Forum:Remove the "gender" parameter from infoboxes

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Forums: Yew Grove > Remove the "gender" parameter from infoboxes
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This thread was archived on 13 October 2021 by Liquidhelium.


For a more detailed explanation, keep reading, but my argument boils down to this: the gender parameter is a waste of our valuable infobox real estate. In the cases where gender is not immediately apparent, knowing it still serves no utility to a visitor.

The purpose of an infobox is to convey useful information to a reader in an efficient manner. From a quick glance at a page, a reader is able to find out important or interesting points about certain content: combat level, release date, location, etc. But there is a balance: because this space is so valuable, each entry must serve some kind of utility. We want to convey as much useful information as we can while still keeping the infobox as short as possible. Pursuant to this, we've previously removed parameters to conserve space, such as when we removed the Quest Requirement and Skill Requirement parameters.

Another parameter I think no longer serves utility is the "gender" parameter in {{Infobox NPC}}. In the vast majority of cases, gender is immediately apparent based on the image or name of the specified content. People know by looking at Bob or Morvran that they are male NPCs, and if not, they can just look at the pronouns used extensively in the article to find out. In the cases where gender is not immediately apparent, it's because gender is either irrelevant or unspecified, like a cerulean twitch. Regardless, knowing the gender of characters seems rather useless. It doesn't enhance any in-game experience that I can think of. Let's trim the infoboxes a bit and remove the parameter.

Discussion

Support - as nominator, with apologies to Liquid for the title. ɳex undique 18:38, 22 September 2021 (UTC)

Mixed - unless someone is doing a talk-to-male-only-ironman, in which case I still support this. -- Zorak plorak - Talk Hiscores 18:51, 22 September 2021 (UTC) As per other responses in Discord, I think it may however be wise to at least keep these variables in the background to make sure filtering NPCs is possible. Zorak plorak - Talk Hiscores 19:31, 22 September 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - This information can be helpful to readers in cases where it's ambiguous of the gender (generally for non-humanoid characters - whilst the minority, I wouldn't say they're the vast minority necessarily), to inform which pronoun they should be using. If it's unnecessary on certain pages, make the parameter optional instead of outright removing it Star Talk ayy lmao ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) 19:10, 22 September 2021 (UTC)

I think if people want to know what pronouns should be used, the prose of the article would make that clear. I think I might support making it hidden and only making it visible when it might be needed, but personally I still don't think the information is useful enough for an infobox. ɳex undique 00:11, 23 September 2021 (UTC)
While that is true, I think contention over ambiguously gendered npc/monsters is much more easily confirmed/decided by the infobox listing. While these are monsters, on OSW the Giant Mole and Vorkath have both been edited at least once somewhat recently to switch their pronouns because there really isn't that much dialogue or in-game menus to actually confirm them (these were before combat achievemnets). This is the only instance of gendering Vorkath that I have found after looking through dialogue and transcripts I believe. So it would/could be really easy otherwise to assume something and be wrong - while I think having it in the infobox makes it a little more "official". Even in the case of Giant mole, there is dialogue specifically using 'he', which is likely wrong, however combat achievements that were very recently released use 'her'. If I'm speculative of the answer, I'd but much less trustworthy of just prose personally. Choppetalk 02:20, 23 September 2021 (UTC)
In those rare cases, a gender parameter with a reference could be useful, but I think that a trivia mention would also be fine. But I need to think about that more. ɳex undique 16:21, 24 September 2021 (UTC)

Support - I don't have any spefic reason.  —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cowcow (talk) on 20:32 22 September 2021.

Comment - I actually thought about this some years ago. There currently isn't any gender-reliant gameplay aspect yet when it comes to NPCs, and the parameter has always seemed superfluous to me. I find it amusing whenever I see an NPC like jiggling crate or cerulean twitch with an unknown or unspecified gender. Even if it's removed, Category:Female characters and Category:Male characters would remain for filtering purposes.NeutralinoTalk?This is a pale wisp. 00:34, 23 September 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - I don't have to specify Dragon146 (talk) 00:40, 23 September 2021 (UTC)

