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Softcode is a general term referring to programming instructions in a MUD environment that are written and stored in the simulation environment and interpreted at runtime. The original softcode implementation is MUF, developed by Piaw Na in 1990 for use in TinyMUCK 2.0, a descendant of TinyMUD. However, most softcode implementations derive their syntax from MUSHcode, introduced by Larry Foard for use in TinyMUSH (itself a notional descendent of TinyMUCK), and which has a functional syntax more similar to Lisp, rather than the Forth-inspired MUF syntax. Softcode has become a defining feature of the 'MU*' branch of the MUD family tree (including MUSHes, MUSEes, MUXen, MOOs and many others), and the resulting capability for realtime creation of objects and interactive elements by players has historically produced a more 'simulation-like' environment than the more explicitly 'game-like' environments of exclusively hardcoded MUDs. A similar effect can be seen in the world of graphical MUDs, where Second Life -- a 'game' that provides players the capability to build and interact with virtual objects -- engenders a more social and interactive environment than its explicitly game-oriented peers.

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