Forums: War Room Developing a Canon Policy
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A new Continuity policy will be created.

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Sorry, I couldn't come up with a better title. Essentially what this attempts to achieve is soundly creating a definition of what the wiki considers canon, vs which articles would be marked for containing non canon information. This is based off of a discussion I had with Lostris and Korra2000, which you can see here. Here is essentially a list of rules I feel would work when the whether or not information is verifiable is in question.

Canon until proven otherwise - This is the essential line to work with, I believe. I think that this is the easiest way to suggest that something is canon. I'd argue we already largely use this logic in practice-- it's how we decide whhether information from sources like Avatar Extras is canon or not.

In order for something to qualify, it would have to be officially licensed - so no, not anybody's fanfiction cannot be considered canon. It also can not conflict with any other canon material whose identity as canon is unquestionable (eg, graphic novels or episodes). By this logic, the Avatar video games would then be non-canon, since they conflict with episodes.

What would this change? I believe Korra mentioned the trading card game, (which I'm not familiar with much at all), but provides information that does not conflict with canon and can help expand the universe. I think that such information should be considered canon. I'd argue the same logic should apply to the pro bending board game that's upcoming as well. If anybody has any objections or anything they'd like to add, please do so! Fire Pabu Sprite Ferret 18:57, October 11, 2017 (UTC)

I support this proposal. It's very much like what Wookiepedia does to reconcile the various levels of canon (they have something like five different levels of canon and so long as something at the bottom (e.g. a book) does not contradict with something at the top (e.g. the movies), it is canon). We already do this with the old version of how the Avatar Spirit was understood before Beginnings and the version after Beginnings. For the sake of having straightforward policy I'd suggest codifying it as four different levels.
E-level: This consists of information from the episodes themselves. This is the highest level of canon.
B-level: This consists of information from the licensed comic books, Art of the Animated Series books, and any other published materials.
I-level: This consists of information from interviews, blogs, and essentially information from people involved with the creation of the series but not officially licensed material and published material.
L-level: This consists of information from licensed sources but not necessarily sources with direct involvement from the creation team. Examples include video games, Avatar Extras, the website, etc.
I know my wording on I-level and L-level canon is probably not the best, and I'm definitely open to better wording, but I think in general this structure will keep things straightforward. Thoughts? Srijay K - TechFilmer 20:23, October 11, 2017 (UTC)
Technically, "canon" is anything that is in officially licensed materials, so anything that comes from Nickelodeon can be cited as canon on this wiki. However, Avatar Wiki editors historically conflates "canon" with "continuity", which is a set of events that is supposedly consistent with each other. Canon materials CAN have continuity conflicts (some of the biggest offender includes PoTC movie series and Bayformers). The pilot episode is technically canon but is not part of the "main continuity", of which its core is the original ATLA 3-season animated series.
Hence, the issue is not "what is canon" but "what is part of the main continuity". The common practice I have observed on this wiki is that "canon" is materials produced/licensed from Nick that involve and endorsed Mike and Bryan. My suggestion is that we use the term "main-con" instead of "canon", and have it include anything produced/licensed from Nick but if conflicts with ATLA animated series, make a note of it. — Hasdi Bravo • 23:00, October 11, 2017 (UTC)
I support the main proposal as well. I really like the idea of having a canon hierarchy and Tech's levels seem logical enough, but I do think we could make the wording a little more specific, and perhaps use tiers instead of coded levels to make the hierarchy distinctively clear.
Tier 1: Information originating from episodes of both television series.
i.e. episodes compiled from Book One: Water through Book Four: Balance.
Tier 2: Information originating from officially licensed works (e.g. publications, media releases) with direct involvement from the series' creators or creative team.
e.g. standalone single issue comics, graphic novel trilogies, and library editions of said trilogies; Escape from the Spirit World online game; Avatar: The Last Airbender—Legacy; boxed DVD set bonus features, etc.
Tier 3: Information originating from non-official or non-licensed works with direct involvement from the series' creators or creative team.
e.g. EW Weekly, Comic-Con, and miscellaneous fan-site interviews, blogs, and event transcriptions, etc.
Tier 4: Information originating from officially licensed works without direct involvement from the series' creators and/or creative team.
e.g. video games, Avatar Extras, website, etc.
I know the use of 'and/or' is overkill but what can you do? I've made slight changes to remove overuse of the phrase. Waterbending emblem Water Spout 23:15, October 11, 2017 (UTC)
This all sounds fine to me. One question I do have a bout a tier-based continuity/canon system is whether or not we should mark each individual source / page with information about its continuity tier, or if we should keep all of this information to a policy page which users can then look at later if they question whether or not something is canon. Fire Pabu Sprite Ferret 23:39, October 11, 2017 (UTC)
Well, if we are going for a tiered scheme, I suggest using CSS classes to mark anything that is not in the "main-con" so that a little JavaScript can hide (or highlight) anything from selected tier(s). e.g.
<div class="tier2-book tier3-blogs">Korra and Asami are romantically involved with each other.</div>
Idontknow.gif Does that work? — Hasdi Bravo • 00:03, October 12, 2017 (UTC)
I can support Spout's tiered system, it's a lot more simplistic haha, though I would replace those and/or-s with commas. I just borrowed the nomenclature from the way Star Wars did it- I'm not beholden to anything specific.
I personally do not think we need to mark information as being different levels of canon on each page. That just becomes tedious and frankly irrelevant to the average reader. I personally see it as belonging more on a policy page and being used only when there are two sources that conflict with each other (e.g. when Avatar Extras conflicts with a comic, since AE is Tier 4 and the comic is Tier 2, the comic would be considered part of continuity and AE would not). Essentially nothing would change from how we as editors would go about writing/editing, just our current, un-spoken practice would be written down. Srijay K - TechFilmer 01:52, October 12, 2017 (UTC)
Per Tech, I think creating a new policy page outlining how the wiki deals with canon/continuity would be sufficient. And I wouldn't be opposed to compiling a list of sources we consider canon/part of main-con in that policy page, to list within each tier's section. That way if edit wars do arise from conflicting sources, there's an easy resource to use as reference to see the hierarchy and find proper recourse. Waterbending emblem Water Spout 03:45, October 12, 2017 (UTC)
I think you guys have done a good job with all of this. I think that a policy page would be an excellent option for this. I don't think adding css classes is necessary, it'd just be a mess and hard to get them all. Tono555 Korra-chao2 03:58, October 12, 2017 (UTC)