Discover the Magic of MUD

We have a new Guest Blogger who has graciously agreed to share his passion with computer gaming with us. Andrew Kineiski is an avid computer user and programmer from New Jersey. In his free time, he enjoys music, writing and he plays several instruments. With so much on his plate, he still finds time to work as a part time contractor for a home remodeling company!

With his boundless energy, he has written this article for

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A man stands amidst a lush field of grass, poised for combat. His shining steel armor glistens in the twilight. The air on his neck stands at end, sweat dripping from his brow. Then in a sudden burst of speed and strength he swings his mighty sword in the direction of his target, a dark assassin sent for the bounty on his head.

An entire community still exists today. A community that lives two lives. One life, in the hustle and bustle of the everyday world, and another in a fantasy land of knights and magic. If you are not already familiar with it, let me introduce to you the world of Multi User Dungeons, where your dreams come reality.

What is a Multi User Dungeon?
A multi user dungeon, or MUD for sake of simplicity, is a computer generated world where you play a character of choice. You adopt a new personality, and live your life as a citizen of a fantasy universe.

When were they first released?

The original MUD was release in 1973 and was played on the ARPANET, a predecessor of the modern internet where you found this article. But the modern face of the MUD was molded in the early 90s by a system called LPMUD. LPMUD allowed for an extensive world to be built in an online dungeon. This lead to the creation of countless fantasy lands where the magic truly does come alive.

Are these MUDs still around?
Despite the many years, the MUD market is still around and has a strong cult following. But since MUDs often lack graphical luster, they are left in the dust by the newer and more graphical brothers such as World of Warcraft and Everquest. Yet, these MUDs have retained a great amount of their player base because they focus their efforts on the depth and immersion of the game, whereas many of these new games lack depth of character and individuality.

How does MUD retain a player-base?
Most MUDs boast an in-depth character individualization capability far beyond any commercial games out right now. The player base is generally composed of a mature group of adults who enjoy playing the role of their character to their fullest. MUD designers often restrict their player base to a limited number to retain exclusiveness and individuality. They encourage strong ties between players and their guilds as well as players and the game masters, the designers and creators of the game. With their focus on details, they have created an immersive world where your imagination can comes alive.

Can I still play them?
Actually, there are a great deal of MUDs still around! And the good thing is most of them are free to play. Here is a list of the top ten MUDs that are still around, which are available for you to play at (just click on the name below):

1. BatMUD

2. MUME - Multi Users In Middle Earth

3. SlothMUD III

4. Medievia

5. ZombieMUD

6. Federation II

7. Duris: Land of BloodLust

8. Shadows of Isildur

9. Mozart MUD

10. Armageddon

Do you dream of adventure and fantasy? Well, the answer to your dreams is the wonderful world of Multi User Dungeons! So dig up these classic games, discover their magic and immerse yourself in a dream. See you in game!


Jul 14, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Sounds childish

But, did you know that MUD, in reverse, is DUM?

Jul 16, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)


I remember reading about this YEARS ago, and I didn't get a favorable impression of the players. You did use the word "cult" in your article, and that is what I was thinking before I got to it.

Maybe it is a stereotype--not necessarily "childish" as mentioned in the first comment above--but I believe that the people involved (mostly men?) are viewed as "weird". I think that your article could be improved and maybe arouse some curiosity among the readers if you were to include a more detailed description of what is done, how characters are developed, and what the ultimate goal is.