One of the main advantages of the MOO stem actually from their reduced band-width, i.e. texts. A MOO connection is non-intrusive. One can still do other work while interacting on the MOO. Since people have to type, no transcripts are needed to store interactions (practically all MOO clients do allow logging, and some MOO artifacts, e.g. ``VCRs'' can tape conversations). Furthermore, text-based interactions allow somebody to have several simultaneous conversation without overload after a few hours of getting used to it. One can talk, whisper, page, show, radio, mail, post and more all at the same time. Somebody mastering those basic communication commands is very efficient in getting a lot of work done at the same time. Now try that with 5 real people in your office, 3 telephone calls, 2 CUSEME sessions, a few open mail folders on your screen and more ....
At a very general level we argue that for design reasons many-user virtual worlds still should be based primarily on objects that represent textual content. Language will remain the primary vehicle for communication and information despite all the recent multi-media hype. Language has a capacitiy for organizing structured work and interaction that other media don't have. More importantly it can be argued that text-based virtual realities create a new form of textuality (not written nor spoken) that has a few important features useful for certain kinds of collaborative work (see 7.1) for more details on this important issue.
One question to be answered honestly is of course: Do we really need synchronous communication in order to be productive at work? In this case, is is not more efficient to use email for person to person communication, Usenet news or mailing-lists for group communication and the Web for putting up information? Delayed communication offers the advantage that people have time to think, to structure before they send out messages. The answer [add details!!!] is that synchronous communication is more efficient in many cases.
Of course, efficiency is not everything: ``people want to connect with people, not with letters or papers from people''. This is one of reasons why people go to conferences after all.
`` "It's not the shock of recognition," a Wired magazine reporter wrote after experiencing MUD, "it's the shock of communication. The organic sensation that you're connected to people evaporates from the printed page" (Quittner, 93) but is alive on MUD. This novel form of communication appeals to a basic desire to connect directly with others. There is no other medium that allows so many people to interact remotely in a common 'space.' But if merely interaction was the goal, why would people choose this mode of personal gathering over face-to-face encounters? The answer lies in looking at how this new interaction is structured - its MEDIUM (the computer), FORM OF LANGUAGE, and CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK - to see why networking on MUDs forms a new type of community: one which allows people to negotiate a strong sense of self and individuality while participating in public space.'' ([Young, 1994, lines 163ff.,]).
Summing up, the MOO is a new medium that in some aspects outperforms other modes of communication and in addition it is the new market place.