Constructed Worlds:History

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The history of the Constructed Worlds Wiki is an ongoing legacy which began in 2005 and has spanned over two decades across two wikis.

Timeline[edit source]

Major Constructed Worlds Wiki projects
Based on initial year of creation
2005Might and Power
2006The Nearly Real World/Lorica
2008Future World
2010Future World N-G/SCR/Pangam-Pangat
2011Irradiated Earth
2012Lecrotia/Republic of Atlion
2014Altverse I/The Multiversal Chronicles
2017Liberta/PG (original)
2018Origo Mundi
2019Kalșeri/Vandverse/Paradise Island
2020Altverse II/Ocean City
2021Merveilles des Morte

Origins (2005–2006)[edit source]

The Constructed Worlds Wiki was originally founded on March 22, 2005 by the user Yanus on Fandom, then known as Wikia. Their first edit, and therefore, the oldest edit in the wiki's history was the main page, which described the wiki as a "Conworld Wikicity" and introduced the project Might and Power. Yanus's activity was minimal and within days of the wiki's founding, they went inactive. They returned briefly again for the final time in September 2006 and notably promoted the user Cprhodesact, the creator of Georgeland and The Nearly Real World project, as an administrator.

Cprhodesact's sole administration (2006–2008)[edit source]

The wiki continued to grow in projects and users during Cprhodesact's de facto status as the wiki's sole administration. The Nearly Real World was the flagship project on the wiki, which was a constructed world based on Earth that featured fictitious landmasses in addition to the real world's continents. The project was one of the earliest and largest collaborative projects, which became a source of inspiration for other future projects.

Cprhodesact was later promoted to bureaucrat in 2008 by the Wikia staff, with staff member CatherineMunro stating his promotion was due to Cprhodesact being "the only active admin at Conworld". During Cprhodesact's sole adminship, the wiki experienced issues ranging from forum accessibility to a backlog of pages marked for deletion. The user Tel Loiryn, creator of Lorica, Warpcraft, and Faith, lobbied for a more proactive wiki administration. She gained a group of like-minded followers and won two requests for adminship elections by late 2008. Tel Loiryn was subsequently promoted in October 2008, ending Cprhodesact's status as the wiki's only active administrator.

Early Old Guard Age (2008–2010)[edit source]

Constructed Worlds logo during the Old Guard ages

In 2009, the wiki reached its 4,000th article milestone, although the significant majority of pages were stubs. Nonetheless, users including United Planets, Super Warmonkey, Time Master, and Woogers emerged with their own projects, including Future World, a future history project that became the wiki's newest flagship project. The aforementioned users were among the wiki's most prolific editors at the time and they would each ultimately attain sysop rights. Their ascension to administration and dominance during the wiki's early years has led to the application of the historiographical term of "Old Guard". Some of the earliest best works on the wiki included Ivalice and the Allied States of America.

Other noteworthy contributors who debuted or were active during this era included Cunha/ACunha (creator of the Southern Cross Republic), Tharnton345 (creator of Leubantia), Sir Spart Sparklbox (creator of Heigard), Detectivekenny (creator of Pangam-Pangat and the Grand Yarphese Republic), and Horton11 (creator of Mariana).

Old Guard Golden Age (2010–2012)[edit source]

Flag of the Union of Everett, a prominent Future World project during the Old Guard Golden Age by United Planets

During the Old Guard Golden Age, the Constructed Worlds Wiki experienced a flourishing community of writers and major collaborative projects. It is distinctive for the levels of activity that the wiki experienced at the time and the amount of new users that joined the wiki who were interested in worldbuilding. The flagship projects of The Nearly Real World and Future World were at their peak levels of activity, and prominent users including Fizzyflapjack (then known as Minecraftian), Mythopoeia (then known as -Sunkist-), Falloutfan08, and Vivaporius emerged as newcomers.

In July 2010, Tel Loiryn restructured the wiki's categorization system, which at the time, was unorganized and largely incoherent, with most articles having their own self-contained categories. Tel Loiryn introduced a new categorization that covered general topics, such as Category:Individuals and Category:Settlements. Notably, she encouraged contributors to utilize Category:Worlds over Category:Conworlds. Woogers also redesigned the wiki's main page, introducing a featured article, a featured media, and a random fact box based on a preestablished list. Although efforts to maintain a weekly or monthly updating catalogue of featured articles or files lost traction by the end of the year, new noteworthy projects continued to be intermittently added onto the main page.

