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I've added a spoiler alert to this page, because I came here only looking for info about Michelle the girlfriend - not knowing she was Karen - and now it's blown for me, along with other things I accidentally saw in just the first sentence.

I really think there needs to be a page for Michelle that looks like a normal GF page and has a spoil-free link to here. For that matter, the disambiguation page also contains this spoiler.

I added a spoiler alert in case anybody else made the very easy mistake of following Michelle from the disambiguation page and suddenly found themselves discovering a plot point and not what clothes she likes.

KalypsoSig 22:26, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Agreed - I've seen this happen a lot, and it's happened to me. Sorry about that. I'll get it fixed ASAP. Gboyers talk 22:31, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I have to disagree. GTA IV has been out for over two months now and spoilers should surely be allowed on the site, in particular considering the spoilers have been on the article for a little while. Also, if this is implemented then I suggest marking all such pages with spoiler tags to prevent other people having a GTA game spoiled. A-Dust 22:46, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Ok, first, it really doesn't matter how long the game has been out OR how long the page has existed. The only people a spoiler alert affects are the people it is intended to reach - those who do not want the game to be spoiled. I don't see why adding an alert affects anybody who already knows this information.

Secondly, this is a really really easy spoiler to stumble upon! In fact, until I made a very minor edit to the disambiguation page, the spoiler was there too. The reason this plot point would have been so cool to discover is that you think she is only a girlfriend. That is the information I came here looking for. Not her storyline. I only wanted to know what, other bowling and darts, she would like to do most. None of this information is even present before the plotline is blown - or at all!

Like I said, there should be a Michelle (Girlfriend) page, and that page should link here. I would say the problem is solved if the link in the Michelle (Girlfriend) page contained the spoiler alert. That way you would not have to crowd the Karen page with it, since anyone who is searching for Karen already knows this info. The problem is that Michelle disambiguation page links directly here, and that in the first sentence in this article - and in fact, even in coming here from the disambiguation - blows a major plot point ...and it is completely, totally unnecessary.

As I have already stated, the game has been out for two months now and thus the information should, in my opinion, be regarded as common knowledge. Yes there are going to be people who don't know about certain things, but that is true of anything. I don't see why a spoiler warning should be put on here. This is not in line with other articles. Also, just look at Wikipedia, no spoiler warning. As for the spoiler, what did you expect to find on a website designed to be an encyclopedia of all events? Sorry if that sounds harsh, but to be honest it has to be said. Also, the warning for spoilers can be found on the Main Page, where it states

As our purpose is to provide complete detailed information, some pages may contain spoilers.

A-Dust 23:14, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, we aren't Wikipedia. If we were, it would say Wikipedia at the top of the page. Our mission is to provide good GTA information and be helpful to GTA gamers. 2 months is NOT long enough for everyone to have bought the game, even if tens of millions of people have done so. We have always been delicate about GTA SA spoilers, and we should do the same with GTA IV. The way I've edited the pages now is to outline Karen and Michelle on different pages, since they have different names and appear at different stages of the game. Yes they are the same person, but this gives us a perfect opportunity to hide the spoilers. The text "later in the game" means "don't read this or click on it if you dont want to know". Yes people know spoilers are here, and yes all the information SHOULD be on this wiki, but a big plot device like that should not be on the first sentence like that. Gboyers talk 00:21, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

EDIT: Gboyers: I'm sorry, I didn't see your message before I posted this. KalypsoSig 00:47, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

The very fact that this conversation is happening lends to the idea that this is not common knowledge. If all the info on this site is common knowledge two months after the game comes out, then why does the site exist at all? What need would you have look for any information to begin with, if you assume that all of it is common knowledge? But this is not common knowledge, especially for someone who just opened the game. The point of these wikis are to serve the user, not contributor's egos, and assuming the user knows this information is unnecessarily elitist, and the worst part is that it is a disservice to the user. The issue is not whether or not these pages contain spoilers, because of course they must.

Michelle is a girlfriend first: This is really specific spoiler issue. This spoiler is particularly insidious because of the fact that until you know Michelle is Karen, a user is probably looking for information about Michelle the girlfriend, and it is very very easy to discover this spoiler completely on accident. I'd also like to add that even if the disambiguation page (simply when searching for "Michelle" like I did) didn't link directly to a spoiler, the Girlfriend page lists her as Karen. Karen is not a girlfriend. Michelle is. After she becomes Karen, you can no longer date her, therefore Karen is not a girlfriend.

