Announcing MiamiMOO, a text-based virtual "space" for students and professionals in Classics and other academic disciplines. While this project is still very much under development, I hope that MiamiMOO can eventually serve the Classics community in a variety of capacities -- e.g., as a venue for student projects (see virtual Epidauros and Delphi, projects currently under construction by grad students at the University of Cincinnati); as a forum for real-time presentation of ideas and discussion of issues; as a place where you, your students and colleagues can meet and hold joint class sessions; and as an informal gathering place in cyberspace. I hope to launch our first Classics discussion series by the first of August. If you are interested in leading such a discussion or suggesting a topic, I'd be happy to hear from you.
A MOO is a text-based environment (for want of a better word) where multiple users logged in simultaneously can communicate with one another in "real time" as well as "manipulate" text-based objects. (Remember Adventure? Zork? pretty much the same thing, but on the internet) In addition "builders" can expand on the space, a process which involves only typing skills (though many builders go on to learn elementary programming in order to enhance their realms further). MiamiMOO is available to anyone with a telnet capable internet connection from any computer platform (if you can login to library catalogues, you probably have Telnet). There are also freely available specialized MOO clients for most platforms, which provide a cleaner interface than Telnet. MiamiMOO also has a WWW interface, which allows text-based objects to be viewed with a web browser and gives MOO "builders" the ability to link images to their creations (again, see Epidauros for a few examples of images, the number of which will increase dramatically over the next few months). However, the Web interface does not (yet) support interactivity with other users.
For more info about MiamiMOO and MOOs in general, including documentation about how to login, download a client, move around and communicate in a MOO and much much more, visit our Web site at http://moo.muohio.edu/, (or, if that url is down, try this) or contact me directly. I'm always up for a tour and demonstration. Again, my collaborators and I are open to any and all suggestions about uses for this resource, which we are willing to expand in whatever direction its users want to take it.