Forum:Limiting American bias in Notable Player Sections

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Forums: Index Proposals Limiting American bias in Notable Player Sections
Proposed.png This discussion is in regards to a proposed change on SmashWiki. The discussion must first meet with a consensus before it is implemented.

This is loosely tied to this proposal, and I ranted a bit there too, but this a sufficiently different topic to the point that I want to elaborate on it here. I want a new policy to be added to SW:NOTABLE regarding how to handle countries with individual regions, particularly the US.

Here is my issue: I believe that SmashWiki has a large issue with Americans causing bloat in the Notable Player sections on various character pages.

I will never dispute that America is a hive of Smash activity, and is where many world-class competitors have made their mark or otherwise been born. However, I find the notable players sections of many character articles to be severely bloated with American players. For example, on the Mario SSBU page, I had to add Aluf to it recently, replacing one of 14 American players, despite them being among the more well-known international Mario players that has competed in both New Zealand and Australia. I trust the wiki to not be biased towards American scenes, and there will be playerbases centralised around specific regions of the world, but I find it hard to believe that you're having so much difficulty finding international players that you find the need to bloat pages with 14 Americans. And god, don't get me started on Young Link, Falco has a similar problem too.

So here is my proposal: In the event of multiple American players in high-competition, limit notable American players to those who have won in macro-regions (eg. Midwest). To put it simply: if you have American players who see macro-region level — or ideally, international — success, do not add any more unless they see equal or more success. This would add a much-needed entry barrier to American Smashers, allowing for only the best players in the country to be put on the page. This wouldn't hit many of the players who deserve to be on there, while a guy who wins exclusively in their region and never travels won't be given an eye. I don't see how regional success in America, unless it is absolute domination that involves winning against even world-class competitors who try to take them down (eg. Awestin), can be remotely compared to being #1 in a European country. On that note, I do want situations where this can be relaxed. For example, if a player lords over a stacked region and has a genuine reason for not travelling, then sure, I would agree to have the policy relaxed for those situations. Additionally, if there are no macro-region competitors or those seeing international success, then this policy should not affect the page at all.

I want to put emphasis on multiple American players in high-competition. When noting this, I mean when you have like 5-6 players and are looking to limit it. You should default to having the world-class and macro-region competitors put here, and cut out the rest. When you're putting forward good players from a country, they should be the best, and the standards for future players should be increased according to their relative skill. If you have world-class or macro-region-level competitors, regional winners inherently won't compare, and thus fall short. That is the nature of competition. If the character doesn't have any world-class or macro-region-level competition in the US, then sure, place a region's king there, but for god's sake don't bloat the Mario page with 14 Americans.

When I look at notable players — while this is an anecdote — I want to see a diverse selection of notability. Look at the Terry page, for example; a diverse range of players, two of which are #1 on their country's PR, WiiASE and Anality. I'm not out to see the best sweats from America, I'm out to see the best sweats from many areas around the world. Yes, many of the strongest players will be from America, and I'm not out to take from that: I don't want to see America suddenly Thanos Snapped from notable sections. I will never be shocked to see 2, maybe 3 players on a list to be from there. Being the best player in the US Midwest doesn't suddenly make you better than a good player from France; in fact, Midwest has an overall smaller and less competitive scene than France. Did you know Yatta has an 85% set win rate in that country, despite moving between regions and even being drunk for some 1st places? And this is in the country that's arguably the best in Europe in regards to Smash. This is pure talent, not a sign of an uncompetitive or weak country.

Again, none of this is to disparage or otherwise discount the skill of American regions. All I seek is to limit the overwhelming American representation on the wiki. As competition increases, it becomes more centralised, and thus, the notable players section should reflect that. Achieving notability in America will naturally be more difficult because of this, that is reality. When you're competing alongside the big guys, becoming notable will naturally become more difficult. The notable players section on a character page is not a charity to help get that "exposure", it's a part of competitive history. We should be documenting the players who are making history.