Compromise: I offered a compromise in my previous post, which I think is totally reasonable. This Karen page contains no information about Michelle the girlfriend. That is why I think we need a Michelle (Girlfriend) page that links here with an alert. That way there could be a spoiler alert in the link to this page and we would not muddy up the Karen page with a spoiler alert. In this way, a user who is ignorant of these events does not have it spoiled, and those who do not want a huge, ugly spoiler alert at the top of the page can be satisfied as well. Currently the girlfriend info does not exist at all. Currently, this spoiler is too easy to stumble upon, and I think it is a completely valid point that should be addressed somehow.

Ultimately I'm looking for a solution, not an argument as to whether or not somebody who just bought the game should already know about this very pivotal plot point, and if they don't well screw them. I would think that a simple review of common courtesy would reveal this as the wrong position to take. KalypsoSig 00:44, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

May I add my two cents' worth? As Gboyers mentioned, we are not Wikipedia. In fact, this is the very reason I "defected" from Wikipedia in the first place, i.e. the rules are far less draconian, and people are a lot more friendly (and usually not as anal). But what really got me hooked on GTW is the fact that although we strive for encyclopedic content, it does not preclude us to cut-and-dry Wikipedia-style commentary on the games, where all things are aimed at the broadest audience possible. We are here for gamers primarily. That means our intitiatives should be geared toward assisting gamers in their gaming experiences, and should educate the general public as a secondary goal. That having been said, if a major plot development is prominently displayed on a page that someone might inadvertently come across while researching a related part of the story, then it should be taken care of appropriately. I think all of us need to step back and realize the issue here: a gamer had a plot development spoiled for him/her because of this. Therefore, we, as GTW editors, should remedy the situation. EganioTalk 00:50, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I like you, I also stopped editing Wikipedia because the people were mean. While i have had people here Give me messages about my work, they are friendly about it and explain my mistakes, I love Grand Theft Wiki. To get back on topic, I was one of the people who thought the michelle page dhould redirect to here, in fact, im the person who created the page and redirected it. But when Eganio explained the problem to me, i changed sides

Biggest gta fan ever 09:04, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Definitely agreed. I find GTW to be far more community-based, unlike Wikipedia, which always seemed to be the "encyclopedia anyone can long as admin approves." :-P EganioTalk 10:00, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Alright, the discussion seems to have stalled, and nothing is being done about the spoiler. I think KalypsoSig's ideas on creating a page for Michelle are sound. I have removed the spoiler detail on the Michelle disambig page. What should be done is this: create a page for Michelle (IV) the girlfriend, on which only information about dating her while she's undercover should be present. Then, on this page, we can keep the appropriate details about her being an undercover agent, and should add a spoiler tag. The question is: do we link Michelle (IV) with this page, vice-versa, or both? I say we only link the Michelle (IV) page with this page, which will hopefully eliminate accidental blowing of Karen's cover for someone who still only knows her as Michelle. Thoughts? EganioTalk 20:31, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that we need to be sensitive to readers, but at the moment it is IMPOSSIBLE to link Michelle to Karen - anyone that wants to know the link can only do so if they know Michelle's name and go directly to that. Imagine doing research on girlfriends in GTA IV, and not being able to find out that Michelle exists, never mind any information about her. We definitely need a link to Karen from the Michelle Stone page, but it must be carefully worded.
A couple of days ago I added: Later in the game, you are introduced to Karen (page contains spoilers) - that is quite a sensitive link, and it doesn't reveal what the link between the two is. But if you know the secret, then it is obvious that that is where to read more about it. And if you want to know the secret, you can click on that to find it out. And if you don't want to know the secret, it doesn't give anything away - it hints at a connection to someone called Karen, nothing more.
I don't think you should go round undoing these edits without discussing it, especially on (evidently) such a sensitive topic. Can we make a decision on this? Gboyers talk 03:46, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi, Gerard. I understand your concerns, and apologize if you feel I have been autonomously dealing with this, but I was simply trying to do something, since the discussion had apparently completely stalled (I made the last comment, which was posted July 3rd). I'm happy to discuss all of this with any- and everybody, but it seemed like no one else was interested in resolving the matter, which is why I took the initiative. Besides, there still remained obvious confusion as to whether we needed a separate page for Michelle Stone (see edit history on both pages).
Also, I removed the line you inserted because I felt it to be too much of an obvious "trap" to a naive reader (sorry, I should have been more clear in the edit summary). Personally, I think we should not link to this article from the Michelle Stone article, as it offers too much of a propensity for people to have plot details spolied, as happened to KalypsoSig. As I see it, people are going to figure it out, one way or the other, either by clicking the link out of simple curiosity, or (more likely) by surmising why that line was even inserted into the article at all. Perhaps we can say, "Michelle has a secret revealed later in the game", or something indirect and deliberately cryptic like that. I'm just concerned that adding a link to here is far too obvious. Besides, anyone reading about Michelle most likely has not discovered her "alter-ego", or else they would be reading this article instead, since they would know by then that Karen and Michelle are one and the same. That having been said, I think the Michelle Stone article should only focus on that persona, whereas this article should allude to both. What do you think? EganioTalk 06:32, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the line made by Gboyers was a bit obvious, but if we mention the word secret it'll be more obvious, I don't think that there is any real answer to this. So I agree with you I guess Eganio. Biggest gta fan ever 06:53, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

