UK loss is US gain Hat

UK loss is US gain

THE HIGH cost of telephone calls is thc only obstacle preventing UK adventurers from playing a real time, interactive game.

Known as the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) it has been running at Essex University for the past five years. It was written in 1979 by a computer science undergraduate, Roy Trubshaw, but most of the time it has been operated by post graduate student Ricbard Bartle.

MUD was written for and is played on a DEC System 10 mainframe computer, which the players usc on a time-sharing basis.

Richard said there was really no limit to the number of players who could play the game, but that the numbers obviously had to be kept to a rational level.

Having worked on the game for the past four years the next stage in its development according to Richud, is to make it available.

"But telephone costs are too expensive here for peoplc to play a real time, interactive game," he said.

"The Multi-User Dungeon is to be marketed on large networks in America. Costs are low enough for people to use the phone for two or three hours at a time."

In 12 to 18 months Richard will try to market the game in other countries, but it looks as though telephone charges may continue to exclude UK players from Multi-User Dungeon.

Richard A. Bartle (
21st January 1999: mamay84.htm