This project idea comes to you from Virtual Ventures in Ottawa, Ontario.
Each person on a MOO has a character or player which can have a gender and be described in any way the person behind the player chooses to be seen. As in a "quest game" (such as the King's Quest series by Sierra), you can walk around the MOO areas (rooms), picking up objects and talking to other players; all of this is described in writing because it is text-based. However, since this is an online world, the other players are real people! It is important to remember this because people online often forget that these are real people they are talking to.
Once players have learned to move around, look at and use objects, and talk to other people, they will often move on to creating objects and rooms of their own. In order to start doing this, you need to become a builder. A builder might make a library containing shelves where you could place books.
The next step after learning to build is to learn to program. MOO uses an object-oriented language which many people consider a useful and fun stepping stone to learning a more advanced language such as Java or C++. Programmers can make their objects actually do something. For example, a programmer might program a dog which would follow its owner around and come when its name was called.
The people in charge of the MOO are usually called wizards. Depending on the MOO you are considering, (there are many different MOOs with different themes and different setups!) the administration may be done in different ways. The important thing is that wizards will have power to change the objects of any other player on the MOO. This includes the ability to boot people off the MOO if they are acting inappropriately, as well as the ability to give players the ability to build or program.
SchoolNet MOO (Telnet to moo.schoolnet.ca:7777) is a MOO intended for Canadian elementary and secondary school students. This project is oriented specifically towards learning to use SchoolNet MOO, but much of the information here could be used on one of the many other MOOs available!
You say, "hello"Anyone in the same place will see that you say hello (they will see something like Guest says, "hello") and might talk back at you. Don't be rude! Remember, these are real people.
Being a player on the MOO:
You see nothing special.Try describing your chicken. You do this using the same @describe command you used to describe yourself, only this time you would say @describe chicken as ... instead of @describe me as...
You can't pick that up.This is the default message, but you could change that message to something else. Figure out which message this is by listing all the messages on your chicken. To list the messages, type @messages chicken. To change a message, you type @<message> <object> is <new message>. So to change the "You can't pick that up" message on your chicken, you would type @take_failed chicken is "You reach to pick up the hungry chicken but it bites you, so you decide to leave it alone."
? (The most useful command; use it before pestering someone.) @create, @recycle, @rename, @addalias, @describe @lock, @anchor, @messages @mail, @send, @rmm, @notedit @audit, @dump, @d @kids, @parents, @locations, @contents
Information specifically about SchoolNet MOO can be found at http://www.schoolnet.ca/moo/ or http://moo.schoolnet.ca/. The SchoolNet MOO Programmer's Tutorial (referred to earlier) is available online at http://www.schoolnet.ca/moo/prog_tut.html.
There are many more sites with information about MOOs if you are interested in setting up your own or learning more about how they really work. These are not so much links for normal MOO players as they are for people who plan to administrate a MOO. The LambdaMOO FTP site contains things like the MOO server, LambdaMOO cores and the programmer's manual. Lambda MOO is the standard MOO: the biggest and the first. Many MOOs start with a "core" from Lambda which would include some important objects such as the generic items ($thing, $note, $player, etc.). http://www.moo.mud.org/ is a good place to get anything MOO related, including databases, servers and manuals. Other documentation can be easily found on the Internet. Bear in mind that not all of this documentation was written for SchoolNet MOO specifically, and discrepancies may occur. A quick search will often turn up many other interesting documents, including lists of MOOs and papers describing studies done about MOOs as educational tools or even social structures as they develop in MUDs and MOOs.
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