Template talk:CharacterProfile

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Before this starts getting used: could a field for fandom be added to the template? ETA: Also, yay for these new categories! \o/ --Arduinna 06:05, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the template is in use already, but I added the fandom field. While we're looking at this template, what sort of information, if any, belongs in the "other" field?--æthel 22:29, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Proposing deletion of "Status" line

The Status section in the infobox that is filled in with "Dead" or "Alive" doesn't make sense to me. It starts the page with a major spoiler, and its meaning is unclear. The way the section currently works, if a character dies in the finale of a show their status changes to dead, regardless of them being alive for most of canon and the fandom's existence. If a character in a show dies and is later resurrected, their status has to be updated as the new canon comes out. And does Han Solo count as dead, since he survives the series that he's the main character of, but dies years later? This can be explained more fully in the Canon section in the page's contents. It's not information that's automatically relevant fandom either, and again if it is it can be explained more fully in the contents.

I suggest the Status line be removed from the template's code so that it'll no longer show up on any pages. —caes (talk) 02:07, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

+1 I completely agree. I've often had the same frustration/confusion with the "status" and I don't see why highlighting that canon information is relevant to Fanlore? Same with "Occupation", "Title/Rank", and "Location"...I know these are common fan wiki sections in infoboxes for characters, but does it add any information about the fandom? And how do I fill the template out for a character who has several changes in occupation, title/rank, and location during canon? I feel the same way about this, although to a lesser degree, about the "Relationships" section. - Hoopla (talk) 02:45, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree as well about the status field. I don't think it really adds much to the articles. Regarding occupation, title/rank, and location, I think the general practice is if there have been multiple different values, to just list them all. Occupation, I'm thinking might be helpful for someone who's unfamiliar with the character to get a quick, high-level sense of what the character is about (e.g. "smuggler", "journalist", "superhero", etc.). Title/rank seems less helpful (of the handful of character I articles I glanced at just now, most of them have this one blank). Location, might useful for the cursory user to discern at a glance, "okay, is this character from a modern real-life universe setting, a futuristic space fandom setting, a fantasy setting?..." etc. Relationships, might be helpful for more wiki interlinking. e.g. "Oh, I forgot that person's name, but he's the brother of this person whose name I do remember..." (Not that character coverage on this wiki is particularly comprehensive or anything...) - Ununseti (talk) 05:37, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
I agree with all of the points above. Especially status. These descriptors are all nebulous and canon-centric anyway. Fanlore isn't a place for fans to learn about those things; there are other resources for that stuff. --MPH (talk) 13:48, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

I think "Title/Rank" can also be removed. That info easily fits into Occupation. —caes (talk) 01:48, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

I agree that status should probably be deleted, and merging Title/Rank with Occupation makes a lot of sense -- Kingstoken (talk) 15:08, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

Location

I am not necessarily saying we should delete this one, because sometimes it is very easy to answer, where I sometimes have a problem is a character that is in multiple canons or there are multiple iterations of, for example Superman, depending on which version of Superman you are discussing will depend on where he is located. For characters like this I usually just leave it blank, but I thought I would bring attention to it since we talking about issues with the infobox -- 15:24, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

Honestly, I think we should delete this, as I don't really see the use of knowing where a character is located. A character's location can also change a lot over the course of a story/canon, so are we talking about the most recent iteration? What about canons that span a wide variety of media? I can't think of a single good argument to make for this field so I would advocate for removing it. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 23:40, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that it can be hard to pin down and isn't relevant information. —caes (talk) 19:21, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Proposing additions to template

There's a lot of agreement that the current infobox doesn't have relevant information, so I think we should propose new sections to replace them. —caes (talk) 19:16, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Role

I suggest a Role section that states how central a character is to the canon. It would be filled with Main Protagonist, Protagonist, Main Antagonist, Supporting Character, Minor Character, Unseen/None, etc. If a character is in multiple canons it can be specified, e.g. for Han Solo - "Role = Protagonist of Star Wars original trilogy." All the canon in which he's a minor character will still be covered in the Fandom section. A character's presence in canon seems to me like relevant context to their popularity and what their fandom is based on. —caes (talk) 19:16, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

