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Old 08-20-2010, 04:01 AM   #261
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I like this idea even though I am unsure how it would affectively help in the case of Wiki.
I think it would help, in the long term, by creating a source pool for citing materials AND it would send the first olive branch to the wiki mods that our community writers are more serious about playing by their rules. HOWEVER, I strongly disagree that TMC or TMS should be the sites to do this. Why? The short answer is public relations and background.

Most people who are familiar with our overall little MUDverse is likely going to be familiar with these sites - and that includes the Wikipedia people who have been deleting articles. Let's be honest: neither TMS nor TMC have been well-known as bastions of unbiased, non-solicitous information. The most used and most well-known features of these sites have been their forums, which are often kept alive by flaming arguments, and their MUD lists, which are unverified and self published and maintained by the MUDs themselves - lending to the problem of false advertisement, mis-categorization, and dead articles.

Of all of the live MUD-centric websites that I know of, I can only recommend mudlab.org as a starting point for potential growth, due to the fact that its forums have been more civil and adult in nature (attracting mainly only developers). That said, it is still a forum site, and I do not believe they publish articles.

Skotos may be a potential source as well -- some of their articles have a lot of value, but their content is more geared towards their company than to the community.


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Originally Posted by Samson
An enormous benefit we can't draw on at all if the Wikiscum continue their march toward expunging all information relating to MUDs. It doesn't do a lot of good for them to exist and for us to use it if we aren't even in there at all, yes? Evidence certainly suggests that they're actively trying to remove as much as they can.
First of all, if you plan to make any headway, you have got to stop calling them Wikiscum. Approaching them with any form of hostility is not going to get you anywhere - remember, you are playing their game, with their ball, in their court.

Secondly, I stand by my original assertion that most MUDs have no legitimate reason to have their own Wikipage. In fact, I could pop over onto Wiki right now and snatch a good handful of individual game pages that, rather than being informative and noting how they are particularly of worth, are filled with propagandistic material meant to ADVERTISE and PERSUADE. In some cases, the text out-right lies, much in the same way that some MUD listings out-right lie, and do not mention controversial topics which may adversely affect how the game is perceived by the reader.

A direct live example of this is the RPI MUD's site award that was given to Accursed Lands for holding the top place in voting for the year. This achievement is prominently featured on the game's Wikipage; however, there is no mention of the controversy surrounding the award that occurred between the game and the RPI MUD community site after the leadership of that site accused the game of ballot-stuffing. While I certainly do not speak for the people involved, I have a hunch that the event contributed, at least in part, to RPI MUD shutting down a year later.

I would go as far as to say that information such this is actually far more relevant than the fact that they have a playable race called "braman."

Bottom line is that most games list such information as race and class profiles, basic mechanic information, when they were opened/closed, and their overall world theme or religions. This is information that is NOT APPROPRIATE for a Wiki article -- at least not by themselves, and CERTAINLY not as FEATURE MATERIAL. Unless your theme spawned a revolution, a shift in MUD culture, or its own book/TV/AAA-title, then it's just not that special. If you can strip this information out of an article and have nothing left but a stub, then you probably shouldn't have a page.


My suggestion for MUDs who want to be included on Wikipedia:

Review and clean up the important umbrella articles: these articles include the one on MUDs in general, and the ones on various MAJOR engine varieties. What I mean by that is that a codebase and it's derivitives should appear ALL ON ONE PAGE, since forks rarely have anything of mentionable worth. Arrange by FAMILY and HYPERLINK THE CRAP out of all of the existing articles so that readers can navigate between them appropriately. Derivatives can be assembled and listed in dynamic tables much the same way that available engines are listed on the Game Engines page (which separates Open Source, Free for Use, and Commercial engines) - this way they are reachable and can even be cited. Those of particular worth might actually get a paragraph - but this is something that I would say the MUD community should decide on, not the individual developers themselves. An example of a family page would be the LPC family, which lists engines by driver and then mudlib, or the Diku family.

Wikipedia allows for LIST OF pages. This is where our games come in. FAMILY pages may link to LIST OF games pages. Again, we can use dynamically-sorted tables to list games that are OPEN and APPROPRIATELY CATEGORIZED. Games should NOT have their own spotlight (unless they actually are special, in which case, they would be hyperlinked off to another page).

Last edited by Parhelion : 08-20-2010 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:52 AM   #262
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Parhelion View Post
HOWEVER, I strongly disagree that TMC or TMS should be the sites to do this. Why? The short answer is public relations and background.
I mentioned them because they were explicited listed on the Video games/MUD task force page on Wikipedia:

Official TMC Reviews: "These are editorially generated and reliable."

TMS Articles: "These have some level of editorial vetting and may be reliable, but likely require consideration on a case-by-case basis."

