20 Jul 2007 logic   » (Journeyer)

Back to the source

Following on the heels of that great old-school DEC advertisement, I get another blast from my non-academic past at University: an interview with Richard Bartle, one of the creators of the original MUD that ran at Essex University back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. MUDs are the majority of the reason I'm doing what I do today (after a fashion), and were my first introduction to social computing and network programming. What's really interesting to me is that he's saying the same things that any of us who were involved in building these text-based online delusions in the 80s and 90s were constantly harping on about, and it all still applies even though the graphics have gotten better. (In fact, he makes the excellent point that with the improvement in visual stimulus, the ability to interact with the environment has actually gotten worse, because of the nature of ad-hoc natural language.)

It was a good read; I haven't played with these things in long time (aside from a brief flirtation with creating a Python-based runtime-mutable object environment similar to the facilities that LP-style MUDs had), so it was a nice walk down memory lane, and a reminder that there really isn't much new under the sun, just a prettier interface on it. :-)

Syndicated 2007-07-20 07:50:00 from esm

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