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Technology Tip of the Month

November, 1997: How To at SchMOOze U

by Deborah Healey

MUD/MOO: a place to talk to people, adventure in different ways, get information, and basically have a good time. MUD stands for "Multi-User Dimension" (sometimes "Multi-User Dungeon, from the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing games), while MOO stands for "Multiuser Object-Oriented MUD." All MUDs and MOOs have some sort of motif to them, whether it's a university (SchMOOze U and Diversity University) or another richly-described environment. Most of these sites are also purely text, which means lots of material for reading and a need to write in order to move around and communicate.

Here's how to get started with a MOO that has an ESL focus -- SchMOOze University, founded by Julie Falsetti (also known as Mehitabel at SchMOOze). Many other people have had a hand in designing and improving the activities for students at SchMOOze, and your comments and suggestions are invited.

General Instructions

Your best bet is to get a program that makes it easier to use SchMOOze and other MOOs. On the Mac, a good program is MudDweller, which you can find at or

For Windows, I like MudWin, available at

SchMOOze regular Greg Younger also has a wealth of information and links to MOO clients at one of his pages: You can also get more help at the SchMOOze webpage ( and at Yoshi Awaji's SchMOOze website ( -- especially good for those in Japan, since it's got a Japanese version.)

All of the MOO clients give you two windows: one small one where you type your comments (and can edit them before you send them) and a large window where you can see what other people have typed and the descriptions of where you are.

Connecting to SchMOOze

Step 1: (No MOO client) Open NCSA Telnet. Pull down the File menu to Open, and type 8888 and press Return.
If you are using Windows 95, you can select Run from the Start menu and type
telnet 8888

--Useful to remember: If you don't see anything when you are typing, look for a menu item called Local Echo and select it. You should then see what you are typing. Also, if you are typing and someone else's comment interrupts your sentence, just keep typing. The machine knows where you are :) This is the main reason you want to use a client rather than Telnet.

(MOO client) Open the connection to Schmooze U at, port 8888.


You'll see:

*** Connected ***
Don't forget to take a look at the newspaper. Type 'news' to see it.
Guest awakens, and looks about.
You have connected as a Guest to SchMOOze. We want our Guests to feel welcome
here. So as a Guest, you can give yourself a name, and description. This way
you won't be an anonymous guest, but yourself. - SchMOOze Management.
[Please type the name you wish to be known as.]

Step 3: Type a name for yourself. It doesn't have to be your real name (it's better if it's not your real name).

You typed: '_______'. Is this what you want? [Enter `yes' or `no']
Please type in a brief description of yourself. Example: A tall skinny man
with a perpetual grin on his face. He wears a worn suitjacket and jeans, and
has his hair tied up in a ponytail.
[Please enter a brief description of yourself.]

Step 4: Type a brief description of yourself.

Step 5: Explore.

Now you can do several different things. Use the MAP to help you move around. Type MAP to see a map at any time.

Map of Schmooze

Make sure you read the screen to see where you can go. When it says "Obvious exits are to the north, east, and west" it means that you can type


to go that way (or EAST or WEST). Use the map to get around!


To talk to other people, type a double quotation mark '' (only on one side!) or the word SAY

For example, type

"Hello, everyone! or SAY Hello, everyone!

You'll see [your name] exclaims, "Hello, everyone!"

If you use a period, you'll see [your name] says "Hello, everyone"

Guess what you get with a question mark at the end.

If you want to go into a place that's not a public building (for example, if you want to go into someone's dorm room), you need to type KNOCK before you enter.

To see more commands, type

GO CLASSROOM from the Entrance Gates

then read the instructions.

Fun places to go

The Student Union Building has a cafeteria where you can order food and talk to the server, a games room where you can play word games with other people, and a grammar maze in the basement. Try it and see!

The Library lets you see a lot of different resource material and connect to more places for information.

Hint: When you're not sure where you are or what to do next, type


You'll see a description of what's around you and the possible exits, as well as anyone who is in the same place as you.

Cheat sheet of commands

You don't need to type the [] or the { }; substitute the appropriate word or words inside the brackets. {} brackets mean that you have to put something else after the command. [] brackets mean it's optional.

LOOK lets you see what's around you. It also gives you the "Possible exits"-- these are the commands you can type to move to another place.

If a person invites you to join him/her, you can type @JOIN {name} to jump to their location. Remember it's not polite to enter a private area without being asked.

OUT moves you out of whatever you just went into.

@WHO lets you see who else is at SchMOOze U

KNOCK [person] do this first when you want to go to someone's room or @JOIN someone

" {message} whatever you type next will be seen by everyone. If you have a period or nothing at the end, you'll "say" it. If you have a question mark, you'll "ask" it. You "exclaim" with an exclamation point.

WHISPER {person} speak privately to someone. Only that person will see what you wrote

PAGE {person} WITH {message} lets you send the message to the person, wherever she/he is.

: {message} whatever you type next will appear on the screen for everyone to see. You can use this to wave goodbye (:wave goodbye), jump five times and turn around (:jump five times and turn around), etc. The only limit is your imagination.

HELP [topic] gives you help. Just type HELP to get a list of topics, or HELP HERE to see more about where you currently are.

@QUIT lets you quit.

Enjoy your schmoozing!

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If you have questions, comments, or for more information, contact Deborah Healey, dhealey AT uoregon DOT edu
Last updated 26 June, 2009