Support - As an editor I find it problematic when I create an article for an NPC, and the time comes to fill in this parameter. Even in simpler cases (human NPC, looks like a female model, is referred to as "she") I have doubts: What does it actually mean to be a female in RuneScape? Then there are cases where the NPC is something where the gender doesn't even apply. I suppose the infobox supports something like "N/A", but then there is the question to which NPCs it does apply and which it doesn't? If the gender of the NPC is based on the model alone, whether they're female, male, or something else can be determined by looking at the model and the parameter yields no extra information. As the gender of the NPC very rarely has any effect on gameplay, we could as well have a parameter for "number of legs", and attempt to justify its existence with the same arguments that are used for "gender". Furthermore, it's more correct to explain in trivia that giant mole is referred to as "her" in some dialogue than to claim that it's female in infobox. Does anything even imply that there is just one giant mole? Apparently it's a species as it has a scientific name, so we could have giant moles of all kinds of genders spawning. Thingummywut (talk) 03:03, 24 September 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - While there might not be game-altering mechanics in relations to gender for characters, there could be a time a time in the future. I know that we shouldn't consistently maintain the wiki in a state of preparation for something that may or may not come, I think we could save some headaches down the line if there were to be a reversal thread and we want them back or if gender becomes a larger part of the game. While it would be easy to bot remove the parameter, I'm not sure how easy it would be to replace them. --Legaia 2 Pla · ʟ · 15:00, 24 September 2021 (UTC)

Comment - Sorry, thought of this after... If the thread were to pass, I feel like we should also remove gendered language from prose and anywhere else that isn't a direct quote from the game. I would find it a little weird to have gendered language within an article without a parameter present to justify it. --Legaia 2 Pla · ʟ · 15:10, 24 September 2021 (UTC)

To clarify, what do you mean specifically by gendered language? I don’t see why we would need to include gender in an infobox to justify referencing it in an article. ɳex undique 16:21, 24 September 2021 (UTC)
This seems like both a lot of work, and a bad idea. ʞooɔ 19:10, 24 September 2021 (UTC)

Keep param as optional - Should not need to be provided in unspecified cases. We can hide the row when there's no obvious value to set. Riblet15 (talk) 19:49, 24 September 2021 (UTC)

Comment - I BELIEVE the standard is to put "Unspecified" for cases when a gander is unknown? We used to be able to put in hide to remove the parameter competely but that was removed for some reason. Same for the race one. Ideally that functionality should be restored. Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 21:37, 24 September 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - I do agree with hiding the information, when it's not relevant (like for those birds), but overall I generally see it as nice to have. And it's not like it would clutter the information box or something like this. Lanchi (talk) 04:57, 28 September 2021 (UTC)

Agree - I don't really think it's necessary. I would guess, with at least 95% confidence, that it in no way shape or form matters to the majority of our readers. Also, in this day and age, I don't think it's really necessary to slap a Gender on any NPC. The only relevance I could see here would be for those that are "voice acted" but even then a role-playing character could chalk that up to the voices being from an omnipotent narrator. In conclusion, not necessary, should be removed, but the ability archived in-case we want to bring it back.Yurple (talk) 05:09, 28 September 2021 (UTC)

Comment - I agree to with Yurple to archive it, in case it has to be bringed back. Cowcow (talk) 13:50, 28 September 2021 (UTC)

Comment - Can we just make it optional such that in cases of "Unspecified" (for instances where it doesn't matter, like Cerulean Twitch example given above) it just doesn't show up, and doesn't take up space in the box? I do support OP in that if it doesn't need to take up space it should not, so in these cases it makes sense to remove it. However, if it is specified, then it would show up and in these cases I would say we just assume good faith in that if an editor lists it, it shows up in the infobox, and the editor who puts it there believes there is reasonble reason to do so. In summary, if possible, make it optional and hide it if unspecified or irrelevant. And if we don't want to have it show up for some and not for others for sake of consistency or otherwise, then I would just say Support and hide it from the infobox (where the info is already there, just hide it from display in the box unless there is reason to outright remove it).  RS AdvLogMyles Prower  Talk 14:28, 29 September 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - We should not be removing this param, however we should allow it to be optional and hide it from the infobox if not populated or explicitly set to hide. Lava hawk.png BlackHawk (Talk)    07:00, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

Are you 100% opposed then, or is this a comment? If the later, I would definitely support it being an "auto-hide" feature if not explicitly filled in, as BlackHawk suggested. Yurple (talk) 07:16, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

Hide not remove - As Yurple suggests in the comment above, hide the parameter if not explicitly filled in or set to hide. And only show it where it's specified. Farming-icon.png Salix (Talk) Prifddinas lodestone icon.png 07:42, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

Closed - The gender parameter will stay. There is, however, consensus to make it optional if left blank. --LiquidTalk 07:16, 13 October 2021 (UTC)