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Old 01-04-2009, 07:41 PM   #41
Milawe
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
Completely incorrect. Wikipedia accepts citations from books, newspapers, websites... all kinds of places, as long as the source is reliable.
This has been my experience in the current AfD discussion. Citations have been removed or discredited if there was no link. One editor says that the burden falls upon us to produce it. When one of the citations finally came back online, it was stated to be too insignificant. While it may be true that Wikipedia accepts citations from books, newpapers, websites, etc. it hasn't been true in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
Do not be afraid to name names, or I cannot help in achieving transparency.
Nizevyn was banned for being a sockpuppet. When it was discovered he couldn't really possibly be a sockpuppet, he was reduced to being a meatpuppet.

A request was also put in to ban Theblog for being a sockpuppet. He managed to fight it off somehow. I'd contact him and ask him how, but since I'm banned for being a sock/meat/spaghetti puppet, I can't really contact him.

I was banned for sockpuppeting, meatpuppeting, and posting in collusion. Pick one. I'm not sure which one they finally settled on. Requests for unbanning were met with hostility, aggression, and outright insults.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
It isn't a matter of 'not being good enough', it is a matter of 'not being reliable'. If you are the administrator of a site dedicated to MUDs, your fans love them and you know they want to hear nothing more than you write about them, then you are likely to be going to write about them from a biased point of view. This is not reliable. This is therefore inappropriate.
That would kind of make it so that any magazine or online forum dedicated to gaming unreliable. The people who are involved in gaming love games. They publish things about games. They review the games they play. Wouldn't that translate to movies as well then? If you get written up by someone who is a movie fan, would that mean that it's unreliable? Movies, comic books, video games... there's more volume in what people write about these but as a whole genre, not individuals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
Again, incorrect. I have never seen a published entry removed simply for being in a non-digital format. Actually, I have, but the editor was warned shortly after, and reverted.
Citations are removed, not the entire entry. Problem is that if you remove all the citations, then you can rock the entry for notability. And... what if your citations are in mostly digital format? If they're removed and the link breaks, what do you do then? I always assumed that's why Wikipedia has the notability clause written the way it does, so things do not have to keep proving its notability over and over. Otherwise, when something is no longer popular or doesn't have a ton of money behind it, does it just disappear?

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Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
Whilst I see your motive for saying such a thing, it is highly ignorant to say that a 'cabal' decides what is going on. Everyone on Wikipedia thinks there is a cabal too, so there more than likely isn't one at all. I am frequently a participant in deletion discussions, and help to decide the final outcome of the debate, but if there is a cabal I have certainly not recieved my honorary membership as of yet. (Lost in the post, maybe)
Here's the problem. While it may not be a cabal, you only need a few editors and administrators teaming up against a casual editor for the casual editor(s) to be bullied out of existence. When you have no idea who to turn to for help against that group and have no idea how big the group even is, you're done. You have no recourse. If you read the following link that I'm posting, you will see that many of the things that happened to him are mirrors of what happened during the Threshold AfD discussion, so while you may not be a part of the "cabal", they do form and rally.

Banning people who disagree appears very early.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
We have, actually, the problem is that we can't see what is going on behind an IP address - could be a whole school, and we do get that all the time. It's all a matter of perception.
Sorry, I was being sarcastic there. I did get unidentified as a sockpuppet and moved to the meatpuppet category instead. Maybe they've never heard of two people in the same household caring about the same thing before. (That was sarcasm again!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
That's exactly the antonym of what you should be thinking about. The question is are there multiple sources of reviews for these?
The point is that there are multiple sources for these already. They're just being discredited as notability sources.

Anyway, please don't take offense to the somewhat flippant tone of this post. I'm only trying to make light of it since I don't really think there's anything else I CAN do about it. So, I'm wallowing in it until I get over it.

Last edited by Milawe : 01-04-2009 at 07:46 PM. Reason: typos, dreaded typos
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #42
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

I was one of those who were blocked/banned from Wikipedia for trying to edit the article. I was banned by Black Kite (like every other person who was banned for working on this article) after editing once, and undoing edits of the person who put the article up for deletion, Mendaliv.

What is frustrating and annoying to me, is that Cambios gets slapped down partly for conflict of interest. Yet Mendaliv, who on his own userpage, claims to have played Threshold at one point or another. I fail to see how that cannot be a conflict of interest, him being a former player(possibly) and not only dissecting the original article from the quantity and quality of information down to the small thing that it is now, but also putting it up for deletion.

