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Old 01-05-2009, 11:56 AM   #61
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

The thing is, everyone here (including those who created the AfD) seems to be biased. You need to step back at look at the situation as if from a third party.

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One more thing Zeno (and by the way, thank for visiting this site, signing up, and posting):
Is this part of the blind bias? I've been on TMS for 4 years, so I don't know why you're thanking me and the like. I said I was a Wikipedia editor (and I am; first edit on Wikipedia was in 2005), but I never said I'm not part of the MUD community.

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
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.
Haven't looked at that. If those who they did ban were sockpuppets, that is a valid reason to be banned.

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If anyone got frustrated and dared to simple go back to an older version that they could actually WORK FROM, they'd get banned.
Reverting without discussing it first can cause that. Revert wars are unwanted.

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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?
The response to my argument (which was to keep the article) was completely valid and logical.

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And every single citation or reference is just too minor in their eyes to be relevant.
Most of the refs seem to be dead links. The one physical article ref is apparently a sentence or two. It helps, but it won't keep the article from being deleted.

Honestly I think Wikipedia's notability guidelines is way too harsh. I had my MUD as a Wikipedia page at one time, and it eventually got deleted. But my MUD isn't notable, and that's the truth.

Threshold seems to be notable, but it seems like you're having a hard time finding a number of valid third party references or sources.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:58 AM   #62
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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
Just because other stuff exists doesn't mean it is a reason for retaining.
Stating it that way is a little bit misleading. According to the actual policy: OTHERSTUFFEXISTS.

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In various discussions regarding a wide variety of articles, editors will inevitably point to similarities across the project as reasons to keep, delete, or create a particular article or policy. Sometimes these comparisons are invalid, and sometimes they are valid. The invalid comparisons are generally so painfully invalid that there has been a backlash against the "other stuff exists" type of rationales.

When used correctly though, these comparisons are important as the encyclopedia should be consistent in the content that it provides or excludes. The problem arises when legitimate comparisons are disregarded without thought because "other stuff existing is not a reason to keep/create/etc."
This is the problem with a lot of the policies that are being bandied about in the discussion. The pro-delete folks are frequently just quoting the name of a policy, and then stating their view of it as if they are quoting it. But if you actually click on the link and read it, a lot of the time the policy is nothing like the way they state it.

Their Holy Hand Grenade of Deletion being lobbed by the pro-delete crowd is the notability guideline. But more htan HALF of that page is made up of "Arguments against deleting articles for non-notability."

And while we are at it, don't forget: WP:NOT and WP:BASH

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WP:NOT observes that "there is no practical limit to the number of topics we can cover, or the total amount of content;" if it pleases our editors to expatiate at obsessive length on comic books or 1970s TV shows, they should be encouraged to do so provided their contributions are verifiable, sourced, and original. The fact that our Pokemon articles are thorough and informative stands as a testament to the power and usefulness of "fancruft". And the argument that a similar series may eventually become its equal is a perfectly valid argument from analogy. It does not deserve to be belittled or preemptively discounted.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:04 PM   #63
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

OK. Lets put the question this way, Neurolysis (or one of the other wikipedia people reading this), what WOULD be a reference that actually covers MUDs and MUDing in general that you would accept?

This is keeping in mind that most MUDs are NOT reviewed commercially, do not have books written about them and do not get mentioned in the "mainstream" media, but still obviously exist and very clearly generate a lot of passion. This discussion seems to have boiled down to finding a single reference that Wikipedia finds to be up to its standard to prove that Threshold is noteworthy. Therefore, if all the references produced do not meet the standard of proof for the wikipedia (fair enough) what WOULD be a definitive authoritative notable EXISTING source related to MUDing that you would accept?

Threshold exists. It attracts thousands of players. It has been clearly recognized as important (if not noteworthy) by experts in the profession. Its the elephant in the room. Since you have been helpful and have posted several times during the day, could you help the MUD community to NOT turn this debate over a single article of average (or below) quality into a crusade over the noteworthiness of all MUDs in general, which is exactly what is happening when one reads all the reasons for rejection of all the bits of evidence presented. I know the burden of proof is on the game, but it would sure as hell help us bystanders not get all worked up if it went back to being what it is- a debate over a single article, not a question of the reliability and validity of all MUD references.

So what WOULD be a hypothetical MUD reference that the Wikipedia would find acceptable? That way the people from Theshold can perhaps go back to editing the article and we can all go back to our own MUDs.

