Talk:Choose Your Own Adventure

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Interactive Fiction[edit]

At the end of this article, we get the statement: "The large popularity of the concept led to the titling of a new genre of writing for the format, which was called interactive fiction." with a hyperlink on [Interactive Fiction] leading to that article. Unfortunately, the first sentence of the "Interactive Fiction" article on Wikipedia is "Interactive fiction, often abbreviated IF, describes software simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters and influence the environment."... not the literary genre, the computer game genre. Anybody have any ideas how to straighten this out? Is there an "Interactive Fiction" literary genre on Wikipedia that we can redirect to? I assume if the literary genre tried to butt heads with the computer game genre, it would lose. Being a board game reviewer, I can tell you, it's better not to attack those guys directly... (talk) 10:54, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

While the lede of Interactive fiction could certainly be broadened a bit beyond the software aspect, it still includes the text based subject as well. Read the last paragraph of the lede, it specifically discusses the CYOA series. SilverserenC 11:10, 26 December 2011 (UTC)


This article has been placed under WP:OFFICE protection pending reasonable accomodation with concerned parties that have contacted the office. This article is not to be edited, except by people who are expressly authorized by myself, the WMF General Counsel, or other authorized WMF Staff. The relevant policy is WP:OFFICE. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 01:06, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Office protection lifted. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:04, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Is it possible that someone authorized fix the "Digital Versions" heading (lowercase "v") and properly cite the source at the end of that section? Or should it just be left there? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 01:54, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
  • After concerns were raised about this article and it was put under WP:OFFICE, User:Philippe (WMF) contacted me to assist with dispute resolution and improving the article content. I did a bit more clean up today and I'm reviewing the history of the article with a particular eye towards finding reliable sources. Interested parties can leave a comment here on the talk page, or if they are not an active Wikipedia editor, they can contact me through my Wikipedia email Email User FloNight. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 16:08, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Erm... Just out of curiosity, What exactly is the complaint? I understand if no comment is given due to legal reasons, but I'm confused, particularly because of the seemingly harmless nature of a set of children's books. Phearson (talk) 06:04, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm certainly confused here. How can "dispute resolution" happen if no one has any idea what the dispute is about? Looking at older versions of the article, I see a lot of unsourced material, so it's possible that there were factual errors (e.g. incorrect errors of authorship) or that we touched on an area of external dispute between people involved with the books, but I don't see anything that would be so blatantly offensive to someone so as to require the drastic step of an office action and the blanking of much of the entry, including, for some reason, the "See also" section. Since the page is protected and we have no idea what the dispute is about, I cannot see how anyone is going to be able to collaborate with FloNight and rebuild this article. Without revealing confidential details of the dispute, can we at least get an idea what topics are off-limits here? Zachlipton (talk) 11:07, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Would anyone object to restoring the following cited sentences to the article: "Industry publications such as Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal have reported sales figures of over 250 million copies for the period between 1979 and 1998.[1][2] Books from the series have been translated into at least 38 languages.[1]" Kaldari (talk) 21:22, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Also, can I re-add the See Also link List of Choose Your Own Adventure books? Kaldari (talk) 21:28, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I have tried to help but no one will tell me what is going on or how to help.--Milowenttalkblp-r 22:33, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I just left a message at User talk:Philippe (WMF)#Choose Your Own Adventure article asking about this. That brief discussion leaves me even more confused about all this, but since absolutely nothing is happening here and there have at least been two responses over there, I thought I'd point people that way. Zachlipton (talk) 01:33, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Time to unfollow this article to ignore whatever drama this is all about.  Xihr  02:43, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
It's hard to ignore a potential Streisand Effect So I think I'll put this on watch. EDIT: was it this in particular that all this fuss is about? Phearson (talk) 04:22, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Why are you guys bugging Philippe? He can't help you (since he's acting as a representative of the WMF). I imagine that's the whole reason FloNight was brought in to handle refactoring the article. Talk to FloNight if you have questions about content. Talk to Philippe if you want to file a legal complaint. Where is FloNight anyway? Shouldn't she be watching this article? Kaldari (talk) 02:54, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
It's hard to file a counter if you cannot see the actual request. Phearson (talk) 16:42, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
True enough. Still, I imagine Flonight would be the better person to talk to. (talk) 17:45, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Kaldari- I'm as much in the dark as anyone as to the actual details, but I would point out that one of the pieces of information you just added was part of the anonymous reversions that plagued this page in October. I edited the page to reflect the fact that Chooseco is not reprinting the *series* (previous wording, your current wording) but *select books* from the series that they happen to have the rights to. This might seem like a negligible difference, but for someone who really cares about the original series, the distinction matters. Chooseco isn't republishing the series- they're republishing books they have the rights to (Mongomery's, Gillihans, books by their children, and any new books or books they negotiate for.) They are not republishing any of the books by the creator of the series concept, who was also the most prolific (and popular) CYOA article. I don't know how to reflect this neccesarily in the text, but it should be reflected. Seanmercy (talk) 18:46, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Ah, I didn't realize that might be controversial. Removed the last sentence pending feedback from FloNight. Kaldari (talk) 21:10, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Please add [1] and other sources cited below. I am not sure how we settle the fact that the major news stories from the 80s attribute foundation to Packard, and a few more recent smaller-press articles credit Montgomery (in connection with Montgomery's Chooseco outfit). What happened in reality seems fairly obvious to me at the basic level -- both were essential to the success of the series. Packard for the concept, and Montgomery for getting it to spread.--Milowenttalkblp-r 23:07, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

People the reason for the office action, is the same as the reason for prior office actions....
"These edits are temporary measures to prevent legal trouble or personal harm" --ScWizard (talk) 22:15, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Suggestions for references[edit]

  • What happened to the talk section about the article, with the references and such? I'd like to help, as this article gets 600+ views every day.--Milowenttalkblp-r 16:58, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure why you cleared the bottom section with Milowent and myself supplying potential sources. Here are the links we provided previously-,3744016&dq=packard+cave+of+time&hl=en

1981 article about CYOA

Packard's Contemporary Authors entry, which should be definitive. Note the use of the possessive when referring to him and the series.,2191360

1981 AP article.

2010 interview with Packard re: adapting his CYOA books into iphone apps.

It seems clear that both of us would like to assist in the article. Seanmercy (talk) 17:50, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Yes, I am eager to help re-expand this article with citation to reliable sources such as those noted by Sean above. They are many more articles we can use as well.--Milowenttalkblp-r 04:43, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Here are few more references - please consider for article. Note that the first two citations, while also from 1981 (like the ones above), they are independently written articles and not just another of the 100s of papers that the AP[2] and NyTimes news service[3] stories appeared in (which should be cited as well, of course, but we've noted above):
--Milowenttalkblp-r 15:34, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Nice work- those are some great sources! Eager to put them to work, should we ever be able to do so.... Seanmercy (talk) 16:10, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

You know, it occurs to me that while we're waiting for the results of this office action, we could use your resources listed here to bolser the related sections of the Montgomery and Packard pages. The former is especially unsourced and in POV-violation (weasel-language, etc). Seanmercy (talk) 16:48, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I'll review the sources that you added above. But my main concern is that we don't use material that is largely from Public Relations junkets which are going to be skewed towards creating a certain impression that may or may not be accurate. Instead by using scholarly works we will capture the importance that this series had after it was launched.
And while the other article are not under office protection, the same concerns would apply if the problem is introduced in those articles. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 17:01, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