By January 2011, Tel Loiryn and Cprhodesact had gone inactive, leading the community to push for two new active administrators. Candidates nominated for adminship included Sir Spart Sparklbox, TimeMaster, Tharnton345, Super Warmonkey, Detectivekenny, and Woogers. All of the aforementioned users except for Tharnton345 would ultimately attain adminship through community consensus. During the February 2011 adminship discussion, a wiki precedent was established by Super Warmonkey who asserted that there must always be two active administrators on-site in case one of the two administrators goes inactive. Two camps also emerged during this discussion: one that argued for many administrators and one that argued to restrict the numbers to only what is necessary. Woogers backed the latter camp and reinforced the idea of maintaining at least two administrators. The event established that the working relationships between administrators, in the absence of an active bureaucrat, must be based on consensus-building and cooperation, in tandem with the community at-large.

An excerpt of community discussion regarding quality control on the wiki forum in 2011.

Although the Golden Age was full of wiki activity and content creation, its popularity resulted in the community continuing to experience quality control issues from newcomers. The wiki's growth and the rise of collaborative projects also created an environment prone to user disagreements. The controversial user Tharnton345 gained notoriety for their propensity to create stub-class articles (smaller than 1 KB) for his project on Leubantia and marking other creators' pages for deletion, leading to a proposal to block disruptive users and another proposal to grade wiki articles by quality. He was also accused of intentionally creating stubs to boost his edit count (which on Fandom, is prominently displayed on a user's page), an action that has been and continues to be frowned upon by the community. Intra-project drama also emerged, such as the conflict between Detectivekenny and United Planets within Future World.

Other wiki-ideological disagreement emerged during this time. Quality control remained a hot-button issue and the community struggled with resolving the continuous growth of stub articles and low-quality projects. Super Warmonkey argued from the perspective of an inclusionist that the Constructed Worlds Wiki was open to all creators and that no one's work should be deleted merely due to perceived poor quality. He argued that while a system to grade articles would be acceptable, under no circumstances should articles be deleted. Woogers, as a deletionist, alongside the United Planets, pushed for removing low-quality content. One particular user, Aca94, whose first language was not English as a Serbian user, gained notoriety for their creation of stubs, and was cited as an example of the wiki's degradation in quality. Aca94's edits fell in an editing continuum where his edits were not considered vandalism or trolling, but were considered poor enough to ostensibly damage the wiki's reputation. At around this time, the Constructed Worlds Wiki had gained a reputation as the "dumping grounds" for users from adjacent communities, notably the Alternate History Wiki, as well as Future Wiki.

Age of Stagnation (2012–2014)[edit source]

An excerpt from community discussion with United Planets' disagreements with Vivaporius and TimeMaster, exemplifying the Age of Stagnation's mood and the wiki's state of being

The Age of Stagnation was a period of significant decline and inactive administration. Personal drama and intra-project infighting led to disruption on the wiki's content creation by its most active users. The wiki's flagship projects of The Nearly Real World and Future World (as well as the latter's rebooted version, Future World Next-Gen) suffered extensively from user disputes. Future World experienced an internal conflict between realism and futurism, which resulted in the project's disruption. Super Warmonkey pulled the Allied States of America subproject from Future World and forked it over to a separate wiki, and created an on-wiki fork of Future World known as New Era, and another prominent user, BIPU, also exited the project. The Republic of Atlion, another collaborative project, also failed to last due to drama.

On April 1, 2013, United Planets published a call for administrative consensus to permanently ban the user Vivaporius due to grievances stemming from the drama that plagued Future World and the Republic of Atlion. According to United Planets, Vivaporius engaged in intentional trolling by joining projects specifically to antagonize the United Planets' own countries and creating problematic content such as genocide and homophobia. Vivaporius provided his own defense and argued that his actions were purely for roleplaying purposes, while other grievances cited by United Planets (pertaining to users leaving) could not be pinned solely on himself. Community consensus held that Vivaporius's alleged misconduct and actions did not amount to grounds for permanent banning.

These collective actions dealt a devastating blow to the health of the wiki's community. In addition, the Old Guard administrators' activity also declined due to real life commitments and waning general interest. TimeMaster, as the only active bureaucrat at the time, also maintained semi-activeness as Woogers and United Planets took their leaves of absence.

On June 1, 2013, there were calls to elect two new administrators to replace the inactive administration. During the June 2013 adminship elections, Vivaporius and Super Warmonkey were confirmed as new administrators, while no other administrator faced demotion due to limited support.

