Harley Hahn's
Guide to Muds


Chapter 2...

What Does the Name "Mud" Mean?

The first mud was developed by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw in 1978. At the time, the name "MUD" was chosen to stand for "Multi-User Dungeons" (as in Dungeons and Dragons). Within a few years, muds had evolved to the point where the original name was too confining, and people started to say that "MUD" stood for the more generic "Multi-User Dimension" or "Multi-User Domain".

Today, muds are well established with a highly developed culture of their own. The name "mud" is meaningful in its own right and is no longer an acronym (which is why I write "mud" in lowercase letters).

You will find all kinds of muds on the Internet, and there are many different names used to describe the variations. Some of these names begin with the letter "M" and look like acronyms, for example, MUCK, MUSH, MUSE, MAGE, MUG, MOO, and so on. All of these things are muds, but you don't really need to know the technical details. The best way to think of such terms is to consider them as specialized words, not acronyms.

From time to time you may see an explanation as to what one of these words "means". For instance, you may read that MUSH stands for "Multi-User Shared Hallucination". My advice is to forget the acronyms. Consider all of these strange things to be types of muds and leave it at that.

The word "mud" is also used as a verb. For example, you might hear someone say, "I like to mud more than I like to sleep," or "I am a bit tired, as I was up all night mudding, so maybe you better go to class without me."