FloNight♥♥♥♥ 17:01, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

>>>>if the problem is introduced in those articles>>>> And herein lies the heart of the matter. How can I make sure I don't introduce "the problem" when "the problem" is known only to you, the Wiki office, and whomever you're negotiating with? Certainly both biographical articles I mentioned above are in significantly worse shape than the previous version of the CYOA page- little to no citations, weasel wording etc. And yet they don't contain the problem.... Hoping for some clarity on this. Seanmercy (talk) 18:18, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

  • FloNight, I'm sure you aren't referring to these, but to be clear, the journalistic standards of the Associated Press, New York Times, and Scripps-Howard News Service aren't "press junket" type fluff, of course.--Milowenttalkblp-r 18:31, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Something like this might be useful, but I don't have JSTOR access these days, so I can't read the whole thing. Zagalejo^^^ 19:12, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Zagal, yes, that is exactly the quality of material that we need to be looking for. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 20:37, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
  • A good source to look at, but a source like that is unlikely to be a better source on how the series was started. The AP and NYTimes articles etc. have fact checking resources. A peer-reviewed journal article will be reviewed on theory and application, not how the series started. Jeff Copeland[4] studies children's literature.[--Milowenttalkblp-r 21:25, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
  • For the record, virtually all American newspapers like the Times and wire services like AP don't routinely fact check articles: reporters are expected to gather the facts accurately themselves. Obviously they have research departments that can assist reports and editors with nailing down certain facts, but as I understand it, if something isn't in dispute, no one is going to be verifying it as a matter of course. Major monthly periodicals do have more formal and extensive fact checking procedures, such as the New Yorker, that can even extend to verifying the contents of quotes from subjects. Personally, I'd consider any published comment about how the series started to be unreliable unless the source is quoting involved parties or otherwise backs its own assertion with some kind of primary source. Zachlipton (talk) 02:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
  • One of the articles I cited directly quotes a senior editor at Bantam on these points.[5] (scan to left of where google links you to to see article). The sources overwhelmingly credit Packard as the creator of the series/concept; Montgomery's existence and role is specifically mentioned in others of the cites. We've had AfDs before where it was claimed that one person was the inventor of certain things even though the sources credited someone else, Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Howard_Press_(3rd_nomination). Slanting of sources was done by a COI account to support this view. Ultimately the COI account begged to have the article deleted when newspaper sources showing a criminal history of the subject were unearthed. Not saying that's a likely scenario here, but it was a cautionary tale about departing from sources and the unexpected consequences it can bring.--Milowenttalkblp-r 10:47, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Milowent, I would appreciate it if you would stop adding emotionally charged comments to the discussion. Even raising the issue as you have above is making it difficult for us to stay focused on policy and make good decisions about how to write the most high quality article.
Zachlipton, you are correct with your observations about the way that information is verified by the press. We need to understand that as books are released the publishing house, the author, and the booksellers are going to paint a picture of the book and author that will increase the sales. More often than not, there will be multiple conflicting sources because of the lack of fact checking prior to the release of the articles. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 13:40, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't see substantial conflict in the reliable sources I cited, but if you can identify a conflict in sources to research, I will do so. A going-behind-sources approach sounds like original research, though, and calls for speculation; i've never seen such an approach succeed in a talk page discussion. Can we at least put in the article that Packard and Montgomery were the two primary authors of the series? The sources all support that statement. I am unclear whether we will ever be permitted to say more; all the readily available sources are already identified. If they're not, this will be an unusual case, because I am well known for unearthing sources for articles that people thought were beyond hope of verification.--Milowenttalkblp-r 17:00, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Comic Relief[edit]

[6] - Parody titles, protected under US law.--Milowenttalkblp-r 05:54, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

WP:OFFICE is fine, but can you try to actually not be biased while you're doing it?[edit]

I understand that there's probably some lawsuit going on between Packard and Montgomery and that there was likely some complaint from Montgomery about us listing Packard as the creator in this article. Montgomery is probably right and we should have clarified the distinction between the two of them.

However, Kaldari, while you have stubbed this article and removed any description of the creator while this is going on, which is fine, you have somehow left in two references that discuss the new CYOA series that describes Montgomery as the creator. This is extremely biased beyond almost anything a POV warrior could manage. Can you please rectify this? SilverserenC 06:59, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I would appreciate it if you would tweak your comments so that they do not add speculation about any lawsuits. We do not have anything that supports that information. Remember, BLP policy applies on talk pages too.
Kaldari, didn't stub the article I did. He added a tiny bit of material back to make it met the notablity guidelines. In doing so evidently he caused some concerns by introducing a reference that some people don't like. I took out that reference not because that it correct or incorrect but because my intent was to remove all controversial material now and leave it stubbed in a totally neutral state until we gather sources for the rewrite. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 17:19, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
If it's not a lawsuit, then I am utterly perplexed about why WP:OFFICE was invoked on this article. SilverserenC 17:24, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for striking that section of your comment. I'll make a more general statement as to the reason for this office protection in a few minutes. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 17:46, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

DMCA Counter-Request[edit]

Since this is an issue between the parties and not Wikipedia. Can we please file a counter request? I'm certain that when the issue is resolved we can update the article to reflect so. We are not ignorant copyright-infringers here, infact, what does the authors have to do with it? They are not specifically "copyrighted content". Phearson (talk) 17:46, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, there's no reason to believe a DMCA notice was sent to the foundation at all. I can't see how there would be one, as there was no copyrighted content involved (and we have procedures for dealing with that if that is the case). The only likely explanation is that one of the parties has complained about the neutrality of this article, but instead of following well established procedure among the community to resolve content disputes, the path taken here seems to be to protect the page, provide no information whatsoever, and then ignore everyone who wants to help while showing no sign that anything is happening "behind the scenes" whatsoever. Philippe has said that "FloNight is in the midst of a series of extremely complicated negotiations about this article." As I said there, that is very far from how we resolve content disputes on Wikipedia. Certainly, negative unsourced material should be removed, and if needed, the page protected while consensus is developed, but having an administrator "negotiate" the content of an article off-wiki is so far outside the bounds of what WP:OFFICE seems to state. Furthermore, such a private negotiation cannot be the basis for a future article, as other editors cannot possibly abide by a "consensus" we are unaware of.
Copyright complaints are easy, and even if we disagree with them, there's a clear procedure designed to protect the encyclopedia including an opportunity for someone to file a counter-notification if they dispute the claim. Here, this appears to be a neutrality dispute involving an off-wiki involved party. We should certainly do our best to make things right and accurately portray all sides of the conflict appropriately per WP:NPOV, using consensus discussions and if necessary, appropriate dispute resolution, but telling everyone to bugger off for weeks while a content dispute is resolved in secret by an admin is simply so far away from how Wikipedia works that it leaves me truly confused about this case. Zachlipton (talk) 21:59, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
That's actually often how WP:OFFICE is applied and it causes quite a bit of consternation almost every time. As I've stated before and I don't mind stating again, I have yet to see an WP:OFFICE action that was actually done right. SilverserenC 22:43, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
My understanding is that whenever legal action is taken against wikipedia, Office actions are applied to the articles affected. I see no official statement as to what is the exact problem, other then some determining it from edit history, and shady "negotiations" taking place between the disputing parties and Flonight. Whatever lawyer/client is watching this, to please come forward and explain, or remove the restrictions imposed on us. Phearson (talk) 13:53, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I just hope that they don't try to take the route of ignoring us until we go away and leaving this article to not be fixed for months. SilverserenC 15:19, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

To answer key points raised by several people:

1)To my knowledge of the situation, a DMCA Counter-Request is not applicable. 2)The person raising the issue is being assisted in understanding better ways to resolve the dispute and work with Wikipedia editors. The people involved know that usual dispute resolution processes such as RFC might be used with some content decisions. 3)We are looking for high quality scholarly sources to use as the main references for the article instead of the previous sources which were mostly short blurbs or PR related material. 4)I apologize for the delay but I do not think that rewriting the article piecemeal is going work in this particular situation. 5)Please no speculation about legal issues by Packard or Montgomery. This is entirely unfounded speculation and something that is not appropriate because we do not want to spread false information.

