After using LambdaMOO for quite some time, I have found that’s its equivalent seems to be today’s chat room. People sign on to LambdaMOO, see who is online (by typing @who), and go into actual created rooms or areas (like the Marine Rabbit Colony or the living room) to chat with people.
Another similarity between LambdaMOO and modern day chat rooms. Both have a base of users that come fairly often to the chat room, known as regulars. While there are regular users, some people jump on to chat rooms infrequently, just to check it out. I think I fall into this category of people. But there are many users who frequent LambdaMOO and have built a community, sharing stories, daily information, and even recipes.
There are differences, however. Today’s chat rooms can sometimes have categories, like fan group chat rooms, or chat rooms for certain ages, as we have seen in previous presentations. Chat rooms also don’t require you to type in code. When I want to express an emotion I can’t click on a smile face, I have to type in “:smiles”, which will say tell others “jennynw smiles.”
While LambdaMOO has its differences from today’s chat rooms, they each have similar qualities that offer users to talk to, connect with, and share with one another.
The Wikipedia entry for LambdaMOO had a lot of information about the site outside of actually using the site, so I found it sort of hard at first to incorporate any information into the set categories they had. I was going to try and create a new category called “Commands” and list the different types of commands used on the MOO, but then Wiki editing uses some code that I didn’t want to mess up.
I changed/added to things to the entry, however. The first change I made is highlighted below. The original sentence said after jumping off the world that it would disable your account for “an amount of time.” Having actually almost jumped off the world, I knew this amount of time was three months, so I made the changes.
Another addition I made is also below. The Wiki entry talked about the original geography of the MOO, but not any current geography, so I added in a sentence with this information and an “@ command” that allowed me to show some knowledge of how to use commands in the MOO, too.
I think it was actually sort of cool to be able to change the Wiki page. It’s something that so many people look at, and if even one of my changes stays I think that would be really cool.
At the start of my Practicum project I was very frustrated and skeptical about how I was ever going to figure out the command line interface of LambdaMOO and how I was going to navigate through it. Now, I have found that I am starting to actually belong in this world– I think I’ve made a friend. This friend’s name is “Donar” and he (I am pretty sure it’s a he) has gone out of his way to talk to me for several log-ins now. At first I had to seek people out and start conversations with them, disclosing a lot about myself while not always getting a lot in return. I think one of the first conversations I had with Donar consisted of me telling him that I believed in ghosts and that I wasn’t quite sure about aliens. He was not very talkative, but when I found a subject that really got him excited (engineering…) he wouldn’t stop talking. Now he always talks to me when I’m online and asks me about ghosts and all of that jazz. Regardless of how good or bad I have done in trying to understand the world of LambdaMOO, I think I have been successful- I even made a new friend.
Has anyone else made friends/connections/network ties? Does your project allow you to? If you have made friends, how do you feel a virtual friend is different from real life?
If you read my last post, you’re probably aware that I was less than thrilled to be using LambdaMOO, the first text-based MUD (multi-user domain), as it was very hard to figure out the downloading process. I don’t like quitting, though, so I decided to give a second chance to LambdaMOO. After a little bit of web surfing, I found that I was supposed to download an application called TelNet. This is actually a separate part of the internet than the world wide web, which is still crazy to me, because I feel like I am only familiar with the web as the internet.
Once I downloaded TelNet, I was able to sign on to LambdaMOO as a guest, and I had to sign up for a character, which I would be able to receive in a day or two. This seemed so weird to me, because when I think of the internet, I think of things happening at the click of a bottom, or the stroke of a key. It takes about 30 seconds to get a Facebook profile, or a few minutes to get an e-mail account, but a whole day (maybe even longer) to get a character seemed very different to me.
As I explored the world as a guest, I found that I was limited to only a certain map (see image). At one point I tried to go off the edge of the map and found the text telling me I was only a guest and it didn’t matter that I wanted to go off the map, I wasn’t allowed (when I tried to go off the map as an actual character I found that I could lose my LambdaMOO privileges for three months, and tiptoed my way back to Lambda Street). The reason I bring the guest rules up is that this text-based world does have rules, and if you are a member, it seems as though you are more committed to the world. Guests may be people from other MUDs that have just chosen to browse this world.
It is all still somewhat a blur to me, but now I have gotten a character, started talking with people, and learned more commands in navigating this domain. And I can’t wait to share this all with you in my next post!