I recently noticed that the character page for Bowser was not quite up to standards and took it upon myself to overhaul most of it, entirely rewriting certain portions and reorganizing the fanon appearances listed. However, in doing so, I took note of several things that I thought could be improved upon generally among canon character pages, and I would like to propose the establishment of a few new policies to make these pages provide a better resource for new users and to improve them in general. Here are my proposals for policies based on what I've noticed:
- Limit introduction paragraphs and infoboxes on character pages to canon information. For example, before the rewrite, Bowser's character infobox included information such as a relation to a deceased wife known as Clawdia Koopa, a character whose existence is little more than a rumor. There was also a notable abundance of unnecessary information, such as Bowser's key element being listed as "fire" or his birthplace being listed as "Koopa Kingdom" (neither of which I can actually find a reference for, even though they don't sound particularly unreasonable). The second introductory paragraph also listed several alternate forms of Bowser, including fanon ones such as Blossom Bowser and Black Quartz Bowser, and though these aren't examples of bad pages, I do think we should refrain from mixing them in with canon information in this manner. This would also mean any quotes at the tops of character pages would have to be canon ones, which I don't think is unreasonable.
- Do not add fanon information to canon character pages without substance. I was given permission to remove subsections of Bowser's fanon appearance section that were only one or two sentences long simply stating that Bowser is the main antagonist of the game in question, and I think it would make sense to not allow things like this on canon pages as they mainly serve as just advertisements for fanon pages. Similarly, there was a section on the page for fanon quotes, which I was also given permission to remove because I thought it was unnecessary.
- Separate canon and fan-made images in galleries on canon character pages. This one is fairly straightforward. I previously suggested this during the discussion involving recolors and put it into practice on the Bowser character page rewrite. The purpose of doing this would be for users who are trying to locate character images.
- Do not attribute canon images to fanon articles. I had to deal with this multiple times while looking through Bowser's gallery, and doing this may give users the wrong impression of whether an image is fanmade or not.
- Do not include broken file links when adding fanon information. I'm sure some of the broken file links on the Bowser page were simply there because the pages they linked to were deleted, but nevertheless, broken file links should be removed. If the game an entire section is dedicated to does not exist as a page, the section should be removed as well.
- Do not add navigation boxes to canon character pages. I expect this one might be a little more controversial than some of the other rules and I haven't removed the navboxes on Bowser's page yet because I haven't gotten permission to at the moment, but I think navboxes mostly only serve as advertisements for fanon pages, and there's not really a use for them. They've mostly only been here because people used them in the past, and, although they are hidden from pages by default now, I think it would make more sense to just remove them entirely as they essentially add as much to a page as the previously-mentioned two-sentence-long descriptions of the character's appearance in random fanon games.
I don't expect everyone to agree to all of these proposed policies unanimously, though I thought it would be worth proposing them. Hypothetically, these policies would not affect derivative canon character pages such as Palutena (Fantendoverse) or Mario (Calamity). If anyone has any comments to make on any of these proposals or even additional proposals to make on the subject, please comment below.