Sometimes the most interesting stories start not with a hook, but with a government-ordered file number. Such is the case with most stories on the niche SCP Foundation Wiki, a site that parodies government websites. The wiki is a fictional catalog of cool people, places and things, and the stories that surround them, à la “The X-Files.”
Some bizarre stories include a woman who can stick her hands into photos, an alternate-dimension version of the Foundation that is attempting to invade the multiverse and a giant unkillable lizard. The main story of the wiki is that “The SCP Foundation” attempts to capture these beings and keep them secret from the world. To keep a record of these beings, they catalog them on the wiki, which is designed to appear as a secret government website.
Those who would make comparisons to the somewhat more mainstream Creepypasta wiki — another site that lists scary events and things — would not be wrong to do so. Both sites use the Wikidot website platform, a collection of forums and pages that catalog information on a number of topics. They also both have thousands of writers who use them as outlets for their creativity — and both stem from horror themes, referencing urban legends and popular science fiction. However, any person who has visited both wikis would see glaring differences between the two. The Creepypasta wiki has a low standard for the written works on the site, which leads to many poorly written, repetitive stories. In contrast, admins who run the SCP wiki are quick to criticize or even remove works they view as “not up to par” or unoriginal, and the community itself views the entire wiki as an opportunity for all members to improve their writing skills. Many people revise their stories and SCPs after posting them on the site’s main logs. This striving for originality and constant improvement can lead to an amazing reading experience, as writers will expand their stories into other genres such as action and drama. When it comes to expanding on cliché ideas in interesting ways, this wiki gets a passing grade.
The wiki is also open to new readers, with full book-length stories that are often made to introduce new readers to the “SCP Lore.” These stories include diverse casts of characters, such as members of the LGBTQ+ community and diverse races. Stories can include lesbian witches, nonbinary wizards and transgender wendigos. I guarantee that if you can imagine it, one of the nearly 1,000 writers on the wiki has written something like it. Also, if you are looking for a more audio-based introduction to the community, there are plenty of YouTube channels explaining and reading the wiki to listeners.
The community is quite cohesive, as writers and readers are often very accepting of each other’s so-called “headcanons” — or personal interpretations of characters and stories — in the universe, with the phrase “no real canon” getting thrown around a lot when discussing things and events in the “Foundationverse.”
There has only ever been a few problems with writers not respecting admins, and in those situations, writers were banned and articles were removed. When it comes down to it, the SCP community has weathered any and all drama that has come its way, and shows no sign of ending this pattern in the future. If you are looking for a stable fandom to join, with a welcoming attitude towards new readers and writers, this is the place for you.
However, any person who has visited the SCP wiki will see a problem that community support cannot fix. The site is frustrating to navigate. Like many wikis, the SCP Foundation wiki isn’t made in a creative way, and is built from a cookie-cutter framework. Also, the admins and most people in the community aren’t exactly skilled when it comes to site design. This, combined with the sheer amount of information that is saved on the site, makes it dense and difficult to navigate. For this reason, I would give the site a failing grade for ease of navigation.
As I’ve said before, if you have a certain reading itch you want to scratch, be it sci-fi, fantasy, horror or any other niche fiction theme, you will most likely find it on the SCP Wiki, as long as you are willing to search for it.