- noun Acronym for 'Multi-User Adventure'; what MUD is. There are
four terms in common use to describe MUD-like games: MUA,
MUD, MU* and MUG.
MUA is the most technically sound, but it suffers from being unpronounceable
and its days are probably numbered;
MUD predominates on the Internet, but it means
that the specific game named MUD has to call itself
MUD1 or MUD2 to avoid confusion;
MU* is used by people who think that MUD
implies a PK-heavy game whereas they themselves are peace-loving socialisers;
MUG is the province of computer magazine writers who like to have
words in headlines that they can make silly puns on (thankfully a dying
breed). The term MUA
correctly identifies such programs as being multi-user versions of the class of
games called 'adventures', and as such it is the one preferred in this
dictionary. Anything that is a MUAs is also a MUG,
but saying MUG when you mean MUAs is
sloppy as MUGs encompasses all multi-user games, ie.
all games with more than one player ('Air Warrior'? 'Pong'? Chess? Soccer?).
Increasingly, non-acronym terms like 'text-based virtual reality' are being
floated as alternatives to MUA, but none have yet fallen
into general acceptance.
See MUD, MUG, IMPCG,
Historical note: the 'Dungeon' in 'Multi-User Dungeon'
refers not to underground areas of incarceration, but to a
program named 'Dungeon'. When MUD was named, there were two
single-player games around which could be considered archetypes
of the genre: 'Advent' (ie. 'Adventure', 'Colossal Caves') and
'Dungeon' (ie. 'Zork'); a third, 'HAUNT', was utter rubbish. Of
these, 'Dungeon' was the better by far, so it seemed reasonable
at the time to assume the whole category of such games would be
called 'Dungeons'. However, as 'Advent' predated 'Zork', the
term 'adventures' was adopted instead, and 'Dungeon' (as a
name) forgotten. The acronym MUA is therefore closer to what
MUD was intended to mean than any of the other alternatives for
this species of computer game.