As stated previously, I have no affiliation with Threshold- past, present or future.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:05 PM   #64
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

By the way, considering how virulent the pro-delete folks have been about "canvassing", it was pretty disturbing to be made aware of this little nugget on Mendaliv's user page:

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Discussing Threshold AfD

Could you please come onto ##neurolysis? It is reasonably urgent that I speak to you in private, please, when you get there, simply say 'Neurolysis', and my computer will alert me that you are there. Thanks, — neuro(talk) 15:43, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Is that really appropriate?

You guys have full posting rights, unlike the rest of us that the pro-delete folks got banned. Why would you need to discuss it off-wiki, when you can share your arguments right there for everyone?

Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions and there is nothing untoward going on there. But it certainly looks bad to me.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:40 PM   #65
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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
That's exactly the antonym of what you should be thinking about. The question is are there multiple sources of reviews for these?
That was my point.

--matt
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:57 PM   #66
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

If we're seeking a suitable source to prove notarity for the game, can we use this thread? Recent history and activity (all logically preserved in web-accessable media I might add) has shown that this is such a big deal that not only have users belonging to this site found it pertainant to participate, but a number of authorities on Wikipedia have also blessed the subject as important enough (i.e. notable) to personally take time out of their important schedules to decend upon us and show us the way to prudence.

And if that's not enough, and thus those individuals from wikipedia along with the rest of us are thus not really important at all, then perhaps this would be an acceptable alternative: a fullly documented entry with valid *first hand* references to the historical event surounding the deletion of the Threshold Wikipedia entry, which obviously would need some link or reference to--not to mention background information on--Threshold itself in order to make sure the reader fully understands the situation and circumstances. It might be required to provide the original and modified entries of Threshold's entry to help further fully explain the situation. I think the only wrinkle to this would be finding an independant non-baised source to create and maintain the entry... no one here qualifies, and certainly no one on wikipedia for the same reasons.
We can then link this entry as an antithesis to the ones concerning the wikipedia/Colbert scandle, as well as wikipedia/Ryan Jordan, as a good example of when wikipedia stands in the justified light.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:03 PM   #67
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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
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 know, I have to disagree here. TMS and TMC are not the IGNs of the Mud world. Mudconnector also has never had full-time staff dedicated to reviewing MUDs. I believe they've always been hobbyist volunteers doing the reviewing. That's not to say the reviews don't matter but I can see Wikipedia's point here. Nothing on TMS or TMC is authoritative in any way. The voting is a game, not a meaningful measure of much (note that the two most popular text MUDs don't even appear in the top 20 here). The reviews are largely solicited, and the rest is largely forum traffic, which I don't believe should count as a reference source.


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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."
But that really speaks to TMC's notability, not whether it should be used as a reference for other sites/games or not. There's nothing about TMC's content that's authoritative in any way except to affirm the existence or not of a particular MUD.

As an analogy: MUD I was notable, but discussions within MUD I, even if archived, shouldn't be used as a reference source.

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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.
Now come on, that's a bit of hyperbole don't you think? MUDs as a whole never even came close to the ubiquity that Wikipedia has achieved. I'd be willing to lay a lot of money that more people will use Wikipedia this month (close to 60 million people just on the English language version) than have collectively played all text MUDs ever. It's a scale thing as much as anything else. The internet is simply more important and far more widely used now than it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago. Remember that Wikipedia is, rightly, not concerned with relative notability but overall notability (ie as an extreme case: just because someone is really well-known in a hobby shared by only a dozen other people doesn't make them notable at all by Wikipedia's standards, as nothing that only a dozen people are interested in can possibly produce notability).


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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.
It's pretty rare, but it does happen. Total PC Gaming magazine recently did a (very) small bit on MUDs, though they literally mentioned only three of them, which is kind of weird given how many MUDs there are, but I suppose most of their readership just doesn't care.

I totally sympathize with your efforts regarding Threshold, and it's very clear that in this particular case the reason it was delisted and is staying delisted has a lot more to do with the biases of a couple of Wikipedia editors than anything else, but I think the Wikipedia guys do have a point once you strip out the bullsh*t antics going on over there.

--matt
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:18 PM   #68
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
Now come on, that's a bit of hyperbole don't you think? MUDs as a whole never even came close to the ubiquity that Wikipedia has achieved.
Not really, no. What percentage of internet users currently use or know about wikipedia?

10-15 years ago, what percentage of internet users played or knew about muds?

