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BAT Mud

Reviews Section
OtherSpace Interactive SF Saga by Chalice

As in everything I do, it seems I have to drag my feet for a good long time before I finally get around to doing it. But eventually, I get around to most things (like finally writing out this review), and I must say, I am *ever* so glad I didn't give up on Otherspace.

Not that my first experience on OS was a bad one. Just that it was *the* first experience. I didn't even know how to communicate with the others when I first logged on, and was intimidated right offline again by all the greetings thrown my way. (I was afraid the players would think me a snob for not replying, you see. Silly me.) Anyway, it took a year of coaxing, but I finally took the plunge and began plowing through all the help files. And I'll say now that if I had to jump into MUSH'ing cold, I (well, Snowshadow, really) would probably have had to look *real* hard to have chosen a better game to do so than OS.

Not only were the players and staff friendly and helpful to a complete newbie, but they were encouraging. First, with learning the common commands. Then the nuances of playing, and dealing patiently with my unintentioned trespasses. And most of all, it was the reasoning behind everything that happened that impressed me the most. If I questioned what had happened, I asked, and was *listened* to. And though the results weren't always what I wanted, they were *logical*.

Which leads into the other element of what I like about Otherspace. The story and events behind it. I like to think of myself as a writer, first and foremost. Not necessarily a good one, but I absolutely love the way plot, thematic elements, character, timing, and all the other subtle but indispensable details work together to tell a good story. I would never have made it - evinced enough interest to learn how to get around even on a daily basis - on a game without a focus, motivation, or in-depth background. I play purely for the story and characters. OS provides a rich environment that contains a unique and plausible history for each and every world/corner; not an easy prospect for an original theme, where one must establish everything themselves. Not only that, it is dynamic, and the creator/staff are not afraid to push the boundaries if IC events call for it. But even as the staff help to maintain a framework, the players may add to it, even change it, and thus provide the excitement and unpredictability to a story that I rarely find while writing on my own. Add to that month-spanning, coherent threads, that have distinct finales or climaxes and yet never really end, enhanced by hundreds of side-plots run by scores of other people...and you have a combination that had me abandoning writing for over a year despite my working toward a creative writing minor.

I guess this is turning out to be more a review of some of the good points that a MUSH should have than one specifically about Otherspace. But, I think it should count for something that I managed to find all of them while playing on OS, rather than finding them only through their lack.