Muds, Multi user Dungeons, are called by a host of names such as Mushís, Mooís, Tikiís, but they all come down to about the same thing.
The text-based game is usually heavily driven by the players, with players creating characters, quests and storyline as they go. Characters usually fight monsters and complete quests gaining experience and become more powerful.
These early, but still somewhat popular games were the precursors to MMORPGís. Multiple players would log in simultaneously and play together.
These games, while sometimes created by corporations, were usually made by people who liked games and knew enough programming. To make one a person just needed to know enough programming or have the right programs. This means that there are hundreds of thousands of these games.
Do to the ease of finding free MUDís, subscription based MUDís failed. As time moved on Mudís lost popularity to console and computer games with graphics.
While the MUD is intriguing for itís customizable options and player run systems, it was merely a forerunner of the MMORPG.
I'd like to take a moment to thank the MUD for teaching me to type on a qwerty keyboard at an alarming fast pace.
Wikipedia on MUDs
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