Why Is it Stimulating?

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To enter the world of LambdaMoo is to enter the old and foreign land of the internet. When you initially enter this world you are bombarded with darkness and the only signs of life are the small white words on the left-hand side welcoming you to the page. My initial reaction to this world was to call the closest technical support team to make sure I had not broken my computer. However as I grew accustomed to LambdaMoo’s appearance I began to explore the world around me in the dark.

I was so anxious to begin to play LambdaMoo because I looked around the classroom and saw everyone else diving in head first. But I had to stop myself and truly think about what I was about to get myself into. This was not the visually stimulating computer games that we had played as children. This was a game that was stimulating in another way. It required us to use our imaginations from beginning to end while only providing its users a foundation. When I had a chance to explore LambdaMoo on my own terms I discovered that I had the power to make this world whatever I wanted it to be.

I began in the closet, which was very appropriate because my blank computer screen reminded me of the dark cluttered closet as described in the game. I made it out of the house, down the street and to a store of some sort. I thought that I would be welcomed and have the liberty to shop around, but I think something went wrong. The clerk began to offer me a chainsaw, saying that it was half off, but when I tried to reply or to walk away, I could not. This became so frustrating because every command I gave the computer did not understand.

I had to start over, but what motivates people to try again?

So again, in the closet, down the street, past the store, and through the forest. I kept going north. I think it was the descriptions that led me this way, the further north I went the closer I came to the beach and to warm sand. I ended my journey here.

When I logged off from LambdaMoo I could not understand what made this game stimulating. I felt as if I had just played an older version of the Sims but by no means were these games similar. What made this game fun enough to make people want to continue to play it over 10 years later?

I personally think it’s the games ability to allow players to create their own interpretation of LambdaMoo. Players can read what is there in front of them, but there is something very unique in letting someone imagine the world for themselves. Although the game is not as visually stimulating as the games of my youth, this one was still highly interactive.


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