Mud (?), n. [Akin to LG. mudde, D. modder, G. moder mold, OSw. modd mud, Sw. modder mother, Dan. mudder mud. Cf. Mother a scum on liquors.]

Earth and water mixed so as to be soft and adhesive.

Mud bass Zool., a fresh-water fish (Acantharchum pomotis) of the Eastern United States. It produces a deep grunting note. -- Mud bath, an immersion of the body, or some part of it, in mud charged with medicinal agents, as a remedy for disease. -- Mud boat, a large flatboat used in deredging. -- Mud cat. See Catfish. -- Mud crab Zool., any one of several American marine crabs of the genus Panopeus. -- Mud dab Zool., the winter flounder. See Flounder, and Dab. -- Mud dauber Zool., a mud wasp. -- Mud devil Zool., the fellbender. -- Mud drum Steam Boilers, a drum beneath a boiler, into which sediment and mud in the water can settle for removal. -- Mud eel Zool., a long, slender, aquatic amphibian (Siren lacertina), found in the Southern United States. It has persistent external gills and only the anterior pair of legs. See Siren. -- Mud frog Zool., a European frog (Pelobates fuscus). -- Mud hen. Zool. (a) The American coot (Fulica Americana). (b) The clapper rail. -- Mud lark, a person who cleans sewers, or delves in mud. [Slang] -- Mud minnow Zool., any small American fresh-water fish of the genus Umbra, as U. limi. The genus is allied to the pickerels. -- Mud plug, a plug for stopping the mudhole of a boiler. -- Mud puppy Zool., the menobranchus. -- Mud scow, a heavy scow, used in dredging; a mud boat. [U.S.] -- Mud turtle, Mud tortoise Zool., any one of numerous species of fresh-water tortoises of the United States. -- Mud wasp Zool., any one of numerous species of hymenopterous insects belonging to Pepaeus, and allied genera, which construct groups of mud cells, attached, side by side, to stones or to the woodwork of buildings, etc. The female places an egg in each cell, together with spiders or other insects, paralyzed by a sting, to serve as food for the larva. Called also mud dauber.


© Webster 1913.

Mud, v. t.


To bury in mud.




To make muddy or turbid.



© Webster 1913.

A MUD is a text-based (generally) computer simulation based somewhat on Dungeons and Dragons. A typical MUD is set in medieval times and involve the players being able to choose their races and classes. Such races include elf, dwarf, angel, demon, dragon, and subraces (such as the drow elf). Classes could include mage, cleric, druid, warrior, paladin, etc. One of the main things for a MUD is escape. The role-play for a MUD allows the players to get away from real-life problems and real-life situations. There is also the adrenaline factor of going around killing things, and getting rewarded for it.

A MUD is a text-based online role-playing game. It stands for Multi User Dungeon, among other things.
It takes advantage of the endorphin rush resulting from getting XP, levelling, and getting the best eq.
For those of us with an addictive personality, MUDs were the easiest thing to get addicted to on the internet before porn and visual online rpgs such as everquest became popular.
Although MUDs have the potential to be amazingly fun and addictive, they are also undoubtedly the type of game with the least amount of originality.

There are many hundreds of MUD's to choose from, but there are only a few different codebases which all of them are based on. Many MUDs are just copies of hundreds of other games with a different set of rooms, and possibly different names for the skills, spells, and races. Nearly all of them use the same combat and spell systems, and many have little to no original skills or spells.

The only MUDs that are very original (Terris, Gemstone III, Dragonrealms, others) cost money to play, though they're definitely worth it for those who enjoy them.
mu = M = muddie

MUD /muhd/ n.

[acronym, Multi-User Dungeon; alt. Multi-User Dimension] 1. A class of virtual reality experiments accessible via the Internet. These are real-time chat forums with structure; they have multiple `locations' like an adventure game, and may include combat, traps, puzzles, magic, a simple economic system, and the capability for characters to build more structure onto the database that represents the existing world. 2. vi. To play a MUD. The acronym MUD is often lowercased and/or verbed; thus, one may speak of `going mudding', etc.

Historically, MUDs (and their more recent progeny with names of MU- form) derive from a hack by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw on the University of Essex's DEC-10 in the early 1980s; descendants of that game still exist today and are sometimes generically called BartleMUDs. There is a widespread myth (repeated, unfortunately, by earlier versions of this lexicon) that the name MUD was trademarked to the commercial MUD run by Bartle on British Telecom (the motto: "You haven't lived 'til you've died on MUD!"); however, this is false -- Richard Bartle explicitly placed `MUD' in the public domain in 1985. BT was upset at this, as they had already printed trademark claims on some maps and posters, which were released and created the myth.