Patience please as we work to find sources that will make the article accurately reflect the cultural phenomena that the book series is. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 16:46, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't care about the legal stuff etc. but can someone please fix the broken ref code? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 19:57, 2 February 2011 (UTC)


It's a bit of a stretch, but does anyone think the folks at [7] could help us find those references FloNight asked for? They are more interested in Interactive Fiction than CYOA, but the two are related... --NYKevin @960, i.e. 22:02, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Kevin- It's a good thought. It's worth mentioning though that the references now available on this page currently are an embarrassment of riches- there's plenty here to work with. Seanmercy (talk) 05:59, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Along the lines of reaching out to fantasy gamer resources, I ran across, which has detailed information about Sugarcane Island[8]. That site relates that "It was written in 1969 and first printed in 1976 by Vermont Crossroads Press as part of The Adventures of You Series." Montgomery ran Vermont, and there are scans of the 1976 hardcover cover and bookjacket. The bookjacket credits Packard, saying he "conceived of The Adventures of You books while thinking up bedtime stories for his children Caroline, Andrea, and Wells."--Milowenttalkblp-r 14:38, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
In addition to my finding above that Montgomery's own press credited Packward as the creator behind the series, I noticed that the Bantam books appear to regularly credit Packard as the creator as well on the copyright info page, "Original conception of Edward Packard". See, e.g., [9][10][11], which is the same thing I see in my physical copy of The Cave of Time. This statement occurs throughout the series, e.g., in this 1997 installment[12].--Milowenttalkblp-r 04:49, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Still no explanation given - Extreme bias still in article[edit]

FloNight stated a couple of days ago that there would be an explanation given for this WP:OFFICE action. However, one has yet to be given and it is now four days later. This is not the sort of thing that i'm just going to ignore.

Especially considering that both the reference and the EL are about ChooseCo and the relaunch of the CYOA series, when they are not the creators of the series and should not be accredited as such. SilverserenC 22:13, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I think I speak for all when I say we demand to know what is up. Editors may stumble along here, not understanding what the dispute is about. Add content and then be banned for some secret violation of some secret cabal that seeks to intimidate the wiki-public. Phearson (talk) 04:59, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
This seems like a bit of an exaggeration and isn't really productive. I'm certainly upset about how this has been handled from a policy and transparency perspective, but making demands and invoking the the WP:CABAL isn't helpful. As far as I can tell, no one has been blocked over this (certainly neither you nor Silver seren have any blocks on record), and since the page is fully protected, no editors are going to be blocked for adding content because they can't add any content. Let's just take a deep breath here, ok? Zachlipton (talk) 05:30, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps we should wait a few more days, and if no one responds, post a request at WP:AN for the page to be unlocked, citing the non-response by the "authorities." Cla68 (talk) 05:39, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
I can't imagine any admin at WP:AN is going to unprotect the page without explicit instructions from the Foundation given the nature of the WP:OFFICE policy. Starting a WP:RFC/centralized discussion might be an alternative though. Zachlipton (talk) 05:47, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Aaaaand nothing happened. Way to fight the good fight, fellows. (talk) 22:26, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Way forward[edit]

I appreciate your patience, and understand that the inability to edit a popular article is frustrating and confusing due to the lack of information provided.

We have known for a long while that people who are not regular editors sometimes have difficulty navigating the dispute resolution process on Wikipedia. To address this concern, alternative ways of raising issues are provided such as OTRS, or the ability to contact users and administrators by email for assistance. In this instance alternative methods of raising concerns were used by a party and the decision was made to stub the article and apply protection until the concerns could be investigated. Office protection was applied in order to stop people that did not have full information about the situation from prematurely re-adding content. I anticipate that at some point (hopefully in the near future) office protection will be lifted. It is possible that full protection may remain to stop editing warring such as what occurred previously in this article.

After looking into the situation I think that a stable article can be written that accurately reflects the history of the book series and addresses the cultural phenomena that the series triggered.


1)The article needs to not confuse the reader as to the current status of the book series (eg. Have the article accurately reflect that it is currently being published and who is doing it. Some prior versions of the article were confusing to this in a way that could be harmful to the company if other media outlets where using Wikipedia content as their source of information for their articles.)

2)A simplistic and romanticized story about the creation of the book series was told during its early years in the media. Attempts to edit this article to give a more complete and accurate telling of the history using reliable sources has been reverted.

3)Good scholarly sources are available but have largely not been used in favor of the more available online sources.

4)Speculation on the talk page about lawsuits. Please do not make these type of comments as there is no reliable sources that support it and we are not in the business of fueling rumors.

Later today, I'm going to put up a draft of the article that is sourced and accurately reflects my understanding of the history of the company. It is going to minimalistic so as to not introduce concerns. Normal ways of resolving disputes on Wikipedia such as RFC will be used when practical to gather consensus about content. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 11:28, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I've been following this dispute for a while (but not commenting until now). Could I ask that if some sources are excluded from the rewrite, that a solid reasoning is given on the talk page for doing so? It looks like a careful discussion of each source used or not used will be needed. In particular, the comment "A simplistic and romanticized story about the creation of the book series was told during its early years in the media" almost certainly needs to be justified by reference to a reliable source, as Wikipedia editors cannot judge this sort of thing themselves. One other thing - if some of the scholarly or news sources are subscription-only, it will be difficult to have a proper discussion about the sources - I would suggest a discussion at the reliable sources noticeboard if there is a dispute over what sources to use here. Carcharoth (talk) 12:51, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Clarification: Based on common knowledge about book tours and author interviews, I'm stating my thinking as to the reason that some media stories give an incomplete telling of the history of the book series. I'm not saying that these sources need to be excluded as much as that they need to be seen for exactly what that they are and not be given undue weight in this article to the point that more recent sources are overwhelmed. As far as I can tell no other media outlet is particularly interested in covering the topic of who should be credited with creating the book series. So, it concerns me that some editors are creating a controversy where none exists exists otherwise. And I agree that noticeboards and RFC that draw in new impartial editors is the best way to get a well written article. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 13:25, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, I guess I'll wait to see the rewrite to comment further, but before we dismiss mainstream sources such as the New York Times as freighting "simplistic and romanticized" stories to the public, we should have mainstream sources of similar stature that expose it. I didn't believe Judith Miller in 2003, but I couldn't cite myself as proof of her flawed reporting.--Milowenttalkblp-r 14:11, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

>>>>>2)A simplistic and romanticized story about the creation of the book series was told during its early years in the media. Attempts to edit this article to give a more complete and accurate telling of the history using reliable sources has been reverted.>>>>>

Please, please show me where this is the case. I would love to see it.

