Interacting With Other People

  1. Virtual Self
  2. Beginning
  3. Interacting With Objects

The most common ways of interacting with other people are by ‘talking’, ‘emoting’, and ‘paging’.

"Hi everybody! Where's the ale?

You say, "Hi everybody! Where's the ale?"


Balder smiles.

:chugs a tanker of ale.

Balder chugs a tanker of ale.

page Thor "Hey, Thor, there's a great party over at the circus.

Your message has been sent.

Meanwhile, Thor sees:

You sense that Balder is looking for you in The Fields of Valhalla.

He pages, "Hey, Thor, there's a great party over at the circus."

Interacting With Other People: Talking

"Hi everybody! Where's the ale?

First, I talked. To talk, you type a quotation mark (double-quote) and what you want to say. Everyone else sees:

Balder says, "Hi everybody! Where's the ale?"

Interacting With Other People: Emoting


Then, I emoted. This uses the colon. Everyone else saw:

Balder smiles.

The ‘emote’ can be used to do things as well. For example, chugging a tanker of ale. There's a difference, however, between chugging a tanker of ale by emoting, and chugging an actual tanker of ale. To really chug a tanker (and what does ‘really’ mean in a virtual reality?), you need to have an object called tanker, and this object must contain a verb called chug. More about objects and verbs later, though.

Interacting With Other People: Paging

When you talk, only the people who are in the same room can hear you. If there’s someone else in Valhalla, you can page them.

The syntax is:

page player "text of page

For example:

page Thor "Hey, Thor, there's a great party over at the circus.

Thor sees:

You sense that Balder is looking for you in Balder's Chimney.

He pages, " Hey, Thor, there's a great party over at the circus."

To find out who is awake in Valhalla, type


Player name Connected Idle time Location

Balder (#78) an hour 0 seconds The Fields of Valhalla

Loki (#79) 20 minutes 10 minutes Jotunheim

Thor (#3) 2 hours 10 seconds Bifrost Bridge

Interacting With Other People: Whispering

You can also whisper to someone if you want to have a private conversation without finding an empty room.

whisper "What's with the funny hat?" to Thor

You whisper, "What's with the funny hat?" to Thor.

And, Thor sees:

Balder whispers, "What's with the funny hat?"

Nobody else in the room sees anything at all.

Interacting With Other People: Mail

You can send and receive mail within Valhalla. You send mail with the @send command. You’ll be asked for a subject, and then you can type in your message, one line at a time.

@send Fred


[Type a line of input or `@abort' to abort the command.]

Party at Thor's

Mail Room

Do a 'look' to get the list of commands, or 'help' for assistance.

Composing a letter to Balder (#78) entitled "Hello, Fred."

"There is a party at Thor's on Tuesday night, 7:30 pm Valhalla time.

Line 1 added.

"Can you bring your keg-of-20-drinks?

Line 2 added.

Note that you have to use a quotation mark, as if you are saying something, to add text. That's because you are saying it, and the ‘Mail Room’ is dutifully writing down what you say.

If you want to see what you’ve typed so far, you can use list.


1: There is a party at Thor's on Tuesday night, 7:30 pm Valhalla time.

2: Can you bring your keg-of-20-drinks?

To change something you’ve written, use subst (for substitute). The syntax is subst /text-as-it-is/text-as-you-want-it/lines-the-text-is-in. For example,

sub /your/my/2

2: Can you bring my keg-of-20-drinks?

changes the your in line 2 to my. You can also specify a range of lines, for example, 2-5. If you don’t know what the last line is, you can use the dollar sign $. Valhalla interprets $ as ‘the end’.

Use send when you’re ready to send the message on its way. If you change your mind and decide not to send any mail, use abort.



Mail actually sent to Fred (#99)


The stone chimney is smokey and warm, and a bit cramped for anyone of normal size. Dirty elfs skitter about as they see you coming.

You see the Chimney description again because, when you are composing a mail message, you are actually in a different room—the ‘Mail Room’. After you ‘send’ the message, you return to wherever you were before composing the message.

When Fred receives the message, he sees:

You have new mail (1) from Balder (#78).

Type `help mail' for info on reading it.

You can list your mail by typing:

@mail on me

1:+ Jul 15 11:37 Fred (#99) Re: Hello, Fred.

2:+ Jul 15 12:59 Thor (#3) Party Canceled


You can read a message by typing

@read # on me

where # is the number of the message you want to read. Delete a message with

@rmm 1 from me

Deleted 1.

For more information about mail, type help mail.

Discussion Groups

There are a number of discussion groups on Valhalla. You are already a member of *Life, a group for general discussion of life in Valhalla. If you want to see a list of mail on *Life, type @mail on *Life. To read message 7 on *Life, type @read 7 on *Life. Discussion groups are just like mail, except that instead of the word ‘me’, you use the name of the discussion group. All of the mail verbs work with discussion groups.

To see a list of all of the discussion groups available to you, type @unsubscribed. To take part in a discussion, you need to subscribe by typing

@subscribe discussion-group

If you want to stop taking part in a discussion group, use

@unsubscribe discussion-group

and use @subscribed to see a list of the groups you’re currently subscribed to.

Talking With Text

Using pure text can be somewhat limiting. You can’t squiggle pictures in the margins, you can’t wave your arms or smile and expect the person at the other computer to see it. In Valhalla, you can wave your arms and smile using the emote verb already described:

:smiles disdainfully. "Funny as a crutch, Thor."

Balder smiles disdainfully. "Funny as a crutch, Thor."

You can add emphasis to a word or phrase by surrounding it with an asterisk. If you surround each word separately with asterisks, it’s a more staccato an emphasis.

Balder says, "*Where* did you put it?!"

Balder says, "*Where did you put it?!*"

Balder says, "*Where* *did* *you* *put* *it?!*"

You can yell (but you shouldn't very often) by using all capitals. (And if you accidentally hit your shift lock key, everyone will think you are yelling.)

Balder says, "Where did you put it?!"

If you want to set off a title without as much emphasis, use the underscore. It’s similar to italics, and is probably derived from the editor’s mark for italics1.

Balder says, "Have you seen _Gone With the Wind_?

And, of course, you can combine them as much as you want…

Balder looks at his tape collection quizzically. "Have you seen _Gone With the Wind_? *Bitchin'* movie.*WHERE* did you *put* it?!"

…but don’t overdo it, you’ll burn your keyboard out.

You can also use emoticons, although they should be limited to electronic mail. The most common emoticons are the smiley and the frown. They look sort of like a smiling and a frowning person… if you turn your head to the side… and use some imagination.

:*) :*( :^) :^( =*( =*)

Other emoticons exist. There’s an exhibit in the museum in Balmooa Park.

  1. Virtual Self
  2. Beginning
  3. Interacting With Objects