They were popular in much of the US as well in the peak time frame, from 1990-1995, hitting a sudden drop-off with the invention and popularization of the World Wide Web.
For many of us (including me) the BBS was my preferred way to access Usenet groups, since paid access to a BBS that processed subjects I was interested in was far cheaper than access to the school's SLIP services as a non-student.
Haven't heard anyone mention SLIP in a long time, we used to use slurp over our terminals to access the internet and browse the web with graphics using Mosaic! It sure beat Lynx text browser, although the text browser was great for looking up fantasy football stats
I suppose I should answer the questions here too:
I 1st programmed BASIC on an Apple IIe, 5th grade, probably 1986, and I made text adventure games. I never truly "learned the language" I only learned the parts of the language needed to make text games, but, considering it was simple input and if/then mechanisms, it didn't take too long.
No, I didn't upload any of those early games anywhere, and games I'm made more recently have mostly been just for me, or I've shared wqith a few friends as a hobby.
Occasionally, I'll get the urge to dabble with game making, but it's not as often any more, and if I do, again, it's just for fun as a hobby.