Lambda Moo Language Barrier

By Suzie Vyletel

I’m sure that I’m not the only person in this class who had never heard of Lambda Moo before this week. I had no idea that platforms like this even existed, which definitely makes me question my so-called “tech savviness”. I thought that I knew it all, but apparently not. I thought that most people have long since abandoned old and outdated forms of technology and online interactivity for newer and flashier models, but I was wrong again. When I read about Lambda Moo, I thought that this was a history lesson about something that used to exist but hadn’t been used in years. I was so surprised to learn that it is still a thriving community used by many around the world.

It was very hard to conceptualize what this world was like until we actually logged on in class. I actually have never used the terminal on my computer, so that was an interesting discovery. I’m not sure what else I’ll ever use it for, but at least I know it’s there…figuring out how to get out of the closet and perform certain functions was hard. It was so frustrating because sometimes I would rephrase something several times to get the computer to understand, and eventually I’d just give up.

rephrase

Above is a screenshot of one of my most frustrating moments during the game. I found and looked into a box, and tried several times to remove objects from it, to no avail. This was the second time I came across the box and still could not figure out how to remove any items. Eventually I lost interest and walked away.

It was very much like going to another country where you don’t speak the native language. I felt like an outsider and was lost and confused. I was hesitant to do anything because I felt like I was intruding on a place that I had no right to be walking around in.

can't go anywhere

This is another example of a frustrating moment I experienced. I apparently couldn’t go north, south, east, or west! It forced me to go up some stairs to a tavern, but for a moment I was so confused as where I could go. Even when I did succeed and managed to get somewhere new, the tavern or through a looking glass or even climbing up a rose bush, I often got stuck along the way or just after making progress. The whole process was very discouraging.

All in all, though, I can see the appeal. It was pretty nice to sit back and read and explore this world with no time constraints and no real end goal to keep in mind. It would have been a completely relaxing experience if I got to know the commands better, or if I actually ended up somewhere cool like Paris instead of climbing a rose bush that led nowhere.

I didn’t like being a guest because each time I logged on, I had a different user name. One time I was Pink Guest, another time I was Blue. It made me feel less attached to my identity in the game, and though sometimes anonymity can be empowering and freeing, I just felt like my purpose in and contributions to this cyber world were useless. Did anyone else feel that way? Am I the only one who didn’t love the Lambda Moo experience? I’ve never been much of a gamer, so maybe that has something to do with my detachment to it all.

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2 comments

  1. I hated the experience. It felt as if I was taken back to the age of antiquity with no real end goal or purpose. I also could not understand how to perform some actions and ended up relying on “north, south, east, and west” as my only responses.

  2. I had fun! I thought the experience was interested. I also figured out how to get my description to be “a cat,” so I had one user say to me not to get the floor all furry because he just vacuumed… which is both weird and funny.

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