Wow, I cannot believe the semester is about over! Because of this practicum project I now know what a Social MOO is. I find it pretty crazy that a person can create a text based virtual world. I wonder how much time it takes to create one. That would suck if you spend months or even years trying to create a text based virtual world only to find out it is not that popular. BatMUD originated in 1990. It has been around for almost 21 years and this is the first time I have ever heard of it. It is said to be one of the most popular MUDs out there, but sometimes I wonder how popular it really is. I have heard of LamdaMoo before and that MOO is definitely known to a lot of people. I find it hard to believe that relationships can be formed through these text based virtual worlds. However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, friendships have been formed and some even got married. This goes to show that BatMAD really is an online community.
I consider BatMUD to be an online community for many reasons. First, it is a space where users gather who have the same interest: they all love quest games. As we already know, BatMUD is a quest game. Second, users engage in conversation with each other. BatMUD has a 'newbie channel' where newbies can ask questions and receive advice from experienced users. Sadly, the experienced users were no help unless you actually knew how to play the game. Third, you can create avatars. In a virtual world, avatars do activities together just like friends do in the real world. The avatars in BatMUD help each other out. As a result, I feel that virtual worlds, such as BatMUD, provide an ideal medium for friendships to be formed. In addition, they give users a feeling of membership and belonging because users receive support from each other.
Overall, I enjoyed playing BatMUD even though it is super confusing and hard to get the hang of. Luckily, there was a tutorial I was able to take and that helped me out quite a bit. Once I understood how to type in text commands, experienced users opened up to me and started to help me out. In fact, they guided me through the beginning levels. All in all, I thought it was a good experience and it really showed me that BatMUD was truly an online community even though it was entirely text based.