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Old 11-29-2004, 04:34 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Tyche @ Nov. 27 2004,19:05)
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Originally Posted by (Brody @ Nov. 27 2004,16:19)
If you bothered to visit the Child's Play site....

maximize sales

Hope that clears things up.

Here's a similar and worthy alternative -- http://www.toysfortots.org/

This charity doesn't have a secondary goal like ChildsPlay.  It's not about polishing the image of gamers and promoting the gaming industry.  Not about the Marines either.   So it's probably offtopic, but I'll run that risk.
Heh, funny that you'd bring that up. We donated a few thousand dollars to Toys for Tots last year in exactly the same kind of deal we did with Child's Play this year: we pledged a portion of sales for a period of time to them.

The exact same sort of bitter, frustrated schmucks flamed us then too. As now, it's their problem, not mine.

--matt
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Old 11-29-2004, 04:51 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Sinuhe,Nov. 29 2004,10[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]4]
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Another thing is that the most interesting input on this thread came from other people than you.  People that you didn’t even have the common decency to acknowledge in that little thank-you-and-goodbye note of yours.
My god, I feel like I'm in high school. Are you telling me that TWO of you were offended, apparently on behalf of others that you appear to be claiming to speak for, that I didn't mention someone's name who made a post? For crying out loud, are you SERIOUS?! Are people's egos that fragile that not getting a mention for a post is going to offend them??

I don't even know what to say. Sometimes this board is beyond frustrating.

As for the rest, I'm not going to fall for your bait. All posting a list of what I think we do would accomplish is that certain of the more outrageous flamers on this site would start flaming us for doing it. ####, I remember at least one person flaming us for putting up, at our expense, on our network, a temporary replacement for Aardwolf (Achaea's main competitor on TMS) after it got knocked out by the hurricanes. If we can be flamed for that, and flamed for organizing a charity drive, there's just no point in talking about anything else.

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Old 11-30-2004, 04:19 AM   #83
 
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Nov. 29 2004,16:34)
Heh, funny that you'd bring that up. We donated a few thousand dollars to Toys for Tots last year in exactly the same kind of deal we did with Child's Play this year: we pledged a portion of sales for a period of time to them.
Yeah I remember.   Do you remember how much Kyndig gave?  Tyche?  KaVir? Muir?  Scandum?  Spazmatic?  

It's the cheese that keeps on giving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Nov. 29 2004,16:34)
The exact same sort of bitter, frustrated schmucks flamed us then too. As now, it's their problem, not mine.
Different schmucks.  Same beef...
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:24 AM   #84
 
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Originally Posted by (John @ Nov. 29 2004,13:49)
You drive traffic to say "Otherspace, Achaea and Aardwolf" which all have links to TMS and you'll get a trickle-effect to TMS.
Hey I link to TMS too.  Right smack on the front page.  It bypasses all the vote counting hit counting traffic counting commercial horse manure and goes into the naughty mud forum organs of this site.  

I wasn't going to post again, but I noticed I was only one post away from attaining my long held dreams of a second gold star.   Whee!
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:45 PM   #85
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I actually offered to donate not money, but some time/work on the writing side, since I'm a writer for a living, and a good editor. I'll make the same offer to anyone trying to spread the words on MUDs through articles, essays, etc. If you want feedback, suggestions, proofing on something like that, I'll be glad to help.

It would be nice to steer this thread back onto the original topic, since I'm curious what other people have done, and what tack they took in approaching it. Is it possible to hear some more about that? Are there magazines or other places that you think particularly approachable for something like this?
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:49 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by (Sanvean @ Nov. 30 2004,13:45)
I actually offered to donate not money, but some time/work on the writing side, since I'm a writer for a living, and a good editor. I'll make the same offer to anyone trying to spread the words on MUDs through articles, essays, etc. If you want feedback, suggestions, proofing on something like that, I'll be glad to help.