Students on the European academic networks quickly improved on the MUD concept, spawning several new MUDs (VAXMUD, AberMUD, LPMUD). Many of these had associated bulletin-board systems for social interaction. Because these had an image as `research' they often survived administrative hostility to BBSs in general. This, together with the fact that Usenet feeds were often spotty and difficult to get in the U.K., made the MUDs major foci of hackish social interaction there.

AberMUD and other variants crossed the Atlantic around 1988 and quickly gained popularity in the U.S.; they became nuclei for large hacker communities with only loose ties to traditional hackerdom (some observers see parallels with the growth of Usenet in the early 1980s). The second wave of MUDs (TinyMUD and variants) tended to emphasize social interaction, puzzles, and cooperative world-building as opposed to combat and competition (in writing, these social MUDs are sometimes referred to as `MU*', with `MUD' implicitly reserved for the more game-oriented ones). By 1991, over 50% of MUD sites were of a third major variety, LPMUD, which synthesizes the combat/puzzle aspects of AberMUD and older systems with the extensibility of TinyMud. In 1996 the cutting edge of the technology is Pavel Curtis's MOO, even more extensible using a built-in object-oriented language. The trend toward greater programmability and flexibility will doubtless continue.

The state of the art in MUD design is still moving very rapidly, with new simulation designs appearing (seemingly) every month. Around 1991 there was an unsuccessful movement to deprecate the term MUD itself, as newer designs exhibit an exploding variety of names corresponding to the different simulation styles being explored. It survived. See also bonk/oif, FOD, link-dead, mudhead, talk mode.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

A brief timeline of MUDs

  • Fall, 1978 - Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw create the first version of a MUD for a PDP-10 server.
  • 1987 - Alan Cox designs AberMUD.
  • 1989 - Lars Pensjø designs the LPC language and builds the first LPMUD, Genesis.
  • August 19, 1989 - Jim Aspnes opens TinyMUD, a MUD based primarily on world creation rather than competition.
  • Winter, 1990 - Stephen White releases TinyMUCK 1.0.
  • May 2, 1990 - Pavel Curtis releases the first version of MOO.
  • October 1, 1990 - Michael Seifert, Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt, Sebastian Hammer, Tom Madsen, Katja Nyboe release DikuMUD Gamma, the first public version of Diku.
  • June, 1991 - Russ Taylor releases ROM, a Diku derivative.
  • January, 1992 - Jeremy Elson begins development on CircleMUD, a Diku derivative.
  • February, 1992 - TMI-2 was founded for the purpose of creating a new driver and MUDlib for LPMuds. This driver eventually became known as MudOS.
  • April 23, 1992 - LPC sockets were added to the MudOS driver, allowing the creation of the Intermud network.
  • July, 1992 - George Reese (aka Descartes) takes over design on the Nightmare MUD, using the MudOS driver. In October of 1992, Nightmare re-opens.
  • Autumn, 1992 - Isengard, the flagship MUD for the Mordor codebase (a derivative of Diku) opens.
  • January, 1993 - George Reese releases the Nightmare MUDlib, the first widely available MUDlib built for MudOS.
  • August 12, 1993 - DGD (Dworkin Game Driver) is released. It is the first LPMUD containing only original code.
  • Autumn, 1994 - ACKmud, a Diku derivative, is created by Steve Dooley.
  • May 15, 1995 - George Reese releases the Foundation II MUDlib, the first MUDlib designed for non-game uses.
  • July, 1995 - Richard Woolcock opens Godwars, a Diku derivative. In October of 1995, he releases the code to the public.
  • July 21, 1995 - The Lima MUDlib is released.
  • December, 1996 - Smaug is released, a derivative of Diku.

As you may notice, there has not been much in the way of significant progress in recent years. Much of that is due to the proliferation of graphical online RPGs like Everquest, Ultima Online, and Asheron's Call. Much of the talent that formerly worked to develop MUDs has been snatched up by companies eager to fill the MMORPG niche in the gaming economy. This is not to say, however, that MUDs are dying; far from it. There are many players who still have fond memories of the text-based games, and many fledgling programmers working to make those games better. Of course, MUDs also have one large benefit over the games mentioned above; almost all of them are free to play.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.