Published articles by me on MUDs. Most of these have been scanned from the
magazines in which they appeared.
A Voice from the Dungeon
Practical Computing, pages 126 to 130,
This was the first article on MUDs published anywhere, although I
put it together almost a year beforehand in response to an
in Practical Computing which had hypothesised
on the possibility of someday having multi-player adventures.
The first third or so of what I wrote is irrelevent today (and wasn't
especially interesting in 1983!), but it really picks up thereafter.
I've changed all spellings of MUD from "Mud"
to "MUD", since my original
text capitalised it but the typesetter chose not to. I have,
however, left in the results of my doing a late
macro change on all occurrences of "adventure"
to "Adventure" (sigh). The only other alteration
is the correction of a typo (it had "fro" instead
of "for"); I resisted the temptation to
put <CITE>s around all the program names...
A letter in Micro Adventurer,
referring to an article in their July issue.
on the magic network
Commodore Horizons, page 37,
Commodore Horizons was a magazine
from the Micro Adventurer stable,
and since I was already writing
articles for that
publication, they asked me to squeeze out
another. What I gave them was edited a
little to jolly up the text, and extra stuff
about CompuNet was inserted; however, it doesn't
have any obvious errors. The limit of 12
external users was because of the number
of dial-in modems hooked to the DEC-10
(including 4 which were paid for by a
whip-round among the players themselves!).
The article comes with a map which is the
same as the one in
Micro Adventurer and a photograph
of me in the Interactive Teaching Laboratory
(ITL) at Essex University.
STUCK IN THE MUD
Your Commodore, pages 86 and 97,
I wrote this because I was asked to by the people at
Your Commodore. I did it in the semi-jokey
style beloved of UK computer magazines then and now,
although it was edited a little (I didn't start a
sentence with the word "And", for certain!).
The title and linear separators aren't mine, either. It's
accurate, of course, except for the 1979 start date which
should have been late 1978 (an error I was to repeat for
many years until I actually thought about it!).
MUD MAN RESPONDS
Acorn User, page 40,
A letter I wrote in response to an
comparing MUD2 with
Who Plays MUAs?
Comms Plus!, pages 18 and 19,
Having spent some time putting together my summary
a year earlier, I figured I may as well make something of it and
send it off to be published. For the rest of the story,
see the background to
Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades.
PROBLEMS IN THE MUD
OASIS Newsletter, pages 2 and 3,
I joined the Organisation Against
Sexism In Software (OASIS)
when it began, more out of support than the
expectation I would get anything out of it.
After a while, though, I thought I may as well
take the opportunity that membership afforded
to pose a question which had been bothering me
for some time (indeed, it still bothers me):
what to do when someone types rape <player>
at the game. My letter was printed as an article,
and was followed in the next issue by a
Kathuria. Paola sent me her comments
in advance, so I could prepare my own
reply to them.
Naturally, no sooner had this happened than
OASIS immediately folded, and that was
the end of that debate (sigh).
A RAPID RESPONSE
OASIS Newsletter, pages 5 and 6,
This is my reply to
Kathuria's response to my earlier
problem statement about
the "rape" command in MUD. I
believe Paola prepared a counter-reply, but OASIS
went under before it could be printed.
Bad Ideas for Multi-Player Games
The Cursor, pages 10 and 11,
I was "UK and Associate Editor" for
although it didn't entail doing much except reading articles
that had been submitted and commenting on them.
I wrote a column too. This one was originally for a
double-page article, but I was asked to cut it down to
single-page size. It was then printed double-page, and padded
out with (unrelated) artwork (sigh).
I used this piece as the basis for a talk I gave at
Online Entertainment '97 (some 4
months before this issue (#2) of The Cursor finally made
it off the presses..!).
As with many articles in The Cursor,
this one comes with a short commentary from another
author or guest reviewer; luckily for me, industry
was the one to write it.
Even Movies Have Directors
Realities is one of the better online MUD magazines. They wrote
to me asking for an article, and, pursuant to my belief that
anything which promotes MUDs deserves all the help it can get, I
wrote one. It's fairly short (probably too short!), but it
does make a point.
A Wiz by Any Other Name
Admiral Bombow's Chronicles,
Chronicles is the house magazine for the
mud2.com incarnation of
MUD2. This is an extract from a piece put
together by Tethys where wizzes were asked to
explain the origins of their persona names; although the
article is therefore properly Tethys',
I don't feel too guilty for claiming this
particular bit as my own as I did actually contribute
it. I had, at the time, been looking for an opportunity to
explain some of the early social engineering that I did with
MUD; I'd have much rather not had to do so as
it makes me seem rather a manipulative person, but I felt it
necessary to counter the popular notion among certain researchers
that MUD1 was written by a couple of one-dimensional
hackers whose only aim was to provide a medium for adolescent
males to live out fantasies of bloodthirsty violence....
Avatar, Character, Persona.
Times is another house magazine, this time for
mudii.com - and
very good it is too. I wrote this short piece
in 2000 for a different MUD2 site
(mud2.co.uk), but if they ever published it then
it wasn't linked to the outside world (or at
least I never found it whenever I looked). I
therefore sent it to Muddled Times
as a token of my support.
Not Yet, You Fools!
Game Girl Advance,
I was asked to write a provocative piece for Game Girl Advance
about MMOs. I did just that, by criticising the increasing use of voice in MMORPGs.
I knew it was a losing battle, but hey, provocative is provocative! Sadly, I was
immediately dropped from a consultancy gig I was negotiating as a result; it
turned out that they wanted to know my thoughts on using voice in MMORPGs...
The Next 20: What’s in Store for Videogames in the Coming Two Decades? (.PDF)
For its 20th anniversary, Edge
wanted an article that made predictions about what the next 20 years had in store
for videogames. I'm not entirely sure why, but they asked me to write it. This
is the result. It's the original version I submitted; the published version (which
was credited to "Edge staff") had minor differences following edits by
the, er, Edge staff.
We've Won: Get Over it (.PDF)
28th April, 2008.
I was asked by the Guardian online team to write something provocative and
controversial for them about how games are viewed by society. I was happy to
These are series of articles: