San Francisco
Oct 26 and 27, 1996

Primer for E2A Avatar Discussions
By Moses Mah, Velocity, Maclen Marvit, Worlds
With additions from other contributors
Copyright attributions fall to authors

Moses writes..

Let's work with the following definitions and philosophical agreements...


1. An avatar is the embodification or representation of a user's awareness and identity within a multi-user computing environment, with the minimal properties of subordination, telepresence, identity and social facilitation;
2. An agent is an autonomous software entity that carries out some set of operations on behalf of a user, and in so doing, employs some knowledge of the user's goals or desires, with the minimal properties of autonomous interoperability, intelligence and authority;
3. A bot is then the combination of the functionality of an autonomous agent, with the audiovisual representation of an avatar.
Added by Bruce Damer
4. A biot is another type of autonomous software entity which emulates understood biological forms, seeks fitness to a niche, reproduces through some means and may or may not serve user's interests in its quest for survival.

Human Rights

Also, let us all agree that we aim to preserve human rights within virtual societies, and we aim to help humanity "leak through" the avatar interface as much as possible.

Back to Technical Issues

Now, at this point, I think we should re-focus on key technical issues. As we work out the technical issues, the philosophical groundwork we are building will begin to guide us. I think. I hope.

So I'd like to raise the META-ISSUE of what those *key technical issues* are, that you and I should focus on at this point. After we discuss these issues a bit further, I thought some of us could do a review/recap with a proposal for a way to agree (much like the way I did it with the avatar size/scaling issue a while back, or even the avatar definitions issue). And then the resolved proposal, sans violent disagreement, goes into the Universal Avatars proposal.

Is that okay with you people, or should we do it another way? I am more than happy to listen to input about how to facilitate this group.

Here is my take on issues that are still open and need to be finalized...

  1. avatar greetings issues
  2. authentication/identity issues (including gender)
  3. transitive behaviors (yes, this is a biggie)
  4. avatar rights issues
  5. maps, zones and world behavior preferences?
  6. photo-textured avatars and Magic Images issue

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