Name hypermush
Location De Bonte Zwaan
Date 2018/07/27
Time 10:00-17:00
PeopleOrganisations André Fincato, Marcel Goethals
Type HDSA2018
Web Yes
Print No

hypermush was a workshop that introduced p2p technologies and their user-applications when disguised as a multi-user-shared-hallucination (MUSH) videogame.

MUSH’s are an evolution of MUD (multi-user-dungeon) which are early multiplayer text-based adventure videogames from the 1970s. We used the MUSH game dynamics to explore the p2p dat protocol protocol, and build shared and interconnected narratives by way of dungeon explorations, user group formation, file tradings and key discovery, until it got hyperreal…

Following the slides used during the workshop, and adapted as loose notes to give an introduction to the workshop themes.


http vs p2p


Simple functioning of an http(s) server

       (→ hi!)

client =========> server

        (cats, death, rabbit hole, etc ←)

client <========= server


Single-program.png What is the difference between http(s) and p2p?

→ p2p makes a good alternative to most silicon-valley applications

LAN vs Blockchain

RAND Corporation, a nonprofit think tank working for the United States Air Force, asks the question: would the USA's communications infrastructure withstand a nuclear assault?

Why not have a small, decentralised, distributed nodes model, rather than always having a planetary synchronised ledger (aka blockchain)?



Rules in order to take part in the hypermush dungeon game.




hypermush commands

dat cli commands

During the mush, people built their own dungeon in the form of a dat website, eg making a simple html page hosted directly on their laptop through dat, and accessible in the Local Area Network for anyone to visit, by way of the website address.

In the case of dat websites, you don’t have a typical url (eg www.dungeon.net), but a 64 long character string, called hash, eg dat://073d0091b1f8231facae13241ecebab8fa808f6f715e857fcd394dfc0cf4dad8

Because of this, discovering and accessing dungeons was not that immediate, simply given the nature of the long address you had to retrieve. Furthermore, playing with the connotation of this hash being the key to your dungeon — which in the p2p context this hash is actually called public key — participants would come up with different realities for their dungeons, and different reason to connect to other dungeons, in the form of embedding in their website the key to another dungeon.

These technical and aesthetic elements enriched the make-your-own-dungeon experience, and participants began to connect several html pages together in a labyrinth form, hiding the key to other dungeons in elaborate ways (design camouflage, riddles, multiple choice buttons that would bring you to other sub-pages, etc).

The more dungeons you would get access to, the more you could expand your map of dungeons as well as being able to re-host (make available) those dungeons yourself through your computer.

In the end, you had to come up with ways to convince other users to trade their keys to you and vice-versa, while keep exploring the LAN until you’d find more dungeons to connect with, or ignore. Part of the fun to re-host someone else’s dungeon was that you could change their design and structure, in so doing create a new hash / public key for it, and keep expanding in hallucinatory ways the landscape of the game. Most probably nobody reached a point where they had a total overview of it all.


A few relevant keywords from the glossary of bittorent terms, to adopt and adjust based on the p2p protocol at hand:




and others... (p2p is in abundance)

Published in Fake it! Fake them! Fake you! Fake us! Publication in 2019