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View Poll Results: What should MUD stand for?
Multi-User Dungeon 22 70.97%
Multi-User Dimension 3 9.68%
Multi-User Domain 4 12.90%
Other - please post your preferred acronym. 2 6.45%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-28-2011, 05:15 AM   #21
Voidrider
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

I recall the term "MUDD" being the predecessor of "MUD," referring to Multi User Dungeon Dwelling. It was just shortened after a period of time.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:12 AM   #22
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Originally Posted by Voidrider View Post
I recall the term "MUDD" being the predecessor of "MUD," referring to Multi User Dungeon Dwelling. It was just shortened after a period of time.
No, "MUDD" was just a typo that someone else added later. To quote Richard Bartle:

"I promised to get in touch with Roy Trubshaw and nail this "how did the D in MUD come to be there?" question once and for all. I've now done so, and having exchanged a few emails and jogged each other's memories, here's the Authorised Version:

The D came first.

As Roy says, "We wanted to call it something and DUNGEN was the best adventure game that we had played up until then. (I was never really very keen on Haunt!)". The D has always stood for "Dungeon" and the fact that the acronym was also a word was a secondary (though not unimportant) consideration. He didn't start with an acronym and work backwards; he wanted to write something that was like a multi-user DUNGEoN.

It wasn't the case that Roy thought Adventure games would be called "Dungeons", because even then they were being referred to in the context of ADVENTure. He might have named it after that program if it had been better than DUNGEoN, but it wasn't.

The "MUDD" title in the listing I have from 1979 was because someone else (Keith Rautenbach, an undergraduate in the year above Roy) went through commenting the code and put in two Ds, probably because he thought it was a reference to Dungeons & Dragons. It never was, and the file that refers to "MUDD" is itself called MUD.MAC (.MAC for the MACRO-10 assembly language).
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:09 AM   #23
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
To quote Richard Bartle:

"The D has always stood for "Dungeon"
I hope everyone (including me) remembers this and not confuse it with "domain". MUD: Multi User Dungeon. Though I still think MUD is an archaic term and somewhat meaningless to new gamers to the TEXT world. We only use partially or not at all in NWA when bringing new players into our world.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #24
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I hope everyone (including me) remembers this and not confuse it with "domain". MUD: Multi User Dungeon. Though I still think MUD is an archaic term and somewhat meaningless to new gamers to the TEXT world. We only use partially or not at all in NWA when bringing new players into our world.
Why is it exactly important to remember other than from a historical perspective? Multi User Domain or Multi User Dungeon are both terms that were passed around a lot when I first started. If we wan't to argue over which one is more correct historically Dungeon is obviously the right one. However that doesn't mean the decades of history for Domain should be forgotten. The use of words and acronyms change and are redefined by the population as a whole. Whether that's always a good thing is something else entirely, but I don't think calling MUD "Multi User Domain" or "Multi User Dungeon" makes much of a difference. I prefer the former but I have always accepted the latter.

Last edited by iovan : 01-30-2011 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Bleh typo'd use as user. Too much coding and not enough sleep.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:56 PM   #25
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Originally Posted by iovan View Post
Why is it exactly important to remember other than from a historical perspective? Multi User Domain or Multi User Dungeon are both terms that were passed around a lot when I first started.
From my perspective, Dungeon at least leans toward D&D and roots back to the start of Text games (all being dungeons and the first really being just DM's computer method of building a dungeon). Domain reminds me of an Internet Domain, a network, anything but gaming.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:41 AM   #26
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

From my perspective, Domain is all encompassing and can fit a variety of themes while Dungeon sounds limited to hack'n'slash fantasy. Why should a large expansive non-fantasy MUD be labeled strictly as Multi User Dungeon? It just doesn't seem to apply to a broad enough theme range in my view. What will those who have never experienced MUDs think of the name in regards to the text game that uses the label? Their first impression will be pretty much as you describe for the word Dungeon in the context of games. That may be woefully inaccurate to the text game in question who identifies itself as a MUD but not a fantasy MUD with any roots in D&D.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:37 AM   #27
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Originally Posted by iovan View Post
Why should a large expansive non-fantasy MUD be labeled strictly as Multi User Dungeon?
You can advertise your game as anything you like - for example TinyMUD derivatives often advertise themselves as MU*s, MUSHes, MUCKs, etc, while the graphical MUDs usually call themselves MMORPGs or MMOs. Some MUDs avoid acronyms entirely, instead focusing on descriptive labels like "online roleplaying game" or "persistent virtual world". No reason why you shouldn't adjust your marketing strategy based on your target audience, and if you feel the term "MUD" gives the wrong impression, don't use it.

But the original MUD is named after the single-player adventure game Dungeon, and our genre is named after the original MUD, therefore we are running Multi-User Dungeons whether we like it or not.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:16 PM   #28
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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But the original MUD is named after the single-player adventure game Dungeon, and our genre is named after the original MUD, therefore we are running Multi-User Dungeons whether we like it or not.
Well, that's the dispute (on Wikipedia, between me and Scandum) that this poll comes out of, and why it asks what it should stand for. I don't agree; I tend to think that if Joe Socializer opens a MUD, and he has heard of Multi-User Dungeon, Multi-User Dimension and Multi-User Domain as things MUD stands for, and he doesn't want to run a dungeon because those are icky, so he decides that MUD stands for Multi-User Domain for his MUD, he is, in some sense, correct. The thought there is that certainly Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw get to decide what MUD stands for with respect to their project, but once the term went out there and became a generic (because Bartle decided to let it be one, instead of helping his corporate overlords at CompuServe enforce a trademark on it), and the generic acronym achieved far more currency than any supposed expansion of it, their choice for their project does not control for all possible projects.

