MOO-ving Between Virtual Platforms

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LambdaMOO was not my first text-based game I have found and played on the web. While sitting at home, after having watched an episode of Big Bang Theory, I remembered that Sheldon was playing a classic text-based computer game, called “Zork”, in the episode The Irish Pub Formulation”. As a joke he took the imagination to ridiculous proportions, but I thought to myself – “That actually sounds pretty cool.” So I looked up the game and started to play it. And I ran into a similar conundrum I did when playing LambdaMOO.

[Snapshots taken from LambdaMOO game play]

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…And I kept running into this problem.

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The game needed specific commands. Of course, every game works differently. A different command does a different thing. The “A” button for every game doesn’t always necessarily mean “Jump”. There’s a manual that usually comes with it. So I did just that.

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But I immediately quit. Only to do a Google search of the commands for LambdaMOO, which you can FIND HERE. Why is that? Why would I just shift where I got my information from, even though I could of gotten the answers directly from the MOD? At first, I thought it was just preference. But, after digging deeper, I believe it’s something much more encompassing than that.

“There is a fourth revolution coming, and in fact that’s why I’d like to insist why we find the Information Revolution so dramatically amazing. It’s not about what we can do, not only. The point is not that ‘wow this iPhone is so cool’. It is about what that technology and the computer science behind it is actually telling about ourselves. And that is why we find it so dramatic.”

– Luciano Floridi, TEDxMaastricht – “The fourth technological revolution”

What Floridi is trying to say is that communication makes us, shapes us, and tells us who we are as people. I spoke the language, and I understood the general aspect of what the game expected from me and I it, but what lacked was that adjustment to that particular mode of communicating. So it can explain why I automatically, almost embedded instinctively, to just “Google it”. It was what I do, it is what I am. It was just not what I communicated, but how I communicated. And I see that as a reflection of ourselves as people.

 

QUESTIONS:

  • What are your thoughts of LambdaMOO? Was it awkward or easy to move around that kind of virtual space?
  • How/what did you do to learn the controls/laws of the game? Was it easy or frustrating?

 

Written by: Alexander Lakin

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