How did you discover text-based gaming?
I'm curious how people first discovered text-based gaming was a thing. I wonder if there are any modern ramps to entry, or people who discovered it recently.
For me, it was back when there weren't many other computer-based online gaming options. I'd started with storyboarding on BBSes, and in college I discovered MUDs.
My housemate at the university and I started reading the Wheel of Time books. I was sort of more or less aware of Medievia IV at the time although I hadn't played that much or for long, but then he discovered "a game just like that but in the WoT universe".
So I went over to A Moment in Tyme. My first day I defended some Aes Sedai from a Whitecloak provoking her. She was Ororo Sedai, and she had weather powers.
... Yeah, so when I look at the logs from these days I cringe, but it all sounded so cool back then. :)
If you want modern/recent, I'm not going to be any use to you...
My high school was one of the first in my state to have internet, and I was nerdy enough to be The Girl Who Was Interested In It. I somehow found talkers (maybe they were mentioned in one of the earlyish how to internet books?) and then one day doing a 'w' on our server I noticed a guy I knew was telnetting to (iirc) trekmuse.org 1701. Which looked potentially interesting (see: nerdy), so I logged in. And it was. And I've basically been MU*ing ever since.
I'm pretty sure my story's gonna get optioned as a movie any day now.
I had the old paperback Changeling: The Dreaming book in my backpack in highschool. Guy in social studies saw it and we got to talking. He introduced me to mushing. FUCK YOU MIKE! Now I staff and babysit grownups.
I found it through a specific fandom, and actually hit MU*s first. I was in elementary school wandering the internet, which was new and shiny and I was super interested in, and found the big, unofficial Redwall fansite. (I think it later became the author's official site for the series, but I'm fairly certain at the time it was still unofficial.) Somewhere in there was information about Redwall MUCK and I went THAT SOUNDS FUN. Probably good that I ended up on such a kid-friendly game, given that I was something like eight or nine. (I know that the author was aware of the game and was generally okay with it as long as it remained PG, as the book series was for kids.) After that it was just a matter of finding more games over the years.
My first experiences into text-based RP started back on AOL. I got involved in Star Trek sims that were run semi-professionally at scheduled times, and later found out about other sort of themes being run in the public-made chats. Got involved in guild combat/role-play through there and spent my mid-teenage years pretending to be a Goblin and smashing heads while staying up far too late and drinking far too much coffee to be healthy for a highschooler.
I was introduced to MU*s in college by my freshman year roommate, who played on a MUCK called African Tales, which was Lion King based and I was pretty much sucked in from there.
Ghostwheel MOO, 1996. The best friend of the guy I still live with played there, and decided I needed a hobby to escape my workaholic tendencies.
<looks around at what kind of things she's doing now> Fffffuuuu...
A guy I knew in highschool ran a MajorMud game on his bbs, so I ended up playing that and Legend of the Red Dragon. I next found an RPI MUD where the founder coincidentally lived in the same city I did.
My first experience with a MU* was when I stumbled upon Shadowrun (Denver? Seattle?) and thought all the +commands were crazy and wondering where the kill command was. It was heavily coded for a MU, but in leaving that, I found Castle D'Image, the most free-form place I'd ever joined. I liked all the RP I found there and I've been MU'ing on and off ever since.
I started on MUDs, after doing a random online search for "games" on my parent's AOL dial-up, back in the day. They were labeled "RP MUDs" but they weren't the kind where people actually RP'd. Mostly people TS'd awkwardly (since emits were really limited) and got 'drunk' at the bars on the grid off coded alcohol. I did enjoy killing random monsters, though, and it kind of introduced me to the concept of text-based games.
I was into fantasy novels in high school (I was about 17 when I started doing this) and searched a lot of the early fandom stuff that existed in 1999, so between that and MUDing I found MUSHes pretty quickly. My first was the WoT place, Tales of Ta'Veren, which was a really good experience for a newbie. I played on raw telnet for like 2 years (and this was back in like 2000, when I was on awful dial-up Internet anyway) before downloading a client and also was 17, so I was pretty terrible when I started, but the playerbase there was nice enough and I learned by watching better RPers.
