So normally I like to ramble about the Nintendo Switch, or Xbox or online games.. Well, I shall not disappoint! At least, somewhat.

Long before MMO’s like World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls Online, there were other types of MMOs… online text based games. And, honestly, for the most part I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of them. And unfortunately in the last ten years this great genre of gaming has been in a steep decline.

It’s 2017.. I’m 32. Back when I was 11 (so lets pull out our fingers.. Yup, that was in 1996) I joined my first text base game – TOS TrekMUSE (MUSE being an abbreviation for Multi User Simulated Environment).

MUSE’s (and MUSHes) are offshoots of MUDS – Multi User Dungeons. MUDs were more hack and slash (and similar in style to games like World of Warcarft).

MUSE’s and MUSHes are more Roleplay focused. Create a character, develop them and interact with other players in various environments. Everything is through text with commands to execute actions.

I got thinking about the genre today. I was on a game called Otherspace for many years (since it opened in 1998). And it’s still around today. Run by a good guy called Wes Platt. It’s now moved from the PennMUSH codebase into the online Slack platform environment (and awesome on Wes for thinking of using Slack in this manner). I think back to how prevalent these types of games were in the 90’s and up until about 5 or 6 years ago. There were hundreds of them! Now, sure, there are hundreds, but not nearly as many.

Not just are there fewer text-based games running, but the population is dwindling as well.

Why?

Well, there’s a lot of reasons. My personal opinion.. There is a lot of ‘eye candy’ out there. Warcraft being an example. Why play a text-based game when you can delve into a rich visual environment? Right?

It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure.  Some people like the visuals modern games have to offer, rather than scrolling text and using ones own imagination.  I get that.

For me, it was about getting the creative juices flowing, and storytelling. It was great. It was also a great way to improve my typing speed.

I would definitely encourage people to check them out.

A good place to start is M*U*S*H, which is a social MUSH where players in the community hang out to talk, play games and just goof off. It’s a great starting place to learn the commands, make friends and see what this type of gaming is about.

From there, sky’s the limit. It’s just sad that this genre seems to be dying.. or at least isn’t near as popular.

 

In any case.. I’ll leave it there. Just some random post-gym thoughts tonight about some gaming style that I love, and miss. I’m currently playing Has-Been Heroes on Switch. Hope to have a full review this weekend, so stay tuned!!!

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