I think this certainly sounds like a useful piece of information to track. As a point of comparison, I kind of like what they have over on the Touhou Wiki (example). Some roles I've seen there: "Main Character", "Secondary Character", "Background Character", "Minor Character", "Cameo", "Playable Character", "Possible Opponent", "Final Boss", "Extra Stage Boss", "Stage 1 Boss", "Stage 2 Midboss", etc. Though, a character's role varies depending on which part of canon we're talking about (e.g. the main character in one series can be just a side character in the spin-off). So what if instead of stating the role directly, we put the role in parentheses next to the relevant work/fandom? Maybe this could go in a new "Appearances" section, or perhaps we could adapt the "Fandom" section for this purpose? This could be adjusted to be more specific or general as the situation requires (e.g. "Star Wars" (main character) or "Star Wars Original Trilogy" (main character) or "Star Wars IV: A New Hope" (main character).
I think it would be nice if we could get a closer parallel between the character/fandom relations on the wiki here and the character/fandom tag hierarchy over on AO3. - Ununseti (talk) 21:57, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
While I like the idea of specifying which canon the character is a main/side/whatever character in, I'm thinking that could get very complicated for some universes that span a lot of different media and storylines, like comics. Take Daredevil as a random example - what would he be a "main" character in? Any comic series starring him, I assume, but also the Netflix TV series of the same name - does this tell the reader anything they didn't already know about Daredevil? I think this idea of main/side characters works for certain media, like isolated films, novels and video games, but not so much for others, like big, interconnected film universes and comics.
Also, fandom subjectivity comes back into play here - a one-note side character might be hugely popular in fandom. And while their status as a one-note side character is definitely relevant in that scenario, the page will be able to explain that fact and situate it in context. I'm inclined to agree with what Kingstoken wrote down in the Related Pages discussion: infoboxes are supposed to be short and concise, just highlighting a few key points concerning the fandom of the character, anything more should be in the article itself.
Ununseti, I'm curious about what you said about getting a "closer parallel" between character/fandom relationships here and on AO3? Can you elaborate on what you mean and why you think Fanlore should be closer to AO3? I'm pretty automatically wary of any suggestion that Fanlore should imitate AO3 as we're a wiki and not a fanworks archive, so we have different considerations that we need to bear in mind around page organisation and naming. But I'd like to understand what you're suggesting, first. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 00:02, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
i think the "role" section could be better suited if it was merely a fanon/canon fill-in? that seems more relevant to fanlore and while there's some strange edge-cases (RK900 comes to mind, being as he technically APPEARS in canon but the character as written is entirely fanon) i think it would be nice for technical ocs that have filtered into general fanon - such as Tony Stark's toaster, which comes from scifigrl47 but is basically an established character in mcu fic now. or Matt the Radar Technician where people immediately adopted the character as fanon, even though he's from an snl skit. it's also information i would actually like to know at a glance, because it puts the whole page into context. - flyingthesky (talk) 18:22, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
Re:enchantedsleeper, I was thinking if a character is the main character in anything that should be the main takeaway. For Daredevil I'd put on Matt Murdock's page "Protagonist of Daredevil Comics, Protagonist of Daredevil (TV series), Main Character of The Defenders (Netflix TV series)" and any others where he's the focus that I'm missing. I don't think it would be necessary to include any of the various comics where he's part of an ensemble. Then for a minor comic character it would be apparent that they're a minor character because their roles would only list "Minor Character in XXXX."
flyingthesky, Are you suggest that the role be filled in with Fanon/Canon? Like as an example how would RK900's role be filled out? I feel like there are proportionately too few fanon characters to justify that. For RK900 I'd put "Role = Minor/Cameo Character in DBH". —caes (talk) 19:10, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
see, "minor" implies that RK900 is a character at all and "cameo" implies that there's some outward reason why RK900 is significant. god being briefly played by neil gaiman on lucifer is a cameo. rapunzel showing up in frozen is a cameo. RK900's appearance is literally (1) scene that's under 2 minutes where he neither speaks nor has a technical name. most playthroughs of the game will never unlock the RK900 scene so in that sense RK900 is more of an easter egg, which for me tracks more with fanon than canon. i would say something like "appears in canon, fanon personality." because fanlore is a fan wiki, i think that documenting these types of fanon characters and the like is more important for us than pages for most canon characters is. there are characters like Draco Malfoy, for example, where there's naturally a lot to say that isn't direct canon information, but a lot of character pages tend to toe the line on whether they're appropriate for fanlore because they mainly end up being canon information. saying there aren't "enough" fanon characters is mostly proof that we're lacking a type of content on the wiki. - flyingthesky (talk) 23:28, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Related Pages

I think that the Relationships section should be replaced with/renamed Related (as in the tropes infobox or Related Pages for clarity. I think linking to other important characters on character pages isn't a bad idea (like Ununseti mentioned above, it's good to encourage wiki interlinking!) but I think that it would be more useful if it were more of a general section. E.g., I think pages like Harry Potter (character) could benefit from less links to other character pages and more links to pages like Slytherin!Harry and Dark Lord Potter.