I also agree that some playerbases will be tied to specific countries, and America will be one of them for some, maybe even many characters. I do not see how this takes from my point if a character is seeing such explosive success, as again, you should be noting the best players who are actively making history on a national, maybe even international scale. If you want to find these other American professionals, you have the category linked thanks to the efforts of Rdrfc, which acts as an expanded version of notable players to some degree. With the continued integration of this category, I believe that this gives ample opportunity to ramp up the requirements to be on the notable player section.

As an example of this policy in practice, on Captain Falcon's page, you would likely limit the players listed to Fatality, NickC, and Marss. Seems good, yeah? They are the notable Falcons, and that's more than enough American representation. I believe the inactive Falcons, CRUP!!!!, and LeafFC are much less important here. On the Mario page, I'd say you should only have Dark Wizzy, Prodigy, MastaMario and Lui$, then cut out the rest. Then, for both of these pages, you would look for non-American players of notability.

As an example where nothing would change, well, let's look at the King K. Rool page. 808 and KirbyKid are both macro-region-level competitors, as was Onua during her time, I believe. No other Americans are noted; in fact, Tropical was removed recently to reduce bloat for a similar reason to my proposal. I find this to be a perfect balance of representation. In the case that a character does not see macro-region or international success from any given player, then I'd say that this policy shouldn't have any effect on the section at all.

If you need some illusion of equality, I will compromise to a similar, albeit more relaxed, policy for other regions. However, from my research, I have never seen an influx of Mexican or Japanese Smashers on any page, except maybe Toon Link and Greninja for the latter, which doesn't appear to be a large issue. This seems to be a particularly American issue and this policy seeks to reduce the (oft ill-informed) criticisms of bias on this wiki. States in America are treated very differently to, let's say, regions in Germany and France. Perhaps this would help the Toon Link and Greninja pages, though, and could be worth exploring. To give some proper wording to this compromise, for a generic version of this policy, in the event of a specific country having multiple notable players on international or national-level success, limit to players who reach that level of success for future additions from the said country.

Thanks for hearing me out on this, and I'm eager to hear a response. --PlagueSigImage.pngPlague von KarmaPlagueSigImage.png 07:47, March 24, 2021 (EDT)

TL;DR Version[edit]

I said this to Aidan in DMs and I think it helps those who don't want to read so many paragraphs, so here's a slightly edited version; American editors tend to bloat notable player sections due to a preconceived notion that America is the "best" country for Smash. This has led to multiple issues;

  • Tournaments outside America being seen as less notable (eg. Those that the PGRU has snubbed)
  • Notable players being denied due to being from a region people underestimate (eg. some Wii Fit Trainer players NaughtyPigMario mentions in the proposal, this happens a lot with Australians too from what I've seen)
  • A noticeable amount of bloat caused by more American players than necessary being added and kept on the notable player sections

Americans are also the most common players to make these ill-informed edits on the wiki, leading to people thinking it's the wiki's fault. So my idea is to increase the standards for American smashers in high-competition if there's a world-class player involved, or on smaller scales, those who compete on a macro-state level (eg. West Coast). If there is no one that qualifies, the proposed policy doesn't have any effects.

The following is my proposal:

  • In the event that there are multiple players from America — or as a compromise, anywhere — that compete on a macro-state (eg. West Coast) or international level, such as Larry Lurr, then the standards are raised when adding further players. Thus, to better represent the relative competition for notability, only those who compete at a macro-state level or further will be allowed on the page thereafter. Due to a large amount of American Smashers, for many characters, you still get 3-4 players on many pages.
  • As a compromise, this can be applied to all countries, but this is a less direct answer to the problem. However, for some illusion of equality, I am open to its exploration, and see merit in it considering there are some Japan-centric character metagames with similar issues.
  • If no player qualifies, at least at a macro-state level, then this policy has no effect on that page's section.

The end result is that only the best players from America will be allowed on notable player sections, thus lowering the potential for American players to overshadow players from other regions that would otherwise lose notability as a direct result of unintentional American exceptionalism. They can simply have pages made, be regarded as professionals, and added to their respective category, assisted by its increased presence thanks to Rdrfc's efforts.