Others that irk me, are people like Greg Douglas, who wrote an extremely thoughtful and well put post, have their things removed and declared as being meat/sockpuppets. Below is a copy of the post written by Mr. Douglas, which Black Kite so thoughtfully deleted when he was banning both Kalimina and Greg Douglas.
  • Keep The Threshold entry should be kept for a whole host of reasons. Wikipedia policy is clearly in favor of keeping the Threshold entry, on numerous grounds:
NOTABILITY:
Computer Games Magazine, TheMudConnector, TopMudSites, Top Mud Sites - MUD and RPG Rankings - Mud Database, RPG & MUD Forums, MUD Articles, MUD Reviews, The Mud Journal, and CNET Gamecenter either are or were at some time major, reliable sources for online gaming news, reviews, and information. The fact that some of them no longer exist or are not as famous as they once were does not eliminate the fact that they are WP:RELIABLE. They definitely establish WP:GNG. Regarding "Reliable", WP:GNG specifically states: "Sources may encompass published works in all forms and media." This means printed or online media, even if they are out of print or are now offline are still reliable sources.
The WP:GNG page also states (WP:N#TEMP): "Notability is not temporary: If a subject has met the general notability guideline, there is no need to show continual coverage or interest in the topic."
1) The numerous sources already listed clearly establish that Threshold RPG was AT LEAST notable at one time, if not still notable. The sources themselves were notable at one time (and some are still notable) as well. Computer Games Magazine finally got itself back online, and one of their mentions of Threshold is now back as well.
2) Threshold already met the notability standard a few years ago when a request for deletion was made and rejected. It does not have to continually meet this standard every few years when someone decides to go on a crusade against MUDs in general or Threshold specifically.
3) Threshold is certainly one of the most significant games in the history of MUDs. That is established by the multitude of references and awards from within that industry. That has been established very clearly with citations to countless MUD/MMO related web sites and print media. It has won numerous awards, it is over 12 years old, and it is possibly the only commercial enforced RP MUD/MMO ever. If Threshold doesn't meet WP:N, then virtually the entire MUD hobby is not WP:N either. It would be patently absurd to argue the MUD hobby in its entirety is not notable. There was a time when MUDs were bigger than the WWW. There was time when MUDs were one of the driving forces behind the popularity of Linux and the evolution of open source software.
NOTABILITY IS *NOT* THE CONTROLLING ISSUE FOR DELETION:
Notability is sometimes a factor, but it is definitely not the only or most important factor when examining whether an article should be deleted. There are significant arguments throughout Wikipedia policy that non-notability should not be cause for deleting an article:
Wikipedia:Notability/Historical/Arguments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1) Notability is not specifically stated in the deletion policy.
2) Arguments against deleting articles for non-notability:
Valid content is deleted: The recent fundraising page says, "Imagine a world in which every person has free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." We are not doing that, indeed we are actively preventing that, if we are deleting articles solely due to their obscurity. "Detailed obscure topics hurt no-one because it's pretty hard to find them by accident, and Wikipedia isn't paper" (from Wikipedia:Importance). Further, currently obscure, or seemingly obscure, subjects may garner more popular interest at a later date. In such a case, deleted articles will constitute a loss of valuable (and perhaps, in the transitory world of the internet, irreproducible) information.
That last point is especially compelling here. The "transitory world of the internet" has indeed rendered some of the sources "irreproducable." Deleting the Threshold entry just contributes to that tragedy.
3) Arguments against deleting articles for non-notability:
Obscure content isn't harmful: Wikipedia is not paper and (practically) has no size limits, and so should include "everything" that fits within its other criteria. There is room for articles on any and every verifiable subject. There is no harm in including an obscure topic, because if it is truly non-notable, people simply won't search for it or link to it. It will not create a significant server load as such.
For these reasons, the reasons already stated by numerous other people here, and many additional reasons I have not gone into (I've written a book already), the Threshold entry should be KEPT. Greg Douglas (Top Mud Sites - MUD and RPG Rankings - Mud Database, RPG & MUD Forums, MUD Articles, MUD Reviews) 01:22, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:49 PM   #43
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Neurolysis: I understand you are a part of Wikipedia, care about it, and as such do not want to think it is run by a cabal of borderline internet-gangsters who do absolutely anything they want and bully "outsiders." But if you objectively look at the situation, it is obvious that is the case.

First, it is widely known that an extremely small number of Wikipedia editors do the majority of the editing. According to Jimbo Wales, founder of Wikipedia, a group of 1400 editors are responsible for 74% of the content and edits.

Second, look at that post from "blair." That reveals the sick truth of the matter. If we'd been "nicer" to him and his cronies, our article wouldn't be in trouble. Put aside for the moment that "blair" is saying people who spent the last 4+ years working on and editing the Threshold entry should have been all rainbows and butterflies when a random person shows up and starts gutting the article, removing 75% of the content, and from the get-go questions its notability and general worth as an article. The problem is people like "blair", "Mendaliv", "Black Kite", and others seem to think they are the Lords and Ladies of Wikipedia, and the peasantry should bow down and worship them whenever they appear. That kind of garbage is not what Wikipedia is supposed to be about.

Third, look at how the situation played out. Mendaliv shows up and starts gutting the article. The people who worked on it for 4 years objected, and restored information. But while restoring, they were also tracking down better citations and references. If Mendaliv's goal had truly been to improve the entry, then he would have let people KNOWLEDGEABLE about the topic continue. But instead, every time someone added back a section, with better references, it would get removed again and the person would get accused of "edit warring."

