Avatars 97 Speakers and Biographies
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Avatars 97 Keynote Speakers
Linda Stone Mark Pesce Char Davies Gail Williams Sandy Stone Bruce Damer
Speakers, Coordinators and Artists
Avatars 97 Staff and Volunteers
Daily Program Grids
The People of Avatars 97
Speakers, Coordinators and Artists (list being finalized)
Pascal Baudar, Cybertown, speakerAndy Best, MEET Factory Oy, speaker
- Galen Brandt, coordinatorJerry Brown, Governor, speaker Franz Buchenberger, blaxxun interactive, speaker Jim Bumgardner, The Palace Incorporated, speaker
- Charles Cameron, The Cursor, speaker
- David Colleen, Planet 9 Studios, speaker
- Tony Christopher, Fujitsu, speaker
- Doug Crockford, Electric Communities, speaker
- Bruce Damer, Contact Consortium, DigitalSpace Corp, Biota.org, speaker, coordinator, conference chair
- Char Davies, speaker
- Fred Davis, speaker
- Rusel DeMaria, DeMaria Studio, speaker
- Steve DiPaola, Darwin Digital / Saatchi & Saatchi, speaker
- Rebecca Eisenberg, San Francisco Examiner, speaker
- Adam Erickson, SVASE, speaker
- Frederic Le Diberder, Canal Plus, speaker
- Noah Falstein, CGDA, speaker
- Randy Farmer, Electric Communities, speaker
- Fabrice Florin, Zenda Studio, speaker
- David Frerichs, Cosmo Software, speaker
- Rob Fulop, PF Magic, speaker
- Jim Funaro, CONTACT, Cabrillo College, speaker
- Kevin George, CyGaia, speaker
- Jeffrey Goldsmith, speaker
- Steven Hanly, artist presenter
- Garry Hare, OZ Interactive, speaker
- Kevin Hartz, Cosmo Software, speaker
- Barbara Hayes-Roth, Extempo Systems, speaker
- Carrie Heeter, Communication Technology Laboratory, MSU, speaker
- Carmen Hermosillo, Seagate Software, speaker
- Reid Hoffman, Relationships.com, speaker
- Sandy Jackson, CDGA, coordinator
- Larry Kay, Toon Smiths, coordinator
- Amy Jo Kim, Naima, speaker
- Haydn Kuprevich, SRT Enterprises, speaker
- Tim Lavalli, Fujitsu, speaker
- Edward Lerner, Multitude, speaker
- Janet LeValley, Fujitsu, speaker
- Alex Lightman, Hollyworlds, speaker
- Anthony Lloyd, Biocontrol Systems, speaker
- Lisa Lopuck, Electravision, speaker
- Jerry McDonough, UC Berkeley, speaker
- Stasia McGehee, speaker
- Mary Madaras, Fujitsu, speaker
- Karen Marcelo, Intervista, speaker
- Mark Meadows, Construct Internet Design, speaker
- Mitra, Mitra Consulting, speaker
- Scott Moore, Fujitsu, speaker
- Chip Morningstar, Electric Communities, speaker
- Wendy Sue Noah, Fujitsu, coordinator
- Rick Noll, Circle of Fire Studios, speaker
- Charles Ostman, Mondo 2000, Nanothinc, speaker
- Ioannis Paniaras, Cosmo Software, speaker
- Tony Parisi, Intervista, speaker
- Kirk Parsons, speaker
- Celia Pearce, speaker
- Mark Pesce, speaker
- Mark Petrakis, coordinator
- Michael Powers, In3D, coordinator, program co-chair
- Merja Puustinen, MEET Factory Oy, speaker
- Tom Riess, HMD Therapeutics, speaker
- Frank Revi, speaker
- Bernie Roehl, Univ of Waterloo, Virtual Humans Animation Working Group, speaker
- Peter Rosen, Creativity Cafe, BOF host
- Sanford Rosenberg, speaker
- Rob Rothfarb, NTT Software, speaker
- Omar Saleh, SRT Enterprises, speaker
- James Scranton, Attorney, speaker
- Frederick Shaul, 3D Labs, speaker
- Charanjit Sidhu, BT Labs, speaker
- Mike Sellers, speaker
- Linda Stone, Microsoft, speaker
- Sandy Stone, UT Austin ACTLab, speaker
- T. L. Taylor, Brandeis University,, speaker
- Tamiko Thiel, artist, speaker
- Yannis Toussulis, Media Research Associates, speaker
- Alex Utterman, speaker
- Jm Valera, Tandem Computers, speaker
- Hannes Vilhjalmsson, MIT Media Lab, speaker
- Lisa Voldeng, uberbabe media, speaker
- Nathan Wagoner, DuckSoup Information Services, host and speaker
- John Wentworth, CyGaia, Tandem Computers, speaker
- Misty West, speaker
- Gail Williams, The WeLL, speaker
- Johnny L. Wilson, Computer Gaming World Magazine, speaker
- Richard Wojcik, Boeing, speaker
- C. Scott Young, VRML Knight, artist presenter, speaker
- Mike Yuen, Hollyworlds, speaker
- Roger Zuidema, artist presenter
Avatars 97 Staff and Volunteers
Conference Executive Staff
Nancy Levidow, Conference Coordinator
- Bruce Damer, Conference Chair and Program co-chair
- Michael Powers, Program co-chair
- Wendy Sue Noah, Media coordinator
- our Webmaster, Registration coordinator, contributing artist
- Patricia Franklin, Exhibit coordinator
- Kirk Parsons, Avvy Awards coordinator
- Eve Donovan, Volunteer coordinator
- Julia Gilden, Art exhibition coordinator
- Kevin George, VOCE coordinator, avatar teleport
Christopher Nash, Graphic design
- SFSU MSP Team
- Tarik Thami, SFSU MSP sponsor
- Mark and Lauren Beam, New Media Minds Institute
- George Nixon, SFSU MSP facilities coordinator
- Conference Volunteers
- John Wentworth, Program outreach, avatar teleport
- Timothy Childs, Conference events/party
- Allan Lundell, Video documentation
- Sun MacNamee, Video documentation
- Steven Hanly, Program brochure layout, contributing artist
- C. Scott Young, Contributing artist, party themes
- Jm Valera, Avatar teleport staff
- Affiliate Coordinators
- Neil Trevett, VRML Consortium
- Jim Funaro, CONTACT, Cultures of the Imagination
- Sandy Jackson, CGDA
- Rik Sandoval, CGDA
Avatars 97 Keynote Speakers
Linda Stone Mark Pesce Char Davies Gail Williams Sandy Stone Bruce Damer
Mark Pesceis an Internet visionary and co-creator of VRML. What stared as a vision of 3D information on the Internet has blossomed into the reality of a true Cyberspace under his guidance. He has presented his vision of VRML on numerous occasions to the international World Wide Web community. Pesce is the co-recipient of Meckler's Market Impact Award for Virtual Reality, and was recently named one of Network Computing's Most Influential People in Networking. During their 1996 competition, Mr. Pesce received an Honorable Mention from the Ars Electronica Foundation for WebEarth, which creates a fully-interactive real-time model of the planet from space, on the desktop. Mr. Pesce is the author of two books, "VRML: Browsing and Building Cyberspace", and "VRML: Flying Through the Web", both published by New Riders Publishing. His latest project, "VRML University", a twenty-four week course on VRML, will be freely availble through Howard Rheingold's Electric Minds Web site later this fall.
