Know Thy MOO

Know Thy MOO

All MOOs are similar in the way that other computer applications are similar. For example, Word Perfect, Microsoft Word, and other word processors are similar in that they all process words roughly the same way. However, MOOs can differ significantly because they are built by the users. All MOOs are built from a core database, but even MOOs built from the same "core" have their own data base which is extended and developed in ways that suit the needs of the users. Applications such as word processors cannot change and grow in this manner. This ability of the MOO to grow and change, depending on the user's need, is one of the things that makes MOO an "environment" rather than a static application, or tool. Keeping this in mind, it is wise to find out what your MOO can DO. Also keep in mind there are certain expectations of MOOers. Ask not what your MOO can do for you, but what you can do for your MOO.


Nuff said. Read it or weep.

Just like any other "community," MOOs have their own social conventions as well as discourse conventions. Mooers are expected to know the conventions of the given MOO. This includes knowing the theme of the MOO, the purpose, where to locate the help files, where the "social" rooms are and how to behave in individuals' private chambers. Even the conventions surrounding asking or paging for help varies from MOO to MOO. However, a basic anthem of MOO is implied by the statement which gets returned when one types <help me>. The ghost of Pavel Curtis sternly admonishes:
"The MOO helps those who help themselves."

The common phrase "get a clue" foregrounds the gaming nature of the original muds. Lauren Burka's A Hypertext History of Multi-user Dimensions provides a tonally amusing history of MUDs, precursors to MOO. It seems one does have to enjoy solving puzzles and answering riddles to enjoy MOOing. I have often thought that treachers who wish to use the MOO for teaching should be required to show evidence that they have done at *least* one or more of the following:

  1. Beaten at least one search-and-destroy RPG Nintendo game.
  2. Been a member of at least one slash em/kill em all-and-let-the-wizzen-sort-em-out MUD.
  3. Have clocked a minimum of 40 hours in #11 on a social MOO, fending off randy guests, consoling heart broken MOO-lovers, listening to suicidal teens, and, more than anything else, playing. Word play.
  4. Designed at least one Feature Object, expressing at least three of eir most common moods or expressions.
  5. Helped at least three other newbies understand how to communicate, move, and emote, as well as @request, @desc, @gender, @dig, @sethome, these commands being the bare minumum to joining MOO society.
The "theme" of the MOO is important. The type of MOO is important as well. You probably wouldn't want to take a group of new users into a large "social" MOO, such as LambdaMOO; at the same time, those looking only to "party" would probably not want to hang out at Diversity University or JaysHouseMOO. You also need to determine if you can work closely with the wizards, administrators, or janitors on the MOO since they often are the people who will help you develop your projects. Different MOOs offer different "generic" objects. So often, if you see a useful object at one MOO, you can, with the owners permission "port" that object to your home MOO. Failing that, you can either learn to make your own objects or enlist the aid of another MOOer or the admin staff. But clearly, you MUST at least know YOUR OWN MOO...what the theme is, how it is organized, what it offers for your work, study, or play...before you can begin to understand what you can do with and for the MOO. Don't be totally
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MOO Commandments











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