It would be nice to steer this thread back onto the original topic, since I'm curious what other people have done, and what tack they took in approaching it. Is it possible to hear some more about that? Are there magazines or other places that you think particularly approachable for something like this?
I wrote serial fiction for RPG Times a while back, but they also run columns on different types of RPGs and they're often looking for content.

http://www.rpgtimes.net
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:58 AM   #87
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Sanvean Nov. 30 2004,13:45
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Originally Posted by
Are there magazines or other places that you think particularly approachable for something like this?
Glad you brought that question up again. As I already mentioned, I'm planning to write some slightly humoristic light articles about the quaint world of Text Muds,  with some useful links to Mud sites right at the end.  My plan is to try  palming them onto some paper Magazines, which sometimes accept freelance stuff, if it is reasonably interesting and well written.

But I am at a loss about what categories of magazines to best approach. And once I make that choice; is there a way to do web searches to bring up lists of these categories? And would there perhaps be any WebSites that might accept articles like that too?

Any input on this, anyone?
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:03 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Dec. 01 2004,03:58)
Sanvean Nov. 30 2004,13:45
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Originally Posted by
Are there magazines or other places that you think particularly approachable for something like this?
Glad you brought that question up again. As I already mentioned, I'm planning to write some slightly humoristic light articles about the quaint world of Text Muds, with some useful links to Mud sites right at the end. My plan is to try palming them onto some paper Magazines, which sometimes accept freelance stuff, if it is reasonably interesting and well written.

But I am at a loss about what categories of magazines to best approach. And once I make that choice; is there a way to do web serches to bring up lists of these categories? And would there perhaps be any WebSites that might accept articles like that too?

Any input on this, anyone?
I doubt they'll post actual articles. But you could send letters to the editor to Computer Gaming World or PC Gamer (both have websites you can Google), and you might get some response. Some OtherSpace players did that last year and got published.
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:52 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by (Brody @ Dec. 01 2004,04:03)
I doubt they'll post actual articles. But you could send letters to the editor to Computer Gaming World or PC Gamer (both have websites you can Google), and you might get some response. Some OtherSpace players did that last year and got published.
Computer Gaming World did do a half-page article about Achaea and gleam a few months ago, so they are, minimally, willing to write about text in certain circumstances. You're probably right though insofar as they almost definitely would not accept freelance articles.
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:06 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Dec. 01 2004,15:52)
3-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Brody @ Dec. 01 2004,04[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]3)]I doubt they'll post actual articles. But you could send letters to the editor to Computer Gaming World or PC Gamer (both have websites you can Google), and you might get some response. Some OtherSpace players did that last year and got published.
Computer Gaming World did do a half-page article about Achaea and gleam a few months ago, so they are, minimally, willing to write about text in certain circumstances. You're probably right though insofar as they almost definitely would not accept freelance articles.
Well, yeah, they'll do something about text if it's titillating and a little scandalous. They're unlikely to do something simply to remind people that these games exist, however, unless we appear to glorify drugs or something, it seems. Nothing against Achaea's coverage - publicity like that is awesome for a game. However, if the only way to get publicity from the mainstream game magazines is to push the envelope of cultural mores ... I dunno if that's the way we want to go to promote the genre as a whole.

Still, considering the PC games that get a lot of mainstream press - Grand Theft Auto, Leisure Suit Larry and even all the hubub about the JFK Reloaded game - and maybe I'm just thinking too moderately!
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:51 PM   #91
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6-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Brody @ Dec. 01 2004,16[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]6)]Well, yeah, they'll do something about text if it's titillating and a little scandalous. They're unlikely to do something simply to remind people that these games exist, however, unless we appear to glorify drugs or something, it seems. Nothing against Achaea's coverage - publicity like that is awesome for a game. However, if the only way to get publicity from the mainstream game magazines is to push the envelope of cultural mores ... I dunno if that's the way we want to go to promote the genre as a whole.

Still, considering the PC games that get a lot of mainstream press - Grand Theft Auto, Leisure Suit Larry and even all the hubub about the JFK Reloaded game - and maybe I'm just thinking too moderately!
Well, consider this: What else is a mainsteram gaming magazine going to talk about? You have to give them a reason to cover you. Those reasons are pretty unlikely to be most of what most text MUDs focus on: monster bashing, roleplaying, etc. Monster bashing in text is not interesting since the big graphical games focus on it. "Real" roleplaying (as opposed to the "roleplaying" you find in Everquest and company) is so niche it makes text look mainstream, so they're not going to talk about that. That covers the focus of most text MUDs right there. Monster bashing and roleplaying.