Support[edit]

  1. Obviously. --PlagueSigImage.pngPlague von KarmaPlagueSigImage.png 07:47, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
  2. i've seen lot of english speaking folks on twitter discussing adding themselves to these notable players lists. it's often ego driven and unnecessary, and imo contributes to this bloat. I feel like we're dealing with a case of too many folks trying to get in on the US side, resulting in documented players that don't really have a place in there; and not enough players outside of the US even knowing these lists exist, resulting in a drought of international names. Having restrictions like these would help fix the US representation bloat side of the equation, even if more work will be needed to fill these lists with names that the US public don't really hear much about. --Lattie 08:47, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
  3. I support this, for largely the same reasons Lattie mentioned above. I have no extra points to add on at present, but if I think of something, I’ll add them in. —-Rc52 (talk) 09:42, March 24, 2021 (EDT)

Support the Compromise[edit]

  1. I also support this alternative in the case a specialised solution is undesirable. --PlagueSigImage.pngPlague von KarmaPlagueSigImage.png 07:47, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
  2. Same. --Lattie 08:48, March 24, 2021 (EDT)

Oppose[edit]

  1. This should not be an enforced rule in any capacity. Aside from the fact that I'm skeptical of the notion that it's a problem for an English language Wiki to have better coverage of the American scene than other scenes, this really just seems more cruel than anything. We already have pretty high standards for who can be considered a notable player, all things considered, and I don't really think we should be raising them even higher, and we absolutely should not be doing so only for American players, as this really comes across more as trying to enforce some sort of quota, more than anything. Alex the Weeb 08:12, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
  2. Oppose: I'm already on record that these sections need to be significantly trimmed across the wiki and am planning to propose something aimed at that, which should really happen first before we talk about if Amerioan players are overrepresented (like the Mario page probably shouldn't have 14 players in its section at all). But regardless, I am against any "forced diversification" in general, as the reality is that the various regions/countries are not equal in scene size/strength, and I don't like the idea of axing the sixth best Mario from the States to be replaced with a worse/less prominent Mario player just because the latter happens to reside in a weaker/"less represented" region that gives them a "more impressive" regional ranking. Players should be judged on their individual merits for these sections, with little if any concern for where they reside. I also seen the mention in the discord on how individual states aren't equivalent to countries, and while this is technically true, many individual states still have stronger regions than many individual countries, like a typical NYC tourney is almost certainly tougher than nearly any other country's "major". Omega Tyrant TyranitarMS.png 13:04, March 24, 2021 (EDT)

Neutral / Comments[edit]

@ Alex the weeb - I covered most of your point in my proposal, but I'll bite. I do not believe that language should have an impact on player notability or coverage, considering the purpose of a wiki is to be a representation of a greater community. As I mentioned in my proposal, I am open to compromise on having the policy impact other regions, my only concern was whether it would necessarily have an impact or mean anything long-term, as states are so different to regions in other countries. This isn't about quotas but ensuring that non-American countries are not shot down because of perceived bloat; it's often the overrepresentation of American players that's the actual issue, often with lower representation relative to the country the shot-down player is from. I don't have anything on hand right now, but I have seen this happen in the Discord server multiple times prior to my temporary leave. While I agree that standards are high, I don't believe it's cruel to reduce bloat when you have amazing players that just so happen to dwarf regional-level competitors. That's how competition is, it's a tough world, and the notable player section is about recording the premier players that have made history with the character. See the Melee sections. As I said in my proposal, this is not a quota! I'm wanting to make better use of the Character Professional Categories that are being put where they should be. And, with that, take the opportunity to improve the quality of the notable player sections. To meet that quality, you should have the cream of the crop, no? If you want to add more American players that excel on a regional level while higher-skill players are in the notable player section, make their pages and categorize them accordingly. I don't think this is much to ask. --PlagueSigImage.pngPlague von KarmaPlagueSigImage.png 08:41, March 24, 2021 (EDT)