Sites like Imaginary Realities or Game Commandos would have been good candidates, and The Mud Companion would have been even better, but sadly they're no longer around. Mudlab has no articles, only forums, and those aren't accepted.

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Originally Posted by Parhelion View Post
Derivatives can be assembled and listed in dynamic tables much the same way that available engines are listed on the Game Engines page (which separates Open Source, Free for Use, and Commercial engines) - this way they are reachable and can even be cited.
I already tried that. On the GodWars page I listed 21 of its publically released derivatives. Someone deleted the entire section, blurb and all, claiming it was a link farm.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:05 AM   #263
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
I already tried that. On the GodWars page I listed 21 of its publically released derivatives. Someone deleted the entire section, blurb and all, claiming it was a link farm.

Was it put up for deletion, or did someone just troll around and remove it directly?

It may have appeared like a linkfarm because of the similarities between the different versions, or you may have been linking to similar pages over and over again. I don't know, since I didn't see it.

You could try again, but only link the healthier derivatives, and instead leave the others unlinked with a notation of where to find them.

Most of the tables that I've seen do not link directly off of Wikipedia; with the example of the game engine page, most of the links go to the wikipage of the game engine in question OR the company that developed it. Could you try providing just one link somewhere in the article leading to a Godwars repository?
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:04 AM   #264
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Parhelion View Post
I think it would help, in the long term, by creating a source pool for citing materials AND it would send the first olive branch to the wiki mods that our community writers are more serious about playing by their rules. HOWEVER, I strongly disagree that TMC or TMS should be the sites to do this. Why? The short answer is public relations and background.
Okay, I'll back you on that.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:01 PM   #265
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Kylotan View Post
Scandum and Parhelion have it exactly right. Wikipedia is a great site on the whole when used for its intended purpose - getting an overview of a subject and finding further sources to be able to dig deeper. You can say what you like about the editors but on the whole it's no less accurate than a normal encyclopaedia for the most commonly read articles. However, like a normal encyclopaedia, it's not there to provide poorly-sourced pages about fairly trivial things, like individual instances of a forked game code base. What might be more appropriate is a summary page with links to external entries on mud-specific Wikis. But there's little point everybody on here whining about the admins or the rules. Wikipedia is what it is, like it or not, and you have the choices of putting articles on there that are well-cited and which are useful information for everybody, or choosing not to and seeing them get deleted.
The problem with this is that things that are well-cited can still be pushed off of Wikipedia by a war of attrition. It only takes one editor who wants to another notch in his belt to begin edit-warring and whittling away at every source. You can actually do it on almost anything that isn't a current popular fad. For example, if you go to the Dragonlance page, you can knock out about 70% of the sources because they're published by TSR or WotC. (Conflict of interest and self-publishing are what was claimed when long-standing MUD sites were cited.) Most of the rest of the sources are either fan pages or articles written by the authors of the series. If the movie had not been released and the article finally improved in citation, Dragonlance could have easily been attacked in the same manner as individual MUDs are.

If you look up Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Settings, the article is barely scted. I happened on the page while looking to improve the Savage Coast campaign setting entry, and unfortunately, I discovered, instead, that I'd lost my entire Red Steel campaign books somewhere. I've been searching for a replacement, but it's been out of print for years and also incorporated into the Savage Coast. The campaign setting existed, was popular for about a year and a half, and now it's lost in the TSR/WoTC rumble in addition to the sheer amount of time that has passed.

Ultimately, it's the whining that keeps mud entries where they are, especially for bigger MUDs or the ones that hold historical significance. From what I've seen, it's the whining that gets things done on Wikipedia and a handful of editors that got their position from building up Wikipedia rather than knocking it down.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:05 PM   #266
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by DonathinFrye View Post
Additionally, what of sending press releases to BrightHub to see if any of their paid article writers would be willing to review genre-specific material. Certainly that would also contribute to notability and reach out to new potential users in an effort to expand the size of the community.
Thanks, DF. We've worked on this and are waiting to hear back from a few administrators of MUD dedicated sites as well as a few games.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:18 AM   #267
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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The problem with this is that things that are well-cited can still be pushed off of Wikipedia by a war of attrition. It only takes one editor who wants to another notch in his belt to begin edit-warring and whittling away at every source. You can actually do it on almost anything that isn't a current popular fad.
This is my problem as well. Some snot nosed uneducated high school drop out who plays Wiki day in and day out and happens to be an editor that could never get a job editing anything but his own neighborhood paper can control a listing.

Down with Wiki and its little dog Toto too!
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:16 PM   #268
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

What with how I've probably been the most active Wikipedia editor in MUD-related topics by a couple of orders of magnitude for the past year or so, I feel like I should comment on this.

