Text Adventure Games - What is a MUD?

Text Adventure Game Vampire

What is a MUD?

 Most of us who browse the web use it for social networking, research, for connecting with family and friends, and even playing addicting games. While many of us play some kind of addicting games there is a genre of games that has existed since the birth of the World Wide Web. Some have been around for nearly 15 years or more. These addicting games are often known as MUDs (Multiple User Dungeons), or text games. You may be asking yourself what is a MUD? Simply put, a MUD is an addicting game created in text that relies on reading and your imagination.

 Many who are reading this are probably thinking, "Why do I want to waste time playing a game where I have to read?" My answer is, "Why not?" We all spend a lot of time texting, leaving messages on social network sites, and even chatting with one another over chat clients. Some of us even play graphical games where we not only chat, but see the graphic and have to toggle back and forth between the graphics and text. The beauty of the textual RPG game is the fact that it brings all these modes of communication together. The written voice is important to the online text RPG environment. Just like any other chat utility, you meet new people, chat to them, and create your life in language. Just as you do in any other space on the web.

 Imagine playing a game where you have the ability to become another character or persona. This person you create has endless possibility. You can enter a realm where you can be evil or good. You can be a serious scholar, or even life a life surrounded by family and friends who you meet in game. Moreover, the textual RPG game allows for you to create back stories of your character. All hobbies that you find in real life, writing, journals, blogging, genealogy, history, (while based in an already created world) are available to you. In the textual RPG you are able to apply real life situations to a game and to contribute. The possibility of being is endless.

 As you create a character you will find that many games revolve around city states. When you enter a game you may not be interested in politics or how a city works. As you grow you may find yourself wishing to learn more. These games reflect real world cities and situations. Many characters learn how to rule a city state, or become a city official. What is most amazing is that if you explore the various worlds you come to discover exactly how a city is run and functions. What is reflected in the MUD or RPG game is often found in real life. It does give you an appreciation for the work that so many officials do in cities and towns. Moreover, you learn to work with persons who live in differing city states, which may have a different way of life than your city, and you have to learn to get along with them. If you are a student in high school or college, you will find that your major field of study will often be found in the textual environment. Rhetoric and  

 Composition majors find that they can express themselves in writing. Those who are interested in Political Science discover that it exists in RPG games too. Business majors and budding entrepreneurs will discover that some games allow for you to own stores and to sell goods and to trade. Those who are interested in design and art will realize that they can create many concepts in writing and design them to share with other players.

 

Who Plays These Addicting Games?

 If you are out of college and beyond high school, you will find that many of your skills that you learned there and that you use in your day to day life can be applied to these addicting games too. Some textual games rely on volunteer coders, builders, and such to assist them. If you enjoy that sort of work and have free time to devote to it, typically the administrators or site owners will interview you to see if you can take some time out of the week to work on areas that are being built. As said above, all that is found in the real world is found in the online world. The only thing that holds you back is possibly the fear of reading or feeling lost in text.

 Yet, there is never any reason to feel lost. Most MUDs are populated by players who are more than willing to help you adjust to the game interface. Some even provide guides and safe spaces for you at lower levels until you become comfortable with the world that opens before you in text. Many offer houses, guilds, and clans to assist you with growth. Before you decide not dismiss an RPG text games as silly, why not long into one and try it. You may be surprised to find yourself waiting there.

If you like what you have read, try out some great text adventure games.

RA Pickett is an avid text game enthusiast and currently enjoys games from www.IronRealms.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=RA_Pickett

Comments

I still find myself somewhat disappointed by the quality of the editing in these articles. For an article promoting a game genre's propensity for high intelligence, writing quality, etc., I would have expected somewhat higher standards.

For instance:

While many of us play web based graphical games there is a genre of games that has existed since the birth of the World Wide Web [. . .] You may be asking yourself what is a MUD. [. . .] Before you decide not dismiss an RPG text games as silly, why not long into one and try it. You may be surprised to find yourself waiting there.

Those last two sentences (the last two in the article, in fact) are completely nonsensical and full of mistakes. The first two are missing commas or other punctuation, and there are several other examples of similar mistakes throughout.

If you're going to post articles that tout the intelligence and creativity of a MUD, I really would suggest trying to make them reflect those same qualities. Careful editing is the difference between looking like a professional writer and an 8th-grader.

You act like you are reading Times magazine or something. It's really not that big of a deal.... which of these articles are yours, anyway?

