It’s been a pretty good decade and a half, but I’m slowly coming around to the view that the MUSH is done.
Before I go any further, I’m not saying the OtherSpace story is done. I’m not saying we’re through building a collaborative space opera.
I’m saying the MUSH-as-RP-platform is done.
On days that don’t feature events run by me or Colchek, you’re not likely to find anyone on the grid and in-character.
On staff-run event days, you’re going to find the same two or three people participating. And thank God for them.
But. We may have 10-15 people lurking online and that’s all they do – lurk. They log on. They don’t necessarily even talk on channels. The MUSH turns into something like another Skype window, but without anyone really talking.
Telnet’s a dinosaur. Fewer people want to hunt down and install software (even when we provide easy links) to connect to OtherSpace.
So, I’m spending $260 a year with minimal outside support for…what, exactly? I’m responsible for bills at home now that include a mortgage, day care for the baby, veterinary bills for the dog. No, $260 isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it’ll fix the air conditioning in my car. Or put more diapers on John Michael. Or go toward yard projects.
Look at the cost-benefit for keeping the MUSH alive. If we’re realistic, the only real benefit is to give a couple handfuls of people a different virtual hangout. Another window to keep open while they don’t do anything. Yes, I sometimes get to tell a story in real-time, but that audience grows smaller and smaller. I could offer similar opportunities in the freely available public activity feed on my Patreon page – for no overhead cost.
I’m due to renew the cost of hosting the MUSH and website on Nov. 1. Folks have until then to show me that it’s really worth the expense. Get engaged in the story. Make things happen on the MUSH. Put simply: Use it or lose it.