I had made that addition only 3 days ago, so it isn't as if everything had stalled. You also failed to discuss your removal of that sentence, and simply reverted another user's edit without explanation. I also slightly feel that you are overestimating this plot development, due to you not having played GTA IV (I believe). Yes it is a surprise, and yes it totally re-establishes an entire character; but it is only halfway through the storyline that this is revealed, and it doesn't affect anything else. Yes we should protect people from finding out if they don't want to know, but if they DO want to know then we should allow them to find out.

By removing all traces of Karen from the Michelle article, we are adopting the "we know best" mantra - we are saying that our users are not allowed to know this information for their own good. We should give THEM to choice to read on if they want to. Obviously that needs to be done in a sensitive way. For example: "Michelle has a secret which is revealed in the mission [[Mission Name]]" - that doesn't expose her identity or the fact that she has another one; users that want to find the Karen page know thats where to lookl; and users that want to know her secret (even if they dont know it yet) have the option to find out. It is not for us to decide what to tell our readers - I am totally against witholding information, but I'm fine for hiding it sensitively.

I have protected both articles due to a small edit war that had been going on previously, and to ensure no spoilers or links are added until a decision has been made. Gboyers talk 12:57, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps I am overestimating the plot development. I will therefore leave this to people with experience in the game, as I obviously do not have a firm grasp of the situation. Considering what you said about not withholding information from our readers (with which I absolutely agree), the line you put in earlier that I removed sounds fine to me. Sorry for making a mess. EganioTalk 21:22, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Eganio contacted me for my opinion on this dicussion. As I have already stated, I believe that the Michelle article should be redirected to Karen. There is a spoiler warning on the front page, which warns all users that there are likely to be spoilers on articles. I think there should be no reference to the Karen character. If you are going to separate the pages on the basis of the spoiler, why are you then re-adding the spoiler? Even the word secret is a spoiler and should, really, be removed, if this is to remain separate. Otherwise, just redirect to Karen. As a compromise, why not add a list of the missions she is in under a header. This would allow readers to actually read-up on the missions before getting there, whilst not having no idea about the spoiler. Thoughts? A-Dust 17:00, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I have to strongly disagree with your contention that we should simply redirect Michelle Stone to Karen. Because Michelle is a separate, distinct girlfriend earlier in the story, there should be some information regarding her dating proclivities, as I see it. How is someone supposed to find out about her preferences as "Michelle" if there is no article for that persona? If there is the option of prematurely learning her secret identity, there should also be the option of not doing so. What does everyone think? EganioTalk 21:22, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
He meant move all the content across too, not just delete it. But that would be worse than a direct link to Karen for spoilers. His second suggestion of listing the missions is closer to my idea of linking to the mission in which her identity is revealed, but blatently stating that there is a secret/spoiler at that link. Gives people the choice, not forcing them to find out, and not stopping them finding out. If we do either of those, its not living up to our aims. Gboyers talk 21:51, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Okay, here goes:
My feelings on this subject are mixed; we do have a spoiler warning on the front page, specifically for this reason; since we strive to document all details of the games, there will inevitably be spoilers on our pages. However, we do not want to alienate readers who come to our site mid-game for tips. We would lose many readers and editors if we expected them all to play the games through completely before visiting our site.
Therefore, I definitely think we should have two separate articles, because (as was stated earlier) many readers may simply want to find out Michelle's dating preferences, and should not be redirected to a page titled "Karen", because that does not give the reader an option; it forces them to learn the spoiler.
Revealing that Michelle has a "secret" is a spoiler. Readers should not be forced to learn that she has a secret. Similarly, adding a note that "Niko later meets Karen" on Michelle's page makes it obvious that the spoiler is related to Michelle. However, since we strive to document all details of the game, someone reading Michelle's page should have the option to learn everything there is to know about her.
Consequently, it seems to me the best option would be to include a list of "Related Missions", and place a note next to The Snow Storm stating that the page contains spoilers. This would prevent any readers from being forced to learn the spoiler (would in fact prevent the reader from being forced to learn that Michelle has spoilers related to her), while still giving readers the option to learn the spoilers, since any reader reading a mission page should be prepared to learn spoilers related to that mission. --GuildKnightTalk2me 22:13, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