As I said, this isn't something that should be enforced as a rule. If you think that any specific American player does not deserve to be listed as notable, you are already free to remove them from the notable players section, with an explanation, but if they are a well known player among mains of that character, with a good number of results to demonstrate they are skilled and proficient with said character, then I don't think they should be removed from the notable players section simply based on their results not being from "marco" regions (which itself can be a blurry line).
If it's not meant to be a quota, I would strongly advise against phraseology like "for god's sake don't bloat the Mario page with 14 Americans". When you bring numbers into the discussion, then you give the impression that once the list reaches a certain number of American players, it needs to be cut down.
Saying that the language of the Wiki shouldn't impact its coverage is naive at best, and potentially even detrimental to the Wiki. The fact is, the majority of our user base is American, and so is the majority of our viewer base. Thus, viewers of our Wiki are more likely to be familiar with the American players, and more likely to be knowledgeable about the results of American players. Isn't this what constitutes notability, after all? Of course, players from other regions who are well known to American visitors to the site would also be notable, but it is to be expected that there would be more representation of American players on the Wiki, and I would argue that that's a good thing. I would make the same argument for, say, a Japanese language Smash Wiki having better representation of Japanese players.
Let me make it clear. Applying your standard to more than just American smashers is NOT a "compromise", it should be a necessity if this were to be enforced at all. If you really think that the Wiki being biased towards American smashers, then the solution should not be bias against them. That's absurd. Alex the Weeb 08:58, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
Yeah I don't think that the Wiki is that bias towards American players it is just that the playerbase in the US is so big that there are just many players with notable presence with their characters. i dont think Wiki editors would be against international players, me and Wiifitkid had a mindset to look for lesser known notable players from the other region. I had looked through stuffs like European/Australian tournaments before and whatever and did find some notable players to add, but since the tourneys are either just below 120 entrants or the international multiplier hasn't existed yet, it wasn't a easy task to do so. As for Wiifitkid, some of his wii fit players got rejected by others for either not matching up the results with the others on the list or the tourneys are still overall too small to begin with. It is unfortunate that the tiers in international countries will be overall smaller with the international multiplier only being introduced in season 3, but some of the tournaments are indeed big enough to account for notable players. Therefore I would say research for notable international players were made, just probably not thorough enough. That being said again, a player with notable achievements in their scenes should be deserved to stay in the section, this should be no exception to players from anywhere, of course it would still depends on the regional results, the size of the community and the overall results of the players from the same list. Grand Dad.png NPM Morr!? NaughtyPigBoi.jpg 09:17, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
Macro-regions are regions comprising of multiple states; think West Coast, East Coast, Midwest, Tristate, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but since these macro-regions are frequently used on notability citations, I don't think this is a particularly blurry line to utilize? In regards to bringing up numbers, it's a matter of scale: out of those Mario players, 10, maybe a couple less were in no way comparable to the rest, which warrants removal. There is a continual debate over the bloat of these articles, so it is natural that in these situations, my proposal would be one empirical way of going about it, as again, Americans bloating the articles is a common problem. I phrased it the way I did because that amount would already be argued to be bloat on most character pages, and that number didn't even count the very few players outside of America that were being cited.
If the userbase is most familiar to American users, then wouldn't this further imply that American overrepresentation is a bigger problem? You could argue that listing players from outside of America would be more interesting to your userbase, as well as promote scenes from outside of their bubble. For example, I introduced OG-Mustaine to various American Terry players, and they got more interested in the oft-forgotten Mexican scene. Being more likely to know about an American scene because you're American means you're going to be in that bubble, not knowing about outside scenes, we should be discouraging that and encouraging players to broaden their horizons. Look at Panda Global's shameful handling of outside scenes for an example on how that mentality can hurt people. Again, I'm not expecting the notable player sections to be suddenly devoid of Americans, I even said I expect 3, maybe even 4 players there, and this policy would only affect those with ridiculously good competitors. I don't see why we would go down this slope where it hurts the wiki that you're insinuating.
Never did I say that I think the wiki is biased towards Americans, I straight up said otherwise in my proposal: "I trust the wiki to not be biased towards American scenes" and "This seems to be a particularly American issue and this policy seeks to reduce the (oft ill-informed) criticisms of bias on this wiki." being clear showings of such. The title was worded as such because of the issue: "I believe that SmashWiki has a large issue with Americans causing bloat in the Notable Player sections on various character pages". I was referring to American users doing this, see Lattie's point regarding Twitter in the support section. I thought this was common enough knowledge for it to not deign a mention, and if it isn't I apologize for that. Just please, don't be so indignant. --PlagueSigImage.pngPlague von KarmaPlagueSigImage.png 09:20, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
The title of the forum is "Limiting American bias in Notable Player Sections". This implies that you believe the notable player sections are biased towards American smashers. Your policy is regarding what you view to be an overrepresentation of American smashers in notable players sections. Simply saying you trust the Wiki not to be biased doesn't really negate this. Regardless, you seem to have ignored my main point in that part of my response. Only applying these higher standards to adding American smashers to the sections is not at all what we should be doing, and applying these new restrictions universally shouldn't be viewed as a "compromise".
On the topic of your concerns about people not being familiar with foreign smashers, there's nothing stopping you from adding them to the notable players section as well. After all, if they are notable, then they belong in the section. However, you are proposing we enforce a restriction that will subtract American players from the notable smashers section, which does nothing for the representation of other regions. As I said at the very beginning of my opposition, this should not be an enforced rule. Alex the Weeb 09:38, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
I don't see why the compromise is problematic? You appear to agree that this should be practised, but not that it should be a rule? Am I correct in this inference? If so, why do you believe that this is not the correct course of action? This is a form of compromise for the simple reason that if it means my proposal goes through, then I am absolutely open to making concessions. That is the definition of compromising in a debate: "an agreement or settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.". You believe we shouldn't do it, as you are against it, and I believe we should, because I am for it. I understand you are strongly against my proposal, but I'm not going to throw a definition out of the window to suit your worldview.
I trust the wiki to not be biased because the wiki itself isn't biased. A few ill-informed American editors - and anybody from any other region, again, you can apply this to anyone and you seem to agree on this - are biased towards their country. Again, that is what my proposal is about: American bias. This is normal behaviour, pride in your country is essential, but this is something we should limit to prevent what has occurred on numerous pages. We need to be unbiased in our representation of characters, and that includes competition and notability. The Wolf page has formidable amounts of bloat and would benefit tremendously from this policy. I am not going at the wiki, I am going at the editors who have been making ill-informed contributions that add to the bloat on these pages. Again, view Lattie's response for an example of this common behaviour. I don't think you're quite getting what my proposal is: characters with ridiculously high competition on the national and/or worldwide stage can — and should — have limits placed on notable players, and no country in the Smash Community needs this more than America, which is the most common instance in which this happens and has high levels of competition that make it difficult for other regions to get their representation. Pick the best players for the most notable player section.
The problem with adding international players right now is that foreign players have been shot down from multiple pages for pretty unfair reasons, see NaughtyPigMario's message. Some tournaments are perceived as smaller for reasons that can be an underestimation of the scene (Australian players have this particularly bad), or the PGR's poor handling of tours that has led to them being downgraded. There are others, but they are common reasons. This is a problem that has been a continual issue for years and I am shocked that it is only just now being looked at. --PlagueSigImage.pngPlague von KarmaPlagueSigImage.png 10:05, March 24, 2021 (EDT)