Renaissance (2014–2016)[edit source]

Constructed Worlds logo used on Fandom since 2015

The Renaissance was a period that coincided with a wave of new users from community-adjacent wikis including the Cyber Nations Wiki Centrist16 (then known as JustinVuong) and Emelxa (then known as Bowwow828) and the Alternate History Wiki (Candiesrgood and United Republic). The wiki witnessed an increased level of engagement with the Alternate History Wiki as well as rekindled interest in a collaborative project.

On August 2, 2014, the user Centrist16, who had joined the wiki in 2011 but went inactive afterwards, created the Kingdom of Sierra, which initially existed as a standalone project. Its depth and comprehensiveness spurned interest among the remnant Old Guard users and new users. Both Centrist16 and Emelxa came from a Cyber Nations Wiki project known as the Post-Dissolution Sphere, which placed an emphasis on geopolitical roleplay, similar to Future World. A user named Dog of War who created the Democratic Republic of Turkey and other nations, expressed interest in establishing a shared universe with the Kingdom of Sierra. On October 5, 2014, Altverse was created, establishing a new collaborative project.

By 2015, Altverse amassed a sizable community of newcomers as well as Old Guard era members, including ACunha, AnnaOurLittleAlice, Happy65, DatMaster001 (then known as TheMaster001), Fizzyflapjack, Zabuza825, and AWpCR (then known as AlbertWeskerpwnsChrisRedfield). TimeMaster returned from a period of relative inactivity, and also joined Altverse. He also promoted Centrist16 to administrator on February 2, 2015, attributing the latter as a "trustworthy user". Centrist16 also established working relationships with members of the Alternate History Wiki and became an informal "goodwill ambassador" between the two communities. Based on his experience with the Post-Dissolution Sphere, Centrist16 attempted to promote an off-site forum for the Constructed Worlds Wiki to allow greater communication and roleplaying among members of the community. It saw limited success before it was largely abandoned and discontinued by 2017.

Aside from Altverse, other projects emerged during this period, including The Multiversal Chronicles (then known as The Next Renaissance). There were also efforts to revive The Nearly Real World, as exemplified through the integration of the Seafaring Confederation into the project.

Members of Altverse began pushing renewed efforts to housekeep the wiki and introduce stricter quality control within the community. A proposal by Fizzyflapjack in April 2015 faced resistance from the Old Guard however, foreshadowing a conflict between the newer generation of users and their sympathizers and the older generation of users.

On December 30, 2015, Emelxa (known as Goldentrash at the time), posted an inflammatory announcement on the Constructed Worlds Wiki on-site forum, declaring "Conworlds will be returned to its former glory and the international Autisimry [sic] will be eradicated". Emelxa and Centrist16 became co-founders of the Conworlds Quality Control, better known by its abbreviation, the CQC.

Conworlds Quality Control era (2016–2019)[edit source]

Flag of CQC
Flag of CQC (variant)
Flags of the CQC
Pre-Migration Era (2016–2017)[edit source]

The CQC was the wiki's first so-called "party" and consisted of four members: Centrist16, Emelxa, Dog of War, and Fizzyflapjack. It was also backed by Mythopoeia, AnnaOurLittleAlice, CnocBride, and other members of Altverse. During the month of January 2016, the CQC aggressively pushed for wiki reform regarding quality control, which faced continued opposition by the Old Guard. After TimeMaster deleted Emelxa's original declaration, the CQC released another declaration stating "WE WILL NOT STAY SILENT", garnering attention from Vivaporius, who promised to allow the CQC to air their grievances. Following the incident, TimeMaster expressed common ground with some of the CQC's aims and goals on quality control.

Tensions between TimeMaster and the CQC grew over the course of the year of 2016. The CQC had begun to organize its activities off-site on Skype as a clique, and operating as the primary coordinators of Altverse. Growing dissatisfaction with TimeMaster's actions and attitude towards change resulted in talks to promote Centrist16 as a bureaucrat, in order to safeguard and achieve the CQC's interests. The wiki at-large remained ambivalent towards the situation, and content continued to flourish in the backdrop of behind-the-scenes drama.

On July 7, 2016, Mythopoeia left a message on every single administrator and bureaucrat of the Constructed Worlds Wiki, imploring the old administration to give way to a new merit-based administration. His messages went largely unignored and a few days later, another conflict emerged between the CQC and TimeMaster over the CSS coding for the wiki's Monobook skin. Vivaporius increasingly lent his support for the CQC and his request for bureaucratship was denied by TimeMaster due to lack of consensus.