Bruce Dameris a founding co-director of the Contact Consortium, President and CEO of DigitalSpace Corporation, and a founder of Biota.org, the digital biology working group. Bruce spent a decade in software development creating object desktop systems for Xerox Corporation based on the pioneering Star workstation. This software is used in 120 countries to generate a significant percentage of the world's business documents. For Bruce, virtual worlds represented the first step beyond the desktop metaphor and the next wave of evolution for the Internet. Bruce conceived of the Contact Consortium as a force to enrich and power this new medium.
Bruce has degrees from the University of Victoria in his native country of Canada, and the University of Southern California. Bruce created one of the first and most successful software research and development laboratories in the former Eastern Bloc country of the Czech Republic. Other current research interests include optical computing, nanotechnology and paleobiology. Bruce has created community enrichment projects and groups worldwide, from art salons to research networks to the Contact Consortium.
Bruce is an internationally renowned speaker and has recently completed his first book Avatars! Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet (Peachpit Press, an imprint of Addison Wesley Longman). Get your copy of Avatars! at the Avatars 97 conference bookstore.
The greatest miracles in human history spring from chance meetings. Creating places where people can meet and interact openly and pursue their passions will change the future of the world. And we should care about the future, for we shall spend the rest of our lives there. Virtual worlds on the Internet will be the biggest meeting place human beings have ever made.
Rob Fulop has been a leading designer of consumer interactive media for 15 years and has developed titles for ten platforms. His early games for Atari and Imagic sold over 5 million copies. Mr. Fulop designed and produced two feature-length interactive movies, including the infamous NightTrap. For America Online, Mr. Fulop developed the highly successful Rabbit Jack's Casino. As Creative Director of PF.Magic, he oversees design of the company's products. He is known for the invention of the computer pet.
Frederick is Program Manager for 3Dlabs, designers of of state of the art 3D silicon for professional and pervasive computer graphics. A veteren in the computer industry, Frederick has experience gained from over a decade working on projects including: 3D graphics at Compaq, and multi-media at Commodore Amiga, and real-time systems with Allied Signal. In 1996 he was awarded most valuable 3Dlabs new employee. More recently Frederick has been responsible for technical coordination and direction for 3Dlabs' public relations events, coordinating customer and software vendor business opportunities, and championing 3Dlabs' technology for emerging applications. Areas of particular interest include: 3D authoring, emerging 3D internet communications and visualizations technologies, and VRML. - the emerging standard for cross-platfrom 3D data visualization.
Noah Falstein has been creating computer games for over 20 years (and has made a living at it since 1980). With a career spanning numerous interactive genres and platforms, he held various roles in companies including Williams Electronics, LucasArts, and Dreamworks Interactive. Currently he runs his own freelance design company, The Inspiracy, with clients including Dreamworks, Disney, and JVC.
Lisa Voldeng moves fluidly through the worlds of entertainment property creation and technology development. For the past seven years she has worked as a technical information designer for firms such as Hewlett Packard, mFactory, Oracle, and Netscape. She operates as a consultant (read: hired gun), designing instructional material for needy technology companies. Aside from technology, Lisa is a painter, writer, and filmmaker. She recently synthesized her work in these converging arenas into überbabe media, her recently established entertainment and technology company. überbabe media is focused on the design and development of intelligent, innovative, engaging media properties for delivery across traditional and emerging channels, and the software tools and expertise necessary for the
creation of such properties.
Media Research Associates
Sanford Rosenberg, Ph.D. The President of MRA, Dr. Rosenberg has twenty years of experience in working with film, video, and emerging technologies. He has consulted with a number of producers on a variety of media projects including film, television, etc., and recently served as the chair of the New Media Committee of APA's Division 46 of Media Psychology. He specializes in the evaluation of the relationship between story, structure, symbol, image, language, emotion and the dynamic unconscious.. Previously Dr. Rosenberg has consulted on the implementation of psycho graphic research in the entertainment industry. In addition to being a licensed psychotherapist, educator and researcher in the area of symbolic processes; he specializes in emerging technologies and the social/clinical impacts of these new media on consciousness, attitude ,belief, opinion, and human behavior.
Media Research Associates
Yannis Toussulis, Ph.D. Dr. Toussulis is a former director of the Consciousness Studies Program at Antioch/West University, a current Program Coordinator for the International Institute of Professional Studies, and a Project Coordinator for Media Research Associates. He has over twenty-five years experience in designing and presenting innovative programs and seminars in Comparative Mythology and Religion, Psychology, and Cultural Studies. His particular specialty is post-modern logic of inquiry and twelve years experience in qualitative research design.
Michael Powers is President and CEO of In3D Corporation, a 3D internet content company specializing in virtual world publishing. He is also the author of How to Program a Virtual Community recently published by Ziff-Davis Press, a division of Macmillan. He considers himself a "content technologist," firmly believing that the programming content contributes as much to the success virtual worlds as the visual and audio design. Michael taught for four years in the San Francisco State University Multimedia Studies Program where he developed two avatar courses - Designing Online Communities (c.1997) and Developing Interactive Characters (c. 1994-1997). He has held positions at many Silicon Valley companies involved in multimedia and virtual world design including Xerox, Xerox PARC, DEC, Kaleida Labs and daVinci Time & Space.
Misty West is Manager of the Web Design & Development Conference (www.web97.com). She handles curriculum design, speaker recruitment, and other webthink events year round -- an experiment in physical-world community design. Her primary passion in online worldbuilding is the story behind it where all spaces in the physical world give voice to their creators, some are built to that purpose far more than others. She is working toward new kinds of stories within the virtual environment, optimized for breadth of territory, multiuser interaction, and the new forms of community evolving online.
Prior to investing in the physical world web community, she was a Producer & Technological Evangelist at Worlds Inc, leading teams at Worlds' in-house studio to design and build 3d multiuser environments of all sizes and descriptions. Her academic background in fiction writing and personal background in the digital realm led her through several other high-tech startups -- one in virtual reality gaming, one in programmers' editors built as teaching tools, and one in VRML entertainment, among others. She also did a good bit of freelance technical writing for net-related and multimedia concerns, including vivid studios and Now What Software, and has been published both online and in print.