As far as Grand Theft Auto goes...it gets attention largely because it's an institution at this point. Leisure Suit Larry also was once mainstream.

The interesting one you listed is JFK Reloaded. They did not have much of a marketing budget, they certainly are not a mainstream game, and really, their game is minimal at best. Not a lot of breadth to it! They got LOADS of coverage though and are likely doing very well out of it all.  Same with like Kuma reality games, and their simulation of the John Kerry swiftboar missions.

My only point is that you have to give the media something interesting/new to talk about if you want to get covered by them. The fact that they can't even show worthwhile screenshots of text games is an added hinderance.

One of the things we're going to be paying this marketing firm to help us with is PR work, including stuff like Q&As on various games websites and so on. Even with bringing on professional help though, it's highly unlikely we'll be able to get any kind of predictable coverage in major games magazines. We talked about doing a press tour, but the marketers and we both agreed that it'd probably be a waste of money for Iron Realms, as the major gaming magazines simply aren't going to cover text muds without something extreme like gleam for them to focus on (and gleam is a gimmick really. Not, by any stretch of the word, a focus for any sort of gameplay, though going through withdrawl is pretty cool in a 'Holy **** this is disturbing' kind of way.)

--matt
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Old 12-01-2004, 05:02 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Dec. 01 2004,16:51)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Brody @ Dec. 01 2004,16<!--emo&[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img])]Well, yeah, they'll do something about text if it's titillating and a little scandalous. They're unlikely to do something simply to remind people that these games exist, however, unless we appear to glorify drugs or something, it seems. Nothing against Achaea's coverage - publicity like that is awesome for a game. However, if the only way to get publicity from the mainstream game magazines is to push the envelope of cultural mores ... I dunno if that's the way we want to go to promote the genre as a whole.

Still, considering the PC games that get a lot of mainstream press - Grand Theft Auto, Leisure Suit Larry and even all the hubub about the JFK Reloaded game - and maybe I'm just thinking too moderately!
Well, consider this: What else is a mainsteram gaming magazine going to talk about? You have to give them a reason to cover you. Those reasons are pretty unlikely to be most of what most text MUDs focus on: monster bashing, roleplaying, etc. Monster bashing in text is not interesting since the big graphical games focus on it. "Real" roleplaying (as opposed to the "roleplaying" you find in Everquest and company) is so niche it makes text look mainstream, so they're not going to talk about that. That covers the focus of most text MUDs right there. Monster bashing and roleplaying.

As far as Grand Theft Auto goes...it gets attention largely because it's an institution at this point. Leisure Suit Larry also was once mainstream.

The interesting one you listed is JFK Reloaded. They did not have much of a marketing budget, they certainly are not a mainstream game, and really, their game is minimal at best. Not a lot of breadth to it! They got LOADS of coverage though and are likely doing very well out of it all. Same with like Kuma reality games, and their simulation of the John Kerry swiftboar missions.

My only point is that you have to give the media something interesting/new to talk about if you want to get covered by them. The fact that they can't even show worthwhile screenshots of text games is an added hinderance.

One of the things we're going to be paying this marketing firm to help us with is PR work, including stuff like Q&As on various games websites and so on. Even with bringing on professional help though, it's highly unlikely we'll be able to get any kind of predictable coverage in major games magazines. We talked about doing a press tour, but the marketers and we both agreed that it'd probably be a waste of money for Iron Realms, as the major gaming magazines simply aren't going to cover text muds without something extreme like gleam for them to focus on (and gleam is a gimmick really. Not, by any stretch of the word, a focus for any sort of gameplay, though going through withdrawl is pretty cool in a 'Holy **** this is disturbing' kind of way.)