Over a period of weeks, Mendaliv would continually poke and prod at people, systematically undoing or removing anything they added or improved, and when they added it back, get his buddy Black Kite (a Wiki administrator) to ban them. If anyone else from the Threshold or MUD community decided to make an account to try and help out with improving the listing, Black Kite would ban them as "sockpuppets" or "meatpuppets."

Then, once they had just about everyone banned who was actively editing (in a positive way) the article on Threshold, they moved in with the AfD. There is NO WAY that timing was a coincidence. They waited until they had people most likely to make cogent arguments to KEEP it banned, and then proposed the AfD. That right there should be plenty proof that they never had a positive motive from the beginning, and that they were indeed acting like a "cabal."

Fourth, look at the AfD itself. Systematically, people who voted to KEEP were either banned as sockpuppets, flagged as accounts that rarely post on Wikipedia, or their EXTREMELY ON POINT AND VALID ARGUMENTS were moved to a crossed out box that was shifted to the bottom of the page and hidden. People I have known for 10+ years were accused of being sockpuppets of me, which is not only ridiculous but pointless since at that time I was banned and couldn't post on the AfD anyway. How can someone be a sockpuppet of someone else if the first person isn't even able to post?

I understand the need to deal with people who might make multiple accounts just to stuff the voting box, but go to that AfD and actually read what was posted by these supposed sockpuppets. The arguments made were extremely valid. Examples of things that were pointed out (with direct links to the policies and rules on Wikipedia)

1) TMC, TMS, GameCommandos, TMJ, and other sites are indeed legitimate historical sites for MUDs. Examples and citations were given, but then removed or dismissed out of hand.

2) Notability is not temporary.

3) Notability is not the controlling issue for deletion.

4) Donathin made a detailed argument about the historical significance of TMC, but at one point he was accused of sockpuppetry and his comment was removed. I believe it got restored eventually, but I am not sure as I haven't been back to the page in a while.

5) Donathin specifically asked for an explanation of what these "people" would need as proof that TMC/TMS were reliable sources about MUDs, and Mendaliv replied "the above comment has no bearing on this discussion, and probably should be moved to the talk page." Wow. Just wow.

6) Donathin provided information where Richard Bartle verified the utility and reputation of TMC, but they simply dismiss that as well. And then Crossmr adds this totally absurd comment: "Even if you can establish that mudconnector is reliable you need to establish how many people are actually seeing it to make a shot at it conferring notability." So its not just RELIABILITY that has to be established, but current POPULARITY, eh? Ridiculous.

7) Notability is not even listed in the actual "deletion policy" for Wikipedia.

8) Valid Content Should not be deleted: "Detailed obscure topics hurt no-one because it's pretty hard to find them by accident, and Wikipedia isn't paper"

9) Obscure content isn't harmful: "Wikipedia is not paper and (practically) has no size limits, and so should include "everything" that fits within its other criteria. There is room for articles on any and every verifiable subject. There is no harm in including an obscure topic, because if it is truly non-notable, people simply won't search for it or link to it. It will not create a significant server load as such.''

Those are all extremely good and important points that should be made and at least read by the admin who will eventually decide on the AfD. But instead of letting the argument stand or fail on its own merits, Black Kite sweeps in, declares the posters of those arguments sockpuppets, deletes their arguments, and bans the people who posted them.

I feel confident that the goal of the sockpuppet/meatpuppet rule was to prevent mindless ballot box stuffing. I highly doubt the rule was created so administrators would have an easy access, all purpose tool for banning people who made arguments they didn't like. Especially when the reason they don't like them is because they are GOOD ARGUMENTS that could potentially make the final decision go against their wishes (in this case, the deletion of the entry).

Last edited by Threshold : 01-04-2009 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:07 PM   #44
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Regarding the Canvassing issue: This is just another example of the aforementioned cabal protecting its turf. If the situation wasn't so disgusting, I'd be able to laugh about how the Wiki community has cleverly placed roadblocks all over the place to make sure only HARD CORE members of their community will ever have a say in things. It reminds me of when I practiced law. Lawyers make sure the law is crafted in such a way that it is nearly impossible for a non-lawyer to do much of anything. The fill it with ridiculous terms like "fee simple subject to a condition subsequent, with a springing reverter", and "Res ipsa loquitur" instead of just "the thing speaks for itself." The system is cooked from the beginning, and it is a shame Wikipedia has used the same tactic.

The only reason to make a big deal about canvassing is if you KNOW your entire case boils down to keeping outside opinions OUT, and only letting your own little cabal of cronies have a say in the matter.

Did the people who showed up as a result of this thread spam the AfD? No.

Did they deface or vandalize the page? No.

Did they present quality arguments that were 100% on topic, and in some cases directly cited Wikipedia rules and policies? Yes.

So why are Black Kite, Mendaliv, Crossmr, and others stamping their feet and throwing a temper tantrum about "canvassing" and "sockpuppets"?

