Talk:Mike Young (game designer)

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As the external links substantiate, Mike Young is a famous game designer with many credits, and his biography here is much in line with having notables like Greg Costikyan and Mike Pondsmith on wikipedia. At 7 published board games, a half dozen books, and guest appearances at Conventions for the past fifteen years, his contributions have been significant to the field of gaming and LARP in particular.

Further, the LARP community has recognized that he is one of the few LARP writers who has a subtantial enough body of published work to merit inclusion in wikipedia. In particular, several people have (independent of myself, the original entry's author) provided updates and information. This substantiates the claim that he is more than a 'local hero'.

Finally, the article was completely rewritten from the original that was deleted, following the advice of the deleter who asked it to provide more relevance and be more wikipedia-like.

I feel this is a stronger entry. The one issue that a person could make as an argument for deletion is whether LARP itself is a relevant area of gaming culture suitable for wikipedia. Therefore, before considering deletion, I request the editor to look up LARP and larp history on wikipedia to better familiarize themself with the topic. LARP is a subset of Roleplaying Games, which is itself a subset of Gaming. Given that the largest LARP publisher, White Wolf, just merged with the multi-million dollar MMORPG company that produces Eve, clearly the field of LARP is relevant to today's culture.

Finally, a procedural request. In reference to the 'speedy deletion, article already deleted', the previous 'speedy delete' did not respond to the 'hang on' request nor the talk entry, but deleted the page without substantiating why. That is what necessitated the page recreation. User:Sandy_freelance

{{hangon}} is not a request, and it does not require a response. The deleting admin is supposed to look at the page, look at the reasoning provided on the talk page, and then make a decision. The first entry in the deletion log reads speedy deletion request approved, admins can see history for reason. If you feel there is a problem, feel free to initiate a review. Chris talk back 15:15, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

My policy issue is that the article did not meet the General Criteria for speedy deletion and, of the article criteria, the only relevant would be #7 and that one specifically states that, if the assertion is controversial or the article previously tagged for deletion, speedy deletion should not be used. Since it clearly was controversial, the lack of discussion and speedy deletion seem inappropriate. As a newly registered user, though, I will read up on speedy deletion to better understand the history. Thanks for the tip on initiating a review! User:Sandy_freelance

Don't forget Mr. Young was named a LARP Guest of Honor at Origins in 2005. I would say that that is national recognition. User:gregcrowe

I'll make the same comment here that I did in another debate some months back. I think the issue hinges on whether or not Theatre-style live action role-playing is a meritous topic. While it is not the largest of the various forms of Live Roleplaying, it is certainly a significant one with dozens of outlets, forums, several major conventions, and a relatively large body of written literature. Mike Young has certainly been a principal contributor to this field, and has a number of works published in print, and numerous works online. I'm going to maintain that this is a small but significant area of arts/hobby endeavor. I am an independent artist with many reviews of my own in this field, and have not always seen eye to eye with Mr. Young nor agreed with him. However as a fellow artist, I cannot help but uphold the legitimacy and significance of his contributions, and feel that they merit inclusion. User:jgodean

To summarize some earlier points from the 'speedy deletion' review, ([1]), the arguments for and against can be summarized by excerpting two comments:


  • "I'd have kicked it as a laborious A7, but, if the fans, friends, employees, and subjects are so avid, we can let AfD have it." User:Geogre

My argument for inclusion of this article is that LARP is a significant entertainment media and therefore publishers of note are of reference use in wikipedia.

  • Is LARP a mass market entertainment genre or a fan culture? White Wolf, the second largest RPG company according to their own [2] hype, continues to publish their Mind's Eye Theatre. So since RPGs (D&D etc) are legitimate mass market and the number 2 company actively publishes LARP (and runs a LARP club), that supports the idea that LARP is not just a subculture but is a mass market genre. Note also Chaosium's not only published Cthulhu Live LARP but licensed it to board game heavyweight Fantasy Flight. So LARP publication is mass market.
  • Within a mass market, there are fan-level activities (fanzines, local Cons, blogs, et cetera) and there are professional activities (publishing companies, trade shows, et cetera). Therefore, to be suitable for wikipedia, a LARP designer has to be not just influential within the 'art' (fan) community but published. To me, this sets an important barrier to keep just any net pundit from feeling they deserve an entry. It's similar to separating 'amateur' from 'professional' for a hobby.
  • Under the title Alternate Reality Games (or ARGs), 'LARP' is a multi-million dollar advertising industry (note ARG heavyweight Jordan Weisman was primarily an RPG industry person, so the LARP to ARG connection is not just correlation but deliberate.)
  • In other countries, LARP is a state-sanctioned mass media activity, for example the Nordic LARP Knudepunkt activities (e.g. [3]. This suggests LARP is not just a US centric activity.

So with the components of 'mass media influence', 'professional publishing', and 'world relevance', I put forth that LARP is not a fan culture but a significant activity (in terms of scope). Within that, I suggest that publication reach be a criteria for whether someone should be included in wikipedia. If these premises are acceptable, then Mike Young is one of the half-dozen people who likely should be in wikipedia for LARP.

(Digression: A typical RPG book would print and sell 2000 copies in the 1990s (citation: my own book, Miskatonic University from Chaosium) and 400 copies currently (citation: my co-authorship of 'Faery Tale' from Firefly Games). Forgive the annecdotal nature but both books are considered 'succesful' within the RPG community (as given by GPA discussion), so take this on faith for now. Book sales figures are generally not available within the RPG industry because they are privately held companies and the best numbers, in 'Comics & Gaming Retailer', relies on self-reporting by a handful of stores. Within this market, then, I would expect any wikipedia-suitable author to at least hit these benchmarks.)

And, for those interested in calibrating 'significant', my short list of other LARP individuals suitable for wikipedia would include, Brian David Phillips (archivist and editor of the refereed 'The Journal of Interactive Drama'), David Millians (GAMA's education director and editor of their Education and RPG newsletters), Mike Pohjola (organizer of Knudepunkt). Again, I'm applying the criteria of 'wide published reach' as well as 'authoritative source' to evaluate their significance.

So, recap: LARP is a significant industry and not just an activity. Mike Young is a significant designer and publisher within the industry. So I request this article be moved off AfD so we can get cracking on improving its quality and references, instead of debating AfD.

User:Sandy freelance

Addendum: I'm suggesting this entry with the Wikipedia:Notability criteria of "Published authors [...] who received multiple independent reviews of or awards for their work" and to some degree the Wikipedia:Notability_(academics) Criteria 1, 2 and 4. It'll take me a while to find published citations because most of the commentary on Mike Young's work has been in print journals (in particular, The Journal of Interactive Fantasy, Pyramid, Comic and Games Retailer, and Metagame.) Hunting down citations will take time but will be done.

User:Sandy freelance

User:Sandy freelance I noted it had been marked Dec08 with a Notability query. Rather than reiterate the entire previous debate, I removed that notice. The list of 'Role-playing game designers' and 'Live action role-playing game designers' (that this page is categorized under) does not list every small publisher, but only the most notable. I have added edits to substantiate the notability, but would prefer not to re-raise the entire debate over whether RPGing is noteworthy itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sandy freelance (talkcontribs) 19:11, 19 January 2009 (UTC)