Really curious to see how you have sorted through these sources and what conclusions you've arrived at. Seanmercy (talk) 16:45, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

It sounds to me like we're being asked to continue to follow Wikipedia's standard process for building an article, i.e. use article talk page discussion to reach consensus on the use of any disputed information or sources. Cla68 (talk) 23:04, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Everyone seems to be ignoring the section below, where i'm trying to do as such. :/ SilverserenC 23:25, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
It's a start. I don't see all the sources there, and more detail is needed. Best to lay out all the detail in a community-edited area, and put opinions about the sources in a place where people can sign it. I would even go so far as to have a sub-section for each source. The format Milowent uses above is clearer, for example (it includes dates, for one thing). Carcharoth (talk) 23:30, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Done. Feel free to comment on them. Or add some sources of your own, if you find some. SilverserenC 23:36, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
I'll check Infotrac again and add any that you haven't listed. Cla68 (talk) 23:38, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Are these reliable?[edit]

Are these sources reliable or not? I will list the specific information that I believe they should be used for as well. I will list them as their own subsection, so we can comment on the reliability of each individually. I will also get to Google Books eventually.

I've noticed that a lot of the ChooseCo stuff is PR pages, which I don't think we want to use. It makes it more difficult. SilverserenC 16:10, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

The Day[edit]

  • "He Chose his Own Adventure" - The Day: Use as citing Packard as original creator and also for the format of the books in the series. It can also be used to cite Montgomery as his publisher. SilverserenC 23:35, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Excellent source. Full of useful information. Cla68 (talk) 23:40, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • It's also, as far as I can tell, the first source to ever cover the CYOA series. Not counting reprints of this around the same time period, since it is an Associated Press piece. SilverserenC 23:41, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
This is a strong one. It's relatively fresh too, as it's closer to the source in time. I like the quote from Packard about kids being interested in death! Seanmercy (talk) 04:11, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Beaver County Times[edit]

  • "Interactive Fiction" - Beaver County Times: Use to discuss how CYOA created the genre of fiction known as Interactive Fiction, also how Montgomery became a writer for the series. Lastly, it's possible to create a controversy section about the reactions of child psychologists to the deaths in the book. That can also just be put in a critical reception section. SilverserenC 23:35, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Excellent source full of useful information. Cla68 (talk) 23:42, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I would also like to note to anyone else who checks this that it is a Knight Ridder newspapers piece, which means it was published in a number of their newspapers. It was not just published in this single, semi-small-town newspaper. SilverserenC 23:46, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
The sales figures for Sugarcane Island are interestinI'm wondering if anyone has found an article that covers the brief period wgere Lippincott published books by Packard that had "Choose Your Own Adventures in..." on the cover? Haven't seen any Lippincott info yet in these... Seanmercy (talk) 04:15, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

The Sunday Times[edit]

  • Appears like more good information to me on how the series got started. Cla68 (talk) 23:44, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Well, this is pretty far removed from the source, although most of the information looks fine to me. I'd prefer the previous two that actually feature interviews and quotes with the people involved, i.e. Packard Seanmercy (talk) 04:18, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

New York Times[edit]

  • "Choose Your Own Adventure Series Turns a Page" - New York Times: I assume we're going to discuss the split between Montgomery's Chooseco and Packard's U-Ventures. This can be used for the U-Ventures side of things and the extending of the books into mobile apps. SilverserenC 23:35, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Reliable source which helps give both sides, that Montgomery is also one of the original authors and his company now owns the trademark. Cla68 (talk) 23:46, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Good, if cursory, info on U-Ventures split and CYOA book republication under U-Ventures name. Seanmercy (talk) 04:20, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

The Guardian[edit]

  • Good info and some good quotes. Cla68 (talk) 23:49, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Some good quotes- mostly fluff. Seanmercy (talk) 04:21, 8 February 2011 (UTC)


  • I'm not sure what this can be used for, except perhaps to use for "Packard was one of the original authors of Choose your own Adventure. Cla68 (talk) 23:53, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
This one is great- Packard lays out his views of the split and gives another side to the Chooseco rerelease. He also details the business relationship with Bantam, including the little-known fact that all of the books were subcontracted through either him or Montgomery- surely an interesting and noteworthy fact, and one that I added to the original article last Nobember- check out this quote-

"Mr. PACKARD: Well, when I first thought up this idea and I got I couldn't get the book first book published, and I finally got a small press to publish it. And then the owner the co-owner of the small press, Ray Montgomery, found the agent who found Bantam, who brought out the series in such a big way. And as a result, it turned out that Bantam began giving each of us contracts for equal numbers of books. The books became so popular so fast that there were - many more books were needed for the market than either of us could write. As a matter of fact, we each hired subcontractors to write some of the books.

And after the series went out of print in the late 1990s, Random House, which had acquired Bantam, let the trademark go out of print I mean, excuse me, let the trademark lapse. And Ray Montgomery registered it, so he owns the or his company owns the "Choose Your Own Adventure" trademark. So to bring out my books in app form, I was obliged to think up a new trademark, and thought up "U-Ventures," which I happened to I think it's pretty good. It's sort of brief and more contemporary. "

Great info, straight from the horse's mouth. Seanmercy (talk) 04:24, 8 February 2011 (UTC)


  • Good info on the relaunch of the series by Montgomery. Cla68 (talk) 23:55, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Totally useless. Press release plus a little salesmanship. Seanmercy (talk) 04:26, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

  • While this article confirms the relaunch occurred in 2006, it includes one error everyone can agree on is an error, "The first official CYOA story was released in 1979 under Bantam Books by author R. A. Montgomery." The first official CYOA release was the Cave of Time, by Packard. #2 was Journey Under the Sea by Montgomery. --Milowenttalkblp-r 19:38, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

The Hollywood Reporter[edit]

  • Useful to reinforce that Chooseco owns the trademark. Cla68 (talk) 23:57, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Publisher's Weekly (1)[edit]

  • "The Golden Path: Into the Hollow Earth." Publishers Weekly 255.17 (2008): 139+ - Reviews this book which was written by Anson Montgomery, "Written by the son of a Choose Your Own Adventure series founder". Cla68 (talk) 00:06, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Publisher's Weekly (2)[edit]

  • "Chooseco sues over ad." Publishers Weekly 253.14 (2007): 8+. - Chooseco sues Daimler Chrysler over use of the phrase "Choose your own adventure" in an ad campaign. Cla68 (talk) 00:10, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
This is a strange one. I added this to the Chooseco page. Seanmercy (talk) 04:27, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Automotive News[edit]

  • "Ad choice is an adventure for Chrysler." Automotive News 81.6249 (2007): 42 - Chrysler announces that it is pursuing an out-of-court settlement with Chooseco. Cla68 (talk) 00:24, 8 February 2011 (UTC)


  • Montgomery, R.A. "You and the secret knowledge." Kliatt 40.3 (2006): 3+ - Press release from Montgomery claiming to be the author of the original series and announcing the release of a new series of books. Cla68 (talk) 00:14, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

English Journal[edit]

  • Baer, Teddi. "Choosing your own." English Journal 70 (1981): 73+. - Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a copy of this article yet. Cla68 (talk) 00:19, 8 February 2011 (UTC)


