Subsequent history of WriteMUSH after the study

WriteMUSH, the virtual environment created for this article, did not cease to exist after the study detailed here ended. It went on to host a number of other studies in writing instruction, as well as to be a virtual community for writers to both discuss writing and to extend the virtual environment itself as a means of polishing their own writing skills. It hosted a number of writing classes, where the entire class would create characters on the system and be assigned various writing tasks, ranging from actual text creation to the offline workshopping of texts provided separately, to lectures given by guest "speakers" in a virtual lecture hall. It was the subject of a number of other papers and articles and a considerable amount of additional exploration.

Many additional softcode programs were added, including the classroom - which was designed to control the volume of text generated by a large number of people, the lecture hall, which allowed the lecturer to speak and the audience to speak only when recognized by the speaker, and so on. (It bears noting that the JED editor was never used again - the participants in the study found it so difficult to use that it was never released as a tool for the general population to use.)

Over time, much of the educational interest in WriteMUSH began to die back, due to a combination of factors. One was the creation of MediaMOO and Diversity University MOO, the former based on a similar technology but with a somewhat different slant to their research, and the latter exploring a number of the same ideas with what has become the de-facto standard MU* for education, MOO. Another was the gradual dilution of the original population of writers and researchers with other members who were more interested in the social nature of the MUSH than in exploring writing. Time constraints on the part of the staff of the MUSH (referred to as wizards) also contributed, since the founder of the MUSH (the author of this article) and the other major wizard were in the process of getting married. Finally, the community of writers around whom the MUSH was founded eventually grew apart and parted ways, (although many are still members of CREWRT-L) leaving only the socializing members. At this point the MUSH was transferred to other ownership and died quietly after another year or so due to lack of interest. All told, WriteMUSH lasted from the fall of 1992 until some time in 1996, although the name was changed to WriteMUX during the transfer to reflect a change in the server software.