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Many MUDs were fashioned around the dice-rolling rules of the Dungeons & Dragons series of games.

Such fantasy settings for MUDs are common, while many others have science fiction settings or are based on popular books, movies, animations, periods of history, worlds populated by anthropomorphic animals, and so on.

MUD, better known as Essex MUD and MUD1 in later years, ran on the Essex University network, and became more widely accessible when a guest account was set up that allowed users on JANET (a British academic X.25 computer network) to connect on weekends and between the hours of 2 AM and 8 AM on weekdays.

reportedly under pressure from Compu Serve, to whom Richard Bartle had licensed the game.

is a multiplayer real-time virtual world, usually text-based.

MUDs combine elements of role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat.

Scepter supported 10 to 16 simultaneous users, typically connecting in by modem.

MIST ran until the machine that hosted it, a PDP-10, was superseded in early 1991.MUDs can be accessed via standard telnet clients, or specialized MUD clients which are designed to improve the user experience.Numerous games are listed at various web portals, such as The Mud Connector.Neil Newell, an avid MUD1 player, started programming his own MUD called SHADES during Christmas 1985, because MUD1 was closed down during the holidays.Starting out as a hobby, SHADES became accessible in the UK as a commercial MUD via British Telecom's Prestel and Micronet networks.The history of modern massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like Ever Quest and Ultima Online, and related virtual world genres such as the social virtual worlds exemplified by Second Life, can be traced directly back to the MUD genre.

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