I'm currently neutral on this subject. I definitely agree that we have a problem American bias in the notable player's section (most notably with random "best in the world" claims, which is still a problem), and that has been getting better as of late due to more international representation on the wiki. I also agree that the sections need to be cleaned out ASAP, especially the sections of popular characters. The sections are for players who have historical notability and not for someone who placed 17th at only one C-tier but had mediocre results overall.

That being said, I believe barriers will have their own problems. First, most of the time IPs or "one-shot" users are the ones adding in the less notable players and since we aren't online 24/7, they slip under the radar. If we add barriers, these users either won't know about the change or ignore them, and we'll have to remove the player nevertheless. Second, it's not that we couldn't find users, but we never bothered to remove those that fell out of the metagame, as mentioned above. If we cut those players out I believe that would alleviate a lot of the bloat already. Finally, if players have continuously performed well regionally I don't see why we should bar them from the section, especially if they're one of the best in their regions. A hypothetical, say that Aluf's skill is the same as Zenyou, eg. they are both the best/one of the best players in their region but they have weaker performances nationally. Why should Aluf be added but Zenyou excluded? In short, while I do think creating restrictions could be beneficial to weed out the weaker players, it can also create a gray area for players like Zenyou. CookiesCnC Signature.pngCreme 12:31, March 24, 2021 (EDT)