  • Harmetz, Aljean. "Choose your own adventure, make your ending" New York Times 25 Aug. 1981: 18(N); C7(LC). - Infotrac didn't have the article text for this one, and the full article is behind NYTimes pay wall. Cla68 (talk) 00:31, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
    • I have NYTimes archive access and have posted the article text for a limited time only at for research and discussion purposes. That link will automatically be deleted when it expires. The article directly gives the Packard "bedtime story" version of the series' history: "ONE evening a dozen years ago, Edward Packard, a Manhattan lawyer, asked his two daughters to help create the plot of their nightly bedtime story. Mr. Packard's request for help was born out of a rough day at the office and the long train trip home to Greenwich, Conn. Its direct - although almost endlessly delayed - legacy was the creation of an extraordinary series of children's books."
    • It goes on to quote Montgomery on his role in publishing the first book: "It was in 1975 that he [Packard] saw an issue of Vermont Life describing a new children's book publisher, Vermont Crossroads Press, that was looking for innovative ideas. He sent the manuscript of Sugar Cane Island. 'I Xeroxed 50 copies of Ed's manuscript and took it to a reading teacher in Stowe,' said Ray Montgomery, co-owner of the press, who now spends his own time writing "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. 'His kids - third grade through junior high - couldn't get enough of it. I published Sugar Cane Island for $3.95 and sold an unbelievable - for a small press - 8,000 copies, and sold German and Italian rights at the Frankfurt Book Fair. But we didn't have the marketing strength, so we went looking for a big publisher to take us over.'"
    • Finally, the article concludes by stating that "Mr. Packard, who hardly considers himself a lawyer any more, and Mr. Montgomery are now committed to write eight books apiece over the next year."
  • substantially the same article was republished here, free access:[13].--Milowenttalkblp-r 01:56, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
The best one so far on early info for the series, including very detailed information as to the formation, Bantam's involvement, the concept origin story, and early marketing. This should be one of our primary sources for all of the above. Lots of direct quotes, too. Alas, still no Lippincott info. Seanmercy (talk) 04:30, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Milowent, does the "Trust a Dying Pirate" review above have some useful info, especially re: the Lippincott period? Seanmercy (talk) 04:33, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Here's a temp posting of that article.[14]. It doesn't have much of use, except that this article predates the start of the Bantam CYOA launch by over a year.--Milowenttalkblp-r 04:57, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

The Next Deal (2001 book)[edit]

  • Full relevant excerpt, at page 33-35 of this book is available via google books:[15]. I find this source useful because it provides some more detail on the origin of the series, and also give some perspective by being published in 2000, calling it "one of the best-selling children's books series in history" and noting that it reflects an aspect of the generation who grew up reading them.--Milowenttalkblp-r 05:09, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Carrie on carrying on (not reliable)[edit]

While not a reliable source, this blog references a six pack of CYOA books the author received, which apparently states as follows: "According to my lovely six-book-box-set, the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' series began with Packard's The Cave Of Time, under the commission of Bantam Books Inc.; with copyright attributed to both author and Bantam. But, Montgomery Associates Inc. are credited with the trademark for The Adventures Of You Series, written above the copyright." This seems logical since Montgomery's Vermont Press published "The Adventures of You Series" just like Bantam trademarked and published the original "Choose Your Own Adventure" series.
I can't find that Montgomery Associates, Inc. trademark from the 70s/80s, although Chooseco did make a trademark filing in 2006 for "Adventures of You" which they abandoned in 2009.[16]
--Milowenttalkblp-r 18:36, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

The Comics Journal (2010)[edit]

This lengthy article is well researched, and included an interview with Packard for research:
  • "Packard, frustrated with the lack of marketing muscle behind the (Vermont Crossroads) releases, shopped around his concept and some new manuscripts and was eventually able to secure himself a deal with the J.B. Lippincott company. But unbeknownst to Packard, Montgomery and his newly acquired agent were working on a deal of their own with a much bigger company- Bantam Books. “Bantam decided that half of the books would be written or subcontracted through me and half of the books through Ray Montgomery,” Packard told me in a phone interview, almost thirty years after the deal finally went down. “Ray and his agent were really the ones who set it up. I was brought in because I’d started the whole thing.”"
  • I'd seen some suggestions that this was the case before, but this is the clearest report I've seen that Montgomery shopped the CYOA concept without Packard's knowledge, and got the deal with Bantam, and then Packard was brought in. This is why Montgomery credits himself as the "founder" in the Chooseco press releases. As I noted above, all the books Bantam published credited Packard with the concept for the series. So, that exact issue would have been front and center in everyone's mind at the time.
"Edward Packard and his former business partner R.A. Montgomery had a falling out of their own, one that has indirectly led to the odd state of the Choose Your Own trademark today. Currently the CYOA trademark is owned by Chooseco, which is in turn owned by one R.A. Montgomery, prolific writer of mediocre children’s fiction. The consequence of this is that the brand itself no longer features any work by the originator of the concept the brand is based on- no Edward Packard books will ever again be issued under the CYOA moniker."
--Milowenttalkblp-r 19:47, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I am the author of the above article. The history portion was based primarily on my hour-long interview with Packard, with supplementary material from the 1981 AP stories above, but at the time I tried to include direct quotes from Packard on information I had never seen before. All of the above information is directly from Packard. Earlier on this page, in my appeal for more information on the Lippincott era, I was hoping to find the above information without having to quote myself. It seems that my September interview covered some new ground.

It's worth mentioning, although it's plainly spelled out in the above article, that I don't know Packard personally- I contacted him through his website as a member of the press. My only contact with him has been two emails setting up the interview, the hour-long interview itself, and a brief email that I sent to him in September linking him to the article itself. I do not consider myself a partisan. Rather, I consider myself a fan of the original series, and an advocate for Wikipedia articles of a historical bent, rather than articles that serve as press releases for current products. Seanmercy (talk) 21:59, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

  • There's nothing wrong with being a subject matter expert, and certainly being a journalist in the field does not one make one partisan, just the opposite should be presumed. I wonder where FloNight is on the rewrite.--Milowenttalkblp-r 03:46, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Well, true (about being a member of the press, though some more clarification on that may be needed), but I would have preferred to have had the connection disclosed at an earlier stage. It is not really good to have the author of one of the sources participating in a discussion about the use of the source. It makes me uneasy. There needs to be some very clear ground rules here on how to handle this, and anyone else with even a shred of a real-world connection to this needs to state that connection up front before participating in the discussions. Carcharoth (talk) 00:12, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, there was no connection to disclose except when I raised this article as a potential source. We need more expert editors, not less, on the project. Writing about something doesn't create a real-world connection. By that standard, we're all connected by participating in this discussion. I know more about Packard and Montgomery than I'd ever cared to know at this point.--Milowenttalkblp-r 00:30, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • There is a difference between being an expert editor and the author of a source. If you author something that clearly is directly related to the article in question, you should disclose that when you first edit or discuss the topic. You shouldn't wait until it is raised as a potential source for the article. Having said that, it is difficult, I know. I've written fanzine reviews on books where I've inadvertently created an article on one of the books (failing to remember that I'd written a review of the book several years earlier, before Wikipedia even existed). In this case, though, the source is central to what is going on here, which is what is causing my unease. Can you guarantee that this source will be evaluated to the same standards as the other sources? Will you speak freely, or feel able to speak freely, about the author and the journal and the content of the journal article/interview if need be, knowing that the article author is in the 'same room'? Carcharoth (talk) 01:15, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • This is getting rather far off topic into a more abstract discussion of the COI policy, wikiquette, and the role of "experts" in drafting articles. There is something to be said for disclosing this type of connection to an article in advance of one's involvement, and I can certainly see why it might have been more ideal if Seanmercy disclosed this up front as this discussion got going, but the fact is that he did disclose it as soon as this source was mentioned, which was the right thing to do. Given this group and the tenacity of Wikipedians in general, I can't imagine anyone holding back with their thoughts on this or any other source. If anything, having the author here is an asset, as it can help us avoid pitfalls that otherwise occur when examining conflicting accounts (we can actually ask Seanmercy if he remembers where he got a particular piece of information and use that knowledge to further our discussion). I just don't see any reason to beat up on him for doing the right thing here. The broader policy discussion around this issue is an interesting academic exercise, but this isn't really the place for it. Zachlipton (talk) 01:43, 10 February 2011 (UTC)


