UPDATE 2/11/18: The article is now on the PC Gamer website, head this way to read it.
Original article 20/9/18: This is so cool! I’ve just bought issue 323 of PC Gamer UK, and there it is – a six-page feature on Genesis LPMud with my name on it. So exciting!
I discovered Genesis LPMud years ago – it wasn’t long after I’d written my first article for Kotaku UK on the secret Douglas Adams RPG that people have been playing for 15 years. Writing that article made me wonder what the oldest online multiplayer game is, which led me to MUD, or Multi-User Dungeon.
MUD was created at the University of Essex back in the late 1970s, and incredibly, it was an online game before the internet even properly existed. Instead it ran over ARPAnet, the precursor to the internet that was created by the American military. But the original MUD eventually closed down after around ten years.
Genesis was a later version of MUD that was created in Sweden in the late 1980s and, excitingly, it was still going. I pitched the idea of an article on Genesis to a few publications back in 2014, but no one picked it up at the time. So I put the pitch back into my big file of article ideas, and there it sat for around four years.
But a few months back, I heard through Twitter that the editor of PC Gamer was calling for pitches. I immediately thought of my old Genesis pitch, so I dusted it off, rejigged it a little with a clearer focus, and emailed it to the editor, Phil Savage, with fingers crossed.
Phil was interested in the idea but wanted a clearer idea of the story, so I got in touch with Cooper Sherry, the chief administrator behind Genesis. Cooper was a dream interviewee – full of energy and excitement for the game he’d spent half his life playing, and spilling over with anecdotes about the Genesis world. I knew I had my story as soon as I spoke to him.
So HUGE thanks to Cooper for being so helpful and committed, and big thanks to Magnus Holmgren as well for his brilliant insights – particularly the story about being tied to a chair. And I also want to shout out to Peter Spellman and Mateusz Nowak for their help – I wish I had more space to fit in Mateusz’s praise for Genesis, it was infectious. I’ve just posted off five copies of PC Gamer to Cooper in the US – he’s probably even more excited about the feature than I am!
So yeah, go and buy issue 323 of PC Gamer UK, there’s a really interesting feature on an old text-based adventure game in there…
If you want to try Genesis for yourself, head to www.genesismud.org.