Chip Morningstar is one of the founders of Electric Communities, a cyberspace design and development company. As their Chief Scientist, he has been the lead architect of the communications protocols and object technology which Electric Communities is developing to facilitate commercial and social interaction over computer networks. He was also heavily involved in the initial development of Fujitsu's WorldsAway service, for which Electric Communities provided creative and technical oversight. Prior to joining Electric Communities he was the Vice President for Software Development at the American Information Exchange, where he managed the development of the AMiX online information marketplace. Before that, he worked at Lucasfilm Ltd where he was the designer and project leader for Lucasfilm's Habitat, the world's first large scale commercial multiperson online graphical virtual world. He has also worked as an image processing researcher, programming language designer and backwoods grocery store manager. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a high school dropout.
Mr. Lerner was recently selected by the Red Herring Magazine as one of the "Top 20 Entrepreneurs" in digital technology. Lerner founded Multitude to establish Collaborative Play as the next major gaming platform. Lerner's early work with Electronic Arts helped invent the 3d game business. His company's 1990 invention of the texture mapping game established the modern look of computer games. Over the last 15 years Lerner has created games with sales over $125 million. www.multitude.com
Kevin George is the founder and president of CyGaia, a company specializing in producing virtual worlds and the characters and events within those worlds. His credits include, MTV's Tikkiland, a virtual cyberspace, where kids from all over the world can join together and talk in their own voice and ABC's Monday Night Football Virtual Sports Bar . In collaboration with Phil Harrington and Paul Godwin, VOCE , where people worldwide can join remotely and sing with groups of people locally. Kevin is currently teaching Advanced Animation at San Francisco State University.
Mike was one of the first VRML 2.0 artists featured on Silicon Graphics Inc.'s vrml.sig.com. He demonstrated the first cinematic animation using VRML 2.0 at Siggraph96. He createdn the first 3D navigation tutorial for Intervista's WorldView 2.0 browser. Mike Yuen has designed VRML games for many entertainment properties including Spawn, The Fifth Element, Hard Rain, The Titanic and Xena: Warrior Princess. Mr. Yuen has been a speaker and judge on VRML design and was selected by Animation magazine as a CGI Rising Star.
Mary Madaras has nurtured a keen interest in online communites and communications since her undergraduate study at Santa Clara University (BA Communications) and at SFSU's Multimedia Program. Quickly realizing the potential of emerging special interest groups, communications, and learning taking place on the internet at school, she seized the opportunity to work with Fujitsu's WorldsAway technology, the premiere virtual world software & community building program thriving today as Dreamscape. She has also spoken at WEAVE, a group dedicated to bringing forth the creativity and talent in "women entering avatar and virtual environments."
Having worked for Fujitsu for nearly three years, she has seen the WorldsAway Team grow from its early stages in world development, management, and community support into what it is today. This has given her a unique perspective on online community and what makes one tick. Mary combines her background in member support, remote staff leadership, and computers with her interests in website production and online events to help maintain two WorldsAway forum communities currently on the web.
Tony Christopher Is Executive Director of FSBA's WorldsAway Product & Services Group. He is responsible for product management, online service operations, marketing and sales. Mr. Christopher has spent over 15 years in personal computer industry product management, marketing and management roles. At Apple Computer in the early 1980's, he was the original product manager for the AppleLink online service. He was a division marketing manager for Scientific MicroSystems and has consulted on marketing programs for PC industry companies including 3COM, Novell,Aldus and Apple. Mr. Christopher holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Columbia University and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Stanford University.
Janet Richardson LeValley
Dr Janet Richardson LeValley holds a Masters degree in Sociology from University of California and a PhD in East-West Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. She taught Cognitive Development at California State University Hayward before accepting her current position, in 1995, developing avatar community and cultural direction for Fujitsu's Dreamscape, a WorldsAway technology virtual world. Dr LeValley regularly presents research, workshops, educational television segments and community lectures. Her most recent publications are "Constructing and Engaging Virtual Body-Mind in an Interactive Animated Cyberspace Community" (1997, 6th International CyberConf, Conference Proceedings, Oslo, Norway) and "Doing It in Cyberspace: Cultural Sensitivity in Applied Anthropology" (1997, Anthropology of Consciousness Journal, 8:4). Dr LeValley is also on the faculty of Greenwich University (Hilo, Hawaii), an international distance education university, where she is currently developing MA and PhD degree programs in Computer Mediated Consciousness. Her eddresses are: DrJanet@compuserve.com and email@example.com. Her website is located at: http://firstname.lastname@example.org/homepages/drjanet
Scott Moore has been envisioning computer-generated alternate realities since he first read Larry Niven's Dreampark. Currently, he is [Grand Poobah] of Dreamscape, a WorldsAway avatar virtual community which has been open to the public since 1995. He combines his extensive background in historical re-enactment and customer service with a keen interest in cultural evolution to help build and grow a world where communities take root and thrive. Scott holds a BS in Electronic Engineering with a minor in Phliosophy, but still has not decided what he wants to be when he grows up.
Planet 9 Studios
David Colleen is known as the cyber architect who released the first virtual city on the Internet. David is known for his practical, 'real world' approach to 3D content for business and entertainment. His company, Planet 9 Studios, has produced over 100 VRML worlds for companies such as Intel, Toshiba, Microsoft, Fujitsu and others.
Kevin Hartz is the product manager for the Cosmo Player, at Silicon Graphics. Mr. Hartz has a BA & BS from Stanford University and a Masters from University College, Oxford. He first became involved in Virtual Reality while at the Smith Kettlewell Research Laboratories through studies of the ocular-motor system of the brain. Mr. Hartz came to Silicon Graphics by way of Intraware, a start-up in Orinda, Ca.
Jerome McDonough is a doctoral candidate at the School of Information Management & Systems at U.C. Berkeley. His dissertation research focuses on the construction of identity in graphical, computer-mediated communication systems, and draws on both feminist and social constructionist theory to examine the ways in which the designers of CMC technologies are involved in the representations of self created by users of those technologies. Mr. McDonough has also assisted in the development of the Cheshire II information retrieval system under the direction of Prof. Ray Larson (SIMS-UCB), and has served as an advisor to the Library of Congress on the development of an SGML format for USMARC bibliographic data standard. http://lucien.sims.berkeley.edu/jerry.html
Jeffrey Goldsmith <http://www.sirius.com/~wordz> is a journalist, a translator and a fiction writer. He has been a writer on wide variety of interactive projects, from a interactive tour of San Francisco's Chinatown to an animated show for MSN. He has written for various magazines including Details, Wired, Heavy Metal, and also for The Site. He has developed characters for Neuromedia, Visible Interactive, Black Sun, Wild Brain, Gravity, Animatek and others. He is currently finishing a novel.