I agree that the articles should be of the highest quality possible if they are being used to try and persuade people to test the games. The article could use some proofreading and editting. I think for some people these articles may be their first exposure to anything related to MUDs. In that case, there's nothing wrong with making the articles look more professional.

I agree with Khezar.  I've been trying to impress upon the people I know
in real life just how immersive and beautifully written these games can
be.  When I direct them to (or Digg) a hastily edited article with the
intent of introducing them to my favorite pastime, and said article is
rife with strange punctuation or run-on sentences, it can detract from
my argument.  I'm not saying this is a bad article, and I'm certainly
not saying that I could write a better one (I'm always mangling the
English language myself).  I'm only saying that, for a published work,
the effort that must have gone into editing it and preparing it for
publication should shine through a little more.

Hmmm... instead of taking the time to come down on the editing, why not comment on the actual topic?

 

The topic is much more interesting, than talking about a couple sentences that aren't exactly like you would of wrote them.

That was the point I was trying to make.

I am an avid reader as it is, so the whole reading part of the game is something I looked forward to.  What I didn't expect was what I would take away from the game.  Not only did my typing improve, but I have learned to describe objects in detail, helping out with art history papers, learned economic flow, political skills, amongst other things.  MUDs are great learning tools, and while they could be a distraction in some areas, things such as creative writing and typing are greatly enhanced by what you can learn.

is like a virtual world.

A good mud -is- a Virtual World. Pieces of Imperian surprise me on the level up detail and backstory involved in it. You can go on days and days reading some of the stuff.

Essentially every MMORPG has elements that were derrived from ancient MUDs, so.. Yeah. 

This is why the language rules are so helpful. There aren't too many things more jarring to immersion than someone who spells and punctuates like an eleven-year-old.

Improved my typing skills!!

I find the killer advantage that MUDs have over graphical MMORPGs is how easy it is to add to the fabric of the game world.

Whether it's creating illusions for a ritual, describing your character, or creating your own rooms, your imagination need only be limited by what you can put down in words.

I find that incredibly freeing, especially when playing a character who wants to make their mark on the world!

I've also found that the regular exercise of creating things for the game has drastically improved my ability as a writer. Great practice for all you aspiring novelists!

Is where I'm mostly ignored except by people I like.

I think another important value in text-based MUDs in terms of academics is that it's a very good way to learn the various nuances of written English, especially for non-native speakers. Reading descriptions without a picture allows one to practice metaphorical thinking (as most of these descriptions are not so straightforward!).

And if reading is not enough, you can also try your hand at writing. Particularly in Lusternia where players can design items through cartels, you get the opportunity to try visualizing something in your mind and then converting it into text. It may sound easy at first, but once you try doing it you realize it's actually pretty hard. After you feel happy about what you've written and submit it, it occasionally comes back with major corrections which you did not see at first, and this constant revision mimics writing essays and other written submissions.

Its hard to use american English and not English English

I think another important value in text-based MUDs in terms of academics is that it's a very good way to learn the various nuances of written English, especially for non-native speakers. Reading descriptions without a picture allows one to practice metaphorical thinking (as most of these descriptions are not so straightforward!).

And if reading is not enough, you can also try your hand at writing. Particularly in Lusternia where players can design items through cartels, you get the opportunity to try visualizing something in your mind and then converting it into text. It may sound easy at first, but once you try doing it you realize it's actually pretty hard. After you feel happy about what you've written and submit it, it occasionally comes back with major corrections which you did not see at first, and this constant revision mimics writing essays and other written submissions.

To me, a MUD is something nearly impossible to describe. The only TRUE way to understand what a MUD is to play one. The article was fantastically written, and sure, it covers the basics, but there's much more that you won't be able to even comprehend without trying it. So, give it a shot!

I am a firm believer in the fact that because so much of the worlld is addicted to things with pictures, flashy colors, and videos, that we have lost touch with the other side of things.  The other side being reading, having to use our imaginations, and being forced to make decisions in a game based on reactions that we read, process, then act on.  I think this is why I love MUD's more then anything.

 

:)

Online text games and free online games like MUDs keep me in front of my computer for hours and hours a day. I gave graphical online games like WoW a try and I just get a headache or get extremely restless/antsy from making my character walk everywhere and just all the constant running around, online text games are so much more fun  and in-depth. I really hate grinding so damn much, thats why I love free online text games like iron realms text games because 'grinding' isnt a necessary part of the game, theres so much more to get involved in. Online text games.

