Exploring Lambdamoo

I have never heard of Lambdaoo until taking this class. The fact that this game is told through stories in written form rather than visual is very interesting. One has to use their imagination in order to gain a visual sense of the space. There isn’t really any room for judgment. If one begins a new story that has yet to be perfected, others have the opportunity to alter the story to make it better. This allows the player to really access the creative side of the brain and create a world that fits according to their standards. As Dibbell mentions, “It asks us to shut our ears for the time being to techno-utopian ecstasies and look without illusion upon the present possibilities for building, in the on-line spaces of this world, societies more decent and free than those whose mapped onto dirt and concrete and capital”. In other words, it’s a tool that allows one to create a community of their own simply through the use of their words where they can flourish and thrive.

Not only does Lambdaoo allow creative story telling, it also allows one to strike up creative conversations with other users in the game. However, I found it difficult to converse with others. First off, I took me forever to figure out how to interact with other users. Once I got out of the closet and into the house, at one point I forgot that there are others in the virtual space. It wasn’t until a line came up that indicated to me that someone stumbled out of the closet I realized I was not alone. I tried to reach out to them through a series of commands. Every time, however, I was denied with “I don’t understand”. For me it got very frustrating to the point I thought if it even was possible. I only felt a sense of community through visuals provided but not by the interactions. Oddly, I felt a bit alone. How is that possible if it is only a virtual space? IT felt strange to explore this unknown space without any interactions.

As I delved deeper into the world of Lambdaoo , however, I came across a user who reached out to me. So all I had to type was <say> and a <thought>. I got very excited because of this new dimension. My excitement however, quickly died down because I realized I had nothing to say. How in the world do you interact with someone if there are no literal visuals? Because I was only a guest, the only thoughts entered my mind where just questions about the workings of the game. Do I talk about how lovely the roses are, or, compliment the bandwagon at the end of the field? What was the point of conversing with each other? Maybe it gave the users an opportunity to share creative ideas about the game or it just adds another realistic dimension to the game to mimic the real world. Once I figured out how to communicate with another user, I realized that a simple greeting of “hello” would suffice.

Once I started to get used to the game and began to explore the territory, I really enjoyed the game because of its simplicity to play. (The level of simplicity can vary based on your role in the game as the creator, the player, or both). You type in a few commands and you have entered a simple story that is intricate in its designs and layouts. I have to constantly remind myself that this is what the internet used to be; simple but still exciting.

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One comment

  1. I seemed to face the same problems when in the world of LambdaMoo. I was excited when someone acknowledged me, however, I didn’t really understand what they were talking about. Eventually, I found myself wanting to leave some rooms to go explore others, but didn’t know if I should say goodbye, or not say anything at all.

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