MIT Media Laboratory
Hannes Vilhjalmsson [http://www.media.mit.edu/~hannes] is a doctorate student in the Media Arts and Sciences program at the MIT Media Laboratory where he is a part of the Gesture and Narrative Language research group [http://gn.www.media.mit.edu/groups/gn]. His focus is on embodiment in virtual spaces, both for humanoid agents and avatars. In particular he is looking at the role of the body in initiating and sustaining a conversation.
Hannes received his MS degree in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT in spring 1997. His thesis, titled "Autonomous Communicative Behaviors in Avatars" [http://avatars.www.media.mit.edu/avatars], stresses the importance of appropriate non-verbal behaviors in face-to-face interaction and explores ways to automatically animate some of these cues in avatars, drawing from existing literature on human behavior. Before coming to MIT, Hannes finished a BS in Computer Science at the University of Iceland and had been working for a few years as a programmer and consultant, specializing in graphical user interfaces and scientific visualization.
Frank Revi has a multidisciplinary background in architecture, theatre, engineering, and design. He holds degrees from MIT in Architecture and Building Technology, has worked for 9 years designing performing arts facilities, and has maintained active interests in photography and computer graphics. This background has led him to the field of information visualization. His current work integrates his design background with the technologies of VRML and java. He co-authored TetraHedonism, an award winning interactive VRML application, and is part of the Biota development team. Frank is an independent consultant, living in San Francisco.
Omar N. Saleh
Omar N. Saleh is co-founder, President and CEO of SRT Enterprises, Inc. a full multi-media development company serving especially the Radio, Television and Satellite Broadcasting industries along with Educational and Religious markets on the Internet. Since its establishment in 1989, SRT Enterprises, Inc. has grown into a thriving leader of interactive technology that has gained an international reputation for services including Web Development and Webcasting as well as Interactive Chat. SRT Enterprises was recently described as "One of the few true Systems Integrators available". This title summarizes the companys driving focus to combine technologies into practical and profitable packages for clients to use. SRT Enterprises virtual university, The Campus, merges the strength of The Palace graphical chat software and streaming audio over the Internet. Complete with live radio stations and online DJs, The Campus is a destination site for devotees of the academic, athletic and social aspects of college life young and old alike.
Andy Best & Merja Puustinen
MEET Factory Oy, Helsinki
Andy Best & Merja Puustinen are an artist couple, working together since 1993. Their background is in contemporary art, making video, installations, photographs, and environmental projects. They were amongst the first in Europe to make art works for the web, and are now devoted to exploring and developing virtual worlds and characters using VRML. Their latest project "Conversations with Angels", conceived while in residency at the Banff Centre for Arts, Canada, explores the possibilities for creating "real" characters and unfolding narratives within the virtual space. Chat to a serial killer, a lesbian princess, and a depressed housewife amongst others!
I have been living in the beautiful Bay Area since 1992, working as a character animator. As the the 6th employee at OnLive! Technologies, I got into creating expressive lip-synching Avatars, trying to provide a wide range of choices within a rather restrictive polygon budget. Before that, I was the lead character animator at a now defunct game company. Currently I'm freelancing.
Before moving to the Bay Area I opened a cooperative art gallery with four other women in Madison, WI. Convinced of the impossibility of making a living as an artist, I was also working on a graduate degree in English Literature. Before that I studied painting at Memphis College of Art, doing figure studies, painting landscapes, or drawing animals at the nearby zoo. I grew up in rural Mississippi; with few amusements, I spent much of my time reading, writing, and sketching. www.ez-surf.net/~stasia
Franz W. Buchenberger
President and CEO, Blaxxun Interactive
Franz W. Buchenberger, together with 7 other persons, founded blaxxun interactive (formerly Black Sun Interactive) in August 1995. Previously, Franz spent more then 10 years in the software industry in various development, marketing, and strategic planning roles. He lived 12 months in the US, when he helped to build the US subsidiary of Softlab, the European market leader for groupware tools. In 1997, he spent 5 months in San Francisco. Franz studied computer science at the Technical University in Munich and holds a degree as Diplom-Informatiker.
Galen R. Brandt
Galen R. Brandt is a writer, speaker, musician and cyberperformer who specializes in virtual reality systems as a new form of healing art. She has performed as a Tiny Dancer in Myron Krueger's VIDEOPLACE installations, a CyberPrincess in the Vivid Group's Mandala environments, and as the Body Electric with the BioMuse and BodySynth biosignal-to-MIDI biocontrollers. She writes extensively for publications ranging from The New Age Journal to Mondo 2000, conducts conference workshops on virtual reality as healing art, and is writing a book about the very real miracles of virtual healing.
Tamiko Thiel utilizes her background in engineering, design and art to explore the sensuality of the machine and technology as a vehicle for human fantasy. She has exhibited her multimedia art works in the US, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Poland, Austria and Finland. She was creative director and producer of the Starbright Foundation's award-winning virtual reality playspace for seriously ill children, Starbright World, working closely with Starbright's chairman Steven Spielberg. She has taught design theory at Carnegie Mellon University and directed the industrial and packaging design of a series of massively parallel supercomputers, the Connection Machines CM-1 and CM-2. She holds a Fine Arts Diploma from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT with studies in human-machine interface and computer graphics at the MIT Media Lab, and a B.S. in General Engineering/Product Design from Stanford University. (For more information, please see http://mission.base.com/tamiko/).
Communication Technology Laboratory, MSU
Dr. Carrie Heeter is founding Director of the Communication Technology Laboratory and Director of Creative Development for Michigan State University's virtual university initiative. She is also Professor of Digital Media Arts and Design. Currently she is living and working in San Francisco, writing a book on "TeleRelating," opening a portal to northern California for Michigan State University, and continuing to work with her lab and Virtual University. Heeter has published articles and spoken at conferences about her VR research on gaming, BattleTech, social presence, and gender differences. She has exhibited numerous original prototype virtual experiences at SIGGRAPH, CyberArts and other galleries. Winner of the 1995 Discover Magazine Software Innovation of the Year award, Heeter is creator of innovative CD-ROMs, VR experiences, and web sites. She is currently conducting research into maintaining and enhancing close personal relationships through technology. (For more information, please see http://commtechlab.msu.edu/).
Anthony M. Lloyd creates and markets products and applications which use the human nervous system as an instrument of virtual communication, control and healing. With over twenty years of international experience in the high-tech field, he is currently Vice President of BioControl Systems, Inc., a Palo Alto-based company that designs, manufactures and markets the BioMuse. The BioMuse is a virtual reality "biocontroller" which processes human bioelectrical signals from muscle contractions, eye movements, heartbeat and brainwaves into realtime electronic and MIDI commands, allowing low-cost, hands-free virtual control of a broad range of devices. Since 1991, Lloyd has used the BioMuse to help rehabilitate severely disabled children and adults, empowering even the traumatically brain-damaged to get in touch with their "body electric" and heal themselves. He holds an engineering degree from IDHE in the UK, and was honored in 1977 by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II as "Young Businessman of the Year."
