San Francisco
Oct 26 and 27, 1996

Detailed Conference Program Book
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Program-at-a-Glance Sessions
Speakers, Bios, Volunteers
E2A Volunteer Team
Conference Sponsors
Welcome Message Saturday Grid and Sunday Grid

Late Additions to the Program!

Program-at-a-Glance Sessions

Track Sessions Special Programs Avatar Standards
Opening and Keynote
What to do with a World?
VRML 2.0 Workshop
Designing Interfaces
Virtual Worlds as Theater

The Galactic Edge
Digital Communities
Worlds in Our Future
Virtual Worlds in Marketing
The Great Debate
Closing Keynote, E2A 1997

Art of Electronic Community
Cyberspace Rants
  • Living Worlds
  • Avatar Constitution

    Virtual Worlds for Learning
  • TheU virtual university
  • 3d learning environments
  • VRML for classes/labs
    Worlds for Gaming/Roleplay
    Kids in Digital Space
  • Bridging Physical/Virtual
  • Bot BOF
  • Saturday
    Avatar Standards Track I
  • The Philosophical Dimension
  • The Human Dimension
  • Additional Views

    Avatar Standards Track II
  • The Technological Dimension Avatar BOF

  • Track Sessions at E2A

    Opening and Keynote Addresses
    Introduced by Bruce Damer, Contact Consortium
    9:00am to 9:50am, Metropolitan III

    We promise you surprises from these two great keynote speakers (even we don't know what they are going to say!). But we are sure that their words will inspire us all to build virtual worlds into the greatest medium ever devised for human contact, expression and collaboration. Mark and Tony are two of the key creators of VRML, the standard framework for the new Cyberspace. They will give us a crystal ball of what life will be like in digital space.

    What in the World do you do with a World?
    Applications of Virtual Environments
    Dave Marvit, Industry Pioneer
    10:00am to 11:30am, Franciscan I/II

    What in the world can you do with a world? This stellar panel is going to give us all a pretty good idea. Maceln Marvit of Worlds Incorporated, will give us his vision of how the virtual worlds medium can be used in education, to better the future of our kids. Randy Farmer of Electric Communities will give us a broad perspective, from his early experience with Habitat to powerful new environments for emergent community. Mark Pesce will show us all how the virtual is the best medium for planetary management and can and should be instrumental in the survival of us and our world. Brett Leonard will delve into how the virtual worlds medium can break the old paradigms of broadcast entertainment and reinvent how we all experience media.

    Steve DiPaola will give an overview and demonstration of Utopia and the other OnLive 3D virtual communities. Onlive's approach is based on emulating natural social paradigms such as face to face verbal communication by using an integrated design approach. This integrated approach combines customizable 3D head avatars that emote and lip sync in real-time to the users voice and actions with distance attenuated sound, an immersive first person user interface, and architectural space design. These techniques are combined with the goal of providing a simple, natural and socially familiar virtual community experience.

    The talk will address the recent evolution of these worlds as a new type of social organism, pointing out the differences and similarities to traditional concepts of community. The talk will also cover current OnLive design approaches for promoting community life and will evaluate the effectiveness of these approaches with feedback from the actual communities. Future social tools and mechanisms currently being developed by OnLive will also be discussed.

    VRML 2.0 Workshop
    Hosted by Construct Internet Design
    12:15am to 2:15am, Franciscan I/II

    This in-depth VRML 2.0 Workshop will review the building of an advanced VRML 2.0 world in all its intricate details. Hear about the leading bleeding edge of VRML 2.0 from some of the world's greatest designers and architects.
    1. Introduction to the Construct method - Mark Meadows
    2. Building VRML Environments - Michael Gough or Mark Lawton
    3. Avatars - Mark Meadows
    4. Technial Issues - John Shiple
    5. Questions & Answers

    Designing Interfaces for Virtual Worlds
    Hosted by Nathan Wagoner, Ducksoup Information Design
    2:30pm to 3:45pm, Franciscan I/II

    This session will address how the aesthetics of a virtual worlds - the architecture, the way images and the interface itself affect the way a virtual space is used. Why are some spaces better for chatting or collaboration than others? Is there necessarily a correlation between the aesthetics of real space and that of virtual space? What are the kinds of activities people are engaging in as avatars, and what kinds space designs suit those activities best?

    This session will address issues of Avatar interfaces: articulation, facial expresssion, and other means by which we will express our selves in digital personae.

