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QuitMud, It's Time

by Selina Kelley

Every now and then I go into "net hibernation". That's the stage you hit when you just don't want to log into muds anymore, you don't really want to surf the net, or code anything new. Most of the time, it's not a serious event. You know that taking a couple weeks off can fix it.
Hibernating bears

Cute little bear, hibernating away. I hope Selina does not look like this.

Sometimes, though, it's different. I've been in mud-hibernation for a few months now. I still occasionally fix bugs, but when I log in, it's more to check mail than code anything new. That's generally not a good thing when you're an administrator.

I've noticed that my activity online seems proportional to the activity of my staff online. The more I get excited and code, the more my staff does. When I hibernate, it seems so does everyone else. But I'm only one person, I shouldn't have that kind of affect on a mud!

In that sense, I was relieved the other day to find that one of my closest friends online, also an administrator on the mud I am on, was suddenly more productive. It was a relief, really, since I am still in hibernation, and I'm sure the mortals on my mud were happy to see some cool new stuff go into play.

I know a lot of my hesitation in jumping into any large project is the fact that it's Christmas. I enjoy Christmas, although traditionally I don't celebrate it. I enjoy Christmas parties, buying presents, (real) plum pudding, served hot with custard. I enjoy doing a "surprise" for the mud on Christmas too, even though I know I won't be online to enjoy it.

So, every year almost without fail, right around Christmas, I QuitMud. QuitMud being just not logging on as much. I need a break occasionally, and December always seems to be the time that I do it. Who knows, this year I may not return in the same capacity as previous years, but maybe it's time.

Oh the horrors, for me to say that maybe it's time to pay attention to offline things instead of a mud. It seems almost blasphemous! I've been around the mud scene for a long time. Most of the time I can't really imagine what it would be like not being around my "mud friends".

However, sometimes something inside me tells me "let go". Career, family, those silly people called "friends", all seem to be more important to me lately. Or maybe the recent inundation of "little kiddies" that wouldn't know a challenging mud unless it was handed to them with a pretty red bow tied around it, and a card saying "This is a challenging mud" has something to do with it.

I just don't feel that working on a mud has much benefit to me anymore. I have firm friendships made from there, yes, but most of my contact with those friends are through other online means anyway, rather than on the mud. I also enjoy coding areas for the mud, but with players that don't tend to notice new and nifty features in the areas, but like finding the bugs to exploit, it gets a little discouraging to continue doing so.

When it's all said and done though, it comes down to one simple fact. I don't have the courage to leave. It's been such a large part of my life in the past that there's no way I can abandon it. The true QuitMud never lasts. If I ever, honestly, let go, there will be no article for me to write about it, and no real goodbyes to say.

So Merry Christmas all, I'm not done yet!

Selina Kelley can most often by found on ProphecyMUD. She is also an editor here at Imaginary Realities.