On Wikipedia there's necessarily a sourcing dimension to the argument, but that's the ethical dimension from my point of view, minus the usual fight I have with Scandum about his Dikucentrism and pooh-poohing anything he sees as Tiny-related, such as the Domain and Dimension expansions.

While we're here, I think a far better poll would have been a multiple-choice one that allowed you to select all expansions for MUD that you consider valid.

Edit: So I made one; let's see how this poll does. It also includes every bizarre expansion for MUD that I've ever heard of.

Last edited by chaosprime : 02-01-2011 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:39 PM   #29
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Well, that's the dispute (on Wikipedia, between me and Scandum) that this poll comes out of, and why it asks what it should stand for. I don't agree; I tend to think that if Joe Socializer opens a MUD, and he has heard of Multi-User Dungeon, Multi-User Dimension and Multi-User Domain as things MUD stands for, and he doesn't want to run a dungeon because those are icky, so he decides that MUD stands for Multi-User Domain for his MUD, he is, in some sense, correct.
Not historically, no. He can of course label his game in any way he wishes, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a MUD, and that MUD stands for "Multi-User Dungeon". Of course on his website there's nothing stopping him saying that in his game the "D" stands for "Domain", or "Dragonballs", or "Donut", or whatever else he likes - or even that it's really a "MU*" or "M*" or "MUSH" or "MOO" or "MMORPG", or "MMOBBQ", etc, etc. He can market his game as he wishes. But it's still a MUD, and the acronym has an established meaning.

Supposing that MUDs are just Joe's hobby - professionally, he's the founder of a company that manufactures palmtop computers. If he decides that the word "personal" is too icky-touchy-feely, and that for him "PC" stands for "palmtop computer", then he can certainly use that in his marketing. Or he can even make up a new name entirely if he wishes. But his product is a PC, and will still be categorised by others as a type of "personal computer".
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:50 PM   #30
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Not historically, no. He can of course label his game in any way he wishes, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a MUD, and that MUD stands for "Multi-User Dungeon". Of course on his website there's nothing stopping him saying that in his game the "D" stands for "Domain", or "Dragonballs", or "Donut", or whatever else he likes - or even that it's really a "MU*" or "M*" or "MUSH" or "MOO" or "MMORPG", or "MMOBBQ", etc, etc. He can market his game as he wishes. But it's still a MUD, and the acronym has an established meaning.

Supposing that MUDs are just Joe's hobby - professionally, he's the founder of a company that manufactures palmtop computers. If he decides that the word "personal" is too icky-touchy-feely, and that for him "PC" stands for "palmtop computer", then he can certainly use that in his marketing. Or he can even make up a new name entirely if he wishes. But his product is a PC, and will still be categorised by others as a type of "personal computer".
The difference is that Multi-User Dimension and Multi-User Domain got widespread adoption in the community. A lot of books on MUDs name one or the other of them as the expansion of MUD, and when I got into mudding around '92 they were being thrown around a lot -- usually with an awareness that they were neologisms, but they were appealing neologisms that people were participating in because they worked for them, and were generally seen as part of the evolution of the hobby past its simplistic roots. (This enthusiasm wasn't in any way peculiar to Tinyfolk, for the record.) Someone calling their MUD a Multi-User Domicile is clearly a lone voice in the wilderness, but someone calling it a Multi-User Dimension very much is not.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:18 PM   #31
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

Sure, "Domain" and "Dimension" are both quite commonly used, and I think it's fine to document their usage. But I also think it's important to remember the original meaning, and where it comes from. I find it kind of sad when I hear people say things like "We don't have a dungeon, therefore we can't be a Multi-User Dungeon". Perhaps it would have been easier if Trubshaw had used Dungeon's original name instead...then we could all be happily running Multi-User Zorks!
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:34 AM   #32
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Joe Socializer opens a MUD, and he has heard of Multi-User Dungeon, Multi-User Dimension and Multi-User Domain as things MUD stands for, and he doesn't want to run a dungeon because those are icky
Is "Joe Socializer" an insult directed at me (as slight as it may be)?
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:40 AM   #33
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Sure, "Domain" and "Dimension" are both quite commonly used, and I think it's fine to document their usage. But I also think it's important to remember the original meaning, and where it comes from. I find it kind of sad when I hear people say things like "We don't have a dungeon, therefore we can't be a Multi-User Dungeon". Perhaps it would have been easier if Trubshaw had used Dungeon's original name instead...then we could all be happily running Multi-User Zorks!
I have no problem with my MUD being called a Multi User Dungeon. I don't prefer it because I think it's a misnomer personally, despite the history, but I am not offended by it. My comments and questions earlier were directed at Newworld's statement about how important it is. I don't see it as that important or necessary. Documenting the history of it is fine but there is no hidden requirement that MUD stands strictly for Multi User Dungeon.

The history of it may point to that (I do not dispute that at all) but enough history also points to the other two uses mentioned in this thread.
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:02 AM   #34
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

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Is "Joe Socializer" an insult directed at me (as slight as it may be)?
Depends, is your name Joe? No, 1) I didn't have you in mind, nor do I really know enough about you to have, and 2) I don't think there's anything wrong with being a Bartle-scale Socializer and feel no need to insult them.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:47 PM   #35
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Re: MUD - What do you think it should stand for?

Ah well that's good then. I wasn't really offended by it even if it were directed at me. Just didn't want my argument being tarnished by any misconceptions about me or my position.
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