There was a time when MUDs were one of the biggest things on the internet. So no, I don't think it is hyperbole.

Wikipedia's policies specifically say it is worthwhile to have articles on things as obscure as long forgotten 70s TV shows, out of print comic book heroes that never got more than an issue or two, and all sorts of other non-mainstream topics. If that is the case, then MUDs and major sites about MUDs certainly qualify. And if MUDs qualify, I believe Threshold is one such MUD that would be notable.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:37 PM   #69
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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
Not really, no. What percentage of internet users currently use or know about wikipedia?

10-15 years ago, what percentage of internet users played or knew about muds?

There was a time when MUDs were one of the biggest things on the internet. So no, I don't think it is hyperbole.
If this was a print encyclopedia and the internet had 5 people, would it matter that all five of them played a MUD? Would that make the MUD notable? No. The context is the whole world, not just the internet, and far far fewer people played MUDs than use Wikipedia. The internet itself was a lot less notable 15 years ago than it is now. Wikipedia doesn't exist to chronicle that which is big on the internet, regardless of the internet's size. It exists to chronicle that which is notable, period. (Of course, it falls down a lot on that mission, but that is its ostensible mission.)

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Wikipedia's policies specifically say it is worthwhile to have articles on things as obscure as long forgotten 70s TV shows, out of print comic book heroes that never got more than an issue or two, and all sorts of other non-mainstream topics. If that is the case, then MUDs and major sites about MUDs certainly qualify. And if MUDs qualify, I believe Threshold is one such MUD that would be notable.
I do find it endlessly amusing (and quite silly) how much coverage on Wikipedia is given to fictional personalities (like comic book superheroes).

--matt
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:46 PM   #70
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

If the "I Kiss You" guy and other Internet Phenomena have valid pages on Wikipedia, then clearly something being big on the internet (like MUDs were at one time) is more than enough for a subject to be notable.

How many people owned a Timex Sinclair? A lot less people that have played MUDs. But Timex Sinclair has a page, and it is certainly a significant enough piece of computer history to deserve one.

There is absolutely no denying the historical significance MUDs have played for the internet and for online gaming. As such, when evaluating the notability of a MUD, one must look to the sources of information that are pertinent within that subject matter. That points to TMC, TMS, TMJ, GameCommandos, and perhaps a handful of other sites.

And furthermore, if Dr. Bartle says TMC is a significant and notable source of information, I'm inclined to believe him.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:48 PM   #71
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

Just in case folks here are not aware, the issue is now starting to get picked up by major gaming blogs.

Dr. Richard Bartle: Threshold

Raph Koster: Losing Mud History
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:15 PM   #72
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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

And furthermore, if Dr. Bartle says TMC is a significant and notable source of information, I'm inclined to believe him.
Dr. Bartle is one dude. I disagree with him in this case (and in numerous others).

I don't see what information is presented on TMC that makes it authoritative in any way. The entries about the MUDs are basically advertisements written by the MUD admins. The voting is a game and isn't reflective of anything beyond that the MUD is good at playing that game, etc. TMC itself as a site might be notable but that doesn't make the information within it something that should be used as a reference.

After all, if that's the case, why shouldn't every MUD on TMC, no matter how insignificant, no matter how few players, have an entry, since they're all "covered" by TMC? I think if you're making the case that Threshold is notable because it's on TMC, you're making a very weak case. Pick the things that make it notable. Being on TMC isn't one of them.

--matt
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:29 PM   #73
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
I think if you're making the case that Threshold is notable because it's on TMC, you're making a very weak case. Pick the things that make it notable. Being on TMC isn't one of them.
Matt, the argument has been made on the basis of a lot more than just TMC. That is one of like 10 different things. If you would like to know the full argument, I would highly recommend you read the AfD itself, the AfD's talk page (yes, a discussion page for a discussion page), and the other detailed posts in this thread.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:16 PM   #74
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

The Threshold article on Wikipedia is rubbish and should be deleted in its current form. I had a quick peek at google's usenet archive, but the only notable thing I found was some 1998 posts about a non profit (medievia style) copyright violation (apparently Threshold is a lpmud illegally charging money) - I lost interest in making a positive contribution after that, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