TimeMaster admitting his hesitation to make good on Centrist16's promotion

On August 26, 2016, Centrist16 formally petitioned to TimeMaster, requesting bureaucratship. A community consensus discussion was opened the following day. The consensus ended with 7–1, with all ayes from the CQC, and the sole nay from TimeMaster himself. Despite proof of community consensus, TimeMaster reneged on his promise to comply with community consensus and retreated to the Wikination Wiki (also known as Lovia), where he aired his grievances to the users there regarding the incident. He accused Centrist16 of socially engineering the election and expressed his reasons opposing the bureaucratship. TimeMaster accused the votes of being ingenuine and not truly representative of the community at-large. TimeMaster's edits were publicly logged and after the CQC was made aware of the issue, there were talks of escalating the issue with the Fandom Community Central and staff in order to enforce the consensus vote. TimeMaster finally conceded and promoted Centrist16 as bureaucrat on October 13, 2016. It would later be revealed that TimeMaster "gambled" on the belief that Centrist16's nomination would fail the community consensus vote and was embarrassed following the incident. TimeMaster was later removed as bureaucrat on November 25, 2017 due to inactivity by Fandom staff member Semanticdrift, following a request by the CQC, eliminating the chance for TimeMaster to disrupt the community.

Post-Migration Era (2017–2019)[edit source]

Prototypical Constructed Worlds logo used on Miraheze

With Centrist16 now as bureaucrat, he promoted Fizzyflapjack as an administrator on October 13, 2016, and later Emelxa, incorporating the CQC into the new wiki administration. Dog of War was also briefly administrator but he requested removal of such rights. The CQC began to mass delete articles below a certain threshold of quality and content size. Within months of the CQC's ascension into power, thousands of low-quality pages were deleted.

The CQC also switched its primary mode of communication over Discord, which soon became a server open to the general public for members from the Constructed Worlds Wiki. The level of interaction between the Constructed Worlds Wiki and the Alternate History Wiki also accelerated. The Alternate History Wiki's mass migration onto the Constructed Worlds Wiki Discord server made it easier for users from both communities to interact. Later, the Alternate History Wiki created its own Discord server, inspired in part to the TSPTF's experiences on the Constructed Worlds Wiki Discord.

By late 2017, the Constructed Worlds Wiki Discord became an integrated part of the wiki and became affectionately known as "Conworlds Fam". Its Discord widget was featured prominently on the wiki's sidebar on the default Oasis skin and its links were shared zealously by members of the CQC. Within the Discord server itself, the channels were divided into various topics, including general interest, projects, politics, and shitposting, as well as secret CQC channels.

During the summer of 2017, the Constructed Worlds Wiki had its first meetup. Centrist16, Emelxa, and KawaiiKame, three members of the CQC on Discord, all met up for a week in Southern California, which was unprecedented at the time, and represented the peak of the CQC administration. Following the historic event, the CQC shifted away from its original goals of quality control and more towards Discord moderation and social fraternalism. Increasingly, the server experienced more "lurkers" or non-wiki editors whose primary mode of community engagement resided exclusively or near-exclusively to Discord. The relationship between the wiki and the Discord server became one of disconnect, as wiki-exclusive users had no access or privy to the server's day-to-day talks, and Discord-exclusive users were ambivalent or even unaware of wiki activity.

A screenshot of a private Discord message which was used as evidence of political tactics being used during the controversial Vivaporius bureaucratship discussion

On the wiki itself, Altverse activity continued although notably declined due to the attention the community's most active users spent on the Discord. On February 2018, Discord drama spilled over onto the wiki when Vivaporius sought a community consensus for bureaucratship. The contentious debate was deeply partisan, and was the first time, a significant gathering of non-Constructed Worlds users participated in the discussion, raising doubts over the validity of the community discussion. The discussion was noteworthy for the near-split divide within the community between those who supported and those who opposed Vivaporius's bureaucratship. The CQC, with the notable exception of Mythopoeia, opposed Vivaporius's promotion, while newer users backed Vivaporius's promotion. After the results for the election were called into question by the CQC, especially due to the high prevalence of non-Constructed Worlds users on both sides, a second vote was called. In a surprise vote, Mythopoeia defected from the pro-Vivaporius vote and sided with the rest of the CQC, and a number of previous pro-Vivaporius voters and abstainers also joined the anti-Vivaporius vote. Following accusations of political intrigue and tactics, the decision was made by Centrist16 to maintain the status quo and deny Vivaporius the bureaucratship vote. Although the debate and discussion was highly uncharacteristic at the time, it represented a prelude to future internal disagreement within the CQC and the community at-large. Notably, it established reinforced the precedent that the Constructed Worlds Wiki was not a "true democracy", but one that was built on arbitration and consensus. It also established that unlike the two administrator rule, only one active bureaucrat was necessary, rather than two.

