Defining a Tubmud Ludology

by Ragnhild Tronstad

The adventure oriented Multi-User Dungeon Tubmud is in this article examined in the light of various theories on play and games, in order to define a methodology suitable to capture the specific game-like aspects of the MUD. By subjecting Tubmud to two models that were originally developed to analyse elements of traditional games, a complex of overlapping games is disclosed in the MUD, suggesting that the MUD is too diverse a phenomenon to be conceptualised as one kind of game. Instead it could be approached as a game environment comprising several different kinds of games. For the sake of analytical clarity, we may choose to examine each of these separately. Nevertheless, in actual play more than one of them will in fact often occur to be performed simultaneously.

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