Should we start making a draft version of this article on a subpage, then move it to the main article after we're sure it's neutral and comprehensive? SilverserenC 03:52, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Seems like a good suggestion to me.--Milowenttalkblp-r 03:59, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Go for it. Cla68 (talk) 00:13, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
    • I would wait a bit and see if there are any objections from others. Give it some time - there is no rush here. At the very least, a subpage draft would need to be NOINDEXed, and there may be reasons why it contravenes the OFFICE action, so please don't rush into a draft. There is plenty more discussion that could be had first about the sources. Carcharoth (talk) 00:14, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, let's have any discussion needed, but a noindex draft can't hurt for formulating a proposal at the same time. The expected revised version from Flonight is yet to appear.--Milowenttalkblp-r 00:26, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Maybe leave her a user talk page note? Carcharoth (talk) 01:16, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Given the wording of the office warning and the purpose, I have a feeling that a draft would not be allowed. — MK (t/c) 17:29, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

I think that a RFC (so to get broad participation) to discuss the re-write either on this page on or a subpage is going to be the best approach to use. I would prefer to wait until we have more sources from scholarly journals that discuss the cultural impact and also the significance of the series in education. These are available and by my thinking should be a significant part of the article since that is the reason that the series is remarkable.
About my draft, I'm still verifying aspects of the early history so that I can write a draft that accurately reflects the history based on the various tellings of it in public reliable sources.
I anticipate office protection ending sometime within the next week. I would like to keep it fully protected then so that we can get good agreement before we move anything potentially controversial to the article. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 18:14, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Sources, to the extent they exist, about the cultural impact and significance of the series in education, are not going to be controversial. But I don't think that's what made the series remarkable as a threshold matter -- like most of wikipedia's popular culture content, CYOA is remarkable because it was hugely popular. People want to know the backstory, and the story is pretty simple. Very roughly: (1) CYOA was series of gamebooks originally published by Bantam Books between 1979-1998 that was hugely popular and sold ___ gazillion copies. Since 2005, reissues of a number of titles have been done by Chooseco, who now owns the CYOA trademark. (2) The CYOA series' origin can be traced back to 1969, when Edward Packard was reading stories to his kids (fill out this story per the published sources), (3) No one was interested in publishing it, and Packard shelved it for about 6 years until he read a story about Vermont Crossroad Press, a small publishing outfit looking for innovative ideas, etc. Vermont was run by R.A. Montgomery and his then-wife Constance Chapel. (4) Montgomery liked the concept and tested it with kids who loved the books, and with Vermont/Montgomery as editor/publisher, Vermont published Sugarcane Island (1976) and (expand) by Packard. For a small press, it sold extremely well. (5) Lippincott/Archway also published (list) Packard titles (add details). (6) Montgomery went to big ol' Bantam and secured a deal to expand Packard's original concept into an ongoing series called CYOA. (7) Bantam selected Packard and Montgomery to be the primary contributors to the series, and series debuted in mid-1979. (No need for us to opine about who "founded" the series or how the deal with Bantam went down exactly, that seems to be source of the dispute.) (8) Bantam stopped the series at book #__ in 1998. (9) in 200_, Montgomery founded chooseco and trademarked the CYOA name. (9) Chooseco began reissuing books it could obtain the rights for in 2006(?), including primarily (but not only) Montgomery's works. (10) In 2010, Packard paired with Simon & Schuster to start re-releasing some of his works in the form of an I-Phone App, under the title U-Ventures.--Milowenttalkblp-r 19:32, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Any updates?--Milowenttalkblp-r 16:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm going to give it until Sunday, to fulfill FloNight's next week claim. If nothing is done by then, then i'm going to get started in a subpage for this article. I'll let you know when I do, so we can work on it together. SilverserenC 16:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

New Source: Slate magazine article[edit]

This new article from Slate about CYOA includes a discussion of how the series was founded with more detail than any prior article I've seen. It also shows they interviewed both Montgomery and Packard. The article is also consistent with what I believe was reality based on my research. There's no reason this article cannot be the basis for crafting the new expanded article.--Milowenttalkblp-r 21:05, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
That's good timing, wow. Go Slate. :o SilverserenC 21:08, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Also found that the full interviews the author did for the article are posted here: [17]. --Milowenttalkblp-r 12:10, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
    • No, it should be formed on a user subpage, Choose Your Own Adventure/Subpage can easily be deleted/redirected in an AfD debate. Fearstreetsaga (talk) 05:04, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
      • Good point. Well, Milo, feel free to put it wherever you want. You are free to use User:Silver seren/Choose Your Own Adventure if you'd like or you can make one in your own userspace, I don't care. Let me know when you've made it. I'm a little busy this week with classes, so i'll be online rather intermittently for the next few days. SilverserenC 05:15, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I've been away for over a week, and it appears nothing has changed yet, huh?--Milowenttalkblp-r 02:33, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Nope, it seems like they're trying to ignore the problem to death. I was just waiting for you to get back so we can get started on the subpage. I'm not planning on letting this issue just get swept under the rug. SilverserenC 03:15, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm here and happy to help, plus I'm tired of waiting, so I just stubbed out User:Silver seren/Choose Your Own Adventure. At this point it's really just a lead and section headings (pretty closely based on the old ones), but it's a starting point to work on. I'll probably do more editing then starting things off, but there's a bunch of us here who should be able to get something pretty good together. Let's get writing! Zachlipton (talk) 03:51, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

What happens next[edit]

Hi everyone, and thank you for your patience.

We're very close to lifting office protection on this article. I want to lay out expectations for what should happen then.

First, when we lift OFFICE protection, the current stub will be replaced by a draft article that FloNight has written.

That version of the article will remain fully protected for an indefinite time. It will, however, be free for edits once they are consensus based and appropriately sourced. Any administrator will be free to make changes that have been comprehensively discussed and sourced here. The standard rules around fully protected articles apply. Once the most contentious of the edits are done and the article seems stable, the community (in the best judgement of an administrator who's aware of the issues) should feel free to back off to semi-protection or pending changes.

The key things to know about full protection are (from Wikipedia:Protection#Full_protection): Any modification to a fully protected page should be proposed on its talk page (or in another appropriate forum). After consensus has been established for the change, or if the change is uncontroversial, any administrator may make the necessary edits to the protected page. To draw administrators' attention to a request for an edit to a protected page, place the {{editprotected}} template on the talk page.