Sixteen years ago, Tom Riess, then a podiatrist in his early 30's, was stricken with degenerative and crippling Parkinson's Disease. A "garage scientist" with a penchant for invention, he was determined to find new ways to redress his symptoms, especially the akinesia (frozen movement symptomatic of Parkinson's) and dyskinesia (uncontrolled movement caused by chronic use of the Parkinsonian medicine L-Dopa). He discovered that walking across regularly-patterned surfaces like stairs or evenly-spaced floor tiles would trigger a well-known but little-studied phenomenon known as "kinesia paradoxa" (paradoxical movement), allowing him to walk almost normally. After constructing numerous homemade and socially unacceptable "garage" devices, he heard about augmented reality glasses that superimpose a virtual world over your real-world view. He reasoned that using them to generate the virtual equivalent of regular visual cues might help him walk again. His theory proved correct -- wearing the glasses to augment "optical flow" via regular, virtual cues, he can walk again. He has recently founded his own, self-funded company, HMD Therapeutics in San Anselmo, California, to devise and test new, improved versions of augmented eyewear which meet subject requirements of space, portability, social acceptability and hands-free control. He is now testing his glasses on others with Parkinson's disease with very encouraging results.
Richard Wojcik is a Senior Principal Scientist in Boeing's Applied Research and Technology, Shared Services Group. He is currently a parttime member of a team that is exploring the use of new technologies for virtual collocation in the workplace. He administers an ActiveWorlds Universe Server in Boeing intranet and has been the chief caretaker of the Russian World in the ActiveWorlds universe on the internet.
Wojcik joined Boeing in 1987 to work on the development of Natural Language Processing projects, and he still works as the technical lead on the Boeing Simplified English Checker. Prior to that, he had taught linguistics at Columbia University, Barnard College, and Hofstra University.
Steve Silberman is the senior culture writer for Wired News. His articles and essays on the evolving culture of the Net have appeared in many national magazines, and he is a regular guest on CBS's "Up to the Minute." In 1997, he received the Best New Media Reporting Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists' Association. His first book, Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads, co-authored with David Shenk, was published by Doubleday in 1994.
Rebecca L. Eisenberg is perhaps best known for her bi-weekly column in the Sunday Business Section of the San Francisco Examiner, "Net Skink," A licensed attorney who spent two and a half years researching and writing draft decisions for trial and appellate federal judges, Eisenberg now covers the high-tech, business, media and culture beats for numerous publications including Upside, The Red Herring, The Web Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Time/Warner's Netly News, Time Digital, Wired, and (forthcoming) Ms. Magazine. She earned her B.A. in Psychology/Decision Sciences at Stanford University and her J.D. at Harvard Law School, where she published two articles in the Harvard Law Review and a third in the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. Eisenberg now lives on line at http://www.bossanova.com/rebeca
Karen Marcelo is a Senior Software Engineer at Intervista Software Inc. where she develops VRML software tools. Prior to that she has extensive client-server and database programming experience. In her spare time she works on various projects such as Biota.org's Nerve Garden an excercise in creating a digital ecosystem to support digital life, writing the server that enabled the communication between client applets that grew VRML plants from L-systems and tracked the state of the island and various VRML plants being 'grown' live at Siggraph, Tetrahedonism which was an experiment in generative VRML which was a winner in the Science and Engineering categories at the 1996 VRML Excellence Awards. Recently she also developed the user interface and server for the first civilian telerobotic system enabling multi-user, cross-platform, trans-Pacific, remote physical destruction over the web and continues to be involved in projects that push and question technical, political, and cultural boundaries.
James Scranton is a lawyer who specializes in cyberspace issues including intellectual property and transborder commerce. As a New York City litigation attorney, has handled copyright and trademark, securities and anti-trust matters through trial.
Carmen Hermosillo is a cyberspace theorist and analyst. Trained as a Cultural historian, she taught trans-disciplinary humanities at the College level for several years before becoming an industrial web Analyst and content manager. She specializes in studying and Forecasting the effects of information technology on culture and Society. Hermosillo has written and collaborated on papers that have Appeared in journals like wired and Leonardo and has contributed to Other publications about cyberspace such as peter ludlow's "high noon On the electronic frontier" & "how to mutate and take over the World." Hermosillo is also a chamber music pianist and a host of several online discussion conferences.
Charles Cameron is an Oxford educated poet, writer and game designer, and Editor at Large of *The Cursor* magazine for game developers. His own HipBone Games are playable variants on Hermann Hesse's *Glass Bead Game*: the Washington Post described them as "a give-and-take of thinking styles and wit... on line match of ricocheting intellects". Charles is also an Associate of the Center for Millennial Studies, and a student of mythologic -- a style of thinking which is found in dreams, myths and rituals the world over.
The HipBone Games URL: http://home.earthlink.net/~hipbone/
John Wentworth works for CyGaia and the Tandem Futures Lab developing virtual communities and exploring new technologies. John worked for OnLive!, Sun, Sega, Atari, and Sierra developing places, spaces, pages, and games to have fun and make friends in. John was trained as a linguist at the University of California at Santa Cruz and is very fond of Samskrt, singing, and dancing.
Barbara Hayes-Roth is Founder and President of Extempo Systems, Inc. An internationally recognized expert on intelligent agents, Barbara was honored for her invention of Extempo's Imp Character Technology (tm) in the 1997 Discover Awards for Technological Innovation. Barbara and Extempo's Erin the Bartender (tm) character have been featured in recent articles in the trade and popular press, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Computer World, New Media Magazine, and CNN Headline News. As Director of the Adaptive Agents Project and the Virtual Theater Project at Stanford University, Barbara has published over 100 articles and given many invited lectures in the U.S. and abroad. Meet Erin the Bartender and other Extempo characters at www.extempo.com.
Author, teacher, and visual designer, Lisa Lopuck is a well-known expert on user interface design - frequently speaking at Web conferences and teaching interactive media seminars at universities. Prior to the formation of Electravision, her clients have included such companies as the original Apple Multimedia Lab, the Voyager Co., film producer George Lucas, Kidsoft, Kaleida, United Nations, PowerTV, Sony, Microsoft, vivid studios, and Clement Mok designs. Always with an eye toward the future of new media, she has designed interfaces for interactive television systems, and created some of the first online entertainment sites-from KidSoft's early AOL site to the Suspect online murder mystery series and Kid's Web Camp, a monthly Web-based event for kids.
