01 June 2006


by Julian Dibbell
Published in: Village Voice, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 51, December 21, 1993

They say he raped them that night. They say he did it with a cunning little doll, fashioned in their image and imbued with the power to make them do whatever he desired. they say that by manipulating the doll he forced them to have sex with him, and with each other, and to do horrible, brutal things to their own bodies. And though I wasn't there that night, I think I can assure you that what they say is true, because it all happened right in the living room - right there amid the well-stocked bookcases and the sofas and the fireplace - of a house I've come to think of as my second home.

Call me Dr. Bombay. Some months ago - let's say about halfway between the first time you heard the words _information superhighway_ and the first time you wished you never had - I found myself tripping with compulsive regularity down the well-traveled information lane that leads to LambdaMOO, a very large and very busy rustic chateau built entirely of words. Nightly, I typed the commands that called those words onto my computer screen, dropping me with what seemed a warm electric thud inside the mansion's darkened coat closet, where I checked my quotidian identity, stepped into the persona and
appearance of a minor character from a long-gone television sit-com, and stepped out into the glaring chatter of the crowded living room. Sometimes, when the mood struck me, I emerged as a dolphin instead.


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