Note to administrators: please, use very deliberate judgment here. Articles don't go on OFFICE protection on a whim - there are very good reasons for it. If you have ANY questions about whether to make an edit, confer with User:FloNight, User:Philippe (WMF), or User:Christine (WMF). With that said, we're not going to be second guessing good-faith decisions by administrators on this article. You're selected for your judgment.

Again, thank you everyone, for your patience. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 00:48, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Disagree - I'm sorry, but indefinite? That doesn't sound like the wikipedia I know. Caved! Phearson (talk) 01:48, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Just remember, if you ever want complete control over Wikipedia, complain about it officially with documentation. Then the Foundation will do whatever you want. SilverserenC 01:53, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry this is positively absurd. As I've said before, I don't doubt that the office is acting with good intentions here and that someone feels truly aggrieved by the old article, but this is not Wikipedia. First, the announcement that we are replacing the article with FloNight's secret draft seems rather disrespectful to User:Silver seren, who has been working on a new well-sourced draft himself. A number of us have worked hard on this page to identify a very wide array of sources and to discuss their reliability and relevance. FloNight has not been a participant in that discussion, and I wonder what the point of specifically asking us to undertake that work has been if it doesn't result in an actual discussion with the only person who is allowed to write the article. Secondly, Our policies have always been very clear: we do not "lock" Wikipedia pages to protect someone's preferred version.
I also don't see how this is at all practical. To my knowledge, no one is aware of the secret evidence at issue in this dispute besides Philippe and FloNight. Since proposed edits must be approved using "the best judgement of an administrator who's aware of the issues," you are proposing a scheme in which FloNight becomes the sole arbiter of what's allowed here. This flies in the face of WP:OWN. It's essentially proposed changes with one reviewer and no criteria as to what will be approved. What happens if I propose an edit in good faith that is backed by several reliable sources, but FloNight decides it does not fit in with the perspective the article is taking? Since no one will tell us what is off limits, we can't possibly avoid a touchy subject. How does this process work if there isn't discussion and consensus? Are we to simply keep resubmitting proposed edits until one is approved?
Is there any kind of precedent for this? The situation here is not one where we are enforcing a policy that editors refrain from including copyrighted material, and it's not even one where a very upset individual is being blatantly defamed by malicious information in an article. In these cases, it's certainly reasonable to take action to protect the encyclopedia and to do right by our subjects. Here, there appears to be a legitimate dispute of fact, although no one will say what that dispute is. Editors are trying to work together in good faith to wade through reliable sources and present the facts in the most accurate way we can based on those sources. That's how Wikipedia works. Instead, a POV is being imposed by the office and enforced through full protection. That POV is apparently secret and it is not open to discussion or evaluation in the context of the sources we have researched.
I'm curious to hear more from Philippe and FloNight as to how this will work. Thanks. Zachlipton (talk) 08:09, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn't sure whether to say anything about my draft. Thanks for that. Both of the administrators have stated that there isn't any sort of legal dispute going on between Packard and Montgomery and that there hasn't been a complaint from them over this article being "skewed". So...if the complaint doesn't involve either of them, i'm not entirely sure what the reason for all of this is. I'm wondering how truthful the Foundation is being with us here, because it's quite clear that they aren't being open or transparent about it.
And i'm still concerned with what Flonight said before, especially "some media stories give an incomplete telling of the history of the book series" and that "A simplistic and romanticized story about the creation of the book series was told during its early years in the media. Attempts to edit this article to give a more complete and accurate telling of the history using reliable sources has been reverted." This makes it seem as if there is going to be a clear POV injected into the article in order to make sure the right history is told. Of course, this history appears to not be the one that all of the reliable sources on the subject have given in the past. SilverserenC 08:23, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree, it certainly looks like someone's trying to suppress certain accounts of the history in favor of others. One of the core policies on Wikipedia is that we don't try to portray the truth, we portray what the reliable sources say. Except in this case, the reliable sources evidently say the wrong thing, so they don't get mentioned. Buddy431 (talk) 02:14, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
It's been hard to watch all this unfold. As someone who doesn't know anything about CYOA and who isn't passionate about the subject, I don't plan on editing the page outside of normal edits (fixing typos, updating tags) if and when... or simply if the article is ever returned to normal. However, the Foundation's behavior here is offensive. I feel really bad for FloNight and Philippe being forced to be the face of these horrifying developments. This kind of oppression and censorship by the Foundation needs to be severely opposed, shamed, and publicized in the future if we don't want Wikipedia to implode and die. Just my two cents. — MK (t/c) 09:43, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
CYOA Incident anyone? Per WP:CABAL. Phearson (talk) 02:18, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
This is kind of sad, actually. When the Foundation intervenes, it's done very deliberately and with a very serious reason. To my knowledge, we've intervened in only two articles on this level so far this year. It saddens me that we make steps towards opening the article up (taking it off OFFICE protection, allowing normal editing - if under page protection, at least the normal page protection, and allowing for standard processes) and still there are conspiracy theories. The Foundation intervened because there was a clear and present reason for us to do so and we did it under the advice of legal counsel. FloNight got involved at my request so that a community face would be the one working on the article, and not the WMF itself, since we're not content creators. Nobody said that Flo's version will have to stay... in fact, I clearly said that changes could be made after consensus was reached here. I think I can speak for FloNight and say that she has no interest in staying here to be the article's owner. She's a former Arbcom member, for heaven's sake. If anyone doesn't want to be owning articles, she's it. How about assuming some good faith here, folks? As for the alternative article version created, I looked at it.. it's rough, but on the right path. How about picking the sections of it that are ready and proposing them here for consensus to be included when the OFFICE protection is lifted? Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:37, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Philippe, I have a better idea. How about you AGF in our direction and trust us to take care of this article according to WP's policies and guidelines? Cla68 (talk) 02:23, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Cla, that's exactly what's happening. We're turning the article back over to the community in its typical editing patterns, including full protection. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 14:51, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
The issue isn't that the office took action, it's just how it all went about. Everyone here understands that Wikipedia and the WMF exists in the real world and has to follow the law. Just as in the other 2 cases of articles currently under office protection, you are doing what you have to do, and I understand that. TI/PCI sent a takedown notice, and you guys are legally obligated to follow that, no matter how much we may all disagree with it. That's good, I respect the law. What I cannot respect is us being totally in the dark as to what is going on. "Just trust us." If you are also for some reason legally obligated to not tell us what the problem is, it would be appreciated if you simply stated that, and considered doing that in the future if and when this occurs again. — MK (t/c) 01:04, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
This cannot be happening. If this keeps up, other companies will catch on and start bullying the Foundation. Phearson (talk) 02:28, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
What serious reason? I've been reading this page since the event started, and you haven't explained what was wrong with the original article. I don't know how you can expect anyone to work on this article, knowing that it's a hidden mine-field and any edit you make could cause the OFFICE to come swooping down to erase your work. I saw nothing in the original article that couldn't have been dealt with by ordinary editing procedures.
From now on, I'll have to treat this article as a propaganda piece, as a puff piece paid for by someone. Because all I know is that a good article was replaced on the threats or demands of someone involved. All your protests don't change that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:07, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Hey, no worries. I'm totally planning on still editing this article with an absolute disregard for whatever the Foundation feels should be in it. I'm going to edit like I always have, following the information given in reliable sources, just like how every other article on Wikipedia should be written. I could care less if I offend someone with my obviously factual edits based on reliable sources, since it's their problem if they feel that the reliable sources are wrong. Maybe they should go talk with those newspapers and get them to change their articles? SilverserenC 21:50, 17 March 2011 (UTC)



