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IfMUD Logo.png
Developer(s) Liza Daly and project community
Engine PerlMUD
Platform(s) Platform independent
Release 1997
Genre(s) Interactive fiction MUD
Mode(s) Multiplayer

ifMUD is a MUD associated with the newsgroup accessible via telnet or a MUD client. It is central to the interactive fiction community, frequented by many of the genre's best-known writers.[1][2] Every year, the XYZZY Awards are hosted on ifMUD during an online ceremony.[3]

ifMUD was founded in 1997 by Liza Daly.[1] It is written in the Perl computer programming language making use of an extensive hack of the earlier PerlMUD, with many additional features.[1]

Game characteristics

ifMUD is organized into areas, with a distinct area usually the work of a particular contributor or group of contributors and having its own interactive fiction plot. For example, Save Princeton was created by Jacob Weinstein and Karine Schaefer.[4]


The tradition of SpeedIF, in which short interactive fiction works, created around story prompts, are developed and shared in a two-hour timeframe, was originated on ifMUD by David Cornelson.[5]

MUD bots

Two major bots exist on ifMUD, Alex and Floyd.

Floyd acts as an interpreter for many different IF writing platforms. It was named after a fictional character from the Planetfall game by Infocom.[6]

Alex, a "parrot" bot named after Alex Pepperberg, keeps track of memos on any topic, editable by anyone, similar to a wiki. It was written by Dan Shiovitz and was inspired by the Perl infobot Purl.


ifMUD has, at times, simultaneously been praised for its service to the interactive fiction community and criticized for fostering an excessively self-referential, socially impenetrable environment.[7]

Its userbase has been described as a "small but friendly multinational tribe".[8]


  1. ^ a b c Granade, Stephen. "Brass Lantern IF and a MUD". Retrieved 2010-04-08. There is a place on the Internet where fans of adventure games gather. They meet other fans; they occasionally run into the people behind the bylines on games. [...] ifMUD is the brainchild of Liza Daly. Over the years it has moved servers; its codebase has been hacked until it only vaguely resembles the PerlMUD source from which it sprang. It has simmered since its introduction in June of 1997, a blend of personalities and ideas.
  2. ^ Montfort, Nick (2005-04-01). Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. The MIT Press. pp. xv. ISBN 0-262-63318-3. I also appreciate the many conversations I have had about interactive fiction topics with friends from an enjoyable and topical online community, ifMUD.
  3. ^ Montfort, Nick; Ashwell, Sam Kabo; Cornelson, Dave; Shiovitz, Dan (2005-04-08). "Interactive Fiction FAQ". Interactive Fiction: Other Poetic and Imaginative Writing for the Computer and Writing on Digital Media Topics. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  4. ^ Göbel, Stefan (2003). Proceedings of the Technologies for Interactive Digital Storytelling and Entertainment (TIDSE) Conference, 2003. Fraunhofer IRB. p. 366. Fig. 1 shows a map created by one interactor on a piece of paper while playing Jacob Weinstein and Karine Schaefer's Save Princeton cooperatively on ifMUD [...]
  5. ^ Montfort, Nick (2005-04-01). Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. The MIT Press. pp. 209–210. ISBN 0-262-63318-3. In general, mini-comps have functioned more like theme issues of a journal than like contests. Another sort of contest was inaugurated in October 1998 by David Cornelson, who had authors on ifMUD (a virtual environment for socializing among those in the IF community) engage in "SpeedIF." Participants created very small IF works within a time limit of one hour (the time limit later became two hours) based on a selection of unusual topics, characters, and items that were volunteered online. The results were uploaded for the "competitors," and anyone else, to enjoy. SpeedIF, occurring irregularly and often decided upon spontaneously, has also become a tradition. Although the focus on competition as a metaphor—even in noncompetitive events—may seem unusual, the many sorts of competitions that have transpired in recent years (including some for interactive fiction in other languages) have had clear benefits for the community.
  6. ^ Ford, Melissa (2016). Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine. Que. pp. 155–158. ISBN 978-0789756640. One of the most beloved interactive fiction characters of all time is Floyd from Planetfall. This robot is so loved that ifMUD, an online hangout for interactive fiction enthusiasts, has a bot named Floyd as well as a group gameplay gathering called ClubFloyd.
  7. ^ O'Brien, Paul (2006-07-19). "Pass the Banana". Interactive Fiction Reviews Organization. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  8. ^ Varney, Allen (2005-08-23). "READ GAME". The Escapist.

External links

  • Official web site
  • ifWiki entry
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