Graphics are for Weenies
Gateway is a MUD or Multi User Dungeon. I'll not bore you with an accurate description, or even
explanation of what a MUD is (All hail Wikipedia!). Suffice to say it is an online text based game,
and it rocks.
If you want to play Gateway, you have to log on via the internet using a program on your computer called a "client". The most basic client, which should already be installed on any Microsoft Windows or Linux machine is called "telnet". Just type "telnet www.gatewaymud.org 6969" into the run command prompt from the Start menu (Windows), or at the terminal prompt (Linux) to connect to Gateway and begin a long and illustrious MUDding career at Gateway! However, since telnet is such a basic client it can be a bit fiddly, and doesn't have any user friendly features, or any features at all.
If you really want to play, then don't pussyfoot around with telnet, and download a MUD client. For Windows systems I recommend "Portal", and for Linux systems "Tinyfugue", which you can download at > Files. Using clients like these has all kinds of health benefits, such as a command history, the ability to define sequences of commands (macros) which are triggered by certain text strings from the MUD you're playing, 'tickers' which run macros after defined periods of time, and even mapping utilities. If you're a Linux fiend with a flexible client like Tinyfugue and a penchant for scripting then there are practically no limitations to what you can do.
If you can't be bothered with all this telnet and MUD client chicanery, then check out the official Gateway website at > www.gatewaymud.org where you can use a Java client to connect to Gateway directly from your internet browser.
I'm experimenting with mapping out some common areas of Gateway with a PERL script I wrote to convert Tinyfugue "paths" into ASCII maps. You can download the script from > Files. I plan to put some maps of Gateway's most common areas online to help beginners get started.