Originally written by sumatrae for mmorgy.com

In the days before the words Linden and Blizzard were inappropriate names for children, there were vast virtual worlds on the computer that were free, hedonistic and impossibly outrageous.

The good news is -- they're still here...but cun u spel gud enuf 2 uz them? OMFG11!!!!1

Before Second Life. Before Warcraft. Before SimCity. There were the MUCKS. Forget poseballs, GUI and point-and-click turn-based melees. We're talking old school interaction involving only a telnet connection and a vivid imagination. In essence, MUCKS are the great grandfather to the online worlds we have today -- a glorified chat program with the ability to meet friends, make new ones, pose actions and create objects...but nary a prim or pixel to be found.

That's right. Its all text.

Before you dismiss this type of thing as boring, keep in mind that MUCKS usually revolve around a particular theme. There's the hack-n-slash DND variety, there's adventure-based motifs, but the most common variety of MUCK is the furry/anthropormorphic realms of open roleplay. Notably, the most popular hangouts are Altered Realities, FurryMuck and Tapestries where humanoid animals get together to create immersive, interactive story plots about the wildly fantastic (say, finding buried treasure on the M-class planet of Kyra IV), or dance in a nightclub called the Purple Nurple, or--more commonly have intimate, frenetic and sometimes gonzo virtual sex. In short, the same freedoms to express yourself sexually and interact with others that you have in graphical worlds go double for what you can do in a text-based MUCK.

The good news is, you rely on your ability to create a lush world around you using words alone. The bad news is, you rely on your ability to create a lush world around you using words alone.

Sadly, with the rise of graphical worlds, MUCKS are slowly dying out - and for the wrong reasons. There's a general (genital?) consensus that says 'because you can 'see' your partner and interact graphically with him/her/it -- it must make online sex on a place like Second Life a more worthwhile experience'. That't not always the case. Take for instance, one of my particular kinks...transformation.

In a text based world, its alot easier to:

softly rake my claws against your bare thighflesh...watching with delight as tufts of fur push out like small cornrows from the crimson furrows left in the taloned fingers' wake

Try doing that in Second Life. To say nothing about trying to graphically act out other wilder fetishes out there. Its just more immersive and personal when you're typing out your poses than just clicking on something.

Text based worlds really bring out the theater-of-the-mind that graphical realms can't even begin to touch. In fact, places like SL have a tendency to dumb down the act of sex with poseballs and clickable gestures. Not that that's always a bad thing...but the brain is the largest sexual organ in your body. Use it.

Getting an account on a MUCK is free and requires only a shareware client to operate. Plus, you don't even need broadband. Each MUCK has its own rules about conduct and the types of characters allowed, so be sure and read the fine print. As a whole, citizens of a MUCK are very community minded and always happy to help. Of course, you're always welcome to drop me a lion if you wish.

Popular Mucks

Tapestries MUCK - a furry, BDSM friendly playspace

FurryMuck - the longest running anthro muck

Altered Realities - a human and furry gathering place for transformation fetishists

SpinDizzy - a small, grassroots furry friendly community

PuzzleBox. If you have to ask....

MUCKing software

Simple MU for PC

Savitar for MAC