[WikiEN-l] Trivia and popular culture sections

Ilmari Karonen nospam at vyznev.net
Tue Feb 28 08:53:25 UTC 2006

Rob wrote:
> On 2/27/06, Matt R <matt_crypto at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>>* "In White Wolf Game Studio's World of Darkness role-playing universe,
>>was a leading member of the mage faction known as the Virtual Adepts." --
>>[[Alan Turing]]
> The latter two are obvious dumps, but I'm going to quibble about the first
> one.  If a real historical figure plays a significant role in a fictional
> work, that's probably worth at least a small note.  Not the more
> important/famous figures (Hitler, Einstein, Lincoln) who show up in fiction
> with regularity, but less famous people like Turing probably have only
> popped up a few times.

However, I feel that really depends on what the appearance is like.  If 
the character in the game was patterned on the real person, even to the 
extent that reading about the character might shed light on what the 
real person was like, then it might well merit a mention.  But the way I 
read that note, it sounds like the character shares little more than a 
name and a loose historical analogy with the real Alan Turing.

The issue also comes up at [[Darwin]].  There's a riduculous number of 
things named after Charles Darwin; many of them notable, but even more 
utterly trivial.  Knowing that [[Darwin (dolphin)]] is a fictional 
crewmember in the television series seaQuest DSV sheds little light on 
his more notable namesake, especially since that article has remained a 
redlink for a whole year.  I'm rather tempted to go and remove that and 
[[Darwin (album)]] from the list now.

Even the asterisks used to tag "confirmed namesakes of Charles Darwin" 
in the list suffer from a related problem, since _any_ use of the name 
Darwin these days is generally assumed to allude to Charles Darwin. 
There's little doubt, for example, that both the [[Darwin fish]] and 
[[Darwin (programming game)]] are named after him; but just try to find 
an authoritative source explicitly saying so.

But I'm digressing...

Ilmari Karonen

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list