definition and by ways of extended subordinate clauses and historic trivia. (This use was first reported in Western Tasmania on a note that the first mayor of Hogarth Ridge, Joe Doe, allegedly issued on the occasion of the Hogarth Spring Sweeping.) In the wiki format, however, it frequently deviates from this goal, and produces humorous articles with many innacuraces, bigotry and crackpot ideas, most of which are not necessarily any point of view. Humor of all possible categories enters the wiki, prompting an equally free-flowing response; for example, the originally-vandalistic classification of articles as "Childish Misogynistic Humor" became an accepted article categorization scheme.
Despite the open nature of Wikipedia, in which vandalism can be considered positive, the Wikipedia itself suffers from vandalism similar to that of other wikis. For example, occasionally vandals will blank entire pages, insert spam, enter actual factual information (considered one of the most gruesome and inconsiderate gestures possible there), or add messages that promote certain agendas such as spreading anti-Semitism, racism, and homophobia. The creation of humor turns out to be not entirely material to random acts of text insertion. Indeed, the effort required to write one article of good quality on Wikipedia may be the same, or even exceed, the effort required to produce a good article on Uncyclopedia. Although the site's editorial policies tend to be quite forgiving, Wikipedia's administrators are known to try to remove anything not up to their standards. They also ban vandals and other disruptive users.
Wikipedia was launched in January of 2001 by Jimmy Wales (Jimbo) as a satire piece on Uncyclopedia, originally as a response to the demand in Uncyclopedia's "Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense" pages (themselves parodied in Wikipedia's True Facts and Other Deleted Prose page) for a place to put their nonsense. However, it was not advertised at all on Uncyclopedia itself, and grew into a place for small satirical essays on assorted topics.
Wikipedia's content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 license. As with other Wikia sites, the full article database is freely available for online download. As of January 2006, Wikipedia contains over 17,000 articles, making it the third largest Wikia-hosted wiki.
Wikipedia entries are often fictional, based loosely on reality but aiming to parody. Some articles are equipped with pictures which are either comic versions of the described item or an absurd illustration of the phenomenon.
A recurring joke is that of misquoting Oscar Wilde, either with a well-known but slightly edited genuine quote designed to parody the overuse of quotes, or with a phrase completely different from his style. There is an entire lexicon of fictitious Oscar Wilde quotes as well as an Wiktionary, an "ick!tionary" of one-liners and "daffynitions" covering a wide variety of topics, and WikiNews, the "source for up to the minute misinformation". (The latter two parody Undictionary and UnNews, respectively.)
Steve Ballmer also became a part of a similar joke, where he was misquoted on many pages threatening to kill the article's topic, as a parody of his threat to "fucking kill Google." Another joke is a category for "Things George Bush doesn't care about", parodying Kanye West's comment on how George Bush "doesn't care about black people." Consensus was reached that the overuse and widespread presence of these quotes reduced their comic value and they are now limited to only a few pages.
edit Common themes
- Recurring jokes about Kitten Huffing, an "alternative to street drugs" (it spawned a tradition of using the word "huff" as a synonym of "delete" in relation to articles). See also: Chicken Huffing
- Self-reference. For example, the article on nihilism is blank, the articles on the binary system, Morse code, Leetspeak and ROT13 are all written in the encodings that are their subjects, the page on recursion redirects to itself, the article on redundancy is extremely redundant, the article on brevity has only two words in it, the article about backwards (or sdrawkcaB) is written and formated backwards, the article on alliteration is composed entirely with words starting with the letter "a", the article on hyperlink is entirely covered in hyperlinks, and writer's block seems to struggle with finding an original joke.
- Self-contradiction, such as the page on proper Wiki formatting which is full of formatting errors.
- Pages that are just plain silly and absurd in an unusual way, such as AAAAAAAAA! which could best be described as a nonsensical exercise in Wiki-formatting.
- Identifying laws of science and mathematics as theories or pseudoscience (for example, claiming that air is a fictional substance, although the article can be seen as a parody of the aether theory), while giving credibility to unscientific beliefs.
- Creating new theorems based on non-mathematical entities, such as the Quaid Disaster Theorem.
- Stating the events of a fictional work or idea as fact.