By the spring 2018, concerns over the direction of Wikia, which became rebranded as Fandom, had shifted away from interpersonal drama to an existential one, as the fate of the Constructed Worlds Wiki had become challenged by Fandom's own decisions. Fandom announced it was intending to phase out the Monobook skin, a skin which was popular among the CQC due to its similar appearance to Wikipedia's default skin, in compliance with the EU-based General Data Protection Regulation. In protest, the CQC lodged its dissatisfaction on Community Central and opened a commission to assess and evaluate the future of the community. It was later agreed that Miraheze, an emerging non-profit wiki farm, would be the site of a forked version for the Constructed Worlds Wiki. In 2017, Centrist16 had created the Altverse Miraheze, initially to ensure that Altverse content could be viewed in a Wikipedia-style skin, rather than Fandom's skin. After gauging community support, the CQC decided to officially migrate to Miraheze as a community, and began posting the announcement wiki-wide. On May 22, 2018, the CQC declared a soft opening for use of the Constructed Worlds Wiki Miraheze as the new primary wiki, after it directed Altverse members to begin editing on Miraheze first over Fandom. Later, this announcement was broadcast publicly on the wiki at the beginning of June 2018. This gained the attention of Fandom staff, including FishTank, who removed the announcements and threatened to remove Centrist16 and other members of the CQC from adminship if they continued their campaign. According to FishTank, it was against Fandom policy for users to share links to migrated wikis, describing the actions as "poaching". FishTank permitted the Constructed Worlds Wiki to post a one-time two-week announcement to inform users of the migration change, after which they would be prohibited from sharing such information forever. The CQC complied with the demands but chose to maintain continued administrative presence on Fandom, with the promise that Miraheze-originated content would eventually make their way back to Fandom as well, and vice versa.

Following the ordeal, the CQC moved forward with the overseeing of the wiki's migration to Miraheze. The early migration experienced issues with Miraheze's inconsistent and erratic server issues, causing numerous 503 backend errors. Another significant issue that affected the new wiki on Miraheze was a bug which caused .svg files to not load properly on wiki thumbnails. Despite internal reservations by Emelxa, the migration continued, and new users who joined on the server were encouraged to move their content onto Miraheze. The CQC's membership also grew in size, inducting Candiesrgood, Mythopoeia, and Thewolvesden into the circle. Other intermittent members were occasionally allowed access into CQC channels, including JoshTheRoman. By the summer of 2018, CQC member Dog of War resigned from his administrative role on the Constructed Worlds Wiki Discord and announced his departure from the community, citing real life commitments and disagreement with some of the members on the Discord server. Dog of War's departure was received with shock and signaled troubling signs ahead for the community as a whole.

Dark Age (2019–2020)[edit source]

The Dark Age was a period of general decline on both the Constructed Worlds Wiki and its Discord server. Wiki activity diminished, including on work related to Altverse, and discussions on the server became dominated by Emelxa and a select number of other users, who became known for their doomposting and edgy humor. This environment created tension within the server, including the CQC. Longstanding differences between Emelxa and Mythopoeia were made complicated through their mutual friendship with Centrist16.

In June 2019, Centrist16 discovered that Dog of War had continued editing on the NationStates-based wiki, iiwiki. This led to speculation on Dog of War's reasons on leaving the Constructed Worlds. Mythopoeia accused Emelxa's doomposting for allowing the wiki to decay and driving away members. He proposed that Emelxa and other users' doomposting be self-contained in locked channels. After Emelxa refused to heed Mythopoeia's demands, Mythopoeia briefly left the server while Emelxa and his group defected and formed their own splinter server. In light of the incident and worsening server relations, Centrist16 made the decision to step down as server owner, citing disinterest in the role, and a desire to remain committed primarily as a wiki editor. Centrist16 then transferred server ownership over to Fizzyflapjack, whose actions included deleting the main CQC channel, justifying the action as necessary to eradicate the toxicity of the party, which have been derided as a "cabal". Fizzyflapjack's server ownership was short-lived after Emelxa returned with proof through private DMs with Dog of War that the latter did not leave the server for reasons related to Emelxa. Fizzyflapjack then transferred the server ownership to KawaiiKame, who kept server ownership for over a week until he finally relinquished it to Emelxa. Emelxa thus became the server owner of the community and officially dissolved the CQC as an institution.

Two systems era (2020–present)[edit source]

Current logo used on the Constructed Worlds Wiki Miraheze

See also[edit source]