There is no conspiracy. Seriously. Wikipedia has issues and Threshold got hit by some particularly nasty ones, but it's not that bad. The ongoing progress of Wikipedia, and the Threshold controversy's contribution to it, is part of that. It is presently better than it has been at times in the past. I've seen entries like "MU* inherently non-notable" in old deletion discussions; nobody would make that argument today, because if they did it would be ignored. That's because the evolving consensus of Wikipedia has moved past "I personally think it's stupid" being accepted as relevant. There are wikisnobs who think MUDs are a footnote to a footnote, and I've been known to get a little enraged by them, but these are individuals, not the system. They can be worked past.

Now, as many of the voices of reason have noted, it's all about the sources. By far the most importance sentence in the issue of whether a WP article will stay around is this: "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." That is, Wikipedia's General Notability Guideline. And yeah, there really are books and magazine articles and newspaper articles about MUDs out there.

The previously noted infighting-oriented nature of the MUD "community" doesn't help anyone when brought to Wikipedia. If your whole mindset is about treating WP as another MUD listing site to get an entry on, your article is probably going to get deleted. If it would never occur to you to write or improve an article about a MUD other than your own, you're not thinking like a Wikipedia editor, which isn't going to work out for you any better than, say, somebody coming to your MUD, getting a staff position and proceeding to try to implement everything they like about WoW and remove the rest.

I've created or recreated a number of articles about MUDs that I have nothing to do with (and in some cases actively loathe), like:

1. Genocide (online game)
2. MOOSE Crossing
3. Shattered World
4. Holy Mission
5. NannyMUD
6. Sojourn (online game)
7. Xyllomer
8. Cheeseplant's House

Then there's articles that aren't about a particular MUD at all, like:

1. Chronology of MUDs
2. Imaginary Realities
3. Designing Virtual Worlds
4. Wizard (MUD)
5. Immortal (MUD)
6. God (MUD)
7. Consider (MUD)
8. Rent (MUD)
9. Dworkin's Game Driver
10. MUDDL (programming language)
11. SWLPC (programming language)

I've also added sourcing to a lot of existing MUD articles, and done my best to save several from deletion (I tried with Arctic MUD and failed).

There are a lot of good reasons to do this; one is because the actual nominal mission of Wikipedia is awesome, and helping it is a Good Thing; another is that every such article that meets Wikipedia's standards makes it more obvious that our field of endeavor here matters.

Point being, I've been successful at building out MUD-related content on Wikipedia because the content I'm writing contributes to the encyclopedia more than it contributes to getting traffic to my MUD, and because it cites sources and otherwise tries to follow Wikipedia's rules.

Honestly, while I don't feel that the "has been mentioned repeatedly in mainstream media" benchmark for notability is all that great (to my taste, it's a bit too much privileging of the viewpoint of soulless organizations that exist to make people like Rupert goddamned Murdoch richer), it's there for a reason, one that's about the entire project, not just MUDs, and nobody has come up with a better alternative. Trying to get things that anyone can see don't mean anything, like listings and forum posts on sites like TMC and TMS, to count toward notability will not, and should not, happen because, as plagued with nonsense as WP already is, it would become exponentially worse if there were no longer any rationale to remove the nonsense. Long story short, it's not all about you.

So, y'know, how about instead of telling ourselves drama-filled stories about how we're persecuted and they're out to get us, we do the damn work? (And part of what I mean by that is somebody other than me friggin' joining the WP MUD task force. What the hell.)
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:25 PM   #269
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

You have lots of extremely valid points, CP, and I do agree with many of them. Most importantly, I think things have gotten a LOT better since the Threshold incident, and there's been a big movement away from such things. Unfortunately, Arctic Mud has a pretty important place in MUDding history, but finding sources has proven to be extremely difficult. Granted, I'm looking for several sources that I've never actually physically laid eyes on rather than remembering things that I've read in the past. It's much harder to find things when I'm trying to recall things in distant memory for a game I've never played, but that's part of the problem. I don't really feel like I have a lot of time to find the sources before an entry goes kaput. Many paper sources take weeks to be mailed to someone, and sometimes, they even come with a cost depending on where you find the source.

Yes, it's true that I came in during the AfD, but I honestly had no idea that Artic Mud needed sources until it was mentioned here. If the admins of Arctic Mud want to contact me, I'd be happy to write and publish an article about them, their history and their game. There's plenty of independent writers who would be glad to be in touch with any of the admins of established or historical muds.

As a side note, I was totally boggled to find this entry (not entirely work safe) on Wikipedia.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:54 PM   #270
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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This is what bothered me about this most when we went through the same thing with the Aardwolf listing then the Threshold listing. If you alert people interested in MUDs that the discussion is taking place, you are written off as "soliciting" or "campaigning" (I don't remember the exact term they used). So basically, if you're not in the discussion when it started, your opinion doesn't count because you were "solicited".
They basically fix the system.

