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Chatbots are helping one of the most old-school kinds of gaming to make a comeback.

Dragon Islands is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It’s text-based and uses chatbots, artifical intelligences that communicate with players via messages. It runs on the Telegram messaging app. The gameplay is based on MUDs (multiuser dungeon), the earliest kind of online games popular in the ’80s that were entirely text-based. Already, Dragon Islands is serving players 1 million messages a week in its alpha state.

“Everybody waiting for clever concierge or smart assistants with A.I.,”  developer Chat Robotic told GamesBeat. “But what can become really popular here is an old-school MUD brought to the convenient and native environment of contemporary messengers.”

Dragon Islands is available via Telegram’s bot store, but it’s also on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It’s hoping to raise $11,102 to continue its development. It has raised $1,137 with 28 days left in its campaign. The Kickstarter page notes that Dragon Islands has more than 10,000 players.


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