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Social Etiquette on the MOO

Intro - Being Approachable - Being Clear - Communicating Effectively - Respecting Others
Being Clear

As a player you spend the majority of your time In Character (IC), but some of the time, you need to convey Out Of Character (OOC) information. It's important to understand the difference between the role your playing and yourself when you talk. For instance, if your in a bar and everyone is chatting away IC-ly and you just saw the president was shot on TV and you feel the need to inform everyone you would might type this:

Johnny exclaims, "Hey everyone, I just heard there was a train wreck in Germany!"

Which would get a response something like this:

Simon looks over at Johnny and says, "Really? What's a train?".
Sam giggles at Simon and teases Johnny, "You been watching the history channel again?".

Theres a better way to inform a IC room about an OOC event:

Use the command 'OOC' instead of 'SAY'. This would display like this:

Johnny OOCly exclaims, "Hey everyone, I just heard there was a train wreck in Germany!"

OOC commands and syntax include:
OOCSame as 'SAY' only it's OOC
@OOCTake you to the OOC area
@ICCome from the OOC area

Communicating Effectively

Take Advantage of the Pose or Atmosphere Commands

On Sindome there is a "pose" command (abbreviated to a period) that allows you to author lines of descriptive text to tell those around you what you're doing. This can be as simple as Khime smiles or Syd flicks open the straight-razor with a quick movement of his wrist, the bright metal catching the light.

Poses can even be, and often are, far longer and more complex than just a single sentence. It is not unusual for poses to be as long as a standard paragraph, between 3 and 7 sentences.

Some people find pose commands hard to learn at first. In that case you'll be using "atmosphere commands," or words you type to produce a generic pose (smile, grin, frown, etc) with your name plugged in. For example, if you type "laugh" the MOO will produce "Name laughs hysterically." (Now, Name is replaced by your character's name, of course. And while you might not be laughing hysterically per se, on Sindome you don't get to choose such subtleties.)

In either case, using these commands to indicate the tone and mood of your text goes a long way toward communicating clearly. By describing your facial expressions, body language, gestures, and so forth, you make your flat text come alive and you lose some of the ambiguity that comes with a text-based medium. Poses and atmosphere commands help create a rich, well-described virtual environment.

Here are some examples:

Anna says, "You're an idiot."

can become

Anna smirks, one hand on her hip, shaking her head slowly. "You," she says teasingly, "are an idiot."

Xibo says, "I could use a crayon. Anyone have one?"

can become

Xibo starts patting his pockets, looking grim. "I could use a crayon," he says at last. "Anyone have one?"

Use Infix Actions

While the phrase "infix actions" is by far not the official name for this communication aide, it does describe them well. An English teacher would tell you an 'infix' is a word (more rarely an entire phrase) inserted in the middle of another word to modify it. A good example would be the exclamation "un-f*ckin'-believable!"

Infix actions are verbs or short verb phrases set apart by unusual punctuation (usually asterisks) used to modify the tone or mood of a sentence. They're sometimes found in the middle of a line, and are often tacked onto the end, sort of like a written-out smiley face. The best way to understand this is through some examples:

Claire says, "Hey! *waves wildly* Look over here!"
Elanor says, "Claire? Is that you? *blink*"

When asterisks are being used for emphasis (as described in Being Clear), the person might switch the punctuation they use for their infix action to differentiate.

For example:

Steam says, "Better yet, what am *I* doing here? >confused look<"

Infix actions are used almost as commonly as smileys by the online community. You'll find them in email, in newsgroup posts, and all over.

Understand Kevlars

A "kevlar" (can be capitalized, too) is when someone misdirects their text. There are a thousand ways to do this. They might accidentally say a whisper aloud to a crowded room. They might page the wrong person because of a typo. They might type in one window when they intended to type in another. The results can be painful, sure, but they're usually harmless and humorous.

To better communicate without misunderstanding, be aware that kevlars exist. You might receive one, or worse you might commit one yourself.

This is Sindome's own name for what others might know as a 'Mav', it's called a Kevlar because he's the Sindome staff member who does this sort of thing the most.

This kind of mistake, by the way, is named after Mav, a character from the original MU*, TinyMUD, back in 1989, who would commit this blunder endlessly.

Understand the Lingo

While it might seem something of a high order to a newbie, familiarizing yourself with the slang and acronyms used by our players (and usually by the net at large) is important. Check out our Large Lingo Archive that includes common acronyms, important terms and some examples.

Go On to Page 3 (Respecting Others)

*Portions of this document from "Don't Be a Tiny Jerk!"

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Video: Initial Signup

Walk through signing up for Sindome and getting started with your first character!

Video: IC vs OOC

Learn what IC and OOC mean, how they effect you, rules you should be aware of, and more commands you should know.