Mudding History and Subcultures

Kendall Lori

in Hanging Out in the Virtual Pub

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780520230361
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935983 | DOI:
Mudding History and Subcultures

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This chapter provides background information about muds, their history and culture. It also provides information about BlueSky's subculture and its relationship to other online subcultures. It discusses BlueSky participants' use of various mud technological capabilities in the development and maintenance of their culture and interpersonal connections. Bluesky norms reflect the social history and technological development of muds: participants compensate for the limitations of text-only communication through repetition, the manipulation of mud technology, and traditions of information exchange. Muds began as multiplayer text-based adventure games, usually based on Tolkienesque scenarios in which players, represented by fantasy characters, search for treasure, solve puzzles, and kill monsters but with a time it modified into a forums to interact for different purpose such as education, professional meetings, and others. Researchers writing about muds have tended to overgeneralize in their characterization of the social interaction that occurs on muds, relying on superficial characterizations or ignoring significant variation to support a particular view of online interaction.

Keywords: muddling; mud technology; muds; BlueSky; muddling history; online interaction

Chapter.  11578 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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