    Andrea Gallagher will discuss Stephensonian Interfaces The Interface Elements of Realistic Virtual Worlds.
    There are strong reasons to use worlds that remind people of reality, especially when building spaces to real-world tasks. Creating that sense of reality on a normal desktop computer involves a myriad of interface elements, from how you move your camera to how the world is laid out. This talk reviews the critical elements in creating a compelling Stephensonian space, how those elements interact, and how they can be used in various applications. I will also describe some of the unsolved interface problems that we face now and will face with the arrival of various new technologies.

    Virtual Worlds as Theater
    Hosted by Mark Petrakis, Electric Minds
    4:00pm to 5:30pm, Franciscan I/II

    All things in the world have two forms, the visible object and a spirit counterpart. In virtual worlds, the avatar is the visible object. The spirit counterpart is you, the animator of that form. Gesture, appearance, sound, words, and energy; these are some of the variables that we use to capture attention, and foster identification. The theatrical medium has historically allowed us the opportunity to compose with these variables for the purpose of better articulating the relationship, the interaction of these visible forms. In this panel, we will explore various lessons of the theater that can help us to create richer and more playful virtual worlds.

    In addition, John Sanborn will speak about Translation and Languages How the audience already speaks several languages (movies, comics, ads) which can be translated and used to create interactive conent. He will show an interactive sitcom called Blue Funk, and show how interactive comedy can be done without those messy spills.

    Ioannis Paniaras and costuming in cyber communities
    Ioannis Paniaras will present design issues for costumes in a historical setting, and behavior and style in cyber communities. He will talk about costumes for avatars , software as fashion and the emergence of the virtual courts of the future in a the context of virtual worlds as theater.

    The Galactic Edge
    A special program of Biota.org
    Hosted by Bruce Damer, Biota.org

    9:00am to 10:00am, Franciscan I/II

    Are we alone in the virtual universe? More and more we will be encountering bots, agents, digital biota and synthetic sentients. Will these creatures of digital space be our companions, our assistants or become a form of synthetic life with a mind of its own. Will the 21st Century see a whole generation of Cybergenetics hackers making weirder forms of digital insectoids or virtual kudzu to overrun our homeworlds? What will evolve, get up, and walk out of the net into all of our futures? What are we starting here?

    In way of a primer, here is a quote from Gever:
    The use of genetic programming, genetic algorithms, and artificial life is the only way that we can get out of our own metaphorical constraints and find out what the true nature of cyberspace is. This new world has no place for our industrial revolution ideas of function and purpose. We must allow the inherent nature of the environment to come pouring forth in all of its terrible beauty.

    Marty Stoneman will discuss using the Anthrobotics approach to build autonomous intelligent entities in virtual realities and will treat us to a portion of an original humanoid PC demo from the '80's to demonstrate the ease of computability.

    Charles Ostman writes
    It is of my personal interest to utilize the combination of various media tools, including 3D visualiztion, interactive media, virtual reality, synthetic sentience and related artificial intelligence/lifeforms, and various archival/media technologies to bring to life to a general audience subject matter that would otherwise remain obscure, or unknown. The educational potential of such applied technologies is vast, and whenever pos- sible, the author has a particular interest in fullfilling this type of application.

    This session is sponsored by Biota.org, the digital biology working group, to ask just these questions. A preview of the Nerve Garden and other virtual organics and bots will be shown during this session.

    Digital Communities and Culture
    Co-hosts and contributors: Wendy Sue Noah, Kitty Wells
    10:15am to 11:15am, Franciscan I/II

    Judith Rubin will share her experiences of emergent community in WorldsAway with special attention to the experiences, capabilities and needs of women. Judith notes that women readily assume community-organizer roles.

    The triumph of 3rd-person VR, in which you control a character onscreen as opposed to the head-mounted display demonstrates that entertainment doesn't have to fill your field of vision to be successful and memorable: it has to fill your mind. Successful virtual worlds and the communities within them will succeed on content and the most important content is personal interest.

    Jim Bumgardner will talk about some of the most interesting anecdotes and difficult social problems encountered on the Palace. Censorship (real and perceived) and balancing the perceived right to free speech with the need to censor is another issue Jim will address. The social-engineering challenges raised by virtual worlds are much harder than the technological ones. We should not focus our efforts on solving technical issues at the expense of building healthy communties.

    Co-Hosts Wendy Sue Noah and Kitty Wells will address social norms, community ethics and netiquette in digital communities. What will be acceptable behavior in avatar Cyberspace? Will this new realm mirror human communities, ranging from the anti-social kill zones of Doom worlds to super social soap opera worlds?