SIMPLE: They do not want opposing arguments to be heard. They do not want the "other side" to even have a seat at the table. They only want their arguments presented, with a bunch of people patting them on the back, telling them how awesome they are, and adding dorky little badges to their user page.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:48 PM   #45
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Regarding the Canvassing issue: This is just another example of the aforementioned cabal protecting its turf. If the situation wasn't so disgusting, I'd be able to laugh about how the Wiki community has cleverly placed roadblocks all over the place to make sure only HARD CORE members of their community will ever have a say in things. It reminds me of when I practiced law. Lawyers make sure the law is crafted in such a way that it is nearly impossible for a non-lawyer to do much of anything. The fill it with ridiculous terms like "fee simple subject to a condition subsequent, with a springing reverter", and "Res ipsa loquitur" instead of just "the thing speaks for itself." The system is cooked from the beginning, and it is a shame Wikipedia has used the same tactic.
We have to have some way of cutting off a slew of prejudiced votes, otherwise we end up with a strong list of keeps every time this happens, and this is not fair. Of course there are going to be people dedicated who want to vote, but the amount of them that are only coming on a site's advice cannot be managed, simply because the influx means we are unbalanced in terms of a ratio between editors and people who are there to express an opinion based on a post they read on a forum.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:07 PM   #46
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
We have to have some way of cutting off a slew of prejudiced votes, otherwise we end up with a strong list of keeps every time this happens, and this is not fair. Of course there are going to be people dedicated who want to vote, but the amount of them that are only coming on a site's advice cannot be managed, simply because the influx means we are unbalanced in terms of a ratio between editors and people who are there to express an opinion based on a post they read on a forum.
Well, keep in mind that Wikipedia is not a democracy. Sheer number of votes isn't going to do it. That has been stated time and again. What will do it is good arguments and logical reasoning as well as people going to cite the rules of Wikipedia. Notice that when someone is banned, not only is their vote struck, all of their input is collapsed. Many of the arguments that have been collapsed are not inflammatory nor are they unreasonable. Additionally, they are on point and explain Wikipedia's policies more fully rather than in the cursory and superior manner that is used by some of the administrators and long-time editors.

There's been no spam. The problem is that there's no way of cutting off a slew of prejudiced votes from someone going to rally the administrators and people on #wikipedia. You can see the examples of this from many of the logs of #wikipedia. How is it not prejudiced and meatpuppeting to go and rally the Wikipedia community against an article as opposed to opening a topic this forum? Please keep in mind also, that this is now our only recourse to even have a discussion on this issue. Almost everyone who had a strong say in this has been banned, ridiculed or summarily dismissed. When you leave people no options to actually deal with this in Wikipedia, it's no surprise that they go somewhere else where they're less likely to be bullied and can discuss this without being buried in Wiki-politics. Where else can people turn for help or advice? Definitely not at the place they were originally being abused.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:41 PM   #47
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Hi.

I'm J.delanoy on Wikipedia.

Neurolysis asked me to take a look at this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
In response to an earlier post by Neurolysis. Sorry, I don't know how to thread quotes here.

That would kind of make it so that any magazine or online forum dedicated to gaming unreliable. The people who are involved in gaming love games. They publish things about games. They review the games they play. Wouldn't that translate to movies as well then? If you get written up by someone who is a movie fan, would that mean that it's unreliable? Movies, comic books, video games... there's more volume in what people write about these but as a whole genre, not individuals.
A "reliable source", from my understanding, is a source that conducts independent, in-depth reviews of news items. The source generally has the resources to be able to purchase any necessary materials and/or items needed, as well as the prestige to be allowed special access to products or events. The Associated Press is a good example of a mainstream source that many, if not most, English newspapers, radio stations and TV stations use for their stories. For a reliable source more suited as an example for the topic at hand, IGN is a good choice, as they often obtain access to products such as video game consoles before the general public, and again, many, many other websites quote their stories.

Conflict of interest does not mean you don't have anything to do with a subject. If it did, nearly all editors on Wikipedia would be in violation of it, since I cannot imagine anyone voluntarily writing about a subject they did not like. In this case, the accusations of COI could possibly be somewhat justified, but I don't think so. If you were trying to get an article about this website, that would be one thing, but you aren't. So, I don't know where that came from.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Regarding the Canvassing issue: This is just another example of the aforementioned cabal protecting its turf. If the situation wasn't so disgusting, I'd be able to laugh about how the Wiki community has cleverly placed roadblocks all over the place to make sure only HARD CORE members of their community will ever have a say in things.
I don't think that's the case here.

To draw an analogy, imagine a local election for mayor of a small town, small enough that pretty much everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows who they are. Now, imagine that anyone, anyone at all, can vote - with no residence or time requirements, and all ballots are submitted via postal mail.

How would the residents of that town react if suddenly many, many votes came in from people they had never heard of before, all voting for the same candidate? Does it seem unreasonable that at least some of the town's residents would assume that the votes were coming from one person, especially if some of the letters were postmarked in the same place?

