Wednesday, 22 October 2008

MUDs turn 30

Today marks the 30th birthday of MMORPGs. No, EverQuest isn't that old.

Richard Bartle, of the infamous Bartle test, comments on it briefly.

If you've never played a MUD or a MOO, I highly recommend it. My first exposure to one was in grade 8, when some politician gave a 'speech' to a bunch of educators and students in one, and I was building (M**-speak for writing the code and descriptions that provide rooms, characters, objects, actions, etc. that populate a text-based virtual world) that week, if not the very next day. The good ones are strange, fascinating places populated by wild people who act in-character the whole time (and the best ones have some extraordinarily strange characters). The worst are mere hack-and-slash, with no room for expression amongst the players (vs. participants). There's a middle ground, where direction is provided by challenges and advancement but where you're not stuck fighting orc 1, orc 2, orc 3...

Anyways. Happy birthday, MUD1.

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