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Bard

Bard the Bowman is pretty cool as far as dragon-slayers go... but does he really belong here?

Since this wiki was created, the rules on what is and what isn't allowed have changed a bit. But the core value of what the wiki is intended to hasn't. Far from being "only" a complement to ASW, or a place to "dump" the species that aren't "alien" enough to be accepted there, we have instead found our own identity, and our own focus. We are not only a wiki about "non-aliens". We are a wiki about "non-ordinaries", a place to document everything that inhabits and/or originates from Earth (or realities that are connected to Earth in some way), but that still doesn't quite fit within what most people perceive as "reality".

Under this definition, Non-Alien Creatures Wiki is a place for cryptids, for fictional and mythological species, fictional mutations and non-ordinary beings in general. Under normal circumstances we do not accept "real" species or characters that belong to real species, unless said characters happen to have strange, magical or supernatural abilities, to have been genetically-engineered or cybernetically-enhanced, or to be otherwise fundamentally distinct from real life members of their species, in a way that is more than a simple narrative convention. But there is currently one exception here which, in my opinion, demands a discussion.

Humans have a page.

Humans, of course, are a real species, and in theory, there shouldn't be a page for them here. The reason it has been deemed worth-keeping was that humans are a central theme in most of the world's mythologies and fiction. Honestly, having a page about humans here doesn't bother me (it's a pretty interesting page, really). But I do worry about the precedents it sets. The existence of this page has already been used to justify the inclusion of several other pages about "ordinary" humans who are not in any way distinct from real ones, but do qualify as fictional cultures and civilizations, such as the Skull Island natives or the Middle-Earth Men. More importantly, even individual characters from these cultures are being included, for instance: Bard. All of this may seem innocuous, but it might create problems in the future, and I do think we should have this discussion and decide once and for all which "ordinary" humans should be allowed here, and which ones shouldn't.

I also believe this discussion can be divided in two topics.

First Topic: the page about humans, the species. Should we keep it? I'm inclined to say yes. But on what terms? Is it because of the ways humans have been portrayed in myth and fiction, which is distinct enough from real life? In that case, would that apply to other real species as well? I don't think we should allow every real species to have a page (real species outnumber fictional ones by several orders). But there are other species which have been figured prominently in several myths. For instance, if someone creates a page about wolves, focusing on how wolves are portrayed in myth and fiction, should we keep that? I don't know. This is one of the things that must be decided.

Second Topic: the pages about fictional human cultures and civilizations. Now, obviously, there are some of these that are biologically distinct from real humans and therefore should definitely be here. The creatures from "The Eye of the Beholder" or A Centaur's Life are "human" in name only. Even the Gilaks, with their in-built "homing instinct" should definitely qualify as unusual. But what about the humans that are just... humans? The ones from Middle-Earth? The ones from Game of Thrones? The natives of Skull Island? If we allow pages for them (as we currently do), that means we can also have other such cultures, for example, several kinds of Atlanteans and such. Is that right? What else then? The Waziri tribe from Tarzan? I wouldn't mind that so far. Also, how about human cultures which developed in other worlds far from Earth, such as the Sevateem from Doctor Who? Well, not a problem, I think.

...However, the problem begins, really, when we try to define what a "fictional culture" is. Does every fictional country qualifies? Should we have, say, Latverians, or Ruritanians?

And there's another problem too. Technically, pretty much every work of fiction that is set in the future, or in alternate timelines, is set in a fictional culture. And since we currently allow not only the cultures themselves but also individual characters from them (such as Bard the Bowman)... how long is it before someone creates a page about, say, Captain Kirk? The Federation could definitely qualify as a fictional culture, so, under the current rules, Kirk should have a page here. And there are hundreds of human characters in Star Trek alone, let alone every work set in the future or in an alternate timeline. If we allow all of them, that means a ton of non-powered human characters being added to the galleries. Pretty soon things will get harder and harder to define. Users will wonder why Dr. McCoy and Rufus from Bill & Ted and Conan the Barbarian have pages but Batman doesn't. In my opinion, we lose too much focus if we allow that many "ordinary" human characters here.

But that's just my opinion. I really want to know what everybody else thinks. Should we keep on allowing individual humans from fictional culture backgrounds here? Should we only allow the cultures themselves but not individual characters from them? Should we only allow one page about the human species, and merge the "fictional cultures" pages into it? Or is there another solution that I'm not thinking of? What do you think?

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