A long, long time ago, before you were born, the world wasn't such a bad place... you could make an honest living, have a family, enjoy life's simple pleasures. Unfortunately, as the population grew out of control, the world's resources were stretched to the breaking point, at which point they broke. Things collapsed pretty much overnight. Eyes melted, skin exploded, everybody dead. No one really remembers what exactly happened, but the world's population was reduced to a fraction of its former size in a very short period of time. What emerged was an artificial society, repopulated by the surviving corporations with carefully crafted consumers who exist to create what the corps need most: marketshare.
The planet is now one giant soul-harvesting operation. You're going to need a helmet.
Below is a list of links to wiki pages on various aspects of HellMOO's lore. Much of the game's lore is completely unrecorded except for scattered hints in the game, and most lore coverage on the wiki is unfinished, so this should not be referred to as a complete list.