Lambdamoo was an experience I was not prepared for. In class, I was having the hardest time understanding what was going on. I was getting anxiety from watching people accomplish all these things on the site while I couldn’t even decipher where I was. I decided I would hold off on it, until I got back to my dorm and I could go online without everyone else being on.
I got back to my room and launched the terminal once more. Thankfully, there was a lot less people logged on at the time and I was able to calmly try and figure out where I was. Of course, like everyone else, I started in the coat closet. I opened the door and headed toward the entrance hall and to the dining room. I tried to communicate with people but no one was in the dining room at the time so I went off to venture more.
Being an avid reader, I really enjoyed the fact that every time you entered a room, there was a highly descriptive excerpt that created a realistic panoramic of the house. At first, I thought it’d be really boring eventless, but the more I read and the more I was able to communicate with other people and robots that were online, the more I was able to see the progress of the application.
I definitely can understand how people can become addicted to these types of environments because it is all text based and it allows people to create new identities for themselves and use their imagination. I was personally proud of myself for learning how to wave at people and actually get help from the few willing characters I encountered.
I was kind of scared when I saw the initial ‘warning’ that was displayed about how it’s each person’s responsibility to be nice while online and to be respectful of others. The fear I had was due to the fact it didn’t even occur to me that there could be people that would choose to come online with the intentions of hurting others. I personally believe that when people are online, they are much more vocal in their opinions and they may say/do things they never would offline, I would presume most people agree?
After reading, “A Rape in Cyberspace”, I realized just how cruel people can be. The nice thing about sites like MOO is that it’s really easy to be yourself without any judgment from people. With that being said, people also use it negatively. There tons of people who will go on the site with awful intentions and act freely because they know they will suffer no consequence because to them it’s just an online game where they are hidden behind a screen. But where can the line be drawn? How can we stop it from happening when it is anonymous?
I am thankful that these virtual realities exist and that it gives people a sense of community with people they have never, and probably will never meet. I wish there wasn’t people who used it for the wrong reasons, but in every society there will always be outliers that ruin a learning experience with evil intentions.