Request AfD. If its any consolation, I'd rather have no article then have a shady propaganda piece. Phearson (talk) 18:41, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

This article is currently protected under WP:OFFICE; it is not eligible for {{editprotected}}, so I am deactivating the template. The preceding section indicates that the Foundation is nearly finished with sorting through whatever legal mess was occasioned by the previous version, and that the article should be phased into normal editing practices soon. Please be patient while that resolves. Please reactivate the template if you still feel that the article should be deleted when it is moved to normal full protection. - 2/0 (cont.) 19:23, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Understood. I'll be reactivating this template when WP:OFFICE is lifted. We can then see if we have any consensus taking the article to AfD. Phearson (talk) 19:27, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
True, as this is a highly unusual situation, I could see an argument for deletion if a neutral verified NPOV article cannot be constructed. This would be sad for the project, however, and also for CYOA in general by lowering its internet profile significantly. Personally, I would like young kids today to be able to learn about the series and read the books, they need to read something other than Diary of a Wimpy Kid.--Milowenttalkblp-r 03:15, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you should wait to see what level of control we have over the article first. If it seems that the Foundation is indeed trying to make the article say a certain thing that is not verified by us in reliable sources, then I will support an AfD on claims of a POV article that is impossible to fix. SilverserenC 03:23, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I also agree we need to see what happens next before an AfD would make sense - that would an unusual IAR type step and final resort.--Milowenttalkblp-r 03:26, 18 March 2011 (UTC)


It's been nearly a week and a half now. Is OFFICE protection going to be lifted and the Foundation version instated or what? We're dying of old Wiki-age over here. SilverserenC 19:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

? Phearson (talk) 21:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It did take Edward Packard about 6 years to get Sugarcane Island published, apparently we are trying to duplicate that.  :-) --Milowenttalkblp-r 22:39, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Office protection lifted[edit]

I'm lifting WP:OFFICE protection momentarily.

We've listened to your objections and will not be substituting a proposed starting point for the article, choosing instead to start with the stub as it is now.

The article's new state is the community's "Fully protected" status, meaning that changes can be made (if non-controversial) by any uninvolved administrator, and controversial changes can be proposed here and edis made using the {{editprotected}} template.

The standard rules for editing protected articles apply. Editors are reminded that standard rules around conflicts of interest apply, and conflicts must be disclosed.

Thank you for your patience. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, that was a long drawn out something or another. In any case, thank you Philippe for your understanding too. I fully realize that whatever exactly has been going on put you in a difficult situation, and I certainly never meant to imply that you or FloNight weren't trying to do your best to protect the project as a whole. In any case, let's write an article now :) Zachlipton (talk) 18:39, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  • So, can my sandboxed version be inputted? Obviously it's not complete, but the information is accurate, as far as I can tell. SilverserenC 18:43, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Go for it, Silver- the directions for accomplishing the edit are here- (talk) 15:43, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Good move. But I will be watching this article to make sure that the foundation follows through with that statement. Phearson (talk) 17:26, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Question: why does this article need to remain fully protected? We do not keep things protected for no reason and if WP:OFFICE no longer applies then this article should follow WP:PROTECT. Therefore should requests for unprotection be considered? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:24, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I apologize if I was unclear, I understand from a message on my talk page that I was. Standard editing rules apply, which includes requests for un-protection. The page was fully protected under the guidelines for "editing disputes", so it should be treated as though it is an editing dispute. I strongly urge administrators to look for proof of consensus wording here before unprotecting, but this page is no longer under Office protection. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 23:48, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
PS - if there are questions for me, it's best if you notify me on my talk page. I don't tend to come monitoring pages I've been involved with in the past, else I wouldn't get any work done. :) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 23:50, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Addition of material[edit]

From my draft version of this page, can an admin please transfer over the Lede, Format (even though it's only one line, it's something) and History section, please. I want to do a bit more work on Critical Reception before transferring it over, since it's just a tad negative right now. :P Thanks! SilverserenC 15:54, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I deleted this part since it didn't seem to be finished: "However, each Bantam release credited Packard as the developer of the series concept.<ref name="credit">add link here to google books snips showing Bantam statement</ref>" Kaldari (talk) 21:34, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I missed that. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:50, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Do note that I did not add that sentence to the draft, someone else did. I have removed it from the draft as well. SilverserenC 22:16, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Good job, but I think it needs to say in there somewhere that Montgomery now owns the trademark for the title name. Cla68 (talk) 23:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I know, I just haven't written it yet. There's still a lot of sources that we listed up above that I haven't use. Feel free to edit my draft and add stuff in. SilverserenC 23:12, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


Can an admin please remove the link tags around Ray Montgomery in the lede (the linked is to another Ray Montgomery). Also add Constance Cappel as coowner of Vermont Crossroads press (also in the lede). Finally, please replace the non-working link to Publishers Weekly in the reference-section with this : [18]. Thanks, Rasmus (talk) 07:33, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

All done, pretty much as you asked. If you didn't know, there are special fields used together in {{cite web}} for archiveurl and and archivedate, so the original URL can still be included in the links. Let me know if you need anything else. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 08:53, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Very nice. Thanks! Rasmus (talk) 10:01, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Lift Protection[edit]

I see no reason at this point for the article to remain at full protection, since it is no longer under WP:OFFICE scrutiny. Phearson (talk) 02:44, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

I have lowered the protection to semi as consensus seems to be that protection is not necessary. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:40, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Is there any reason we need to leave it at semi-protection? I don't think the article is much of a vandalism target (the normal reason we use semi-protection). Would anyone object to full unprotection? Kaldari (talk) 17:23, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
It's been nearly 9 months since this nonsense began. Full unprotection sounds eminently reasonable by now. As it stands the article sports an anemic total of 3 references instead of the numerous RSes listed above under #Are these reliable? The more editors available to add these sources to the article the better. -Thibbs (talk) 00:58, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I've just listed it at WP:RFUP. -Thibbs (talk) 01:14, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Given that there hasn't been a single edit semi-protected request in that time period, I find it unlikely that there's a whole bevy of unconfirmed/IP users out there that are suddenly going to make this a better article. That being said, as long as that same silent legion of unconfirmed/IP editors isn't actually disruptive, there's no reason for semi-protection. I'm going to unprotect it now and watch, but any sign of COI, POV, or otherwise problematic edits will result in the semi-protection going right back up. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:15, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I believe this was the right move. Although it often seems like the majority of IP editors engage in nothing but vandalism and that they would be unlikely to contribute positively to an article, studies in 2004 and 2007 have demonstrated this to be a myth. (See Perennial proposals: Prohibit anonymous users from editing for specific details of the studies and for references.) You may be right that they won't help to reference the article from the above refs but at least this way we're giving them the chance to improve the article - a chance that Wikipedia deserves. -Thibbs (talk) 12:18, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

R. A. Montgomery passed[edit]

Just wanted to note that R. A. Montgomery passed away earlier this month. Not trying to start a forum thread here, but considering all the hubbub a few years ago on article content, I wanted to comment here that his contributions and work were much appreciated by at least one if not more generations of children.--Milowenthasspoken 15:30, 21 November 2014 (UTC)