• Very first virtual world, from 1978, acquired by Stanford; librarians to get their mob-slaying on
04.29.14

Very first virtual world, from 1978, acquired by Stanford; librarians to get their mob-slaying on

Stanford has gotten its grubby archival hands on the source code for MUD1, which was the first online virtual world and great grandpapa of big, life-consuming MMOs like World of Warcraft as well as computer-simulated communities like Second Life

For those of you who aren’t exceedingly old, a little history lesson: MUDs, or multi-user dungeons, are part BBS, part texted-based Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying, and part interactive fiction, which if you do the math adds up to all very nerdy, but in the respected, historical sense of nerdy.

Not to be confused with MUD2, or the outburst of copycats that came after it, MUD1 was the original, created in 1978 at the University of Essex by a couple of Brits who deserve to be knighted if they haven’t already been. Stanford says they are planning to make the source code available online, so this won’t be tucked away in a file cabinet.