A v a t a r s 9 8
We Welcome You
Inside Cyberspace and Everywhere

Avatars98 will be the first major international conference held inside cyberspace.

In this groundbreaking event, graphical avatar virtual worlds will host thousands of people in a cyberconference complete with exhibits, speakers, educational and entertainment experiments, art shows and avatar awards, and a debut of new technologies never seen before on the net. At the same time, there will be dozens of physical locations around the planet where people will gather and jack in to this new reality. It all happens on and around November 21st, 1998 (depending on your timezone).

Be a part of cyberspace history, sign up to attend or be a part of the crew in Avatars98! Want to know more?

Scroll down (or click) to check out the
Guide to the Av98 Website, or see
What an Avatar is, and
What we mean by inside cyberspace, or get
Digi's Welcome, where DigiGardener (a cyber sort of Johnny Appleseed) describes past Avatars conferences and why this is cyberhistory in the making.
Explore the rest of the site with the buttons at the bottom of the screen, and use each index that comes up on the left.

Guide to the Av98 Website
This website is ground zero for:
1) your source of information on Av98 events and participants;
2) your guide to virtual worlds and how to attend the conference and explore worlds;
3) our place for coordinating registration and setup for all exhibitors, speakers, avvy awards entrants, and volunteers. And on the day(s) of the conference, come here for
4) your complete program guide:

You can get into Avatars98 a lot of ways.
• First, sign up for our Newsfeed mailing list to stay informed.
• Next, support your local CyberCommunity: Av98 is the year's only fundraiser for the nonprofit community organization, the Contact Consortium (that's us :), so we hope you will consider being a sponsor.
• Then, join in: if you are a dedicated pioneer of the cyber-frontiers, you should become a member of our crew and build your own exhibit, jack in your webcam, host a discussion or event, enter the avvys or out-of-this-world art show.
• Finally, attend! Whole new worlds await inside!

What is an avatar? and
What do we mean by Inside Cyberspace?
When you surf the web, send email, or type to someone in a chat room, you are simply operating a set of interfaces. Now, what if you could move past screens, buttons and links and enter somewhere that is more like a place, where you could meet other people and cruise together through fantastic virtual landscapes? Well, that place exists. Now. Not in gloves and helmets, the gear of "virtual reality." It exists in home computers streaming over 28K modems. It's a place called "virtual worlds." You enter these worlds and their communities dressed in a digital body called an avatar.

For the past two years, the Contact Consortium has celebrated avatars by holding old-fashioned, face-to-face conferences in San Francisco (see Earth to Avatars 96 and Avatars 97). This year we are doing it differently. Join us November 21. Take part in history. Take part in online spaces and physical places all over the Earth. That's Avatars98. Together let us make Cyberspace a place!

Digi's Welcome
Conference Chair, Bruce Damer,
known in avatar as DigiGardener.

We would like to invite you to come with us on a wondrous journey, a journey to a place we call a greater Cyberspace. This is the Cyberspace of our dreams, a Cyberspace that takes its inspiration from the Matrix in William Gibson's Neuromancer and from the Metaverse in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. This is a Cyberspace of inhabited virtual worlds, worlds which will take you way beyond the web. This is not just an interface, it is a real place!

In 1996 we celebrated the birth of a new medium with the first conference on inhabited virtual worlds, Earth to Avatars. Last year we met again in San Francisco for Avatars 97. This year we are ready to go the next big step and hold our third annual gathering inside Cyberspace. Why are we doing this? Well, holding Avatars 98 in-world means that you and thousands of others like you can be a part of it. We will also test drive the medium and measure its readiness for a truly global happening in human contact. You can also catch the buzz of face-to-face contact as there will be dozens of physical spots planetwide where people will be gathering to jack in to the event.

Join the Contact Consortium, its members and supporters, and make history on and around November 21st for Avatars98, Inside Cyberspace and Everywhere! Get on the Newsfeed, and then sign up today to attend, offer your support, and become a member of our crew to build a world, host an event in your town, create an exhibit, or contribute your art or avatar to the avvy awards. Then go off and get some practice by getting a world, and start to explore a greater Cyberspace.

Last and foremost, we would like to thank all of our hosts, contributors and sponsors.

See you in-world on November 21st!

-- Bruce Damer, a.k.a. DigiGardener, the "Digital Gardener", sowing the seeds for a greater Cyberspace, and author of the book Avatars!

© Copyright Contact Consortium 1998, all rights reserved.
Contact our webster with comments on these pages.
Pages produced by DigitalSpace Corporation and Consortium Volunteers.
The background graphics are an Av98 Webcrew modification of Pieter van der Meulen's panorama for Vevo World, a project in Active Worlds produced by Phillips Multimedia Center in Palo Alto, California.