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Old 04-20-2004, 04:56 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Sweden
Home MUD: 4 Dimensions
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Molly will become famous soon enoughMolly will become famous soon enough
Most people (icluding my family) probably regard mudding - especially in a hack’n’slash related Mud - as a total waste of time, and possibly even detrimental to the mind. But there is actually some evidence to the contrary. I am Swedish, myself, and I know for a fact that building on our mud for about 6 years has improved my own English language skills considerably. And the same goes for ‘ordinary’ players.

Many of our players don’t have English as their first language, and to tell the truth, some of them appear to be almost illiterate when they first log on. If they stick it out, you can usually note a considerate improvement after a few months, not only in their typing skills but also in their vocabulary and general behaviour. It seems that obnoxiousness and offensive language are somewhat tied to lacking communication skills. If you cannot express your feelings verbally, you get frustrated and resort to ‘violence’, in the virtual as well as the real world.

Another encouraging thing is that our zones sometimes actually inspire players to seeking information on the web or reading books. Here are some examples from our own mud:

We have some references to Moria, Gollum and the Balrog in our Mining zone. A player, who amazingly enough had never heard of LOTR - (this was before the films) - asked me about it. I told him to borrow the books in the library, and that he’d get the reading experience of his life. He took the advice, and spoke of little else than the Ring trilogy over OOC for the next few months.

Our Prehistoric Dimension is mostly based on the geography around the Mediterranean Sea around 2000 BC, and on ancient Egyptian and Greek myths. (I love those myths myself, because they are so ‘juicy’ – they used to censor the funniest parts in school). Anyhow, a player indulged herself so deeply in our Egypt section that she started to read up on the mythology herself, and next thing I knew she was pointing out errors in our setups and debating the proper spelling of Hatshepsut.

And here’s the best one: We recently added a pretty large Greek section, and soon after this one of our former ‘problem players’ asked me for advice on what books to read to get a more detailed narration. This same player achieved a somewhat herostratic fame in the Mud, by Ddosing the server to oblivion in the beginning of his 4D career. He is from one of the non-English countries, and apparently his motive for this rash act was to get even with some players he had got into a heated quarrel with.

And now he is reading books about Greek Mythology. I told him to look up the meaning of the expression ‘herostratic fame’ too.
Who said mudding wasn't educational?
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:47 PM   #2
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I have to admit, you have a very good point.

MUDing has improved my grammer and vocabalary (ok, so the spelling errors are jokes..) . I started when I was 12, and from roleplaying and building you just pick up more words to add to your own vocabulary.

Elementary Recess should be replaced with MUDing Hour!

....Just joking.
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Old 04-20-2004, 09:46 PM   #3
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Not that this will help to improve your education too much, although it would help if you plan on persuing any sort of career in the computer business, but MUDding has helped me to type faster without making too many mistakes(providing I know how to spell the word/s) and also without looking at the keyboard. Instead of the old days in junior high, looking at the keyboard and reaching a max words per minute of 15, I can now type, on good days, around 80 words per minute without looking at the keyboard. Goes to show you what a big help MUDs can be. Of course, my vocabulary and grammar have also improved.
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:04 PM   #4
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I have learned a lot about other countries from people who actually live there, which is so much better than learning from books. And since I didn't know anything about coding when I became an immortal, I owe all my coding knowledge to muds as well. That's two more subjects, geography and computing!
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:09 PM   #5
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Anything that can get people to read up about what the Mediterannean area was like 2000 years ago is a good thing

Mudding has also helped my vocabulary (often people have words in their description that I don't know the meaning of). It's also helped me learn about superstitions and folk lore. Obsidian, ancient techniques used to shape it, ancient techniques used  to mine, treat leather, how ancient backpacks, clothing, etc was made, about drugs (no, no. I haven't taken any, but I've researched them on the net ), about biology (people often debate on how giant ants could exist), and about some ancient Gods too

I also got to work a little bit on Armageddon's site. For a school assignment I had to find a business for an assignment and ask them if they'd mind me working on their site Thankfully the Imms at Armageddon said yes, even though I was only a player. So I learnt quite a bit on time management, how the emote system worked (I made a javascript program that emulated Armageddon's emote system. Which meant I had to make it emulate all of the idiosyncracies Armageddon's emote system has ). I didn't finish all the work I wanted to in time for the assignment (I was working on it for a year) but even though my assignment is over they still let me do some stuff with the site For example I only just ironed out all the bugs in the emote emulator.