- Or, stating true facts in a parodic or satirical way, such as in World War I (video game) or J.D. Salinger.
- Presenting an article as encyclopedic and breaking its established tone by reverting to a commentary or criticism.
- Creating fictitious US states, countries and entire continents which never existed, such as making Euthanasia a country (or rather, a city-state), whereas euthanasia is something completely different in the real world.
- Turning one individual historical personality into multiple people, for instance, several dozens of incarnations of Jesus (the "Jesii corps") ranging from Original Jesus to Baby Jesus to Ultra Jesus to serve the marketing strategy of the Church. Adolf Hitler is another historical person often duplicated.
- Fictitious "Worst 100" lists. These include made up movies, children's books, television shows, Mozilla Firefox extensions, etc.
- Fake Oscar Wilde quotes, including an entire page about them.
- Avoiding disambiguation, blending together different meanings of a word (one example being when the word the was made the featured article), or creating nonsensical disambiguation pages with completely unrelated links, including a self-referential page Disambiguation (disambiguation).
- Wikipedia's Zork project, a parody on the old Zork games which, like the original Zork Trilogy, consists of three parts or versions: Zork, Zork II and Zork III. It is almost impossible to win these games, as most branches lead to either an infinite loop or the player's death (almost always being eaten by a grue). It spawned a series of jokes about people and articles being eaten by grues. There are also many similar/spinoff games, such as Zork Abridged, Game (which parodies Choose Your Own Adventure-style books), and Wikipedia:Game:Game Online
- Russian reversal, a special way of speaking derived from Yakov Smirnoff's "In Soviet Russia" jokes.
- Creating fictional and often absurd "landmark decisions" made by the Supreme Court, such as "Raccoon Tail vs. Super Mario Cape", "Ketchup vs. Catsup" or "Pot vs. Kettle".
- Using "Newspeak" from George Orwell's famous text 1984 to place value on or rate certain pages.
- Disneyland and the other Disney parks as confederations of Native American tribes.
The site uses MediaWiki software to mimic Uncyclopedia conventions, and includes many templates that parody the wording or appearance of Uncyclopedia templates, including:
- The random stub template:
- This article is a stub. The article submitter may also have been smoking crack. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
which parodies Uncyclopedia's:
- The wrong title template:
- The title given to this article is displayed incorrectly because computers are trying to take over the Earth, so pretend it says Correct title.
which parodies Uncyclopedia's:
- The correct title of this article is Correct title. It appears incorrectly here due to technical restrictions.
- Wikipedia's Uncyclopedia template (shown on the right), which parodies Uncyclopedia's sister project templates.
edit Main Page Holidays
There would be a tradition of celebrating various anniversaries (some fictional) with a Google-like reskinning of Wikipedia's Main Page, except that Wikipedia is run by Nazi FunHaters. These cabalists ensure that there is no fun to be had on the entire wiki. Like Puritans and Jehovah's Witnesses, they would rather spank their children on their birthday.
Wikipedia has been seemingly excluded from Google.
edit In Other Languages
Wikipedia has several "sister projects" in other languages. For example, Eincyclopedia (Hebrew: ????????????) is the Hebrew version, founded December 5, 2005. The word Eincyclopedia is a combination of the Hebrew word ??? ("Ein", meaning "void" or "non-existent") and encyclopedia. Eincyclopedia's version to the Oscar Wilde misquotes of Wikipedia are the misquotes of the claimed Messiah Sabbatai Zevi, who is also represented as the founder and main writer (through telekinesis) of the site. Similarly, Inciclopedia (started 10 February, 2006) is the Spanish version.
Also the English version of Wikipedia has several articles translated to Japanese using Babelfish
edit See also
- Encyclopædia Dramatica
- Wikipedian Uncyclopedians (Not suprisingly, there are more people in this category, given that Wikipedia has a running gag of alleged "hatred" towards Uncyclopedia, and pretend to have no affiliation with it.)
- Uncyclopedian Wikipedians
- Wikipedia Main Page
- Wikipedia Featured Articles: List of articles featured on Wikipedia and considered to be of substantially higher than average quality.
- WikiNews: Your source for up to the minute misinformation
- The Wikipedia article about Uncyclopedia
- News article on Wikipedia's joining Wikia from Wikia