The Mud Connector
|Type of site||Computer gaming website|
|Registration||Optional and free|
|Created by||Andrew Cowan|
|Launched||January 8, 1995|
The Mud Connector, abbreviated TMC, is a computer gaming web site which provides articles, discussions, reviews, resource links and game listings about MUDs. The site allows mud owners, administrators and enthusiasts to submit information and reviews about specific MUDs. Richard Bartle has recognized the site as containing over 1000 MUD listings, while the NY Times has recognized the site for its virtual communities suitable for children. The Mud Connector website has been referenced in over 50 print publications and has received over 50 research citations.
The Mud Connector website was founded on January 8, 1995 by Andrew Cowan and was hosted on the University of North Carolina at Greensboro mathematics department graduate assistants' Linux server. Shortly after the website was created it was believed lost due to a fatal hard disk crash and poor backup preparations; however, within a few months the webpage was found in a Netscape cache file and restored. Initial MUD data was gathered via frequent requests made on Usenet newsgroups such as rec.games.mud.admin inviting MUD administrators to submit their muds to the TMC database. Over time the Usenet postings were phased out and TMC outgrew the capabilities of its host, eventually moving to a dedicated server.
The TMC Discussion forums were powered by a proprietary engine that is derived from Radiation's discontinued bulletin board system, called Hyperthread. Discussion threads were readable by all TMC visitors, however, only TMC members could contribute to the discussions. TMC's discussion boards were not proactively moderated, instead a system existed for the reporting of topics which violated the website's terms of service. Following a controversial series of policy changes involving new moderation rules, the forum section of TMC was removed temporarily from the site on 29 July, 2013. On August 12, 2013 the forums returned, however, the custom TMC discussions software was replaced by SMF; Additionally, a moderation team was added to the forums.
Admin and Player Submitted Reviews
TMC accepts review submissions from MUD administrators and owners as well as their players. These review submissions are not automatically posted to the website, they are first examined by TMC staff to verify that they fit with the site's review submission guidelines. MUDs listed on TMC are not required to allow review postings, when the first review submission is received the administrator of the mud is notified and has the option of flagging the listing to prevent all reviews from being posted.
TMC Official Reviews
TMC provides staff-written reviews for muds which specifically request or accept an invitation by TMC to be reviewed. Over the years the TMC review team has changed frequently and often there have been large gaps of time between reviews. A typical TMC staff review is assigned to a single reviewer with the goal of breaking down the mud's gameplay into three main categories: Theme, Atmosphere and World. Additional notes are provided regarding anything that doesn't fit into one of the main categories and finally the reviewer's experience is summarized. Early reviews allowed the mud administration to include their feedback to the points covered in the review.
The Mud of the Month
In September 1995 TMC introduced a section to the website called "Mud of the Month". MUDs chosen as MUD of the Month were seen by the TMC staff to stand out in some way, to exhibit excellence and provide high quality examples of games prospective players might find available. Initially the MUD of the Month program ran for 3 months, the MUDs chosen during this time were JediMUD in September 1995, LegendMUD in October 1995 and Ancient Anguish in November 1995. A two year hiatus followed, and in January 1998 the MUD of the Month feature returned, continuing until June 1999 when the program was discontinued permanently.
TMC has won a variety of awards, including the Britannica Internet Guide Award for Feb, 2000, PCGAME.COM Killer Site of the Day for October 1, 1997, and FidoCon II Best Text-Based Online Community for 2007.
- Towers, J. Tarin; Badertscher, Ken; Cunningham, Wayne; Buskirk, Laura (1996). Yahoo! Wild Web Rides. IDG Books Worldwide Inc. p. 138. ISBN 0-7645-7003-X. "The MUD Connector at http://www.mudconnect.com has just about everything you could possibly need to get on a MUD. It has MUD-related links to FAQs, newsgroups and clients; as well as player discussions and forums about different MUDs. This site also has a listing of over 500 MUDs, with pretty useful descriptions of what you can expect to find on most games. You can even click on the MUD or home page you'd like to see and link right to it. If you're shopping for a new MUD and aren't sure what you're looking for, this is the place to park it. We're talking big time bookmark material here."
- McClellan, Jim (1999-01-28). "Mind game in the MUD". Guardian Unlimited.
- Slatalla, Michelle (1998-02-26). "Computing; Parents' Dilemma: A Child's Own PC?". New York Times.
- Google Book Search.
- "Google Scholar".
- Cowan, Andrew (1995-01-08). "WWW Mud Connector". rec.games.mud.diku.
- Cowan, Andrew (1995-03-29). "WWW Mud Connector is back!". rec.games.mud.diku.
- Cowan, Andrew (1996-08-19). "The MUD Connector (mudlist)". rec.games.mud.announce.
- "Discussion Engine - Hyperthread". Radiation.
- "TMC Articles". The Mud Connector. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "Acknowledgements". The Mud Connector.