Her first book, Designing Multimedia, has been translated into multiple languages and is used around the world wherever new media is studied. Her second book, Kid's Web Kit, is a CD-ROM software and book set that steps kids through a fun, animated process of creating their own Web site. Her most recent book, Adobe Net Seminars: Web Page Design, published by Adobe Press, is co-authored with business partner Sheryl Hampton. In addition to writing, speaking, and serving as Creative Director of Electravision, Lisa has taught interactive design at Stanford, UCLA, University of Hawaii, and San Francisco State University. Lisa holds a B.A. in Communication Design from UCLA.
Amy Jo Kim is a leading expert in the field of online community design. She is the founder and Creative Director of NAIMA, a 21st century design studio that has designed online environments for a wide range of clients. Dr. Kim is the author of Secrets of Successful Web Communities, to be published in 1998 by Peachpit Press. She teaches online community design at Stanford University.
STATEMENT: I will talk about the importance of social rituals in the various stages of community development.
Randy has been building virtual communities for over 20 years, including multiplayer games, chat systems, and bulletin boards. Randy contributed substantially to the architecture, design, operations, and development of Lucasfilm's Habitat, Q-Link's Club Caribe, AMiX: The American Information Exchange, and Fujitsu WorldsAway. He has written extensively on the subject of avatar worlds for over a decade. In 1995 he co-founded Electric Communities (www.communities.com), where he is the Chief Worlds Architect where he has been shepherding the development of the EC platform for the secure, distributed objects required to make virtual communities (graphical and otherwise) ubiquitous.
For 3 years, until the age of 15, I ran a bulletin board system that was connected to 3 networks including Fido and a few smaller others. Because of the experience that I gained from administrating this system, I eventually found myself employed at OnLive! Technologies. Nearly 2 years with this firm, I had the opportunity and the honor to work with some of the greatest minds in the industry all toward the same goal - Three Dimensional Communities on the Internet. After company cut backs, I left the company only to start one of my own. "AuroraTec" is a small non-profit corporation based in Los Gatos, California. As the president of this organization, it was my goal to find a place minors in a technical field: teaching, repairing, and networking PCs. Prior to my present position at Tandem Computers, I was employed by the Campbell Union High School District as their Network Manager and Systems Administrator. I am currently a full time student at Leigh High School and heading up a new and very influential club - The System Administration Committee. In the nearly 3 years that this commission has been in place, we have brought in more networked systems than any of the other schools in the district combined. Our success rate is so staggering that 3 of the other 4 sites are currently prospecting to setup a SAC at their site as well. I am currently looking at going to college down east, but where exactly has yet to be decided.
With over 15 years experience in the multimedia industry, Garry is responsible for worldwide operations of OZ Interactive. Prior to joining OZ, he founded digital publishing companies in the United States and Europe including Fathom Pictures, Inc. and Philips Interactive Media Europe on behalf of Philips N. V. Garry is a frequent conference and keynote speaker on entertainment, technology and the future. He is the annual host of MILIAs New Talent Pavilion and has recently spoken at The American Film Institute, Digital Hollywood, The World Affairs Council, ETRE, CES, MipComm, IICS, The Advanced Center for Computer Studies, The Writer's Guild, The Screen Actors Guild, USC, Harvard Business School and others.
Garry began his career at Walt Disney Imagineering and has held faculty positions at INCAE, an international campus of The Harvard Business School, The University of Washington Graduate School of Public Policy and the University of Southern California. He has a Ph.D. from USC and in 1995 was selected by Multimedia Producer Magazine as one of the worlds top 100 producers.
Celia Pearce is a 14-year veteran of interactive design, a creative director and writer, whose pioneering contributions to interactive entertainment include Creative Director of the award-winning Virtual Reality theme park attraction Virtual Adventures, the first story-based VR ride (for Iwerks Entertainment and Evans & Sutherland), Creative Director of the Electronic Café VRML Barnraising event coordinated by the Los Angeles VRML Users Group, and bliss.com, the first VRML character to stream live using a real-time motion capture performer at SIGGRAPH 1997. Ms. Pearce teaches at San Francisco State Universitys Multimedia Studies Program, among other scholls. She is an international speaker and writer and her recently completedcutting edge low tech project, The Interactive Book: A Guide to the Interactive Revolution, featuring a foreword by VRML co-creator Mark Pesce (Macmillan Technical Press, an imprint of Macmillan Computer Publishing) is currently available online, at your local bookstore and the Avatars 97 Bookstore.
Tony Parisi, President & CEO of Intervista Software, Inc. Mr. Parisi is the co-author of the original VRML standard and is recognized as a leader in the VRML development community. His vision has been a driving force behind the evolution of a 3D ubiquitous web. Mr. Parisi was the key developer on WorldView 1.0, the Internet community's first VRML browser, and WorldView 2.0, the second version of the browser which has received industry acclaim. In addition to his executive duties at Intervista Software, Mr. Parisi is currently spearheading the development of a VRML application publishing tool complying with the VRML 2.0 standard. Mr. Parisi sits on the Board of Directors for the VRML Consortium and also serves as the Consortium's Vice President.
Mark was most recently webmaster and online missionary for the Interactive Media Festival, as well as director of the Festival's VRML Arc Gallery. Through extensive graphics, programming, and writing experience Mark has established an international reputation in graphics and internet design. In 1994, he helped to set up the WeLL's website. Prior to this, he was a Photoshop artist and instructor, freelance illustrator and writer, painting instructor and magazine designer. Mark's fine arts background includes six solo painting exhibitions as well as three mixed-media exhibitions. A prolific writer, Mark holds a Bachelors degree in Math, Philosophy and Literature from St. John's college in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also studied painting and photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, biology with Harvard University, philosophy at the University of Colorado, and drawing and painting at Bemis Art School in Colorado Springs.
Nathan Wagoner was trained in fine arts, and spent 15 years working as a full time artist before becoming part of the online industry in 1992. He has been giving presentations on WorldWideWeb Marketing and design for the Web World Conferences (DCI) for 2 years, both as part of a team with Marketing Masters and individually. DuckSoup Information Services was formed with two other skilled, experienced designers in 1995 as a web design firm, but has changed orientation to concentrate on designing, building and understanding virtual worlds and how people use them.
Jim Bumgardner, chief technology officer for The Palace, Inc., is the creator of the Palace. Jim designed the Palace architecture in 1994, wrote the code for the client and server and designed the original Palace site.
Prior to the Palace, Jim worked at Time Warner Interactive where he helped create multimedia CD-ROMs, including "How Computers Work" and "Seven Days in August", among others. He produced "Visions of Mars" a CD-ROM time capsule which will be sent to the planet Mars on a spacecraft. Jim also does computer music, and is an accomplished pianist and composer. Visit Jim's Website at http://www.thepalace.com/jbum/.
Reid is the co-founder and vice-president of product development at relationships.com, a start-up social networking company that builds on-line communities to support off-line lives. Founded on August 1st, relationships.com is building its first product offerings for early 1998.