--matt
Having worked as a journalist for 10 years, I totally understand what it takes to get a reporter interested in what you're doing. That's why I noted Achaea's hook for coverage: It was controversial, so it got attention. Grand Theft Auto wasn't always an institution - it got a lot of press for its violence, punching hookers, glorifying reckless driving, all that jazz. And while I think you did a fantastic job of snagging attention with gleam, I get the feeling there's only so many times text games can bark up that tree before it becomes 'same stuff, different day.' That said, I doubt we've exhausted the opportunities to draw attention ... it's just a matter of finding taboo/edgy things to offer and daring to do it
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:02 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Brody,Dec. 01 2004,17[img
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That's why I noted Achaea's hook for coverage: It was controversial, so it got attention. Grand Theft Auto wasn't always an institution - it got a lot of press for its violence, punching hookers, glorifying reckless driving, all that jazz.
Yeah, I meant San Andreas. GTA 3 raised the bar for acceptable violence in mainstream video games and now it's kind of routine, so people don't cover the violence in San Andreas with anywhere near the same fervor they did for GTA 3 or Vice City.



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And while I think you did a fantastic job of snagging attention with gleam, I get the feeling there's only so many times text games can bark up that tree before it becomes 'same stuff, different day.' That said, I doubt we've exhausted the opportunities to draw attention ... it's just a matter of finding taboo/edgy things to offer and daring to do it
Oh, for sure. We can't just repeat the same thing in different forms over and over. I'd also add 'new-sounding' to taboo/edgy. So, for instance, a game like A Tale in the Desert gets a lot more coverage than you might think it would judging by its relatively small playerbase, due to its relatively unique style of gameplay. I think a lot of the text MUD world is handicaped there by downloadable codebases though. When you're starting with what's designed to be a monster bashing game (which most of the codebases are designed to be), you're probably (there are exceptions of course) going to end up with a monster bashing game. (And please for the love of god, can we not start a flamewar about downloadable codebases?) A single unique or new system is probably not enough to garner a lot of attention, beyond flash-in-the-pan type attention. ATITD gets ongoing attention because it's entire game is fairly innovative.

--matt
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:57 PM   #94
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I'd like to add that even getting a writeup in Computer Gaming Magazine has minimal effects.

Last year they did an "MMORPG Roundup" where they talked about all the current MMORPGs and those coming.

Threshold got its own little section and they talked about the fiercely devoted players, the RP focus, etc.

The affect of this writeup was hardly even noticeable in terms of new players.

I think I remember Logos mentioning somewhere that even the Gleam write ups did not have much effect in terms of actual users.

I think it would take a TON of mainstream write ups to help a text mud, or text muds in general. You need saturation.

Marketing experts know that it isn't until like the 5th or 10th or 100th time that you see some product mentioned that you actually become intrigued by it.
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Old 12-01-2004, 07:06 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by (Threshold @ Dec. 01 2004,18:57)
I'd like to add that even getting a writeup in Computer Gaming Magazine has minimal effects.

Last year they did an "MMORPG Roundup" where they talked about all the current MMORPGs and those coming.

Threshold got its own little section and they talked about the fiercely devoted players, the RP focus, etc.

The affect of this writeup was hardly even noticeable in terms of new players.

I think I remember Logos mentioning somewhere that even the Gleam write ups did not have much effect in terms of actual users.

I think it would take a TON of mainstream write ups to help a text mud, or text muds in general. You need saturation.

Marketing experts know that it isn't until like the 5th or 10th or 100th time that you see some product mentioned that you actually become intrigued by it.
That's not a bad point. You know, here's a fun experiment to try. I've recently joined the forums at SCI-FI Channel's website - http://www.scifi.com

So, what if a bunch of us join and put Top MUD Sites in our sig line? Post on-topic in threads that interest us - and try to do what we can about posting in the same threads, so our sigs pop up with more frequency. See if that starts drawing people toward TMS and our games

Thoughts?
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Old 12-01-2004, 07:08 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by (Threshold @ Dec. 01 2004,18:57)
I think I remember Logos mentioning somewhere that even the Gleam write ups did not have much effect in terms of actual users.
Right. The Gleam writeups didn't. The coverage they gave us on TechTV, on the other hand, did. TechTV has an absolutely massive following compared to the games magazines though.

