The 11 Most Influential Online Worlds of All Time

From MUD to Minecraft, these digital universes have shaped massively multiplayer games and kids' toys.
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The Universes We Imagine

Since the dawn of the digital computer, sci-fi authors have dreamed of a world that exists solely inside a machine. As technology progressed, it became possible not only to re-create our analog world in computer software, but to include many people, far-flung but connected through a network, in that shared experience. These are online worlds--worlds in which representations of distant human players inhabit virtual space together, whether in 3D, 2D, or text form.

Here’s a look at 11 of the most influential online virtual worlds ever created, ordered from least influential to most.These worlds aren't necessarily the first or the best of their kind, but they've had the most influence on the online worlds that followed.

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