What is a MUSH?

MUSH is the acronym for Multi-User Shared Hallucination (sometimes holodeck, habitat, and hack are substituted). This is, more accurately, a backronym applied to a text-based MMO, role-play focused, medium that originated out of telnet but has specific clients (applications) dedicated to the medium to make this a more friendly process. Or, more simply, its an application that gathers players to allow them to role-play on-line in a text based environment in a live fashion rather than through other on-line mediums such as Forums or even e-mail which can be slow in waiting for responses. Read more on MUSH at Wikipedia.

How do I MUSH?

Generally hosted on personal servers, group servers and even virtual machines, the typical protocol for accessing the environment is through directing the software (client or application) to a direct IP address and port, the port routes the connection to the server specifically to the MUSH/game in particular. So long as the address and port is put in correctly, the software returns a login screen similar to the one below.


From here, one simply needs to create a character, 'create John passw1234' or connect to John, 'connect John passw1234', to enter the virtual, text based environment. Sometimes it is overlooked or forgotten, these environments have existed for decades, but all the help files needed to interact with the system and other players is hard coded into the system itself. One simply types commands, hits enter and the system will respond. To get started, type the word 'help' at the first prompt after logging in, hit enter. This return the basic system help file and index for help files.


A few notes. One, there is a lot of text to read for anyone new to the MUSH environment as it is a text-based environment and utilized most often for text-based role-playing. Two, depending on your vision, the color of light text on dark background may not be suitable for you. This can be changed in your client or application generally and most prefer either dark (black) or light (white) background with inverse colored text. The traditional Telnet was light grey with black text.

The information and subsequent files from 'help getting started' are very useful for communicating with the global player base on a MUSH. Sparkline is PennMUSH based and uses a global 'public' channel that everyone is automatically added to for convenience. If one wants more direct help after connecting, they simply only need ask for help on this global channel; try 'pub I need help' and someone is sure to answer.

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