    The Worlds in our Future
    Hosted by Mitra, Paragraph International
    11:30am to 12:45pm, Franciscan I/II

    What will virtual worlds look like in 2 or in 5 years? How will VRML 2.x impact the medium? Will the arrival of universal voice or streaming video encourage millions of peolple to use virtual worlds on a daily basis? What will we be using our avatar-selves to do in the next Century? Will we adopt head-mounted technologies or project worlds on walls to truly immerse ourselves in "digital space"?

    Michael Hilgenberg postulates:
    Virtual communities will expand over the Internet during our charge into the next millenium. The ability to connect to people regardless of geographic or cultural boundaries will be compelling to people all over the world and bring the world together. People will be included in communities formed to explore with like interests and can converse amongst themselves on a myraid of topics. Corporations will have drone avatars to communicate company messages to multitudes of people and enable tours. Guest speakers and educators will use the medium to reach many more people than possible today. Local hangouts will be frequented by virtual travelers seeking companionship and spirited discussion. Enabling this foray into the future will be VRML and associated technologies, starting with VRML 2.x. VRML 2.x represents a giant step from the static worlds of VRML 1.0 to fully animated interactive environments that will include audio and video on demand. The naturalized communication afforded by multiplexed real-time audio between avatars in the VRML world will greatly enhance the experience. Increases in bandwidth and computational power for the consumer will dramatically speed up the adoption of this medium of socialization. future avatars will have the exact features of the owner if desired and can even transmit video of the owner for genuine expressions. The experience will be enhanced with the introduction on more comfortable and less bulky head-mounted technology for those wanting to increase the experience.

    Virtual Worlds in Marketing and Electronic Commerce
    Hosted by Adrian Scott, Aereal
    1:00pm to 2:15pm, Franciscan I/II

    This panel will look at the possibilities for using of virtual worlds and 3D spaces for marketing and electronic commerce. The session first will explore what is technologically feasible for marketing and selling in virtual worlds. The session will further look at advertiser's requirements for virtual worlds to be a useful advertising medium. It will also look at ideas and techniques to creatively market using virtual worlds. The session not focus merely on marketing inside virtual worlds, but on the bigger concept of using virtual worlds in overall marketing campaigns.

    The Great Debate: Why are we doing this?
    Hosted by Bruce Damer, Contact Consortium
    2:30pm to 3:45pm, Metropolitan III

    The Great Debate will be one of the most provocative panels at E2A, for it asks the key question: i>why are we doing this?. Techno-luddites and naysayers are welcome here! Come and challenge our group of digital philosophers. Some of the key questions we expect will be hurled at the illustrious panel include:

    Bonnie Nardi writes:
    One of the answers to Why Are We Doing This? is that we are Doing This for socially beneficial ends. We can do whatever we want to in virtual worlds so the answer to any question of Why is always partly a description of What. I would like to get the audience to imagine and discuss the socially responsible things that can happen in virtual communities. Educational and political things. Let's build a civilization, not just a marketplace with our virtual worlds. No civilization exists only for the purposes of commerce and entertainment though those are important functions. Science, art, education, community service and political participation will be the highest callings of our virtual worlds. What can we do with virtual communities in these arenas?

    Special Closing Keynote and Invitation to E2A 1997
    Hosted by Bruce Damer, Contact Consortium
    4:00pm to 5:00pm, Metropolitan III

    The keynote session will conclude Earth to Avatars, the first Contact Consortium conference on Contact, Culture and Community in Digital Space. One year ago there were only a few hundred inhabitants of Avatar Cyberspace. Today there are over 300,000 new Internet citizens building their homestake in virtual realms. Virtual Worlds are opening a vast new frontier for contact, creativitiy, community and collaboration. This medium may affect humanity in the 21st Century as deeply as the telephone, radio, film and television affected us in the 20th.

    What is our future in digital space? How will this new medium of contact help us to survive, become better stewards of our world and discover whole new worlds within ourselves and out in the greater universe? Bruce Damer, Contact Consortium Founding Co-Director, will predict that our coming adventures in digital space will lead us onward to more fantastic journeys than we may imagine. Bruce will also issue a formal invitation to join us at E2A 1997.

    Special Keynote Address by John Sculley
    John Sculley, CEO of Live Picture and former chairman of Apple Computer, Inc. will share his vision of where the virtual worlds phenomenon will take humanity.

    Making Avatar CyberSpace Real
    John Sculley will present the closing keynote address at E2A. John is intimately involved with some of the key technologies and companies setting foundation stones for Avatar Cyberspace. John has a hand in it all, from the photorealism technologies of Live Picture, to RealSpace's RealVR which takes QuickTime VR to a new level, to the JAVA-based community and chat services from LiveWorld, to virtual presence expeditions from Seismic Entertainment.

