[BACK TO THE TOP] [PSYBER/B Social Psychology of Psyberspace]

Jon-Richard Little, Jeremiah Jackson, and Charles Cohara


One of the many exciting opportunities offered by the burgeoning Internet is the user's ability to interact with other people from around the world in digital chat forums. This interaction is done online, and in many cases it is done anonymously, which opens up a world of possibilities in terms of personal identity. When interacting online, either using Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or a form of Multi-User Dungeon (MUD), the user has the opion to assume any sort of identity that he or she feels like. This sort of role-playing on a large scale has inspired scholars to entertain the notion of a world wherein our personae are more fluid than they now are.

Other Internet users, however, have noticed the alarming degree with which MUD and IRC users become involved in their digital worlds. They warn that these users are addicted to their online chatting and begin to neglect the responsibilities of the real world.

This web page examines the world of MUDs, MOOs, and IRC, and discusses some of the ramifications involved. It was created as a part of an ongoing series related to the social psychology of cyberspace. Below are brief descriptions of the parts of this page:

MUDs and MOOs

Once a game for male nerds, the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) is now a sophisticated, complex, and widely enjoyed part of the Internet. This section tells a bit about how MUDs came to be and how they work.


What is IRC? How did it start? Since there are numerous nationalities and cultures that use it, what is the dominant culture; or has a unique culture been formed? What are the benefits? What are the problems? This section of the paper deals with IRC and its history, culture, positives, and negatives.


Can people really become addicted to the Internet? Is there such thing as Internet Addiction Disorder? How can you tell if you may have a probelm? What are the signs? Are there dangers to MUDs and IRC? This section deals with the issue of addiction to the Internet, and their relation to MUDs and IRC.


While some people cry the dangers of MUDs, others say they offer opportunities for community and identity that we have not yet imagined. This section discusses the impact MUDs and IRC may have on the indentity of their users.


Here are some links related to this page.

About The Authors:

Jon-Richard Little, Charles Cohara, and Jeremiah Jackson created these pages for a class called "Social Psychology of Cyberspace: Self and Community in the Age of the Internet" at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

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This web page was created by Jon-Richard Little, Jeremiah Jackson, and Chuck "Cold Turkey" Cohara for PSY 380.k at Miami University.
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PsyberSite, Miami University.This document was created April 19, 1998 and last modified on  Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 17:34:05.  This document has been accessed 1 times since April 15, 2002. Comments & Questions to R. Sherman . Also See: Social Psychology at Miami University