BLOG 4: We Own Our Own Words

The experience I had with LambdaMoo was astonishing. I can’t believe I used up almost an hour of my time on something so simple. Not that it’s easy since it involves software programming that I don’t know much about, but for a “game” that requires only typing (without graphics), it is incredibly entertaining.

LambdaMoo is a virtual environment composed of a server, a database, a messaging system, and an object-oriented programming called LambdaMOO. When I first entered LambdaMOO, I figured things were rather serious because everything was in black and white.

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I felt anxious because the class was told that we were connected to a server where thousands of people voluntarily come together from all around the world. It gave me a sense of responsibility whereby I had to watch what I say and how I portray myself. “You, the human being on the other side of the modem, are responsible for what you say and do here. You are accountable.” (Rushkoff 86).

It is undeniable that most of us get lost in the virtual world or get too involved in the virtual world that we lose our sense of identity. However, that just shows how irresponsible users are as it reflects our worst natures. “Because digital technology is biased toward depersonalization, we must make an effort not to operate anonymously, unless absolutely necessary. We must be ourselves.” (Rushkoff 89). While I did not go far enough to have a proper conversation with anyone, I’ve experienced so much that are worth mentioning.

Basically, I spent most of my time in Lambdamoo figuring out how to proceed with the expedition and exploring the environment. There were a lot of trials and errors involved. I didn’t bother Google-ing what I had to do because where is the fun in that (haha). However, this is what I found on Google AFTER cracking my head for about an hour. For those of you who want to explore more, here’s a map of Lambdamoo.

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I began my journey in the coat closet where I had to start figuring out how to get out of it to explore more of what is outside. That was pretty easy because all I had to do is type “open door”. I then entered the living room where I tried communicating with users that were present at that time, but I did not get any reply. This goes on throughout my entire time in Lambdamoo until I reached the Philosophy room. I met three people whose names were Bruce, and the funny thing was they asked if I could be called Bruce too to make things easier for them. I don’t know how does that help, but I agreed to let them call me Bruce anyway (haha). I was in the Philosophy room for about 15 minutes just wondering around while the other Bruces were condemning Immanuel Kant. I had no idea what was going on as I figured why Immanuel Kant? Then, I realized I was in the PHILOSOPHY room. Ahhh, now it makes sense. Here’s what Professor Wee Meng of the University of Oxford thinks about this. Did anyone else experience this and manage to figure out what is going on in that room?

Lambdamoo relies heavily on text, however it allows interactions between people, and that is what builds a community, be it online or in the real world. I got lost at some point trying to figure out which command works and which do not, but it’s something worth exploring. Besides, there isn’t any high score on whoever gets out the closet first. Was your experience on Lambdamoo challenging or was it a “piece of cake”?

By Cheryl Joseph

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7 comments

  1. Hmmm, didn’t find the Philosophy room but that is interesting! I think it is great how some of the experiences relate to real life things that people have created in this game and that you must have knowledge of history/culture to recognize. Kind of reminds me in a way of the tree house I found that I realized to be a mimic of Calvin & Hobbes, the cartoons, treehouse. I like the creativity of the people who created these rooms/settings!

  2. I agree with your statement about how LambdaMoo can build a community. As we all experienced, each of us tried to “fit in” and find our way within the world of LambdaMoo much like people do in the physical world. I think that’s why it was so easy to get get caught up in the game – we all wanted to take away some form of success and have a sense of belonging.

  3. Did you make your character more “you”? I was able to add my gender and a brief description, but still I’m not sure if that is authentically me.

  4. Wow, I wish I would’ve seen this map before I logged on! This is so cool because seeing a picture of the map and going over the steps I took to get to the destinations I did, makes everything seem more real!

  5. I thought lambda moo was really challenging! I kept typing look because with all the text it was easy to forget where you were. I love the picture of the map that you posted. Although, I don’t even know if it would be of much help during the game because the experience was very all encompassing once you entered the world.

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