I think that explains why some of you were blocked for being "sockpuppets". As far as the people who were blocked for being "meatpuppets", I do not know why Black Kite blocked accounts that were not implicated in the CheckUser report. This, to me, seems unnecessary, since as far as I can tell, none of you were vandalizing; you merely giving your opinion on the deletion request.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
Where else can people turn for help or advice? Definitely not at the place they were originally being abused.
That is unfortunately correct, and even though I am an administrator on Wikipedia, I cannot just go around and unblock all of your accounts, due to policies in place there. I can, however, look at the circumstances surrounding your blocks and bring the case to the blocking administrator(s). If you will give me the names of your accounts on Wikipedia, I will do my best to get you unblocked, since I do not believe you are attempting to disrupt Wikipedia or to stack votes.


As far as the page's deletion itself goes, from what I can see, unfortunately, the game does not appear to be notable enough for inclusion. From Wikipedia's general notability guideline:

If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article.


From my own research, I do not think that Threshold meets this criterion. I was able to find one independent article on Google News about the game. It is already included as a citation in the article. Other than that, I did not find much else. If any of you know of other sources, I would be happy to add them to the article, and to make a note on the deletion request saying that the article has established notability.


I think those were the main issues, other than the problem of "The Cabal". It is, from my experience, nearly impossible to conclusively disprove a cabal's existence, since a group of people with similar thoughts will appear to be acting in coordination, even if they are not. (I will note that I cannot prove that they are not acting in concert, I just think it very unlikely) I do not relish the prospect of adopting an unprovable position, so if it is all the same to you, I would prefer not to comment on those discussions.

If there is something else significant that I missed, please tell me.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:47 PM   #48
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
Hi.

I'm Top Mud Sites - MUD and RPG Rankings - Mud Database, RPG & MUD Forums, MUD Articles, MUD Reviews on Wikipedia.

Neurolysis asked me to take a look at this thread.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
For a reliable source more suited as an example for the topic at hand, IGN is a good choice, as they often obtain access to products such as video game consoles before the general public, and again, many, many other websites quote their stories.
I agree IGN is a reliable source in the gaming world, but here's the thing: The Mud Connector and this site (TMS) are two of the "IGNs of MUDs." Creators and administrators of muds would frequently announce or release code on those sites before they were available in their actual games. TMC in particular had, at one time, a full time staff that (among other things) independently reviewed games. Administrators could not request or solicit reviews. TMC chose who they would review.

You can look at those sites now and say "they aren't significant enough", but that is a very unfair way to judge them. TMC in particular was one of the first big gaming sites on the internet. It is older than most (if not all) of the sites you might list now as "reliable sources on gaming."

As Wikipedia policy states, Notability is not Temporary (WP:N#TEMP). With that in mind, there was definitely a time when TMC, TMS, TMJ, GameCommandos, CNET Gamecenter, and other sites were extremely notable. Heck, CNET Gamecenter merged into what is now Gamespot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
Conflict of interest does not mean you don't have anything to do with a subject. If it did, nearly all editors on Wikipedia would be in violation of it, since I cannot imagine anyone voluntarily writing about a subject they did not like.
That is what I always thought as well. But some people wield that COI link like a bludgeon, which is frustrating in the extreme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
To draw an analogy, imagine a local election for mayor of a small town, small enough that pretty much everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows who they are.
Right there you hit on one of the HUGE problems with Wikipedia right now. There is a huge bias of editors towards people that "pretty much everyone knows." That's a problem - not a small problem, a giant problem. On a lot of issues, especially one about a niche topic like MUDs, the people who care and are knowledgeable about MUDs are not likely to also be huge Wikipedia contributors. People involved in MUDs spend a lot (if not most or all) of their free time working on or playing their MUD(s), just as the heavy duty Wikipedia people spend enormous amounts of free time working on their Wikipedia entries.

The difference is, in the MUD community you don't get tossed on your ear because "everyone doesn't know you." We welcome people in happily. Right now, the Wikipedia community shuns you in an extreme way if "everyone doesn't know you."

Perhaps people in the Wikipedia community can look to the MUD community for a little lesson in how to embrace new potential members of their community. I can tell you from experience, as huge and important as Wikipedia seems right now, that's pretty much how MUDs were 10 years ago. Imagine 10 years from now someone has a bigger, better way of recording historical information online (perhaps Google's KNOL). How would you feel if you were there trying to make sure Wikipedia was remembered, and the KNOL people said "Sorry, you aren't important enough." But more important than how you would feel, how ridiculous would that be? There is no doubt that at the present time, Wikipedia is a major part of the internet. 10 years ago, MUDs were at least that major.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
How would the residents of that town react if suddenly many, many votes came in from people they had never heard of before, all voting for the same candidate?
That isn't really what is happen though, is it? I mean how many additional people showed up. 5? And all of the people who DID show up shared extremely on point arguments that raised aspects of Wikipedia policy that were being totally ignored up to that point.

A better analogy would be people showing up to a Town Hall meeting, and even though you did not recognize them, they raised extremely valid and educational points. The input of those people might save the town from making a very bad decision.