Online text adventure games like MUDS, in my opinion, help benefit and nurture our imagination in a far greater capacity than graphical games (unless you like first person shooters and would rather test your reflexes). It will be decades or even half a century before we see the prevelence of graphical mmos containing the imaginative depth of a traditional text game. Till then, hardcore role players should stick with DnD board games and the MUD rpg text game for the best experience that the human imagination has to offer.

A text based MMO, with the roleplaying depth of a pen-and-paper RPG, and the combat sophistication of a... MUD.

Its certainly true that the derivative of most 'gaming' today is these kind of games, the pen-and-paer kind, and MUDs are totally preserving that spirit via technology. Though some of us like to do the same by using fancy equipment for our D&D sessions <.<

Achaea is my first MUD, and I would just like to comment on the fact that I think the nature of a MUD makes for a much richer RP experience than in most graphical RPG games, especially MMOs. There is no visual representation of how things aught to be, so everything is in the hands of the player.

Good response. I have similar opinions towards film/theatre and novels. Text may seem dry and interesting, but seldom would I deem a movie adaptation superior to the original text source. There's just so much possibility left in the imagination.

Why play a MUD? Well, why read a book while you could watch a movie? That's how I explain it. Sometimes there is nothing quite like your mind as the "graphics engine".

I don't know why anyone would play a graphical game with so many limitations and so little flexibility when great text-based games are available, personally.

 

The 'why' question seems silly to me. A good MUD can surpass a good graphical game in beauty tenfold, because it is never the handiwork of just one creative talent. It is the joint creative talent of the entire playerbase that makes a MUD.

You'd think I would have gotten better at english language rules after 5+ years of play

No graphics can beat your immagination, and that's MUDs most valuable characteristic.

I don't buy this. Reality often beats my imagination. Artists often create works I never conceived of.

I love using my imagination and have for years. So MUDS when I first found'em were the best place for me.

MUDs are also nice in that most (especially IRE) offer the opportunity of customizing your character's equipment and appearance.  In most online games, you are stuck with a limited amount of choices regarding weapons, armour and basically anything else.

 

In IRE, you can customize almost anything and there are unique crafting systems which allow you to submit designs for use by others.

I've found that because Achaea is a game where I have to read I get so much more out of it.

There's the benefit of improving reading skills. Over my 7+ years in Achaea I've gotten to be a very fast reader plus when I was younger I learned many new words and their meanings!

As Achaea is a text game, we're able to do so much more with descriptions and detail. All these WoW players waiting for the new druid art to come out is silly. I'd rather go ahead and design a new item and wear it. Or change my description. No waiting on endless patches to have detail.

And more...but I'd feel bad making that long a comment.

In summary, Achaea is a game where that it is text gives you both benefits to your real world skills and a pretty good time itself just being a game.

My reading has definately improved to, not to mention my typing and my formation of words has all come alot easier over the time I've played mudds.

There seems to be two sides to this little debate and I think both make valid points. Ultimately, the content is what's important. That being said, presentation and delivery of content affects who actually spends time reading it.

 

I started playing MUDs at a fairly young age (I was in elementary school) and I know that by the time I was twelve years old, I could type over 140 words per minute. I think that all has to do with playing text-based games (including Realms of Kaos, Revelation, etc.)

I read about Achaea in passing and decided to take a look for myself. I had been playing Guild Wars at the time so was a bit shocked to find a game that was entirely text-based!

Needless to say, I have been hooked to MUDS ever since!

It's honestly like a previous article mentioned - Playing a book, that you can create as you go in most cases, the exception being Midkemia, based on R.E. Feists work.

I'll admit that some of the graphics in MMORPGs are stunning. But the quality of roleplay found in the MUD I play wasn't rivaled in a graphical game. The opportunity to get into politics, join a Divine Order, change classes when I wanted something new has kept me playing the MUD for over five years now. No other game has kept my attention that long.

Can't even compare the quality of an MMO to a MUD. Sure the MMO has graphics, buy got a MUDder, all you need is a good imagination and it lets everyone be a unique character instead of bein' cut from the same mold.

Seriously, is that for Aetolia? That just screams Bloodborn to me. :O

Addicting games. Addicting games? Addicting games. Addicting games! Addicting games. Repetition is jarring and I got jarred out of the first paragraph.

MUD = awesome