Compiled and annotated by Richard Bartle
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The Economist, 23rd February 1985, pg 88.
A rather impressive bundle of half-truths and falsehoods to confuse
business people trying to keep abreast of the (then) latest technology.
Written more from a "this is news" point of view than magazine articles,
but still with a touch of the "and this is how you play it" stuffing. The
MUD it talks about is MUD1, of course, given the date.
Note: Rumour has it that this article was written by Jane Firbank,
but "The Economist" didn't credit anyone.
- Davy, J. & Ho, S.,
Fed Up with Dragons,
The Observer, 13th August 1989, pg 32.
A feature on FEDERATION II, and quite a long one at that. It
includes fragments of an interview with Alan Lenton, the game's author,
and carries a photograph of him that looks even worse than real life.
- Firbank, J.,
Danger - Micros can Damage your Marriage,
The Mail on Sunday YOU magazine, 21st October 1984, pp 42-43.
A populist piece of writing pandering to common prejudices held by
readers of "The Mail on Sunday". Superficial, but nevertheless a
surprisingly good early piece on the subject of computer addiction. Rather
shot out of the water by Shotton's book, though! MUD1 gets a mention,
with me held up as an example of an archetypal computer addict as a
Historical note: Firbank later went on to work for CompuNet, who
ran the first commercial version of MUD1 - and one of its programmers then
went on to write FEDERATION II. Firbank is now regularly consulted by
newspapers such as "The Sun" when they need a quick psychological opinion
on some public figure based on their observed behaviour.
- Firbank, J.,
The World-Wide Club of Wizards,
Daily Mail, 8th January 1985, pg 22.
The usual lowest-common-denominator piece typical of newspaper
computer pages. It contains nothing new, but then it doesn't have to. Only
MUD1 is mentioned, its being the only commercial system around at the
time (on CompuNet).
- Knox, B.,
It Ought to be a MUG's Game,
The Guardian, 2nd October 1986, (page unknown)
The normal, bland newspaper article on MUD2, but with a little
substance somehow concealed from the sub-editor's axe. Knox was a MUD1
player, who later presented a Channel 4 TV series on computers, and the
final few paragraphs on the future of MUDs do actually manage to say
- Lally, I.,
Essex County Standard, 8th June 1984, pg. 22.
The usual MUD1 tale, this time from the point of view of Essex
University's Information Officer. A reworking of material in the
University's clippings files, plus a few superlatives to make the work
sound academically meaningful.
- Manchester, P. Z.,
Chatting up Total Strangers at Home,
The Times, 13th November 1984, pg 26.
A formal article on MUD1 for a formal newspaper. Informative, but
not particularly deep: it tells computer illiterates what the game is
about and what it involves, but doesn't tax their minds any further. Did
I really have such a bad-looking moustache in those days?
- Schofield, J.,
Dialling the World,
The Guardian, 9th August 1984, pg 15.
A typical look at comms for the benefit of intelligent laymen who
intend to remain laymen for the rest of their lives. MUD1 gets a brief
mention, but otherwise it's just a collection of comforting techno-phrases
to con the readers into thinking they're learning something.
- Sherer, A.,
Fast Lane Thrills on Computer,
Essex County standard, 20th May, 1988.
A rare article describing MICROMUD, the single-player version of
MUD1 brought out for people who couldn't play the real thing. If the
game had been finished on time and debugged, it might have done rather
well. Still, Sherer wasn't to know that when she wrote about it... There's
a nice photograph of me, alongside the text.
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