"Where does the body end and where does the mind start?
Is it not (that) the mind (is) a part of the body? asks Quastro
"In MOO, the body is the mind", answers HerkieCosmo.
Our relations rely on words and on the signs that
come along with them. Without these codes, assimilated by socialization or by subsequent
interaction within a specific context, the words themselves would be simple joints of
letters. A look or a gesture may sometimes mean much more that an entire story. The words
are completing the exchange of signs and cultural symbols tones of the voice, subtlety
of the look, wear style, expressions of the face everything which make our
interactions not become null.
In our previous article, we referred to MUD as a virtual environment that belongs utterly
to the words. This determination cancels from the beginning the non-verbal information
that may be transmitted (possibly by images or sounds) and that implicitly might allow a
new communicational dimension.
However, even without these informal communication
channels, a MUD environment has its specific complexity as the words are passing from one
side to another along with the required symbols and with a particular emotional burden.
Unable to hear, to see or to smell each other, the members of a MUD are incorporating in
words the signs they would transmit in real life by using a different communication
channel. These symbols which normally, in reality, are like a "sphere" (with
the meaning of Logic) that are determining the words real signification, the one
that is meant to be, within the exclusive communication channel existing in a MUD, the
written one, are converted into words. Thus, the word becomes double: it has its own,
concrete meaning but also the possible signification given by a command from the Data base
(that is, technically speaking, MUD).
If in a MUD room is given the command:
Fred whispers "Hi!" to Ginger,
only Ginger will see Freds greeting:
Fred whispers " Hi!" to you.
Herein the word would have its concrete meaning or, at least, its significancy would not
be quite different.
But there are also certain MUDs with Emote commands that transform a word into a
symbol, which includes expressions, actions, gestures, overpassing by far its concrete
significance. For instance, the word french, used in MUD Revenge of the End of
the Line: if Fred types "french Ginger", Ginger would see: Fred gives you
a deep and passionate kiss. It seems to take forever
Although it started as a game, based upon the
ontological principle of any game i.e. competition the MUD environment diversified
in time; actually, it followed two directions that some are even considering
complementary: one direction would be the one of the beginning, the game with well defined
rules, privileges and hierarchies, aiming a predefined end or at least imposing some
thresholds of passage
which are meant to be, at the same time, of initiation; in our case, it all started from
the game "Adventure", based upon the tolkienian stories, then passed through
"Wizard" (conceived in 1978) and finally reached what was significantly called
MUD. In this first version, called Multi-User-Dungeon, Dungeon was an
one-single-player version of "Adventure" and the competition was the
prerequisite of the game: the characters were supposed to kill monsters, to discover the
treasures and by this, accumulating points ("powers"), to reach the superior
level of wizards.
The most used command in these versions was "kill" thus excluding the idea
of help, of friendship, of communication and giving the game a finite characteristic: you
were killing, but until when? Therefore a new MUD was conceived, whereby this command did
not exist and by this canceling the existential principle pertaining to the previous MUDs.
In this new version, the idea was the one of "constructing", of communicating,
of socializing, of opening a virtual space whereby the interaction and communication are
the basic principles. It was the case of "Tiny Mud" from 1989; starting with the
90s, this MUD typology started to extend fast.