I had a dream last night, a dream about something I rarely think about these days, that’s my life in furry fandom, more specifically, about how fun it used to be to hang out on the furry MUCKs. Yes, I was a proud and active member of furrydom, once upon a time.
Because honestly, it was fun, back at the beginning. Before the dark times. Before the perverts. And sometimes, as bad as the bad times were, the good times were really fantastic and I really wish that those could come back.
So here’s what I remember most fondly about those times.
Way back when the whole thing started, the MUCKs used to be really nice places to hang out. They weren’t the perverted clusterfucks they eventually turned into, in fact, on the major ones that I hung out on, it was absolutely forbidden to act like a freak in public. All of the public areas were PG rated. That means nobody could dress like or act like they were in heat. Profanity was almost outlawed in public and anyone who decided to break the rules in the central areas could be banned from them quite easily. If someone went beyond what was acceptable, the whole of the present populace would rise up against them, all the while paging the wizards to come deal with the problem. People actually took the family-friendly nature of the MUCK seriously.
So what did happen in these public areas? Well, on FurryMUCK, there was a big fire pit in the park that people used to gather around. They’d talk or sing songs or play games. I remember one instance where a huge group of us quoted the entire script for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, verbatim, in round-robin fashion. People wrote programs for playing frisbee or having snowball fights and we’d spend hours just throwing balls back and forth. It was a great time hanging out with a dozen or more friends.
But then came the dark times, then came the perverts and they didn’t really care what the rules were, they wanted to run amok and didn’t care if they got in trouble. In fact, they pretended that they ran the place and everyone had to bow down to their fetishes and nobody could tell them what they could or could not do. And eventually, the wizzes got sick and tired of dealing with them and they started being infiltrated by the perverts and the rules started to change.
I hung around for a while after that but rarely went out in public. The formerly family-friendly public spaces became places where barely-dressed, foul-mouthed assholes hung out, dry humping each other left and right. A lot of MUCKs, unable or unwilling to control the crowd, simply stopped allowing anyone under 18 to get a character at all, which didn’t stop anyone because all you had to do was lie about your age and you were in. So you had a bunch of immature, sex-crazed teenagers who were being told by long-term residents that there were no limits and they could do anything they wanted, acting like chihuahuas in heat every second of the day and you got what the MUCKs eventually turned into, a complete disaster area. It was at the same time that the whole fandom went straight to hell because all of the decent people who had once inhabited it ran for the hills and the crazy perverts took over. It’s no wonder the fandom got the really awful name for which it is remembered. And it’s really too bad because furrydom started out as a nice place, a place that was worth hanging out in, a place that was worth making friends in.
Now it’s just a trash bin. Good job, assholes.