LambdaMOO - Computer Definition
A sort of (at least it turned out to be) Black Hat equivalent of the present-day popular online game Sims Online. To be more precise, LambdaMOO was a sub-species of MUD (a multi-user dungeon) known as a MOO, an abbreviated form of “MUD, object-oriented.”
LambdaMOO was a type of database giving users the rather realistic feeling that they were moving through space. When users dialed into LambdaMOO, the program immediately presented users with a short text description of one of the database’s fictional rooms in a fictional mansion. The rooms, the things in them, and the characters were able to interact according to rules imitating laws in the real world. In general, LambdaMOOers were allowed the positive freedom “to create.” They could describe their characters in any way, decorate rooms, and build new objects.
The combination of all this user activity with the physics of the database could induce an illusion of “presence.” What the user really saw when he or she visited LambdaMOO was a form of slow-moving text, dialogue, and stage directions that moved up the screen.
One of the controversial cases around LambdaMOO involved a cyber perpetrator by the name of Mr. Bungle, who, with an online voodoo doll and a piece of programming code, could spoof other players by taking over their identities and performing offensive actions against them. The closest thing to this kind of action today would be called identity theft. Though some of the users of LambdaMOO felt that Mr. Bungle virtually raped them—or at least cyberstalked them—the claims could not be legally upheld because Mr. Bungle caused the users in LambdaMOO to commit offensive actions against themselves. Mr. Bungle was not himself virtually involved in the offensive acts.
Schell, B.H. and Martin, C. Contemporary World Issues Series: Cybercrime: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004.