I had friends who belonged to an anime club. Through that they met a guy who set up Anime MUCK. They used it for RP some, but also to build models of anime settings, fun coded bits, and to have slow conversations about whatever. This was done through tinyfugue and a free for students university dial up.
I remember you had to be an anime character, but I had no desire that even in the remotest sense someone would think I had signed up to RP a given property, so I made up my own character based on a Vampire variant I was writing up, the book Night's Master by Tanith Lee, and my love of tuxedos. I am unsure if Tuxedo Mask existed to me then.
I just realized this may have relevance. My mother(!) bought me Tunnels & Trolls and the solo dungeons for it. That inspired me to code up similar for the PET computer. It may not seem related, but it crossed the line between reading and participation.
I had no concept of text based RP games until 2010 or something. I had a friend who was playing one and he was like "you are up all night bored at work, anyway. Try this thing." (I was.) I did. It was really fun for something I could do at work.
My friend in college invited me to try out Star Wars 1. It didn't really grab me, but the style of gaming was intriguing enough that I started looking around for other games. I stumbled across Maddock, where they were all kind enough to mentor a pathetic newbie. (OMG I was so awful!)
One of my friends in high school ran a BBS.
I believe I first ran into on AOL. The terrible, terrible chat room RP. And then I found a MUD. One of those that was aggressively PvP - it wasn't a matter of if you'd die, just how long you managed to survive this time. Then there were message boards in college, but I just don't like freeform gaming. I didn't hit MUSHes until I picked up In Nomine at a gaming con, and really, REALLY wanted somewhere to play it. There was an In Nomine MUSH, and I found that I very much enjoyed the 'drop in anytime, get RP' aspect and the ability to play both character-development/social scenes AND plotty/action scenes.
Back in university, around 96-98ish, after all my high school friends scattered and I didn't have a table top game anymore, one of my pals who was taking compsci introduced me to mushing on Minos Cluster. I was a big fan of BBS door games like Operation Overkill, Trade wars and Nethack (Not normally a door game, but another friend hosted a multiplayer version on his BBS). It was slow for me to get into it--starting out as a neurotic little bothan might have been a poor choice, also, I started when it felt like most people were leaving that mush, but I had good times enough to start investigating other games and eventually it became a regular hobby.
I was playing on Pern games via AOL -- we RPed primarily in chat rooms and on email mailing lists, spammy as hell -- and some of my friends went to this thing called a MOO, so I followed them. This was in 1999 or so.
AOL in the chat rooms and the AOL hosted MUD: Terris. I have no idea how I ended up here. Its been a long, long journey and most of it is a blur...
I think I actually got pointed towards MU*s from my days playing on the White Wolf Java RP rooms... I still can't remember exactly who dragged me over, but I know I ended up at HM because of a then-roommate.
We didn't have a computer in the house until I was 16, and I was a sports/outdoors kid who didn't really see the point anyway.Then when I was 17 I got sick, and chained to my room for a good year, unable to get much out of bed at all, and my mum got me a laptop. Anyway, I was checking my hotmail when I saw the chat section link on the MSN homepage.I was bored and craved some sort of interaction with people after the initial onslaught of friends visiting turned into a trickle and then just about nobody, so I clicked. It didn't take me long to discover roleplay there, first in the teen section, then interests/entertainment sections. I met @coin there. They were fun times. Then MSN shut down its Chat service, and I migrated to IRC rp, before a friend of mine suggested a mush about.. oh, 4 or 5 years ago now. I've been doing that since.
ETA: I still miss one thing about MSNchat, and that's the constant influx of new people. By being direct linked to one of the biggest online portals at the time, there were never any shortage of recruits to join our crazy ranks.
I was big into bbs's in the 80's and 90's and when my town finally got internet access I jumped on it big time, found mud's, found RP muds (Wheel of Time), then moved on to AmberMUSH in 1992 and never looked back to mud's.
found RP muds (Wheel of Time)