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Old 12-02-2004, 01:35 PM   #97
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I doubt they'll post actual articles. But you could send letters to the editor to Computer Gaming World or PC Gamer (both have websites you can Google), and you might get some response. Some OtherSpace players did that last year and got published.

Hmm, my intent was actually to hit some Swedish magazines, (since after all Swedish is my first language). And I wasn’t planning on targeting Gaming Magazines either, rather culture, media or literature categories, as long as they have some kind of section for internet links. I’m not nearly as pessimistic as you are about the chances to get the stuff published either. I’ve worked quite a bit with freelance journalism myself, and my own experience is that most magazines happily accept freelance articles, as long as they are entertaining/amusing/interesting. They even usually pay for them, although payment wouldn’t be an issue in this case.

But, maybe you are right. Maybe it would be better to target some larger, English-language, international magazine instead. A lot harder to get the stuff in. But a lot better impact if you actually succeed. Guess I’ll give it some more thought.

Anyhow, Jazuela, Brody and Sanvean got me started along another line of thought. Maybe the idea I am toying with now is totally unrealistic, but I’ll toss it out anyhow and see how it flies:

What if some of us with ‘creative-writing talents’ joined forces and put together a number of short stories based on the quaint world of Text Muds. I am not talking about ‘promotional’ stuff now; I mean real short stories – funny, intriguing, thrilling, entertaining stories… Illustrations of what a good text Mud can offer its visitors. One perfect example of the kind of talent I am talking about is the silver-winning story from Mudworld’s Creative Writing contest 2004. The totally unexpected twist at the end of that story was hilarious, and very aptly illustrated the sometimes bizarre happenings on a mud, which I always found tremendously entertaining myself. (The story can be found on this link: http://www.mudworld.org/ImmU/contests/2004/story5.txt in case you want to refresh your memory. There was another story, written by an Armageddon player in a similar, earlier contest, which also was of the type and quality that I think the stories for this venture should have. Unfortunately I lost the link to that one, but I am sure someone on Armageddon remembers and can provide it).

So, let’s say we put together about 10 stories of similar quality (only preferably a bit shorter), and then offer them as a ‘package deal’ to some selected target, (perhaps the RPG Times that Brody, mentioned or some other magazine with reasonably broad coverage)? Let’s say we manage to get all the stories published over a year’s time, to achieve the repetitive effect that Threshold mentioned? At the end of each story would of course always be a couple of useful links; for TMS, TMC, the author’s own mud, and perhaps some other good Mud sites.

The best that might happen would be if we could get some kind of reoccurring column, maybe called something like ‘Last tales from the quaint world of Text Muds’. Then we could take turns writing up stuff for that column. The worst… well, I guess all writers get used to not always being published. And we could always recycle the stories somewhere else, perhaps on this site.

In any case this would be a project based solely on the contribution of time and talent, no money involved. Worth a try or not?
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Old 12-02-2004, 01:53 PM   #98
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It's probably worth a try. I just finished writing an OtherSpace novel for National Novel Writing Month (the bit where you finish 50,000 words in 30 days) and published the book. In the back, where it has the About the Author stuff, I've included links for Top MUD Sites and The MUD Connector. So, hopefully, that'll do a little good.

I'd definitely recommend submitting fiction to places like RPG Times - they are ALWAYS hungry for new content.

And I'd be willing to coordinate the production of free-distribution PDF featuring stories based on some of our games. Each story could have a blurb about the author and their game, and the PDF book itself would contain information about TMS and TMC. Anyone else who wants to contribute a story, let me know. If there's enough interest, we can talk deadlines.
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Old 12-02-2004, 02:05 PM   #99
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Another couple of Sci-fi/fantasy literature sites:

sfcrowsnest.com
sffworld.com

Lusternia is advertising on both places right now, though not with very impressive results.
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Old 12-02-2004, 06:28 PM   #100
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You can use my story if you want - I'm just not sure whether a non-mudder can even understand it...
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