That makes sense, although I don't see any way around the spoiler issue...any way we slice it, we have to alert readers to the fact that there is a spoiler related to Michelle Stone. Adding related missions, with one having a spoiler tag attached, is a spoiler in and of itself, just as saying she has a "secret", or just as putting in a line about her being related to Karen. It seems to me that either we don't include any information about the link between Michelle and Karen (which I now realize is defeating our purpose, as Gboyers mentioned), or we necessarily add some content that contains spoiler information. It seems to me the best option might be one line, in the interest of not making it too obvious, but also not making it so readers can't find the info. Having said that, as much as I cringe at the thought, I think the best option is to just do what Gboyers did with the Michelle article, i.e. a simple line stating that Michelle is related to Karen (with the requisite spolier warning). Thoughts? EganioTalk 22:30, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

I disagree; placing a spoiler "warning" next to a link to a mission does not seem (to me, anyway) obvious that the spoiler is related to Michelle. However, as long as we give the readers the option of learning the spoiler, without forcing them to, it's fine with me. --GuildKnightTalk2me 22:41, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, as you mentioned, anyone reading a mission article should be prepared for spoilers, so why would we put it next to a link to the mission article as well? Wouldn't that make it obvious, when only one mission has a spoiler warning attached under a separate article? I think our readers are smarter than you're giving them credit for. :-P EganioTalk 22:45, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I do see your point. Gboyers suggested having a ==Related Missions== header, with a note underneath, "This is a list of missions related to Michelle. Bear in mind that mission pages may contain spoilers." I think that would work better. --GuildKnightTalk2me 23:22, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

My friend finished GTA IV in a week and was constantly telling me things that I didn't want to know. One of these things was the Michelle secret. While I was unhappy to know about the plot, It didnt affect anything else (as Gboyers said above). I think that we need to be sensitive about it, but not too sensitive, like has been mentioned several times, our job is to give every bit of info, we can't avoid spoilers, and while I have gotton many from this site, I don't blame the site, I blame myself for reading it. Biggest gta fan ever 06:52, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Don't get me wrong with the above post, I have changed sides in that I do now beleive that there should be 2 articles, but I agree with Gboyers that we can't hide info from the readers, while I stick too that it shouldn't be too obvious (like I said in my reply to Eganio earlier) but there is no unobvious answer. We just need to choose the the least sensitive line. Biggest gta fan ever 07:36, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I have come up with the possibilly perfect way of linking the Michelle page here. Somewhere on the Michelle page it could say:

This is the page about how Michelle is origionally met, and is also about dating Michelle. For the full main story part that Michelle plays, click here. (Page contains Spoilers)

That way, people looking for Karen would know that that's where to go, people looking for info about Michelle will know that this page will contain info about future story and so won't click it. Thoughts? Biggest gta fan ever 07:56, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

That sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I would suggest perhaps rewording it as
This article is concerned with the initial encounter between Niko Bellic and Michelle. For further plot details concerning this character, see here (contains spoilers).
What does everyone else think? EganioTalk 02:16, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I partially disagree with that one, because the link is to Karen, and anyone can see that by hovering over it or editing the page, and that makes it obvious that Michelle = Karen. I still think the best way of linking is through the mission in which she gets revealed. Something like "Michelle's secret is revealed in Mission" or "Michelle's last appearance is in Mission" (which sounds like she dies/leaves). Gboyers talk 09:23, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Now that I think about it, I totally see that problem. Now i'm not in any way trying to convince you, i'm just offering possible solutions. What if we created a page something like Michelle (IV) Story. That could be what the link goes to and so what is seen when hovering over the link, but that page could redirect to Karen. The reason I like this idea is that it doesn't mention any secret or any reason for another page besides story spoilers (which no one wants) Biggest gta fan ever 09:56, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The problem with it looking innocent is that people might click it without realising it holds a spoiler. However we choose to do it, if it says "spoiler" or "secret", people know that if they go there they will find out the secret, and they can choose not to go there if they don't want to know. If it just links to another page, they might click that, accidentally reading the secret (which is a lot worse than reading the fact that there is a secret).
For the same reason, I think "spoiler" is better than "secret", as it is more specific (its a plot spoiler) and isnt quite as tempting. I still think that a mission is a perfect way to do this, because everyone knows that it will contain very specific plot details and won't read it unless they want to know something about that. I have rewritten The Snow Storm for this purpose.
I think we all agree that there SHOULD be a link between the two, so long as it is done in a sensitive manner. Gboyers talk 01:30, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Just let me make sure you understood exactly what I meant, it could still say:
This article is concerned with the initial encounter between Niko Bellic and Michelle. For further plot details concerning this character, see here (page contains spoilers).
The click here could lead to Michelle (IV) Story and then redirect to Karen. It wouldn't look too innocent because it is to a page concerned with the story and so obviousley contains spoilers of the future story (and thats why it's on a different page) and at the same time wouldn't say secret, or show that it links to Karen. And people won't click it for the wrong plot points because there aren't any other ones, she only appears in the story twice, when you meet her and when she becomes Karen, so they will know that all info on that page will be future info. Thank You for taking the time to read my idea again, I know i'm probabilly annoying. Biggest gta fan ever 01:43, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

The problem that I see with the mission thing is that people will know that something special happens in that mission, my idea doesn't allude to that. Biggest gta fan ever 01:46, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

I do understand, I just see no reason for another page just to explain Michelle's story. We have the mission The Snow Storm which explains when Michelle is revealed, so why not use that? I would suggest the article either list all of Michelle's missions (and say "These may contain spoilers"), or just link to the snow storm saying something similar to "Michelle stops being Niko's girlfriend in The Snow Storm".
Redirecting any page to Karen is bad, because the first line of that page gives away the secret. any "Michelle's Story" page should be readable by people who want to read about the START of her story - just like the Michelle (IV) page should be readable by anyone. We can't give away the secret to people who don't want it, which is the entire point of these discussions. If you read The Snow Storm, it is revealed at the end of the walkthrough, after being clearly marked with spoiler tags. That is where you would expect to find plot details, and it doesnt look suspicious on the Michelle page.
And thanks for participating in these discussions, this is exactly what a talk page is for, and is exactly how we should make decisions on this wiki. Gboyers talk 02:14, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Alrighty, soo... How's about, the first sentence of the page says,

"Michelle is Niko Bellic's first girlfriend in Grand Theft Auto IV. Niko dates her until The Snow Storm."

It gives access to the spoiler, but doesn't give too many hints, only that Niko will stop dating Michelle for a reason that would be explained on that mission page. --GuildKnightTalk2me 02:41, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

If we're going to use the mission idea, that's the best way. Good idea GuildKnight. Biggest gta fan ever 06:54, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Done. Everyone happy? Thanks for a very good (if tricky) discussion, I'm impressed. Gboyers talk 11:26, 8 August 2008 (UTC)