[MUD-Dev] MUDs as an educational tool in impoverished regions?

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Thu Aug 30 07:49:49 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Tue, 28 Aug 2001, Eric Rhea wrote:

> MUDs as educational resources have been covered on this list to
> some extent, but from my searching and from the list archives, it
> appears that the bulk of these accessible cases are oriented
> towards higher education, select professions, or those sitting on
> the "have" side of the digital divide. What about the flipside of
> that coin, has there been any documented cases of the application
> of MUDs in regions of the global south considered as impoverished?

Well, although it's not quite what I'd normally term a MUD, a
project Achaea did for a UN conference last year might qualify. We
designed and wrote a text-only custom client and a central server
designed to be used by poor third-world entrepreneurs (literally
basket weavers and whatnot) to interface with the actual physical
conference in NYC, where we had banks of computers for the delegates
to use, etc.  We then coordinated with the field offices of UNIFEM
in order to provide physical access to people for whom reliable
internet access is only a dream. It had some measure of success,
though not as much as we had hoped.

The problem is really that even semi-reliable internet-access is
simply not possible to obtain in most of the world. Those of us on
this list are the superrich of the world, and it's easy to forget
that half the world has never even made a phone call, much less
logged onto the internet.

---matt

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