Obviously the majority of people on the internet, including Wikipedia readers, don't give a crap about Wikipedia policies or "how the sausage gets made."

So obviously when something crazy starts to happen with a listing, the people who care about THAT LISTING are going to look for help in explaining why it is a legitimate listing.

But they have set up the system so if you are not already an insider, your opinion doesn't matter. And by the time you actually care about a listing, it is too late to become an insider.

It reminds me of the ways lawyers work to make sure the legal system remains a game of insiders where their jobs are always guaranteed (Something I experienced first hand both as a lawyer and someone who worked in government for a time). Disgusting.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:00 AM   #271
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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You seem to think there's some sort of overarching grand plan to eradicate certain things.
But there is. That's how loser wanna-be admins "score points" so they can level up and make admin.

The original core group of Wikipedia admins earned their stripes by WRITING stuff, researching topics, and doing their level best to make Wikipedia a useful source of information. These are the same people who deliberately rejected "notability" as an official policy, and instead opted for things like "Wikipedia is not paper" and tended towards inclusiveness over deletionism. After all, once information is gone, it tends to stay lost. Irrelevant information on a giant web site like Wikipedia hurts nothing.

But over time, all the easy stuff to write on got covered. So now these no-lifers who care more about the title and "power" of being a Wikipedia admin have to find things to delete to earn "points" and credibility towards earning adminhood.

Unfortunately, a lot of the early admins have moved on and have other commitments in life. These well meaning, hard working folks who care about the founding principles of Wikipedia are being drowned out and dominated by the new crowd who are just in it for the power trip.

This is one of the many serious problems that plagues Wikipedia right now. Sadly, nobody has come along with a decent alternative.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:07 AM   #272
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Ah, sadly, Arctic Mud's listing was deleted. 2 weeks really isn't enough time to try to comb through paper sources, honestly.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:24 AM   #273
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

This is an all too often seen reason why Wiki blows harder than a hurricane:
User:Orangemike - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:00 AM   #274
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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This is an all too often seen reason why Wiki blows harder than a hurricane:
User:Orangemike - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This.

I've never quite understood the deletionist tendency. Inclusiveness is what makes Wikipedia not Encarta or Encyclopedia Britannica. Besides, where the hell else am I suppopsed to go to find biographical information on obscure porn stars?

I also find it amusing that he links to the article on the inclusionist-deletionist spectrum, an article which to the general readership of Wikipedia is probably no more relevant or useful than some of the types of articles he seems to think violate Wikipedia's standards.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:53 AM   #275
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Ah, sadly, Arctic Mud's listing was deleted. 2 weeks really isn't enough time to try to comb through paper sources, honestly.
It's fine. If the sources turn up we can just re-create it.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:36 AM   #276
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Ah, excellent! I'm honestly still a little gun shy on Wikipedia since it records any mistakes you make as well. I'm pretty good at finding sources, though. Would really appreciate help adding them to entries. I noticed the sources I found for DR ever got added, so I'll have to try to do it again!
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #277
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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I also find it amusing that he links to the article on the inclusionist-deletionist spectrum, an article which to the general readership of Wikipedia is probably no more relevant or useful than some of the types of articles he seems to think violate Wikipedia's standards.
I found his entire biography comical like this and he is the rule not the exception. Reminds me of Comic Store Guy from Simpson's finding self importance.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:06 PM   #278
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
Ah, excellent! I'm honestly still a little gun shy on Wikipedia since it records any mistakes you make as well. I'm pretty good at finding sources, though. Would really appreciate help adding them to entries. I noticed the sources I found for DR ever got added, so I'll have to try to do it again!
Most Web sources are pretty useless, unfortunately. I'd recommend peeking through the reliable source docs. Learning how to add them was a huge step for me; the main thing is getting comfortable with the citation templates (take a look at any of the articles I created for reasonably easy-to-read examples). The best help for the embarrassment issue is the "show preview" button.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:03 PM   #279
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Thanks. Hopefully, I'll pick it up quickly again.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:03 PM   #280
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Most Web sources are pretty useless, unfortunately. I'd recommend peeking through the reliable source docs.
That never ceases to amaze me, since Wikipedia is itself, obviously, a "web source."

One thing that is interesting is that the page you linked to does not explain much about what is a reliable source. Instead it just talks about what are an unreliable source. That fact right there seems to indicate they care more about finding loopholes to invalidate sources rather than provide ways for people to understand, in advance, that a source IS reputable.

For gaming information in particular, mainstream media RARELY covers it. Most gaming related news and analysis is going to be on the web. And by gaming I mean not just MUDs but everything.

So in that case, what makes a web source reputable? Editorial oversight? Not being self published? Professional controls that monitor legal issues for the site? Am I understanding the criteria?
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