Previously, Reid was the director of product management for WorldsAway. His work there focused on the landscape of social spaces, establishing real identities in virtual space, and building virtual worlds for real world purposes. He has worked for Apple Computer as a lead human interface designer for eWorld. His work there focused on making complex on-line environments easy to use and integrating international linguistic and cultural issues into consumer on-line systems.
Reid has also appeared on Firing Line (the William F. Buckley show) to debate the regulation of the internet. He has also been occasionally interviewed on the cultural impact of virtual communities. Reid has a bachelor's degrees from Stanford University (Cognitive Science) and a master's degree from Oxford University (Philosophy). Reid has published an article on the future of Artificial Intelligence.
As a writer, producer, director, and performer, with an extensive professional background in theater, circus, opera, comedy, and puppetry; Petrakis' work focuses on the presentation of new and collaborative ideas as forms of entertainment. For fun, he co-produces ANON SALON, a monthly South of Market pARTy, as well as the occasional COBRA LOUNGE, an eclectic electronic vaudeville, hosted by his onstage and on-line alter- ego, Spoonman. In the so-called real world, he has served as a creative consultant to a wide range of technology companies such as Apple Computer, Broderbund Software, Kaleida Labs, and Living Books, Ameritech, Cunningham Communications, and PowerTV as well as to advertising agencies such as Jamison, Cawdrey, Benjamin and J. Walter Thompson. He is recently served as senior producer and Palace Creative Director for Electric Minds (www.minds.com), a new experiment in community raising.
As Director of Conferencing, Gail Ann Williams serves as the "Online Innkeeper" for The WeLL. Since 1991, she has supported community-building efforts, resolved disputes and trained over 100 conference hosts.
Prior to joining The WeLL, Gail worked in arts and community organizations. As a founding member of the award-winning satire group, "Ladies Against Women," she learned of "flames" as "heckling" or "bad reviews." She values online interactions for their ability to (sometimes) instill empathy.
Mitrais an independent consultant, he is one of the editors of the Living Worlds proposed standard. He was a co-author of VRML2.0 and Chief Network Technology Offiver at ParaGraph International (now part of SGI) and Worlds Inc, where he designed the networking technology behind People World, Worlds Chat, SGI's Living Worlds implementation, and other yet-to-be-seen worlds. Find Mitra's complete resume at http://earth.path.net/mitra/. Reach Mitra at: email@example.com.
Peter H. Rosen is a multimedia artist, interactive event producer and concerned citizen. He founded Visionary Artists' Resources Including Other Unique Services (V.A.R.I.O.U.S.), in 1980 to build a high-touch, high tech artists' resource center for providing alternative income streams for artists, and for exploring the use of art and technology for educational entertainment, healing and global community empowerment. He directed a 1983 prototype including the worlds first video disk recorder programmed as an Image Storage and Retrieval System for contemporary art. His careers include radio program host, broadcast television cameraman for the ABC Television Network, recording engineer, photographer, music teacher, electronics technician and computer graphic artist. As a coordinator at the California Museum of Science and Industry's Creative Computer exhibit, he taught computer graphics to artists, school groups and visitors. In 1989, Mr. Rosen initiated the Arts for Social Change awards [http://creativity.net/afsc96.html] to recognize artists using technology for a better world. He was invited to the WIFI Interactive Information Center in Graz, Austria [http://creativity.net/austria.html] to address an audience of government leaders, students and corporate executives to expose them to opportunities unfolding in Cybersapce. He tought a Digital Storytelling workshop in Austria's Hartberg Castle [http://www.iic.wifi.at/Hartberg/mstoryte.htm], giving government, corporate and community leaders a hands-on experience of the latest multimedia tools. Currently, Peter is producing "KidCast For Peace; Solutions For A Better World;" an Internet multicast, and continues to develope Creativity Cafe (R); a physical and cyber space educational entertainment venue, and community communication/resource center where the creative tools of today can support the storytellers and leaders of tomorrow.
Steve DiPaola Darwin Digital / Saatchi & Saatchi Steve DiPaola heads the San Francisco office of Darwin Digital as Creative Director. Backed by the advertising giant Saatchi and Saatchi, Darwin Digital (in NYC and S.F.) is a new start-up mandated to explore state of the art new media and interactive projects.
Before Darwin, Steve DiPaola was the Director of Design at OnLive! Technologies , a leading company in Internet-based 3D virtual communities. At OnLive, Steve DiPaola led a team of artists, architects, UI designers and musicians in designing and developing 3D avatars and virtual spaces. OnLives Internet-based virtual world software and communities allow groups of people to socialize with each other by navigating through 3d spaces, meeting others and talking with their own voices through emotive, lip-syncing 3d head avatars. Currently there are over 30,000 worldwide users on several sites including sites for ABC Sports and MTV Tikkiland.
For several years he was a member of the Advanced Technology Group at the electronic entertainment company, Electronic Arts, where he managed a group creating next generation 3D titles. From 1984 to 1992 he was a senior member of the computer animation research group at the New York Institute of Technology where he specialized in 3D-character animation R&D and produced animation for film, TV and his fine art work. He later gained a specific expertise in 3D facial animation development His current email is firstname.lastname@example.org and his historical portfolio can be viewed at http://www.crl.com/~woods.
Bernie Roehl is a software developer based at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He is probably best known in VR circles for REND386 and AVRIL, free VR software packages that are still in widespread use by hobbyists. REND386 won the 1995 Meckler award for outstanding software achievement.
Bernie is also the author of two books on VR, Virtual Reality Creations and Playing God: Creating Virtual Worlds, and he recently co-authored Que's Special Edition: Using VRML. He has also contributed chapters on VRML to half a dozen other books.
He is currently writing for VR News, CyberEdge Journal and WebSMITH and has previously written for VR World and VR Special Report. He has also contributed articles to Real Time Graphics and Iris Universe magazine.
In addition to his writing, Bernie is an active participant in numerous online discussions of VR and VRML. He currently chairs the Virtual Humans Architecture Group.
Bernie also designed the curriculum for one of the first community college programmes in VR, for New Brunswick Community College. He is also a popular speaker on VR and VRML at various conferences throughout the year.
Rusel DeMaria has been playing electronic games for nearly 30 years. For many, that would be an admission of guilt, but Mr. DeMaria sees it as a badge of honor. After editing several gaming magazines, and writing more than 50 game strategy guides, most of his time now is spent designing original games and game doctoring - consulting with other companies to make their games more fun. Currently, Mr. DeMaria is the Creative Director of M3 e.Guide Publishing, which creates cool electronic strategy guides. He is also Computer Gaming World's Online Editor-at-Large for CGW's e-zine. He works with the Contact Consortium as a director in the gaming area.
