To Guide
Avatars99 Colonizing Cyberspace

About Avatars99

Scene from last years conference Avatars98 Inside Cyberspace

For the past four years, the Contact Consortium has been gathering together the global community of pioneers who are colonizing Cyberspace. What to we mean by colonizing Cyberspace? Well, in the beginning of the net there was the word, with email, usenet, MUDs and other ingredients of an all-textual online experience. Next came the document, with the Web and its many offshoots. And now finally we are moving toward putting the space in Cyberspace with the rise of graphical virtual worlds inhabited by people interacting in real-time using digital personae known as "avatars", your visible alter ego in cyberspace.

Avatars from various virtual world universes online since 1995

Why do communities of avatar-inhabiting people believe so strongly in their virtual worlds? Well, they are a new medium for human contact unlike any other in our history. A virtual world is a space you design, a story you live in, and a personal community you create. It is a place that exists nowhere but everywhere with properties and geography emerging from the limits of human imagination. Attend Avatars99 and experience this for yourself. On one day only, Saturday December 4, 1999 you will be able to tour a whole galaxy of worlds used for learning, collaborative work, artistic expression, interpersonal discovery, scientific inquiry, creative commerce, and just good fun.

Overhead view of a neighborhood (Sherwood forest towne) in the colonized Cyberspace of AlphaWorld, click here to see the Philips dynamic map of this huge cybercity

Avatars99 Colonizing Cyberspace, like last year's groundbreaking event, Avatars98 Inside Cyberspace, will take place partly inside virtual worlds and at in-person event locations all around the planet. There will be a Big Board of live speakers, tours of worlds in the Pioneers Telepark, the Out of This World Art Show, exhibits in the Cybertradeshow, a whole wall of webcams from locations planetwide, the ever popular Avvy Awards, and a one time only event, the rolling of the giant Millen-O-dometer.

At Avatars99 you will experience the people, places, stories and communities emerging in the first true Cyberspaces on the cusp of the millennium. Join our team and be part of this exciting event.

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

Welcome from your Conference Chair

Digi's Welcome
Conference Chair, Bruce Damer,
known in-world as DigiGardener.shown here helping with the wiring of the Northern California DigiGarden in preparation for Avatars99.

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. In '97 we met again in San Francisco for Avatars 97. In 1998 we took the bold step of moving the conference online and inside Cyberspace which reached a whole new audience at Avatars98. Join the Contact Consortium, its members and supporters, and make history again on December 4th for Avatars99 Colonizing Cyberspace!

Have Avatar Will Travel!

About Digi

I have been working for five years as a community organizer, idea synthesist, researcher, futurist and documenter of the rise of a "true cyberspace", that is, the emergence of inhabited real-time spaces in the net, not just the multimedia and document metaphor of the web. My keenest interest is on that of emergence of the social/cultural and biological kind within these worlds. I co-founded the Contact Consortium and its special interest group to serve as a catalyst for the community and technology that would build virtual world Cyberspace in the early 21st Century. My bio for your interest is at: and please take a look my writings and book on avatars.

Contact Consortium Logo
A Contact Consortiium Event
DigitalSpace Corporation, Producer

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