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Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
I do not know why Black Kite blocked accounts that were not implicated in the CheckUser report. This, to me, seems unnecessary, since as far as I can tell, none of you were vandalizing; you merely giving your opinion on the deletion request.
That is why I can only conclude that Black Kite was doing it for extremely personal reasons. He simply wants to "win the AfD", perhaps to help out friends of his like Mendaliv. Or perhaps he just has an extreme dislike for outsiders that "not everyone knows" and wants to make sure they are run out of town.

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Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
I can, however, look at the circumstances surrounding your blocks and bring the case to the blocking administrator(s). If you will give me the names of your accounts on Wikipedia, I will do my best to get you unblocked, since I do not believe you are attempting to disrupt Wikipedia or to stack votes.
Thank you. I will send that to you in a PM.


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Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
From my own research, I do not think that Threshold meets this criterion. I was able to find one independent article on Google News about the game. It is already included as a citation in the article. Other than that, I did not find much else. If any of you know of other sources, I would be happy to add them to the article, and to make a note on the deletion request saying that the article has established notability.
That's part of the problem, and that speaks directly to Milawe's point. The sources that establish Threshold, or any other MUD's notability, are places like TMC and TMS. There have been many other sources in the past, but most of them no longer exist.

And who is going to write about MUDs nowadays? There is no money in it, so you aren't going to see articles about MUDs in PC Gamer or Computer Games Magazine.

The fact that Computer Games Magazine mentioned a MUD at all is *huge*. Considering they get absolutely zero ad revenue from it, that speaks volumes about how big of a mention that was. Instead of it being discarded as too minor of a mention, the fact that a major PC gaming publication would even write about a MUD nowadays should bear some relevance.

I don't want to turn this into an argument for the validity of Threshold's entry, so I will only add a few more points. There are factual things that establish notability as well. The fact that it has operated for 12 years is significant. That makes it more than twice as old as Wikipedia, for example. It is significantly older than most major sites on the internet. The fact that 300,000 characters have been made is pretty significant as well. Unless you want to argue that no MUDs are notable enough to have an entry, then muds like Threshold (and many others) are certainly notable enough for inclusion. To say otherwise is to deny an extremely significant and major part of internet and online gaming history.

Also, I think getting excessively bogged down on the concept of notability is not the right way to go. There are numerous Wikipedia policies and axioms that very specifically state notability is not ultimate qualification for an article. Concepts like "Wikipedia is not paper", "Valid Content would be Deleted", and "Obscure Content isn't Harmful" are three examples. And perhaps most importantly, notability is not listed anywhere in the deletion policy. So this obsession with notability is probably not even the appropriate way to make the decision.

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Originally Posted by J.delanoy View Post
I think those were the main issues, other than the problem of "The Cabal". It is, from my experience, nearly impossible to conclusively disprove a cabal's existence, since a group of people with similar thoughts will appear to be acting in coordination, even if they are not.
Sometimes that is true, but I would say in this situation it is extremely obvious that they are working in concert and have been for some time.

Look at the timing of the AfD. They waited until they got all the significant contributors to the article banned before they submitted the AfD. There's no excuse for that. That is a blatant and obvious piece of evidence that speaks to their motives and their collaboration.

Look at the way they routinely banned almost EVERYONE possible from the discussion, even when there was no spam or any other violation of policy. As far as I know, every person who voted KEEP was either banned for sock/meatpuppetry, or accused of sock/meatpuppetry. That is such an extreme abuse of power there has to be a reason for it.

Arguments for KEEPing the entry were repeatedly deleted, squelched, crossed out, or put in a "garbage box" at the bottom. If the point of an AfD is to discuss the validity of the deletion request, then the arguments themselves should at least be left for people to read.

Thanks again for stopping in to discuss this with us here. Sadly, our community has been chased off with torches and pitchforks by 2 or 3 Wikipedia members with the power to impose their will on all of us.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:07 AM   #49
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

I don't care about Threshold, therefore this does not matter.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:13 AM   #50
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Kinda sounds like a few MUDs I tried once :-P
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:59 AM   #51
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Thanks to the Admin's from Wikipedia who're contributing to this discussion. Your input has been rather helpful in trying to understand everything that's been going on.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:06 AM   #52
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

I wasnt originally intending to comment on this thread as someone who has not at any time played Threshold, or referred to the Wikipedia for anything MUD related. I have been reading this thread for the last two days. I guess there are two undoubtedly related, but distinct issues- the actual entry and the reasons being given for the deletion. I had started by reading the comments first (and followed up with juicy stories which everyone had put up about how wikipedia operates), and only then moved to the raw wiki page.

