Harley Hahn's
Guide to Muds


Introduction

In many ways, muds are the epitome of what you can do with a large, worldwide computer network. When you connect to a mud, you enter a world that exists only in the minds of other people. There are many different kinds of muds, but what they all have in common is a degree of sophistication, creativity and imagination that exists nowhere else on the Net.

Muds provide environments that are unlike anything ever created in the history of mankind. All around the world, right now, there are thousands of people sitting at their computers, typing commands and messages, and looking at nothing more than words on a computer screen. These people are participating in a world that exists in the minds of other people — people whom they may never see in "real life", but whom they know as intimately as anyone they will ever meet. Moreover, it is a world that cannot exist on its own. It requires not only the participation of people, but the services of a powerful computer to create and support the imaginary infrastructure.

Using a mud requires you to develop and refine skills that other people cannot even imagine. To learn how to use a mud competently can take weeks or months. To master a mud may take years. At first a mud may seem like nothing more than a complex computer program. But it won't take you long to realize that thriving on a mud requires you to grow socially and culturally more than it requires mastering technical details.