The good thing about muds, is they make learning about stuff fun. Although I don't recommend working on a mud for a school assignment. Sure it sounds like a good idea, you get to have fun for school work. But the second your grade is determined by the work you do on the mud, it loses all it's fun.
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:40 PM   #6
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The act of reading and writing for massive amounts of hours will naturally hone one's mind--

But beware, don't follow my mistake.
Starting college at 14 and knocking out calc1-3/linear alg/discrete math by 16, i had a very good potential; but then i got over-involved in mudding and for about half a decade neglected all else.  So the moral is, MUDding is way more enlightening than watching **** on TV, but ultimately it's just another diversion.

On a more positive note, by coding MUDs I self-taught myself C to a level quite beyond what most comp prog undergraduates know, entirely self-taught.  Still not worth the sacrifice though.  (Would my life be better if I had made different choices then?  Who knows.  Regret is a very presumpive emotion.)
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Old 04-22-2004, 12:02 AM   #7
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Like Erdos, I found myself overly involved with mudding, and watching 10 years of my life pass me by. That said, I don't blame MUDding for that, because I made the personal choice to become deeply involved in an online life.

I do agree that Mudding is educational, however. Here are some of the things I've learned:

How to type.

How to treat people kindly and respectfully, regardless of their education level, age, political affiliation, country of origin, or other general categories of difference to myself.

How to recognize opinions from facts, and how to seek citations to back either of them up.

That the world is bigger than I ever imagined, and there are interesting people with interesting views all over it.

That people are willing to invest substantial time, effort, and emotion into things that many consider "just games".

That there are generous, kind people who do volunteer work because it interests them, and even when recognition of their work is scant to nil, they will keep at it anyway, even when the people they are working for are thankless and unkind.

That there are many solutions to any problem, and I don't always have the best one.

That anger and emotional pain can be caused by words alone, and if it is absolutely necessary to divest myself of these things, it is better to do it in private than in public.


That the world, for better or worse now, includes the Internet. It is a reality, a tangible thing, and people live 'in' it as well as in RL. The genie is out of the bottle, so to speak, and MU*s, boards, chatrooms are real people connecting in a real way. Online life is now a part of Real Life, and the distinction and separation are not always as clear as people want them to be.

There are a lot of other things I've learned as well...this list could go on and on. But a lot of the things I've learned via mudding are things I've learned with my heart as well as with my head. Life lessons, if you will.

Maybe one of the most important things I've learned is this: RL comes first. Even when I don't want it to, even when I've backburnered everyone and everything in RL, it still comes first. I've learned to respect that, for myself and my fellow gamers.

I just felt compelled to post here, because I've learned a lot by mudding. I don't know that I could explain what I've learned to non-MU*er folks...but, I can relate to them much more maturely IRL because of my online experiences. I'm grateful for that.
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Old 04-23-2004, 01:19 PM   #8
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Sure...Mud could be a fantastic educative tool...Offering a whole, virtual world as the support of a playfull interaction, it could easily be designed as the blackboard of instructives and funny classes. Besides the lessons of Language (if english's the common tongue, what about elves speaking french and dwarves german?), History (events,myths and civilisations), Informatic and Sociability...Well...The blackboard of a whole world...Then, there should be more room for matters like Politics (Midgaard's a republic, a dictature? And how one is making its way to throne?), Sciences (from ancients lores to sci-fi technologies), Arts (creative expression) and Philosophy, where originals texts are quoted in-game. Still, there should be more...A whole world...And not to mention the constant training of the mind, tested with mathematics and logics exercises which could end up as exasperatings homeworks. Yep, definitely, Mud could be a great teacher, granting helas,  internet bills as diploms...
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