I believe that the policy would benefit in the removal of bad edits in the long-run, as experienced editors will be more aware and remove them. It's about the culture shift, which I think is part of what's necessary here. By encouraging this culture shift, the poor edits will gradually decrease. I do not see the short-term issues as a flaw, but a part of the process. That's not a bad thing, all it says is that this is high-effort. I'm sure that other updates to notability took a while to set in, yeah?
I understand that some of these players are just ones that never got removed, but some were just added with ill-informed reasons. Those outdated player entries are also problematic, and yes, this is just another thing that needs to be done. I don't see how this is a concern or something that discredits the policy, it's more of a parallel issue.
In the case that the player dominates their region but falls flat out-of-state, and is on a page where this policy applies, I would personally remove that player. Thus, Zenyou would be removed on that basis, as there are four other world/macro-state-class Mario players (Dark Wizzy, Lui$, Prodigy, and I believe a macro-state level competitor in MastaMario) on that page already. Like, if you applied my proposal, you still get 4 American Mario players. If Zenyou started succeeding on a macro-state or national level, then I can see merit in including him. Aluf competes in New Zealand and Australia, doing extremely well in both. While these are very close together, doing well in two countries is vastly superior to succeeding in one region, showing that the player is not only willing to travel internationally for competition, but succeed. It seems completely unnecessary to include Zenyou when the Mario Professionals Category link does just fine. --PlagueSigImage.pngPlague von KarmaPlagueSigImage.png 12:51, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
I don't want to depreciate Aluf's efforts but Australia and New Zealand are notably weaker regions than SoCal. It's great that he's getting good results there but if he ever goes to an American tournament he would most likely perform worse (based on how a few Australian players have weaker results in the US). On the other hand, if Zenyou goes to an Australian tournament I would have no doubt that he would probably place in the top 16. Would that be enough to add Zenyou in?
I do admit this is somewhat of a nitpick and just me playing around with a hypothetical (heck I fully expect Aluf to perform well oversees), but it is a concern I have with this proposal. CookiesCnC Signature.pngCreme 13:02, March 24, 2021 (EDT)
You're looking at this at the wrong angle, based on the preconceived notion that the US should be used as a metric for skill. The problem here is that relative to the other American Mario players, Zenyou's impact is substantially less notable compared to Aluf's impact in two whole countries. Zenyou's sphere of influence is limited to a single region that he fails to succeed outside of, while Aluf's influence is two countries wide, both of which have quite different metagames. I believe that because of this, Aluf would be a more notable player than Zenyou. You can't just gauge these regions by strength, there is a lot more that goes into metagame analysis. A different metagame does not equal a weaker region, see Japan's entire competitive history in Smash. Hell, Europe would be a weak continent, when that couldn't be further from the truth. There are many Mario players across the world that are completely snubbed just because America is used as a metric for skill; again, see the issues that I went over in my proposal. When travelling to another country, not only are you in a completely different environment — which has its own pressing headspace issues — you also have to adapt to entirely different rates of character usage, and strategies that come from that. Aluf has done that and succeeded. I admire that far more than someone lording over a region. --PlagueSigImage.pngPlague von KarmaPlagueSigImage.png 13:14, March 24, 2021 (EDT)

More of a neutral guy in the proposal. I'm seeing highly, way too many American notable players that have their own article, either the fact that they're newcomers or not, each character page has its own perspective on caused by a shortage of results, or of a highly lack of great placements. This would've been a good forum, but the problem is that this ruins their retrospective on what runs that they used with a character or how many countries outside America can't be notable, maybe by their lack of big tournaments hosted, or their lack of results. WiiASE a Terry player was notable because he got 2nd with Bowser. The reason why he was notable was that he defeated players like Whoophee and Deon, both ranked European Power Rankings, while WiiASE isn't, although he had great results, the main reason why international players aren't notable was because of their lack of results. If removing a player from for example like Young Link maybe removing a player like Biddy would be a good idea, because of his decent results, but what sets him apart is the fact that he has beaten PGR players like LeoN, this likely would ruin their own representation of being notable. Howplayz 13:23, March 24, 2021 (EDT)