A cousin to the MUD, the talker, was the primary source of social interaction for me from ages 13 to 16 or so. The story of how I got on Foothills (one of the larger talkers, along with Surfers) in 1993 is an interesting one but perhaps best saved for another time.
I had people in the same year as me in uni who were almost swallowed by MUDs running on the IBM PS/2 machines in the computer lab. It took a heavy toll on their academic performance.
Edit I’m showing my age in that I know perfectly well what a “MUD” is but don’t have a clue what ROBLOX is…
I know of ROBLOX only because of my niece, who plays it religiously. She’s six. My younger son is the five and is aware of ROBLOX but he’s all about Minecraft and Mega Man.
(He doesn’t play Mega Man, mind you. A five year old’s reflexes aren’t there yet. He acts as the “strategist” while I do the driving. His knowledge of Mega Man, especially X 1-3 is amazing, though. He knows all of the Maverick’s weaknesses and thus can direct you to go in the most efficient order to defeat them with their weakness weapons, knows all of the hidden collectable locations and how to get to them and what the prerequisites are, can tell you the relative difficulties of all the incarnations of Sigma…I wish anyone loved me as much as this guy loves Mega Man.)
Yeah, once the kids in your life move through the years the new fads have less and less impact. Mine is at the age when the stuff they’re interested isn’t anything they want parents to know about ;)
I’m surprised at the absence of the Iron Realms MUDs. The rest of the article is really thorough, and the IRE games managed to be long-running commercial games that survived to this day.