1. About the Page. I agree with the comment made earlier about the fact that the article isnt very informative to someone who hasnt played the game and has very little interest. Nor is it written in an encyclopedic format. Perhaps its been deleted into meaninglessness, but as it stands right now, it makes little sense. (actually, went back to the version before the edits, and it still not very informative, albeit somewhat better)
2. The way that much of the discussion has shaped up on the Talk pages with every dissenting voice being systematically silenced without debate is what is what is raising the hackles of people here. Personally, I couldnt care less as to what happens to the article in question, but I DID find my hackles rise reading some of the comments being posted on the deletion discussion page. The discussion from both sides of the debate is no longer about the article (which wasnt particularly informative to begin with even before the vandalism) but about disregarding every single reference to anything MUD related as being not notable or reliable. In a setting where one cannot site a single notable reference to the game (because any references to its EXISTANCE and notability is disregarded), it becomes hard to find references to support anything about the game at all. If the discussion had stuck to the actual value of the article instead of questioning every single reference to anything MUD related and disregarding all the answers (dragging in TMS and TMC and their historical value to the MUD community), it would not have generated the kind of debate that it has and lmay have resulted in a silent rewrite, instead of an edit war (that has drifted here and been blown out of all proportion).

The tone of the discussion is what makes casual wikipedia editors like me begin to lose faith in the way that the wikipedia operates. I thought the comments (and the decision to keep or delete) would be about the value of the article, not about whether MUDs are sufficiently mainstream to be mentioned in one of the American mainstream papers/journals/magazines or not. If this is the treatment a niche (but still fairly popular) by and large western hobby receives, I shudder about the probability of anything based on traditional cultures of the oh east to be kept in the wiki. I ended up remembering all the shady and biased articles related to my country I had read in the wikipedia that I have been tweaking slowly (how they often continue to be slanted to a particular POV despite being questioned for bias repeatedly) and found myself losing faith in the Wiki. Most of us simply dont have time to keep editing and editing and editing every time we see something that looks weird, just wince and move on (maybe change it if it reaches the level of being ridiculous). I think after this exchange, I am less likely to do that (not being one of those whom "everyone knows").

Anyway, apart from the overall disenchantment, as someone said earlier, this discussion is beginning to sound like one of those cliche "evil imms"-vs-"freedom loving players" debates one has every now and then on many MUDs. Except that its the game admins who are the ones now opposing the evil dark "powers". As Tezcatlipoca said, sounds like some of the games I played.

And this turned into a really long and rambling post!
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:25 AM   #53
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Wikipedia editor here.

In mid Dec there was a comment on the discussion page of the article with the title "Consider for deletion?". Since that was made, there were not many attempts to improve the article (aside from the people who AfD'd this page). I think this is the root of the problem, not all this "Wikipedia is biased about so and so" stuff (although Wikipedia does have its problems).

If the article had been fixed up to include non-dead sources and the like, it probably would not be AfD'd as it is right now.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:33 AM   #54
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
In mid Dec there was a comment on the discussion page of the article with the title "Consider for deletion?". Since that was made, there were not many attempts to improve the article (aside from the people who AfD'd this page). I think this is the root of the problem, not all this "Wikipedia is biased about so and so" stuff (although Wikipedia does have its problems).
Well, that's the thing. Black Kite and Mendaliv were systematically banning the people working on IMPROVING the entry, and tracking down citations. So by the time they recommended it for deletion, there was nobody left to work on the entry or even oppose the AfD. If we hadn't posted about it here, I'm not sure ANYONE with an opposing viewpoint would ever have had a chance to share their opinion.

Also, during the time when people familiar with Threshold were adding to the entry, they were dealing with having their improvements constantly removed and undone. There were a few times that I worked on it myself, and would track down some improved citations and add them. Then I'd go look for more, come back 30 minutes later, and Mendaliv or Black Kite would have 10+ edits in a row removing every improvement I had just made, removing citations, removing references, etc. for a variety of reasons. They created an environment where it was utterly impossible for a normal person (and by normal I mean someone for whom Wikipedia is not their primary hobby) could not contribute. They were extremely hostile to anyone trying to make the entry BETTER, rather than smaller and less detailed.

If anyone got frustrated and dared to simple go back to an older version that they could actually WORK FROM, they'd get banned.

Once they got most of the contributors banned, and had the article hacked down to a tiny looking stub of barely any information, that is when they moved in with the AfD.

As long as you're here, I'd also like to mention that these charming individuals have also been engaging in "retaliatory editing." Soon after Aardlasher voted KEEP on the Threshold entry, the link to this site (TMS) was removed from the general MUD page by "Themfromspace". It wasn't until the person doing it found out about this thread, and saw that Wikipedia admins were reading it (and thus learning about the retaliatory editing) did the person cut it out and revert the link.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:38 AM   #55
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Also, upon further research, it turns out Mendaliv is someone who was apparently kicked off Threshold for playing underage. Considering how often he cried "COI" when someone connected to Threshold made an edit, perhaps he should have applied the same standard to himself. It certainly explains why from the very beginning his goal was not to improve the entry, but gut the heck out of it and then get it deleted.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:50 AM   #56
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

One more thing Zeno (and by the way, thank for visiting this site, signing up, and posting):

Can you tell me what your take is on the fact that Mendaliv and a few other members of his "crew" either completely ignore or dismissively discard all arguments for the other side?