Fabrice Florin is President and Executive Producer of Zenda Studio, a provider of multiplayer games and virtual worlds that bring people together, both online and offline. Since forming Zenda in 1994, Fabrice has led the development of multi-user interfaces and online environments for market leaders such as Compaq, Disney, Electronic Arts, Philips and Sony. Zenda is also well known for creating a new genre of multiplayer entertainment: our award-winning CD-ROM games, Wacky Jacks and Travelrama, are fun, easy to use and played by over half a million users around the world.
Fabrice was Executive Producer and Senior Designer at Apple Computer from 1985 to 1994. As head of Apple's Discovery Studio, Fabrice designed widely acclaimed user interfaces for interactive TV (EZTV, Technopolis). As founding member of Apple's Multimedia Lab, he developed some of the very first educational CD-ROM products (Life Story, Visual Almanac). Prior to joining Apple, Fabrice was President of Videowest Productions, an independent producer of TV programming for young adults, from 1978 to 1984. As Executive Producer, he oversaw the production and distribution of award-winning magazine-style TV series for broadcast and cable - including ABC, BBC, MTV, USA, Showtime and PBS.
C. Scott Young, the VRML Knight in shining polygons, I am Scheherazade's brother, the ancient mariner. As this traveller, the mariner, they have made me as a vessel for a thousand fragments of whispering light. Like my sister, I tell of this rhyme so that my life will be renewed with time. I am the Ancient Mariner 2.0
Ioannis Paniaras has been focusing in virtual identities studies for the last three years while being a researcher and a graduate student at the Media Lab UIAH in Helsinki, Finland. Ioannis started his education in fashion design and marketing in Florence, Italy. He is the recipient of numerous educational grants from national and private organizations in Europe. During the last six years he has been taking part in study programs in Florence, Stockholm, Paris, New York, and Helsinki.
In Finland Ioannis completed his studies in the subject of virtual identities in computer mediated communication at the University of Art & Design. He is currently focusing in avatar design development and he is interested in the social and cultural aspects of virtual communities. He is also studying the means fashion trends are being created and the role of virtual communities in the formation of design trends.
During this year he has been presenting on the subject of avatars and virtual identities at some of the world's largest companies such as the Nokia Research Group, Philips Research, and Intel.
He is currently involved with Cosmo Software, a Silicon Graphics company, and he is a research member of the Future Media Home Group at the Media Lab UIAH. He can be reached at email@example.com. More information about him about him can be found at http://www.uiah.fi/~paniaras/
Wendy Sue Noah has played an active role in building online community over the past few years. As an early employee of Match.Com (http://www.match.com), the premiere matchmaking service with over 300,000 subscribers, Wendy Sue organized and hosted national member events off-line as well as in virtual space. She is now working with Fujitsu's WorldsAway (http://www.worldsaway.com) and assisting them with their internet launch. She has been honored with the inworld title of Event Center Manager, in which she will be organizing virtual events with compelling content and entertainment value for WorldsAway residents. Wendy Sue is also the chairperson of a Contact Consortium sig, WEAVE (http://www.ccon.org/weave), Women Entering Avatar Virtual Environments.
Co-founder of Archetype Interactive. Mike Sellers led the creative team which designed and implemented Meridian 59. He previously worked as a programmer and user interface design specialist, and holds a degree in Cognitive Science. He has written and spoken at industry events, including Avatars and the Computer Game Developer's Conference, about the challenges and opportunities of creating massively multiplayer online worlds.
Charles Ostman, Founder, Developer Berkeley Designs
Berkeley Designs is a company which specializes in computer generated visualization of objects, quasi-organic component entities, events that occur in synthetic environments, and development of specialized software tools and techniques that relate to both technical and asthetic content expression. Particular emphasis is placed upon the investigation into the discovery of asthetic content derived from synthetic environments which utilize various dynamic rules to describe forms, structures, and surfaces as they would occur in "alternative" forms of nature.
Also, over the past two years, the author has been involved with recent developments in nanotechnology, including the creation of models of virtual nano-environments, molecular assembly com- ponents and component systems, self replicating and self modify- ing molecular "machines", quasi-viral components and pseudo- organelles, and other related areas of nanotecnology.
Editor in Chief Johnny Wilson combines his talents as a professor, critic, philosopher and writer to create his divine role, which he describes as, "More than simply a manager." Johnny is credited for setting the tone of Computer Gaming World, in everything from journalistic philosophy to methodology to vision, developing a coherent strategy for the way the magazine operates now and how it will evolve toward the future.
"I believe computer gaming is not only entertainment, but it is an art form and an instrument of socialization," explains Johnny. "Thats why weve always taken games a little more seriously than most magazines, and occasionally are even accused of meddling into controversial issues. Readers always get a little extra out of CGW."
Johnny brought a wealth of knowledge and experience when he joined CGW in 1986, including several years reviewing computer games. Stints as a software reviewer with two National Space Society publications, Space World and Ad Astra magazine contributed to his receiving the Software Publishers Association award for Best Software Reviewer in 1991 the first and only game reviewer to receive this honor. His impressive list of credentials also includes authoring four books, in addition to being named Whos Who in the West in 1995.
Johnny credits his earlier pastoral experience, a result of his Ph.D. in Old Testament Studies, with leaning how to listen. "Lots of journalism is finding out what you need to know and the best way to do that is to listen," notes Johnny. "And as I learn more and more about the software industry, the personalities who drive it, and what it can and seemingly cannot do, my vision of what Computer Gaming World could be keeps expanding."
Creative Director, Toonsmiths
Larry Kay is Creative Director for Toonsmiths, which specializes in creating animated comedy entertainment and family edutainment for the Internet and multimedia. His writing and game design credits include Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds (Humongous Entertainment), Muppet Treasure Island (Activision), 9 (Tribeca/GT Interactive), and his original cyberpunk comedy 3D action game, Surf and Destroy (Toonsmiths/MediaX/Grolier Interactive). Larry consults on Internet and multimedia projects for select clients, including: Brøderbund, Disney, Silicon Graphics, and Vortex Media Arts. Prior to Larry's digital media epiphany, he was a TV/film writer, producer, and executive producer with credits ranging from TV cartoons for MGM/UAs Pink Panther series to PBS documentaries and educational films for the New York City Board of Education.
See our special page for Toonsmiths.
Timothy Childs is a community builder and Virtual Reality professional who began researching Virtual Reality in 1989. In 1991 Childs was recruited by Ono-Sendai, an early virtual reality company. While at Ono-Sendai, Childs co-founded VeRGe. In 1993, Childs signed on at Colossal Pictures as technical producer of the Time Warner/SGI Orlando I-TV project. Childs relocated to Seattle in 1994 to join virtual reality start-up, Virtual I/O. He left in February of this year to return to the San Francisco Bay Area to co-found Curve, Inc., a 3D-online content company. Childs has currently been consulting with leading virtual reality software company, Superscape.
His interests include most dangerous sports which have a high degree of vertical displacement.
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