[MUD-Dev] Re: Real-world skills
bruce at puremagic.com
Thu Jul 26 00:26:12 New Zealand Standard Time 2001
Koster, Raph wrote:
> You mean MediaMOO.
MediaMOO was important in its time, but seems to be much less
importance today and overshadowed by other things.
Her work on MOOSE Crossing, using a MOO as a tool for collaborative
learning and having children program has lived much longer and may
have a larger impact in the long run.
9. Future Directions: A MUD for Kids The MediaMOO Project was
conceived in part as preparation for a MUD for kids, "MOOSE
Crossing," which is currently under development. We believe
that this technology can provide an authentic context for
children to learn reading, writing and programming. In these
virtual worlds, writing and programming become means of
self-expression to a community of peers. MUDs are a
Developing good MUD objects is as much creative writing as
programming. One hypothesis of this research is that divisions
between the humanities and the sciences are often too sharply
drawn and counter-productive, and a more integrative approach
has advantages for many children. A second hypothesis is that
the social and contextual nature of these worlds may help young
girls to be more comfortable with computers and programming.
If kids are really to make good use of MUDs, however, it will
be necessary to improve the programming language and the
interface. We are currently developing a new programming
language called MOOSE designed to make it easier for children
to program new objects. ("MOOSE" stands for "MOO Scripting
Environment." The MOOSE language is built on top of Pavel
Curtis' MOO software.) We are also developing a multiple-window
client program called MacMOOSE which we hope will make the
system more usable. We hope to apply lessons learned in the
development and use of the Logo language to make a MUD language
more accessible to kids.
At the conclusion of Mindstorms, Seymour Papert describes his
vision of a technological samba school. In samba schools in
Brazil, members of a community gather to prepare a performance
for Carnival. Everyone is learning and teaching--even the leads
need to learn their parts. People of all ages learn and play
together as a community. Papert believes that computers can
create a kind of technological samba school, and we believe
MUDs may begin to realize that vision.
For a lot more information on MOOSE Crossing, check out her thesis
including some great discussion of the constructionist culture that
was built within MOOSE Crossing.
Happily, this field of work is continuing through projects like
AquaMOOSE 3D (http://www.cc.gatech.edu/elc/aquamoose/).
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