Monday, April 12, 2010

Schoolwork # 2

Because of the inability of my computer to run Second Life, I have decided to expolor a different online world, with a lower equipment threshold. After a few quick searched on Google, I found a site ( that rates MUDs. I located a MUD that both looked interesting  had a high rating, Cities of M'Dhoria, and went to it's website.
I found that although I could just use telnet to play that there would be a richer experience (colored ASCII, etc.) if I downloaded a MUD client. I located and downloaded MUSHClient.

It only took me a few minutes to install, set up and connect to CoM once MUSHCLient was on my computer. After that I ran through the tutorial and then headed out.

Even though the game is very complicated, there were a whole stream of people literally waiting in line to help me get on my feet. These were not players, but rather helpers who worked on shifts to help new comers such as myself. Second Life could take a lesson from this.

If you don't know what a MUD looks like, here is a short time period's worth of play:

  • [Exits: (west) up]
  •      A large sign is posted here.
  • A little, smelly goblin named Klog is standing here with a sneer.

  • Ext: wU | HP: 29/29 | Mana: 116/116 | Status: T  
  • kill klog
  • You lunge forward and bite Klog with a snarling chomp.
  • Your bite <<< ravages >>> Klog!
  • Klog is stunned but will probably recover.
  • Your pierce massacres Klog!
  • Klog is stunned but will probably recover.

  • Ext: wU | HP: 29/29 | Mana: 116/116 | Status: T  
  • murder klog
  • You show no mercy to Klog.
  • Klog splatters blood on your armor.
  • You get a green key from the lifeless corpse of Klog.

  • Ext: wU | HP: 29/29 | Mana: 116/116 | Status: T  
  • unlock west
  • *Click*
  • You unlock the door to the west.

  • Ext: wU | HP: 29/29 | Mana: 116/116 | Status: T  
  • open w
  • You open the door to the west.

  1. Where did I go?
    1. I finished with the tutorial, I explored the Academy Square with it's temples, banks, gardens and more.
  2. What did I do?
    1. I explored, enraged in combat and commerce and had social interactions.
  3. How did I design my avatar?
    1. The avatar in CoM are of course simply text. You get to select your race, size, weight, and various colorings. I chose to be a Canidae, a canine like creature.
  4. What challenges did I face?
    1. The interface is complex as I mentioned before, but with the help also mentioned earlier, it was a simple matter to overcome these challenges.
  5. How does CoM compare to other inversive experiences?
    1. It was very different from other experiences. Even in other ASCII based games I have played, there have been visual maps that showed my exact location. In CoM, there is only verbal descriptions, so that took  a good deal of time to get used to.
  6. From the textbook?
    1. The anonymity granted by the virtual experience was similar to and in the case of chapter 35, identical to, what was described in the book. The real-time communications with others from around the world in a non-existent reality could be very absorbing.
  7. Predictions of the future?
    1. Within 20 years there will be full immersion, HD, 3D environments that can be experienced for free.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Schoolwork: Real people, Feel Free to Ignore

I went to start the "Blog Project" and found that it requires me to install and run Second Life. My computer is woefully inadequate to run this software. Additionally, my internet connection is far to slow to run it, even if my hardware could handle it.

The hardware requirements for Blackboard are listed in the class documents, but the requirements for Second Life were not, so I had no forewarning that I would need anything other than what I had. I don't know of any way that I can complete this assignment.