And every single citation or reference is just too minor in their eyes to be relevant. Isn't there a point where a giant pile of "minor" (in their opinion) references add up to something notable? Isn't there a point where maybe they need to acknowledge that MUDs, and MUD related web sites/sources are not quite as irrelevant as they want to declare them to be?

The mental gynmastics they engage in to dismiss every possible source or reference is amazing. Earlier this morning, Dr. Richard Bartle, the creator of the first MUD, took the time to devote an entire blog post to Threshold. With the title, "Threshold", he goes on to attest to the notability of the Mud Connector, Threshold, The Mud Journal, and others. Yet these folks have the unmitigated gall to say "Well, his article is really more about Wikipedia than Threshold or TMC, so it simply adds to Wikipedia's notability, not theirs."

Wha.. wha... WHAT?!?!?!?!

At what point do they simply have to admit that a subject matter that generates this much attention, with this many external sources, and verification from the world's most respected opinion on the subject is at a bare minimum notable enough for Wikipedia.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:02 PM   #57
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Isn't there a point where a giant pile of "minor" (in their opinion) references add up to something notable? Isn't there a point where maybe they need to acknowledge that MUDs, and MUD related web sites/sources are not quite as irrelevant as they want to declare them to be?
A thousand blog entries don't even add up to one news source. Notability isn't merely a matter of quantity.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:28 PM   #58
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Wow.. Threshold certainly gets proffessional haters doesnt it. The amount of work going into getting one entry deleted is astounding. Wasnt there a whole website of disgruntled ex-threshers once? Never understood it.. found the games to be incredibly friendly.. if a bit over Zelous with IC stuff.

I digress.

Wikipedia to me, amongst other things, is a listing of everything that is out there, and there are numerous entries for computers games. I first played Threshold over a decade ago after finding the link in MUDCONNECTOR. and in my mind it is a part of MUD history. It has the right to have an entry in Wikipedia, alongside other parts of gaming history, and also CURRENT GAMES. The article to me seemed perfectly fine compared to other computer games.

The argument for deletion where overly verbose, but the biggest example of hair splitting I have ever seen. You get rid of Threshold from the wikipedia, you may as well get rid of 50000 other entries. The entry is sufficiently neutral and what I would expect in an encyclopia entry.

The only issues I found with the entry where the notes / external references which all pointed at the homes domain or articles possibly written by Threshold admin

I did a search for the most obscure games of yesteryear.. not all famous or ground breaking, and found most of them (Ranarama was one that jumped into my head.. and there it is).

Why not create create a Thresh wiki, and forget Wikipedia.

However, I am sorry to say, I do NOT see this as an attack on MUD's in general. if this was the case I would expect to see Acheae and other high profile games marked for deletion as well.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:32 PM   #59
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by MudMann View Post
The article to me seemed perfectly fine compared to other computer games.

The argument for deletion where overly verbose, but the biggest example of hair splitting I have ever seen. You get rid of Threshold from the wikipedia, you may as well get rid of 50000 other entries. The entry is sufficiently neutral and what I would expect in an encyclopia entry.
Just because other stuff exists doesn't mean it is a reason for retaining.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:36 PM   #60
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Neurolysis View Post
A thousand blog entries don't even add up to one news source. Notability isn't merely a matter of quantity.
I'm not talking about blog posts. I am talking about references from the most significant MUD related resources that we've ever had. Unless you want to argue MUDs are inherently not notable, and never were, you simply cannot declare TMC, TMS, TMJ, GameCommandos, etc. to be unrealiable. Those are the only sources that exist or existed in a significant form for information about MUDs. To whatever extent they are "inferior" to IGN, Gamespot, etc. is simply the result of the Web's evolution, commercialization, and technical polish.

But regarding blog posts: How can you dismiss them out of hand when they are the fastest growing source of journalism? Every argument you can make to disregard them could have been used 5-10 years ago to completely disregard the reliability/notability of all web sites - including the IGNs, Gamespots, etc.

And here's a fact that might be disturbing to Wikipedia: professors and members of academia are far likely to accept a BLOG as a legitimate source than a citation to Wikipedia. If academia considers blogs more notable and reliable than Wikipedia, then what business does Wikipedia have declaring them inherently unreliable and not-notable?

And there is no denying that a blog post from Dr. Richard Bartle is not just some 'ole blog post. He is far and away the most recognized and respected authority on online games. If an expert authority, who is paid by huge companies for his opinion on such matters, says a certain site or a certain game is notable in the context of online games, that pretty much guarantees it. Does it only count if he publishes the opinion in a book or academic review journal? That's not how the world works these days. People, including professionals, experts, and journalists, are conveying more information through blogs than they are through traditional published works.

I read the discussion there and it seems many of the people voting to delete think their personal opinions and (mis)interpretations of Wikipedia policy are more valid and carry more weight than the statements of ACTUAL EXPERTS in the field related to the article in question. That is arrogance and ignorance.
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