ATHEMOO is an educational and professional MOO created by Juli Burk in June of 1995 for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). ATHE is the major organization for theatre scholars and educators in the United States with over 2,000 members.
Although the original idea was that the MOO would function only as aconference-related venture, her work in developing the MOO lead her tobelieve that it was an educational environment of amazing proportions thatcould function within ATHE in numerous arenas, of which the conference wasonly one. In addition, she was convinced that she could build a communitywith a technologically friendly environment in which women could bothaccomplish goals related to their work in the theatre and also attainknowledge and familiarity with programming. While the vast majority ofplayers in the MUD environment are men, the population of educational MOOsis more balanced, as is the division between male and female archwizards.Despite the fact that her colleagues in the theatre were almost completelyunaware of MOO, she believed that the theatrical nature of the environmentwould ease the resistance to this new technology. ATHEMOO would not onlyserve to accommodate the various functions of the national organization,it would provide an opportunity for both her female and male colleagues tolearn how to use the technology for meetings, seminars, teaching, andperformance in an atmosphere specifically designed for those new to MOO.