978-0-8050-3626-8 / 9780805036268

My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World


Publisher:Holt Paperbacks



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About the book:

This is the story of one user's experience at a virtual-reality community called LambdaMOO. A MOO--short for multiuser dungeon, object oriented--is a virtual place where participants can construct human-like graphical representations of themselves to interact in a simulated world. Author Julian Dibbell begins by relating the facts surrounding the case of Mr. Bungle, a character who committed the crime of "virtual rape" in this fantastic electronic world, shocking LambdaMOO's members. However, the thread of discussion about this case is minimal and the book ultimately becomes Dibbell's diary of his "research" of this virtual world, which grows gradually more obsessive, and how it affects his RL (real life).

Dibbell offers glimpses of his RL between rich, colorful, and entertaining chapters describing the online community's gossip, his interactions and relationships with the other members, and his first experience with cybersex. What is interesting is that the brief snatches of RL are bland and boring, written in a kind of script format with little more than stage directions for descriptions. This device, plus Dibbell's discussions of his dreams about the MOO, show the reader how deeply involved Dibbell becomes in this community. The turning point comes when Dibbell's membership at LambdaMOO threatens to ruin one of his closest RL relationships. --Cristina Vaamonde

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