MUME, "Multi-Users in Middle-earth", is a game, one of the early offsprings of DikuMUD. Started in 1991 by Philippe Rochat, who was soon joined by Claude Indermitte, Pier Donini, and David Gay, the game was created as an homage to J.R.R. Tolkien's world as described in The Lord of the Rings.
The setting of this MUD is in the Third Age, before the War of the Ring, where the player can take on the role of a noble Dúnadan or some other human race (including shape-shifting Beornings), a sturdy Dwarf, or a proud Elf, to battle the players of Orcs, Trolls, and Black Númenóreans - or one may instead wander off in search of a few hours of role-playing escapism.
Role-playing is encouraged on this MUD in a number of ways. New players are encouraged to select a character name which fits into Tolkien's world (required to be not blatantly inappropriate). Different towns have different local laws which characters will be jailed for violating; for example, using magic is a crime in the Shire unless you are a citizen. Many "Istari", immortal characters who gain experience solely by helping new players, and "Rangers", experienced characters who still play the game as mortals but have also volunteered to help, encourage new players to role-play, some going as far as to discourage use of the global chat command "narrate" because it is unrealistic.