Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Adventure/Outline

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The game is centered around a new Wikipedia editor who registers an account and begins receiving messages on their talk page inviting them to help out. The first message leads the editor to the article on Planet Earth. Through a series of guided missions the editor learns the basics about editing through changes to a realistic (but simple) version of Planet Earth while actually seeing the changes and development to the article in simulated real-time. Beginning with basic navigation and communication, the editor has to interact with other mock editors, choosing responses that help move the project forward, and asking for help when not sure what to do next. Further modules involve basic editing, using the edit toolbar, learning about policies, choosing and adding sources, resolving disagreements, asking for third opinions, posting on article talk pages and noticeboards, and interacting with the community. The goal is for the editor to learn actual skills that would let them successfully create a real account and improve a real article, while learning about interaction, policies, practices, and the community at the same time.

Beginner skills and tasks[edit]

  • Receive welcome message
  • Navigation (article, talk, history, userpage, contributions, watchlist, sidebar)
  • How to ask for help (help desk, help contents, irc help, {help me} template)
  • Watchlist (add page to watchlist check watchlist for updates--real time component)
  • Create userpage (tell us about yourself but not too much)
  • Leave a note on someone else's talk page and sign it
  • Source selection (presented with a sentence to source, choose from 3-5 sources the one which fits)
  • Core policy (neutrality, verifiability, no original research)
  • Be nice, be civil (select from options to address another user on their talk page; choose one that is direct but respectful)
  • Reverting vandalism
  • Removing bad external links
  • Putting references in the right place (presented with an article and 3 reference 'locations', put them in the correct place)
  • Adding a reference using citation templates
  • Find the featured article on the mainpage
  • Retrieve information from Wikipedia:About
  • Count the number of content listings at Portal:Contents

Intermediate skills and tasks[edit]

  • Format a message on someone's talk page which appropriately uses bold, italics, and section headers
  • Make a to-do list on an article talk page which uses a combination of bullets and numeric lists
  • Add wikilinks to the correct terms on a page
  • Add piped links
  • Add external links with a title distinct from the url
  • Change user preferences? (change interface to add gadgets)
  • Upload a free file
  • Determine whether a photo you received from a family member can be uploaded
  • Upload a file which requires permission (mock email to commons)
  • Identify which of 3 files can be used on Wikipedia (1 no, 1 with permission, 1 yes)
  • Use the search box to find a help page. read the help page for the answer
  • Receive a barnstar
  • Edit conflicts
  • Read the DISCLAIMER after someone tries to put medical/legal information in the article
  • Ask for help at a noticeboard
  • Ask for admin help

Advanced skills and tasks[edit]

  • Check MOS to create the right section headers
  • Add an image to a page
  • Create a subpage to paste a list of sources
  • Check recent changes to see if the vandal has continued (find him being helpful)
  • Resolve a situation where a user accuses you of vandalism incorrectly (stay civil, point to diffs)
  • Use the Community Portal to read a signpost issue and take a quote from it to put on your userpage
  • Use the Community Portal to find a CENT discussion and leave a comment there, since it impacts your article
  • Avoiding SPAM content (your boss asked you to...)
  • Create a new article (select an appropriate topic, find sources--fake google search page or library, add references)
  • Develop an article (sections according to MOS, summarize in the lead, add an image, add external links)
  • Article conflict (difference of opinion, use talk page to resolve, get third opinion, make compromise)
  • Copyedit article after vandal leaves errors on page
  • Compare changes from when you started to the article's finish
  • Talk page interview with appreciative editor (choice of happy, witty, wise responses, all positive)
  • fix the various issues raised by maintenance templates, and when appropriate remove templates


These are a loose sketch of grouped skills and tasks. They could be modified, reordered, and interchanged, as well as enhanced or removed. Draft text of the levels involving sample dialogues, actions, and interfaces are linked from each header. A master document of all of the level scripts is here.

