"MUD stands for Multi-User Dungeon. Or Multi-User Dimension. Or
Mauve Ugly Ducks." -ashne
I have collected here documents pertaining to the history of MUDS.
Most of these documents are posts saved from Usenet, MUD-related
mailing lists, or logs of MUD interactions.
Many of them are of historical or humorous interest.
Warning to the Browser
I have preserved whenever possible original words of the authors of
these documents. This may include offensive language and dreadful
spelling. Some of it is true, some is not, and most is a matter of
All text is copyright the original authors. In most cases, I
wasn't able to contact the authors to ask for their permission. If
you see something that you wrote and want it removed, let me know.
If you have something interesting enough to add here, or if you want
me to include references to your own Web pages, send mail to me at my
MUD History Summary
This essay is an attempt by Lauren P. Burka to summarize the history of
TinyMUDs. It has been abandoned as a project. You can go read it and laugh at us poor MUD players and programmers
who used to run multi-user games on machines with half a meg of ram.
"How it really happened..." by
Richard Bartle. Mr. Bartle has recently reviewed this account and found several errors, including
the date of the first version of MUD. See the MUDline for details.
This is a general
overview of the state of the MUD in Spring of 1991.
Here's some early history of the TinyMUD family. Recognize any of the
people mentioned? Some of them are still around.
Are MUDS a simulation of reality, or an escape? This is the
minutes of the first Ad-Hoc Virtual
Reality Conference, which took place on TinyHell II, date unknown.
This document is noteworthy for a) the Dinosaur density b) the depth
of discussion on the merits of realistic mudding and c) the
participants' adherence to the conventions of a real-life meeting.
Tinymud "Culture" (loosely termed)
Here is the announcements that marked the official beginning and end
of TinyMUD, the original database.
The Math Orgy. This post is included
solely for the historical value of the glimpse of the old TinyMUD
database. Really. Note to the easily offended: this post violates
decency standards in many locales. Don't say I
didn't warn you.
Ribbit! The great Garret-toading incident on the
reanimated corpose of TinyMUD Classic.
Bots are external programs that connect to a mud server as if they
were characters. Bots can pass messages and give interactive help.
Some of them were so slick as to fool the unwary into believing they
were talking to a real person. Most of the bot documents are logs
from the bot point of view, and are therefore difficult to read.
This is a log of Gloria
interacting with players in the Rec Room of the original Tinymud.
It's on the long side.
Originally I had a link to Fuzzy's paper on Julia to demonstrate
how bots and MUDs became a legitimate research topic. This link is
long gone. Instead, I have a link to a paper by
Lenny Foner of the MIT Media
Lab. Michael Loren, aka Fuzzy, went on to develop some of the key
technology behind Lycos. See, it's
not just a waste of time!
Yes! They do! Some of the games are old text-style MUDs, and many
more of them are MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying
Modern games have vastly different quality of graphics, gameplay
options, costs, and machine requirements. Some emphasize cooperative
problem-solving, while others are aggressive and combat-oriented.
You'll be able to find one you love. Most of these games are 'pay to
play,' but they also tend to have free demos. Pay attention to the
conditions when you sign up. You should be able to try something to
see if you like it and it's stable enough to be fun.