We could just add this section in addition to Relationships but...info boxes can already get really long with lists of every character the character is related to in the infobox? - Hoopla (talk) 00:10, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

Hmmmm. The way I see it, "Relationships" is like a bag containing the characters most relevant to/most frequently interacting with the current character (analogous somewhat to the "Relationships" section on the tag page for a Character on AO3). Other fandom wikis often have something like this in their own character wiki templates (other formatting schemes I've seen include: "Relatives/Friends/Enemies/Love interests", "Relative(s)/Friend(s)", "Family members/Romances", "Family", and "Affiliated"). By the principal of least astonishment, I think it makes more sense to keep the "Relationships" section the way it is.
For the specific examples you brought up, perhaps a better idea would be to put them a new optional section called "Variants" or "Alternate Versions" or "Common Tropes" or something. On AO3, unlike other character tags, concepts like "Slytherin!Harry" or "Dark Lord Potter" are often made subtags or synonymous tags, so I feel like it's better if visual distinction on the infobox here.
Hm but I guess there are also things like Team 7, which would be like a supertag of sorts to a character like Uzumaki Naruto. Then, another section for superset-style relationships? Would shipping pages go in here as well?... I may be overcomplicating things :P
Ah, and I wouldn't worry about the infoboxes being too long. I don't think we're anywhere near this length yet, so we should be fine, probably. - Ununseti (talk) 02:36, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
Actually I'm a fan of having both a "Relationship" and a "Related Pages" line, they both make sense, but not all characters are going to have their own page, like you can say that Character A has a cousin, because the character mentioned them, but if we never see the cousin in canon then it not worth it to probably create a page for that character -- Kingstoken (talk) 15:18, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
I do find the "Relationships" field a little odd for us as a fannish wiki because, unlike the example wikis that Ununseti linked above, our emphasis is on fandom and not on canon info. So, something like a character's canon romantic interest seems a bit irrelevant in fandom where all ships are fair game. (I mean, we do note whether a ship is canon or non-canon on its page but it seems less relevant to a character who could be in any number of different ships). Family relationships I guess are more relevant, but even then - the wiki isn't designed as a repository for canon info. So I would be inclined to agree with Hoopla in that I don't think we need that info listed on the page. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 17:11, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
Then, perhaps instead of documenting canon relationships, the "Relationships" section would be better adapted for listing the common fanon relationships? Both / and & types. Most character pages I've seen usually have a "Shipping" section in the main article; maybe the "Relationships" section could be a high-level overview of said ships. Though it would be a bit unclear if we should link to the shipping article or the character article.
...Huh. I was searching to see if there were any good ideas on other fan wikis, and I didn't know there was a Shipping wikia o.o Ununseti (talk) 18:41, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
(Sorry, my reply got delayed by Yuletide and general holiday busy-ness!) Yup, there's a wikia for basically everything xDD
The problem I have with listing common fanon relationships is that these can change a lot over time as the size of a fandom changes and ships wax and wane in popularity - I think that infobox information should be fairly static, and so not something that will need constant updating. It can also be difficult to determine what constitutes a "common" or "popular" ship for that character - for example, Harry Potter, where Harry is shipped with basically everyone and the fandom sprawls across all kinds of different archives and fansites - which would be the definitive "most popular" ships for Harry?
I'm just really not sure that info on "relationships" is relevant to a character full stop, because if you go the canon route then it's canon-heavy trivia that isn't that important to Fanlore, and if you go the fanon route, it's highly subjective and would probably wind up being less than useful to the reader. But I do think it makes sense to have some kind of "see also" section which can list team pages or the like, as with your Team 7 example above. My preference would be for a "Variants" or "Tropes" field for the character tropes, and then "See Also" which can list related pages that encompass this character, but doesn't have to be a definitive list of say, ships or relatives. And then it can be adapted depending on the character and what's appropriate to that fandom. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 12:50, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree with what enchantedsleeper is saying about putting fanon relationships in the infobox, because it's very subjective and could cause quite a bit of debate. I'm fine if everyone wants to get rid of the relationship line altogether, because we usually have a more in depth pairings section in the article. I'm not sure if I'm a fan of "Variants" or "Tropes" for the character infobox, I'm not sure it quite fits the context of a character page. Overall, I'm hoping we don't add too many fields, infoboxes are supposed to be short and concise, just highlighting a few key points concerning the fandom of the character, anything more should be in the article itself -- Kingstoken (talk) 15:57, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
I feel very strongly that the template should be very short and not include "relationships" for all the above reasons. Those things can be addressed in the body of the article, as can tropes and such. --MPH (talk) 18:56, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that fanon relationships are too subjective to go in the infobox. I also think including tropes and variants would quickly get messy, because again that's subjective and except for extremely popular characters like Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, we don't usually have a separate page dedicated to a different fanon/headcanon/AU version of them. It would either be filled with red links or would take away from info that should just be included in the body of the page. —caes (talk) 19:14, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
All valid points, and I agree - especially re: red links for the trope pages, I hadn't thought about that. Last question: do we still want to have some kind of "See Also" catch-all field like the "Other" field that the template currently has, or do we think it would be too vague and not get used? If we don't want one, then I think we might as well take "Other" out as well. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 19:58, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for contributing to the discussion about changes to make to the CharacterProfile template. We'll be removing the following fields: "Status," "Location," and "Title/Rank" (information which can be listed under "Occupation"). Since a clear consensus was not reached regarding adding a "Role" field or changing the "Relationships" field, we won't be actioning either of those fields at this time. If you have an opinion to share, please continue to weigh in with your thoughts about these fields so that we can reach a decision! Stephanie Godden (talk) 19:47, 23 November 2020 (UTC)