LambdaMOO what do you do?

When Lambdamoo was introduced to the class I was completely caught off guard that a chat room game combo like this still existed and could run on all of our laptops. The font and the way it was set up immediately reminded me of when I was little my dad brought home an old laptop from work that no one used anymore for me to play with. All it could do was barely turn on and if I was lucky get to a Microsoft word like program. Playing on Lambdamoo reminding me of how I would keep trying to find something more on the old laptop but never fully being able to communicate with the computer.

I overall had a hard time relating to the game. I would best describe this game as an interactive novel with no real plot. I think the hardest part for me with Lambdamoo was that there was no purpose to the game or motive besides to just see where you could end up. Essentially the game was endless. I first realized this when I finally left the closet and ended up in the living room and realized there wasn’t any progress in the game besides that I could now try to reach different locations. It was interesting to me that you could be in one place and then all of the sudden be in a completely unrelated room. I tried reaching the pool to see if I could get back like Professor Dougherty had talked about in class but I was unsuccessful at even finding the pool to begin with.

The other struggle I had with the game was the interaction and creating an identity. It was a weird feeling to know that there were other players “sleeping” or active in some room doing the same thing as you but you have no sense of who they are or why they are playing. I have never been appealed to chat rooms myself but I can understand the draw of them for some people. However in Lambdamoo it seems like there is too much distraction with the house descriptions and trying to make it to correct areas for me to see how this could ever be an effective chat room. For example, if you became a regular member and had a friend in Lambdamoo and you logged on how would you be able to tell what room they are in or if they are there to talk to them. It also was hard for me to grasp that the game was “real” in the sense that I wasn’t the only other live human interacting. I think this is because I am so used to having a profile and creating an identity online and being able to understand someone else in order to create a better sense of reality within a virtual world.

Overall I found the experience very fascinating. It amazes me that given the current state of technology that there are people who are still intrigued with Lambdamoo, and made me very curious as to who these people are beyond my classmates and myself who only knew of it for the purpose of this assignment.

Discussion Questions:

What kinds of people do you think are still playing Lambdamoo and regularly sign in?

What do you think is the biggest draw of an aimless chat room and game?

Do you think it says something about our generation and our media use that most of the blog posts I have read show the same frustration like I had with such a simple game?

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One comment

  1. I agree that it is difficult to develop an identity with an online community like LambdaMoo. Though I was constantly in the presence of other users, I didn’t feel as if I knew anything about them. However, maybe this is just because I was a two-time user of LambdaMoo, since the other users seemed to know each other.

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