    Drawing upon his past experience in building successful markets for novel technologies, John will give us all a crystal ball view of where we may strike gold in virtual worlds. And the question of the hour is: in 5, 10 and 20 years, what will life be like in Digital Space?

    Live Picture, RealSpace and LiveWorld will all be participating at E2A.

    Special Programs at E2A

    Avatar Standards Track I
    Moderated by Bernie Roehl, University of Waterloo, Virtual Humans Architecture Group
    Saturday, 10:00am to 1:00pm, Metropolitain III

    This track will continue over two days and host the ongoing processes of Universal Avatars, Living Worlds, Virtual Humans Architecture Group and VeRGe (the Virtual Reality Education Foundation). In addition, additional views from the community will be heard in the track and on Sunday's Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF). For the first time, the key questions of how we will be seen and what we will do in virtual space will be considered by the whole community. Join us in this history-making event!

    There will be two components to Avatar Standards at E2A: the Track and the BOF. The Track will be broken up into panels to be held on Saturday and Sunday. The BOF will be held after the last Track panel on Sunday.

    Bernie Roehl, of the Virtual Humans Architecture Group will moderate the Track panels. Timothy Childs of VeRGe and Curve Incorporated will moderate the BOF. Working jointly with Bernie, Timothy and the participants from Universal Avatars and Living Worlds, we have developed the following very appropriately three dimensional framework:

    This framework will be used in Track panels, the special panel Participants Voicing Additional Views from the Community and in the BOF. The framework and participants are discussed in more detail below.

    Track I Modules

    The Track I discussions can be continued in the Concordia room from 1:30 to 5pm at the option of the moderator.

    Track I Participants

    Participants From Universal Avatars

    Participants From Living Worlds Participants Voicing Additional Views from the Community Avatar Standards Track II
    Moderated by Bernie Roehl, University of Waterloo, Virtual Humans Architecture Group
    Sunday 9:00am to noon, Metropolitan III

    Track II Modules

    Track II Participants

    Avatar Standards Birds-Of-a-Feather (BOF)
    Moderated by Timothy Childs, VeRGe/Curve Inc.
    Sunday 12:30pm to 2:00pm, Metropolitan III

    Speakers from Living Worlds, Universal Avatars proposals, Bernie Roehl of the Virtual Humans Architecture Group, and other participants from the general community will be on hand to address questions from the audience in an open microphone format.

    The Art of Electronic Community
    Hosted by Cliff Figallo, GNN/Virtual Places/AOL
    1:00pm to 2:00pm, Olympic

    This special program will focus on issues of creating and managing electronic communities. Moderator Cliff Figallo will draw on his extensive experience managing community at the WeLL and in creating and caring for community in the graphical avatar space within Virtual Places.

    The WeLL and the Art of Community
    Communities are networks of relationships built over time. Amidst the brand new creations of graphical and Web-based platforms for human interaction there is, as yet, little in the way of histories for these infant communities. The WeLL has been a purely text-based conferencing system since its birth in 1985, but its experiences with group self-governance, minimal rule-making and free speech are applicable and relevant to any system hoping to foster loyal and long-lived online community. This panel will describe some of what has been learned through 11 years of the WeLL's intensive but freeform experimentation into the potentials and limitations of electronic group mind.

    Webcasting as a Shared Experience for Virtual Community
    Hosted by Kitty Wells, Re·Source Partnership
    2:00pm to 3:30pm, Olympic

    Webcasting breaks out of the broadcast paradigm and blurs the boundaries between audience and participants. Unlike broadcasting, there is the opportunity for realtime participation and feedback in entirely unprecedented ways. This panel gathers together some of the pioneers in this new media genre, looks at the technologies for webcasting, and discusses techniques and directions for building community and engendering interaction between participants.

    Speakers will present a wide range of webcast approaches, ranging from slick entertainment high-bandwidth video and audio streaming, to grassroots guerilla artistic and political webcasting, and some in between. Also, Wes will do a "rant" on tools available, and there will be Q&A with the audience concerning

    Julia Gilden writes
    What interests me most about webcasting, or netcasting, is its ability to bridge local and global cultures. RealAudio and Macromedia are competing to make this technology easier to use and better (it still costs at least $500 for the audio technology to serve from home). I see two emerging trends. Cyber relay stations, where live and archived streams are aggregated and sent on to users. These megasites provide large scale streaming, marketing and indexing for audio source sites, and networking among like sites as users become educated about what's out there (AudioNet and RadioTower are two examples--there will be more). The other development is audio global cultural exchange among independent Internet users. Video is right behind, but audio will stay popular because you can listen and do other things, including work on your computer. Individual cybercasters send their politics, poetry, music, and commentary accross the continents (independent radio stations like local KUSF, talk shows and personality sites--I just reviewed one in Ohio, can't remember the url right now, and music/cultural sites like Black Cat Radio in Tennessee come to mind but there are plenty of good examples to choose from).

