and thanks for checking out our project!
are Diotima Productions, an independent film production partnership
of Philip Eldred, JJ Stein, and Ryan White. Joining us for this
project are Kate Izor, Zeen Rachidi and Bruno Tore. Read more about the filmmakers here.
About the Film
Encyclopedia Game" (www.encyclopediagame.net) is a quirky, character-driven documentary
about Wikipedia vandalism.
you may know, Wikipedia is the most used reference source in the
world, a free online encyclopedia that is more comprehensive and
complete than any encyclopedia that has ever been written. But it
also is vulnerable to vandalism because of its open format. Anyone
with internet access can edit almost any Wikipedia article, and this
fact is regularly exploited by people with disruptive intentions.
Why a film about Wikipedia vandalism?
film evolved from our encounters with a devoted Wikipedia vandal
whom we got to know while attending college. He is an eccentric
character, with a truly fascinating mixture of skills and motivations
that combine to create elaborate acts of misinformation and
The fact that Wikipedia is vulnerable to vandalism is well known, but
the vandals themselves, as well as their motives, and the true extent
of their activities, remain almost completely unknown.
we had the chance to get to know a notorious Wikipedia vandal named "Cognition" (click for video) very well, and
what we learned from him gave us a special perspective that we felt
compelled to share. We had become accidental experts on aspects of
Wikipedia that go largely unnoticed by the millions of people who use
it every day as a handy reference source.
we decided to make this film...
wanted to tell the stories of the people who vandalize Wikipedia.
do they do it?
How do they do it?
How often do they get away with it?
And, by getting to know these characters and their stories, we wanted
to share a glimpse of the inner world of Wikipedia, a distinct
community with its own peculiar culture, that most Wikipedia users
don’t even know exists.
knew one vandal already, but we wanted to get to know others, so that
we could get a real sense of the world of Wikipedia vandalism.
called out, through online communities that discuss Wikipedia, asking
for vandals to share their stories with us.
were initially hesitant, as can be expected. But many were also very
curious. Wikipedia vandals labor in anonymity, and for many, the
chance to share their stories was appealing. Slowly, as we had the
chance to prove ourselves, to show that we weren't just a bunch of
Wikipedia insiders posing as filmmakers as a way to trick vandals
into outing themselves, we received more and more cooperation.
Not all who are disruptive are vandals...
Although we will focus primarily on devoted and dedicated vandals, we will also get to know people who have been banned from Wikipedia merely for trying to tell the truth. Barry Kort is a retired MIT scientist who got banned after editing only 5 articles! Sometimes truth is the most disruptive force of all...
Now we are ready!
have been researching vandalism for over a year now, and what we have
learned is remarkable. We have discovered substantial acts of
vandalism that have gone unnoticed for months and years, intense
conflicts between rival Wikipedia editors, and even cases of
journalists and academics reporting as fact assertions that were merely invented by
have been in contact with scores of vandals, but the stories of a
handful of highly intelligent Wikipedians with very unique
perspectives stand out as particularly compelling.
we are ready to make this film a reality. We have all of the skills
and most of the equipment we need.
However, we do need
to raise at least $60,000 to proceed with production.
How do we plan to spend this money?
Some of our budget is devoted to expenses for
additional equipment, but most of our funds will be used for travel/logistical expenses.
we want to focus on the stories of only a handful of disruptive
Wikipedians, fully contextualizing their stories requires input from
several other contributors. And, because anyone with an internet
connection can use Wikipedia, those contributors are located all over
is why we must raise at least $60,000, which will allow us to film
the 12-15 contributors whose involvement is absolutely essential for
However, we have identified 53 contributors whose
input would likely enhance the project. In order to film them all, we
would have to raise at least $200,000. Although it is unlikely that
all 53 contributors would make it into the final cut of the film,
being able to include them all in the production would allow us to
paint a more complete picture of the world of Wikipedia vandalism,
and to make the film as interesting, compelling, and enjoyable as
possible. The idea would be to put the best of the footage into the film, then edit and release the rest as bonus material. We want to tell as much of the story as possible, while keeping the main film to around 90 minutes or less.
does Kickstarter work?
this is your first time supporting a Kickstarter project, it is
important that you know that we won’t get one penny for our project
unless we meet our $60,000 goal. If you make a contribution, your
money won’t leave your hands until the campaign is over and we have
successfully met our goal. If you make a pledge and we fail to make
our goal, then you will pay nothing.
This all or nothing
system may seem strange, but what it means is that, if you end up
supporting our project, you can rest assured that your support will
not go to waste. If we get any of your money at all, it will be
because our project has been fully funded, ensuring that we will have
the resources to complete the film.
is also what distinguishes Kickstarter from charitable fundraising.
When you support our film, you are not merely funding a worthy
project; you are actually paying for a finished product that you will
be able to enjoy.
do you get for your contribution?
offer rewards for contributions of $5 or more:
or more - You will receive a high definition digital download
of the finished film.
or more - You will receive a high definition digital download of the
finished film, as well as a digital download of selected clips that
did not make the final cut of the film.
or more - In addition to receiving digital downloads of the finished
film and select bonus clips, you will also receive your choice of a
DVD or BluRay disc containing the finished film and bonus material.
or more - You will receive a full-sized promotional poster, as well
as all previous reward tiers.
or more - You will receive a special thanks in the credits, as well
as all previous reward tiers.
or more - One of our contributors will write a Wikipedia article
about you! We cannot guarantee that the article will last very long,
but we will send you a screenshot of the finished article, as well as
all previous reward tiers.
or more - One of our contributors will creatively insert a reference
to you into the Wikipedia article of your choice. We cannot guarantee
that the edit will last very long, but we will send you a screenshot
of the finished edit, as well as all previous reward tiers.
or more - You will receive an Associate Producer Credit, as well as
all previous reward tiers.
or more - You and your guest will be given hotel accommodation for 2
nights in Sarasota, FL, as well as two tickets to a special party and screening
of "The Encyclopedia Game" hosted by the filmmakers, plus
all previous reward tiers. (Travel not included)
or more - BE IN THE FILM! We will document your Wikipedia story! We
will come to you and film you telling your story about Wikipedia for
one day. This is your chance to come clean about your own acts of
vandalism, to offer your critique of Wikipedia, or simply to rant on
film about whatever you want. Your footage may not make it into the
film (although it may), but it will be released as part of the bonus
materials packaged with the film. (Offer only for residents of North
America. If you are outside of North America, we will fly you to the
United States to be filmed.) Plus all previous reward tiers.
other ways can you help?
addition to making a pledge, you can help out by letting all of your
friends know about “The Encyclopedia Game.”
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a good way to spread the
word, and we would very much appreciate if you would link your
friends to our Kickstarter page at kickstarter.encylopediagame.net.
And don’t forget about all those people you actually see in real
life. Make sure to tell them about our project as well. Anyone who
relies on Wikipedia as a handy reference source will find "The Encyclopedia Game" to be interesting and enjoyable.
your help, we are going to make a film that will be zany, smart, entertaining, and important.
Thanks again for checking out our project!