For more, cf. http://www.luckymojo.com/avidyana/gnostik/mud
In the 1990s, my interests in the internet blossomed and with it communication and study in a variety of venues reachable online via Internet Relay Channel (IRC), Usenet, and email. This was soon to be supplemented by Telnet and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) as i learned about data caches and Multi-User Dimensions (MUDs). I met Joseph Traub in IRC and discussed with him the construction of a non-game MUD whose focus would be esoteric study and experimentation with the TinyMUCK technology with which he was familiar. Several of those whom we knew were also interested in the experiment and some of them had UNIX and other technical knowledge which they shared generously with any of us interested in learning it.
As is my usual methodology, once i became aware of this single instance of phenomena (MUDs), i sought to familiarize myself with a large number of them, exploring via Telnet what i could and quickly began to understand that there were not only more than 1 type of command sets one needed to know to operate in any depth within them, but that they also had different themes, social groups, and general purposes. By far the greater majority were gaming MUDs, and my attention waned from them once i began to understand that Divination Web was fairly unique in the MUD, MUCK, and later MOO world.
After exploring the Divination Web TinyMUCK framework, determining with others how we were going to set things up, and suffering numerous database losses of our work, my attention turned to the subset of MUDs which i found compelling and of lasting interest: what i called 'Non-game MUDs', whose administrators and support systems were for other than gaming purposes and often had some kind of institutional support, academic sponsoring, and student user base. I explored these as i was able, communicated with the administrators using form letter inquiries, explored their contents and educational facilities as i was allowed, being a communard in non-gaming MUD technology, kept a brief list of those non-game MUDs of my interest, and occasionally issued brief questionnaires to those most solidly part of the project administration, a few of which were completed and are included in the data below.
As the worldwide web and the internet grew, my attention turned toward other projects and venues of research within occultism and technology. I was interviewed by Erik Davis* for his 'Techno-Paganism' writings featured in Wired Magazine and which now may be found online. My relationship with Joseph Traub remained friendly and he was able to keep the project online for years (until 2008) despite the fact that we seldom used the TinyMUCK for meetings or construction).
This year i was excited to see that interest in "cyber-magick" or occult activities utilizing computers (something we explored in several different dimensions within Divination Web) was receiving some attention in the academic community studying magic, so i set up this web page featuring all of the data from the 1990s that i had within my files to facilitate a deeper, more extended study. Some of the projects such as NOMICMUD have moved to other hosting technologies, some such as LAMBDAMOO have retained their social vibrancy and evolved along newer connection methods, and some, like MediaMOO or AstroVR, may well still exist as projects of their academic or institutional sponsors.
Feel free to contact me should you have any questions about the data below. I hope that it will be found enduringly useful.
NOTE: * - Technopagans: May the Astral Plane Be Reborn in Cyberspace
by Erik Davis,
Original Template Format
"To be a viable research tool we need more than just networked
audio; the system must support shared access to databases, images,
libraries, simulators, and other popular tools of the trade such as
mongo, simbad and whiteboards. Ideally one should be able to hold an
on-line meeting where each participant can lead a short show and tell
of images, spectra or other data, sketch out ideas and equations, and
gather comments and suggestions, i.e. everything that might happen in
a weekly small group meeting or seminar. Outside group meetings much
research is done by pairs: searching databases, working out equations,
tossing around ideas. These uses should also be supported. Use of
such a tool would obviously foster closer ties between scientists who
otherwise are faced with geographical barriers to collaboration.
"In November 1992 we began to work on this project during our
"spare time" taking as a basis the multi-user database server MOO, the
Livermore networked audio tool and an emacs-based user client. We
dubbed this system AstroVR (Astronomy Virtual Reality)."
'Wired Magazine', July 1995, Vol. 3, Number 7. The entire original article may be found online.
1: Name (Abbreviations; Type)
2: Telnet address(es)
3: Source Code Admin./Email
4: Additional Info Site Address
5: Size (bytes|objects)/Quotas
9: Social Structure
LIST OF NONGAME MUDS (Detail)
Contact: David Van Buren (dave @ipac.caltech.edu)
Purpose: provides access to many astronomical databases in a collaborative environment.
Theme: Astronomer's Offices/Labs, noncyber simulation
History: "We were motivated by recent improvements in internet access to include most active researchers and the development of multi-user social virtual realities to experiment with the idea of a network based collaborative research tool. Our vision was that we would build a system that provides researchers with the ability to work together on-line, giving them the feeling that they are both present in the same room through the use of audio and visual cues. Small experiments using microphones attached to workstations discussing the project showed that the impression of presence would be possible to achieve.
Contact: Gustavo (bmgustav @bioinformatics.weizmann.ac.il)
Purpose (from helpfiles): "BioMOO is a virtual meeting place for biologists, connected to the Globewide Network Academy. The main physical part of the BioMOO is located at the BioInformatics Unit of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
Original Template Format
"To be a viable research tool we need more than just networked audio; the system must support shared access to databases, images, libraries, simulators, and other popular tools of the trade such as mongo, simbad and whiteboards. Ideally one should be able to hold an on-line meeting where each participant can lead a short show and tell of images, spectra or other data, sketch out ideas and equations, and gather comments and suggestions, i.e. everything that might happen in a weekly small group meeting or seminar. Outside group meetings much research is done by pairs: searching databases, working out equations, tossing around ideas. These uses should also be supported. Use of such a tool would obviously foster closer ties between scientists who otherwise are faced with geographical barriers to collaboration.
"In November 1992 we began to work on this project during our "spare time" taking as a basis the multi-user database server MOO, the Livermore networked audio tool and an emacs-based user client. We dubbed this system AstroVR (Astronomy Virtual Reality)."
"BioMOO is a professional community of Biology researchers. It is a
place to come meet colleagues in Biology studies and related fields and
brainstorm, to hold colloquia and conferences, to explore the serious
side of this new medium."
Theme: noncyber simulation of research center
Social Structure (from 'help purpose'): "BioMOO is a professional community of Biology researchers."
"But D.U.MOO's purpose is so much greater than that. If you can imagine walking into a virtual physics room and finding a virtual experiment waiting to be performed, then you are on the right track. I call it an Experiential Learning Project. You might be asked to predict the results of the experiment and then perform it. If you were working on a display of weight in a vacuum, you might have some vacuum bottles there with things in each one, like a feather or a steel ball. You would state your prediction and then turn over the bottles to see which, if any, fell faster. There might be other bottles, with objects in them closer to the same weight. [NOTE: The purpose of Diversity University is the facilitation of educational processes via the MOO environment, not through performing the education itself but through the promotion of the MOO as a useful tool and forum.]
"This only a very small sample of what could be done here
by innovative teachers and programmers."
Theme: University Campus
Structure: "Jeanne is a graduate social work student at University of Houston. She is the Archwizard at DU who takes care of public relations, and all other administrative details. She runs the whole thing. She gives tours to demonstrate the progress of the MOO, as well as attending educational conferences. She designed the initial MOO layout, and has guided it into the giant it has become."
CREDITS/COPYRIGHTS - The documentation within this page should be used so as to preserve the privacy of those who wish to continue to operate their private ventures as they desire, to promote the projects of those who have an interest in non-game MUDs, and to foment a study of these projects as a whole, technologically, sociologically, and esoterically. This is a non-profit activity and should not be exploited for any money-making purpose. If you have questions about the use of the data, please contact the author of it at yronwode.com@ nagasiva. Otherwise, all rights reserved, 2009 nagasiva yronwode.