MUDs and MOOs: Implementing Them into the Academic World
by Kami Cox
of the Internet in 1968, more and more people have started to create
online virtual communities. One
enabling technology for online communities is presented by multi-user
such as MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) and MOOs (MUDs, Object Oriented) .
MUDs and MOOs are text-based collaborative learning environments
that began harnessing the graphical
and multimedia-rich environments available on the Web. Learners can
directly experience, manipulate, and create objects in their multimedia
In the beginning, there were text-based video games. The players put their floppy disk in the computer drive and read, "You're standing in a field of green grass. You can go left. You can go right. You see a book on the ground."
After a short while, some adventurous programmers decided to put these games on a machine that a number of people could have access to, either by connecting on-site or by telnet (i.e., connecting to that machine via modem from their own machine). Thus, a number of people could be standing in that field with you, and as you decided whether or not to take the book, someone else could take it first, and run away. The player could then "go left" to catch them. Voilá: interactive gaming in a virtual space.
These types of programs (which were used mostly for games) were called MUDs, which stands for Multi-User Dungeon, and they became very popular, often with hundreds of players connected to the same game all at the same time.
One of the things that made MUDs so popular was the fact that they were not "static, but dynamic" (Nolan 1). The user (or gamer) could actually build new "rooms." For example, if you didn't like the field you were standing in, you could build your own, and write the description; you could determine who could come in and out; you could create your own objects, your virtual home. People set up their own areas, and most MUDs grew at phenomenal rates.
At some point, the programmers changed a number of things in the code, and they were no longer MUDs but MOOs, (Multi-Object-Oriented, Multi-User Domains).
|©2005 Kami Elyse Cox * Georgia Southern University||*Last updated May 2, 2005 1:00 p.m.|