Haunted Adventure in LambdaMOO

My experience on LamdaMoo was eerie at best. I’m not sure if this is a common occurrence, but everywhere I wandered, the doors behind me slammed with a “decisive thud.” The first time it happened, I thought I was locked in a cemetery that I had walked into out in the woods. No one would speak to me. I imagined that I was wandering around this giant house alone, because I might as well have been. I attempted to speak to several characters, the housekeeper, and even a butler, none would respond. Another weird thing was all the inscriptions and messages I kept reading. First I found a note in the laundry room. (Sorry don’t know how to screenshot on a library mac-or any mac for that matter- so I’m just going to type it out.) It read:

look
were all doomed
hahaha
go enjoy life now
if you don’t get off
we’re all just be doomed
please log out and spend time with
your face
thank you,
generic person

I could be wrong, and this may have simply been inserted into the game, just because. But, I feel like a player wrote this and put it in the house. I feel it’s a signal of the changing media landscape. According to our readings, LambdaMoo used to be a cool place to be. People from all over logged on. As the media landscape changed, so did what people expected from their games and programs. In the waning moments of its popularity, perhaps a disgruntled player wrote this to mourn the worlds “passing” or to lament our increasing attachment to programs and technology. I found another creepy note outside in the woods, carved onto a large oak tree. Some messages were very benign like, “Anne was here <3” but some were strange. A few examples are:

EVERYONE HAS LEFT…WILL

WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

TOMMYKNOCKERS AND COMING

So, once again, pretty weird. I’m sure the woods in that game are supposed to be haunted, they sure felt that way. Once again, these messages could have always been there, but I feel as if they were from players upset by the sudden change and fast moving pace of technology that made LambdaMoo seem like a relic.
To be honest, after reading “A Rape in Cyberspace,” I thought the people on there were crazy to get so upset over computer characters. But, since I was surrounded by all this creepiness during my play, I worried for my little character. I hadn’t even customize mine or anything. I can’t imagine what someone who actually put time and effort into their person would feel.

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2 comments

  1. I experienced some creepy messages as well. I’m not sure if they are part of the game or were written by other players. I met someone too and they wouldn’t talk to me. Just smile at me. I wonder what these features of the game are supposed to mean? As for the cyber rape, I can’t imagine how that would feel. I was already creeped out by the messages and non-responsive characters. I can’t imagine how disturbing a sexual abuse would be…

  2. I never experienced any messages on this game. In fact, when I tried to say hello to other players, no one would respond! I didn’t really have the same worry that you did for your character, but I imagine that after spending countless hours in this world with an intensely customized profile, one would feel a certain attachment. Reading the cyber rape line by line would be very traumatic, no matter who is playing the game. I suspect that even with my detachment to my guest profile, that sort of thing would feel like a personal attack nevertheless.

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