Conference Program
Sessions subject to change

Daily Grids
Wednesday Oct 22 Thursday Oct 23 Friday Oct 24

Detailed Program
Detailed Program Book List of Speakers

Program Overview Program Themes Public Events
Avatar Teleport Schedule Out of This World Art Gallery

Program Overview
The conference runs for three days from October 22 to October 24.

    Day One: October 22, 1997
    On-site registration begins at 10:00am on October 22nd on the second floor of the SFSU Multimedia Studies Program 425 Market Street at Fremont. Sessions begin at 1:00pm and run to 5:00 pm.

    EVENING PROGRAM: The NTT New Media Minds Forum presented by the New Media Institute of SFSU will host the Avatars 97 opening plenary panel on Virtual Communities and Virtual Worlds starting at 7:00pm at the Yerba Buena Gardens Theater at 700 Howard Street at Third Street in San Francisco. This event is open to attendees of Avatars 97 who have purchased admission or our special discounted tickets. There will be a reception following this panel.

    Day Two: October 23, 1997
    Sessions and demonstrations will run from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Birds of a Feather and User Group meetings run from 7:00pm to 10:00pm.

    Day Three: October 24, 1997
    Sessions and demonstrations run from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

    EVENING PROGRAM: The Come as Your Own Avatar Hallowe'en Party featuring the 2nd Annual Avvy Awards will begin at an offsite location in downtown San Francsco at 7:30pm and run until late.

Program Themes

Last Year's Conference
Earth to Avatars '96 was the first conference on avatars and virtual worlds on the Internet. The program featured over 70 speakers addressing the full scope of the new inhabited Cyberspace. Visionary keynotes were given by Mark Pesce and John Sculley.

Key Themes At Avatars '97
This year the program has been expanded to four tracks over three days. We will feature a special beam in Avatar Teleport room where virtual worlds will be projected on the walls surrounding participants. Avatar events happening simultaneously all over the net will be experienced here, including another rendition of the VOCE collective song in Cyberspace. Panels, workshops, demos, and exhibits will cover the following key themes:

State of the Metaverse

  • Grand tour of the virtual landscape circa 1997
  • Grassroots virtual community: what are the citizens up to?
  • Survey of companies and projects investing in virtual worlds
Building the New Cyberspace
  • V-Worlds Biz: where are the $$ to build the new Cyberspace?
  • Worlds that work: what makes a world worth revisiting?
  • Designing the inhabited interface
  • Virtual Worlds as Theater
The Big Apps
  • The Virtual Workspace: conferencing, work process visualization, data navigation, training.
  • Kids in digital space: worlds for learning
  • Science worlds: the collaborative virtual laboratory
  • The virtual mall: a real place for retail?
  • Game Planet: avatars at play
  • Avvywood: is the inhabited movie coming?
Power to the Matrix
  • Protocols and Architectures: VRML 2.0, Multi-user servers, voice/chat protocols, Java 3D, DirectX, 3D acceleration, compression
  • World Builders Toolbox: a crash course in world and avatar design software
  • Standards in Avatar Cyberspace: avatar migration, gesture, facial expression, experience serving
  • Bots and agents
  • Digital Biota: the weird world of synthetic ecosystems
Community Builders Special
  • The Art of Virtual Community: lessons from the WELL and other communities
  • Virtual communities and the worlds they live in
  • Women building and managing communities
  • The Digital Anthropologist

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