I know I am not supposed to compare Lambda Moo with contemporary online experiences, so I won’t, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of old times playing the Nancy Drew CD-rom game every time I logged into LambdaMoo. Nancy Drew brought you through an estate from place to place, allowing limited interactions with the objects. To me, LambdaMoo felt very much like this, there were times while playing that I attempted to interact with an object but the game failed to recognize it, even though it gave long detailed descriptions of the entire room and it’s contents. My third time joining the game I felt much more comfortable with the commands. However, when I wanted to examine the boots in the closet the game would not recognize that there were boots. When I was playing a different time I ended up in the library, where I found a Generic Hard-Core Porn Rag, which I had no problem at all interacting with. I wonder why some of the objects allow for interaction and others do not.
In class this week we talked a lot about identity. LambdaMoo is the first time in a long time that I have felt like my identity does not exist or even matter while on line. I don’t know if other online game spaces give users a similar feeling, because I am not an online gamer. I do know that my game play on this site made me feel very alone. I found the Birthday Machine while playing. The description that came up announced several birthdays for today’s date. It’s odd to think that if I came back tomorrow and found the birthday machine that there would be completely different names announced, and I might not even be able to find the machine again. That’s the thing with LambdaMoo, it feels so static, but in reality (or lack there of) it is constantly changing because it is a community made up of multiple users who have the ability to manipulate the game. Speaking of manipulating, I found a generic multipurpose pet, but I was not able to make my own because I am not a LambdaMoo member. For a fleeting moment I thought to enter my email and make a character, but then I thought better of it. It’s crazy how this interactive little box has its own community. Looking further into the Virtual Rape case I found an article which depicted the LambdaMoo community coming together as a community to express their disgust after the horrid event took place. I could never seen myself being a part of this community, but I can see how people enjoy going onto this game. For those who like to customize things or simply escape to a place where no one has any preconceived notions about another’s identity LambdaMoo is the perfect online community for them.
While on the game I stumbled upon an area that frequent users had set up and built their own apartments. Exploring this area made me feel like I was intruding on someone else’s community. This was actually kind of eerie looking back on it. Someone else had been here before, even though it was a made up on line space, and I felt like I was lurking somewhere I shouldn’t have been. I imagine this is how Dibbel felt while snooping the tree house of Dr. Jest.
Moving throughout the game gave me anxiety. I had that feeling where you are walking around a foreign city with the urge to create a bread crumb trail because you know that with each step you take forward you will have no ability of going back and retracing your steps. Conversely, why should getting lost in this game even matter? I always had the option of logging off, but there was something that made me want to continue exploring, even though I felt a little like I was walking around blind folded.