Level 1[edit]

Goal: Learn the basics of interface navigation, navigate between userpage and talk page

  • Register a username (use real names, encourage a decent choice, note problematic names)
  • Write a userpage personal summary
  • Receive welcome note on talk page
  • Note from someone who read your userpage (invites you to a WikiProject?)

cooperation: welcome note

real-time: welcome note, note from userpage reader?

incentives: welcome note

disincentives: inappropriate username

Level 2[edit]

Goal: Learn to communicate with other editors

  • Receive a talk page message
  • Respond to it.
  • Use a signature

cooperation: note from another editor who noticed your userpage. invites you to help him with an article. asks you to respond on his/her talk page.

real-time: note from userpage reader, response to your comment

incentives: note from userpage reader, response from editor to talk page comment on his/her page

disincentives: inappropriate comment on talk page (dismissive, frustrated, rude, etc.), lack of signature

Level 3[edit]

Goal: Article editing basics

  • Add basic formatting
  • Fix obvious typos
  • Leave an edit summary

cooperation: note on talk page asking you to work on some aspect of the article

real-time: talk page note

incentives: thanks from editor for making changes

disincentives: inappropriate article changes, no edit summary

Level 4[edit]

Goal: NPOV

  • Read summary of NPOV
  • Select from a few paragraphs and choose the one which is neutral (one very positive/promotional, one very negative, one which is balanced and attributes POV)

cooperation: note directing you to policies

real-time: editor note, note thanking you for neutral summary

incentives: quiz (tutorial) choosing good simple summaries of the policies, scenario selecting a neutral summary of a source (not too promotional, not too negative)

disincentives: incorrect summaries of policies, wrong choice of neutral summary

Level 5[edit]

Goal: Get help and learn about verifiability

  • Help desk
  • Help search
  • {Help me template}
  • Navigate to help desk and back again

cooperation: editor asks you to do something on the article you don't know how to do, help desk

real-time: editor note, help desk response (somewhat delayed?)

incentives: note from help desk editor that you're learning fast

disincentives: impatient demand at help desk

Level 6[edit]

Goal: Choose sources

  • Review source types (possibly in a mock-library interface, or a Google search page)
  • Choose a source which is published, independent, authoritative, and has a good reputation (avoid Facebook, blogs, etc.)
  • Add the reference

cooperation: note asking you to find some more sources

real-time: editor note, google search

incentives: note of thanks

disincentives: choose poor sources

Level 7[edit]

Goal: Add references

  • Choose a source
  • Put the reference after the sentence where it belongs
  • Add the details to cite template
  • Create a section for references
  • Add {reflist}

cooperation: note requesting help to add references

real-time: editor note

incentives: barnstar

disincentives: references in wrong place

Level 8[edit]

Goal: Mapping the community

  • Visit each section on the mainpage
  • Describe Featured content
  • Overview the sister projects
  • Go through key links in the sidebar
  • Tour the community portal

cooperation: more of a tour than a mission




Level 9[edit]

Goal: Images, formatting, and page moderation (edit conflicts, unconstructive editors)

  • look at changes on the article history
  • Get a peer review
  • Add an image
  • Preview MOS
  • Ask other editors for help
  • Get requests to start working on other articles
  • add external links
  • add wikilink
  • add piped link
  • copyright review
  • edit conflictsI
  • page vandalism
  • leave a note on the vandal's talk page, choosing an appropriate message
  • return to the article and see that it's safe

cooperation: vandalism

real-time: vandal edits show up after page load, talk page response, barnstar

incentives: vandal apologizes, anti-vandalism barnstar

disincentives: too harsh talk message

Level 10[edit]

Goal: Conflict resolution

  • Leave a message on Jim's talk page asking about the site
  • Wikipedia:About
  • Deal with an editor who disagrees with a sentence and its source
  • Post to RSN and DRN

cooperation: editor disagrees on talk, noticeboard help

real-time: editor comment, noticeboard responses

incentives: feedback about policy understanding

disincentives: escalate into a fight, warned for edit warringa

Level 11[edit]

Goal: Drafting a new article, community resources, notability

  • Requested Articles
  • Create an article draft
  • Select a group of sources
  • Select a lead
  • Headers per mos
  • Add references to 3 sections
  • Request review of the article
  • Add context for notability
  • make to do list on article subpage





Level 12[edit]

Goal: Making an article live

  • check watchlist
  • recent changes vandal check
  • help from other editors on your draft
  • compare changes
  • barnstar
  • talk page interview for Signpost
  • DYK main page
  • Join a WikiProject