As it is 90% of the mud related articles should be deleted since they're unsourced, biased, and unencyclopedic.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:27 PM   #75
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Kleothera View Post
This is keeping in mind that most MUDs are NOT reviewed commercially, do not have books written about them and do not get mentioned in the "mainstream" media,
You've hit the jackpot.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:45 PM   #76
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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
Matt, the argument has been made on the basis of a lot more than just TMC. That is one of like 10 different things. If you would like to know the full argument, I would highly recommend you read the AfD itself, the AfD's talk page (yes, a discussion page for a discussion page), and the other detailed posts in this thread.
Nod, I did. I'm just pointing out that being on TMC lends absolutely no notability in my opinion (or, it seems, in the opinion of Wikipedia). Being on TMC is, after all, simply a matter of choosing to be there. Anyone can do it without any barrier. It doesn't signify anything except that the MUD exists.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:13 PM   #77
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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
You've hit the jackpot.
That, while gratifying, with all due respect doesnt answer the question.

What do niche hobbies DO to find references that are sufficiently mainstream to be considered acceptable?

And, The_Logos, what TMC can do is prove that the MUD exists and has been receiving fairly good reviews over a consistent period of time and clocking a high vote which indicates popularity in the niche community of MUD players. It doesnt say anything about the game features (Unless there is an independent TMC review of it) or anything of the game's history. The MUD vote does not provide evidence of it being THE best MUD or the most well liked one or most original or most anything. However, the consistent vote count DOES indicate an active playerbase which in turn indicates its better off than most. Its not definitive proof, but its indicative of something.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:19 PM   #78
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

MUDs will never die. The roots cannot die. From time to time they may be less or more played but they will stay. There are always people who find the magic from muds. Today there is no graphical game that could give you the same feelings and adrenaline that a good mud does. That is why books never die even if there are recorded tapes or movies. The roots cannot die.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:52 PM   #79
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Kleothera View Post
That, while gratifying, with all due respect doesnt answer the question.
What do niche hobbies DO to find references that are sufficiently mainstream to be considered acceptable?
I've found well written Usenet posts archived by google groups particularly useful for sourcing early mud history on Wikipedia given they're dated and cannot be altered.

Some MUDs will be screwed though since there is no reliable proof whatsoever of their existence.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:52 PM   #80
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Re: In defense of all MUDs. Our genre's noteworthiness is being questioned.

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Originally Posted by Kleothera View Post
That, while gratifying, with all due respect doesnt answer the question.

What do niche hobbies DO to find references that are sufficiently mainstream to be considered acceptable?
But that's kind of the point: It's not about being notable WITHIN a hobby. It's about being notable, period (or at least that seems to be the intent. I think we all know the intent isn't exactly reflected in reality in many cases). Being a big fish in a very tiny pond isn't very notable generally speaking. It's why small-town mayors don't tend to get Wikipedia pages, for instance, I'd imagine, whereas the mayor of New York City will.

And remember that it's not about the hobby finding references. It's about individual games within the hobby finding references to prove notability. That is possible, and there are text MUDs that can meet Wikipedia's notability standards (again, regardless of whether we consider those standards fair or not, they're what we're dealing with).

Quote:
And, The_Logos, what TMC can do is prove that the MUD exists and has been receiving fairly good reviews over a consistent period of time
Wikipedia's legitimate point here is that the player reviews on something like TMC are meaningless. It's just random people submitting reviews, and those reviews can be solicited.


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and clocking a high vote which indicates popularity in the niche community of MUD players.
Yeah, but again, it's not enough to be a big fish in a tiny pond. If there was a niche community of 3 people and 2 of them voted for one of the three, should that person have a Wikipedia page as a result? After all, 2/3rds of the community voted for him. The size of the community matters a lot in terms of overall notability. (A three person community isn't able to lend its members much notability.)

Quote:
It doesnt say anything about the game features (Unless there is an independent TMC review of it) or anything of the game's history. The MUD vote does not provide evidence of it being THE best MUD or the most well liked one or most original or most anything. However, the consistent vote count DOES indicate an active playerbase which in turn indicates its better off than most. Its not definitive proof, but its indicative of something.
I don't think that just having active players makes you notable. If that was the case, then virtually every MUD is notable, every publication on earth read by a few hundred people is notable, etc.

Judged by online games in general, there are no text MUDs that are notable for the size of their populations.

I don't mean to sound so negative in these few posts I've made in this thread. I just think you guys are barking up the wrong tree. Putting aside the petty biases that one particular Wikipedia editor seems to have, I think I'd probably make the same decision in Wikipedia's shoes, with the information that Wikipedia has available to it.
--matt
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