    Cyberspace Rants BOF
    Alternate Protocols for the Metaverse
    Host To Be Announced

    3:45pm to 5:30pm, Olympic

    This program will be an ad-hoc forum allowing participants to present their views of how the New Cyberspace should be constructed or run. Got the greatest protocol for Cyberspace? Bring it here!

    Saturday Birds-of-a-Feather (BOFs)
    Discussions on various topics in the virtual realm
    Saturday, 1:30 to 5:00pm, Concordia

    Virtual Worlds for Learning
    Individual virtual worlds projects in support of education
    9:00am to 11:00am, Olympic

    TheU, a Virtual University, by Stuart Gold, Bauer Gold and Associates

    Stuart Gold will demonstrate and discuss TheU Virtual University TheU is a project developed by the Contact Consortium with the goal of creating a Virtual University on the Internet. The purpose of TheU is to bridge the gap between existing virtual education projects that rely upon text based on-line systems and the traditional university campus. This is achieved By providing a navigable three-dimensional virtual environment where students can meet and where classes can be conducted.

    Currently TheU exists in its own Active World Server using Alphatech software and is hosted by Worlds Inc., the creators of Alpha World. At present development of TheU is being carried out in three main areas:

    1. Building of a University Exhibition Center to serve as an introduction to the concept and to exhibit individual virtual education projects that are being constructed in TheU.
    2. Development of pilot education projects in collaboration with existing virtual education programs.
    3. Organising an international competition for schools of architecture to design the university campus. The competition is scheduled to be launched in January 1997.

    3D immersive environments for learning, by David Traub


    Piaget once said the ultimate path to learning was life itself. Given the growing ability of multimedia-rich VRML environments to simulate the depth, and even randomness of life itself, one can begin to imagine the diversity of opportunities for experiential educational. Suspension of disbelief, identification with avatar charaters, stimulous response: all the above are potential educational assets that can be achieved via virtual environments which suggest that certain types of learning, particularly in the interpersonal realm, can be optimally taught in virtual environments.


    The focus of my presentation (and my principal interest) is on the value of 3D immersive environments as an optimal environment for the design of powerful learning environments for education, entertainment and the combination of the two, particularly in conjunction with with interpersonal collaborative. I will commense with a brief overview of how we learn, discuss the various means by which computer-assisted media can be employed in education, deconstruct the unique pedagogical assets that immersive technologies enjoy, then close with a brief description of the design issues that lead to my 1989 graduate thesis project: an immersive virtual environment dedicated to simulating issues of mental health.

    David Traub will also demo and discuss his Queensryche product, perhaps the most ambitious 3D immersion (values- and eco-based edutainment game ever produced). He will also show BB King, another 3D music title (best ever interactive music title according to entertainment weekly), a slightly different and interesting 3D approach to music history education.

    VRML spaces for virtual classrooms and laboratories, by Tim Riley and Josh Draper of dFORM

    dFORM's work demonstrates the practical application of VRML to enhance learning and to enable teaching over the Internet and other distributed networks. By integrating VRML with existing technologies, we have been able to create compelling and educationally rich sites. VRML provides for depths of interactivity that are only just beginning to be tapped. dFORM is dedicated to bringing the power of VRML to the scientific and educational communities because we believe VRML serves as a powerful tool to expand communication among people and to assist in humanity's exploration for knowledge.

    Two projects that demonstrate dFORM's application of VRML to education are our Demonstration of Euclid's Perfect Solids and our Visualization of the Bacteriophage T4. In the Euclid project we took a translation of Euclid's original text and integrated it with a comprehensive, step-by-step VRML visualization of the mathematical construction. The VRML models help in comprehending the intricacies of the mathematics by providing navigable 3D representations of the geometry that display more information and are easier to understand than traditional 2D diagrams. For our Visualization of the Bacteriophage T4, we integrated VRML into a larger web based presentation. This learning tool uses both VRML 1.0 and VRML 2.0 models to portray the virus in all its alien splendor. The models are based upon extensive research and are built almost entirely to scale. They provide a gateway into a detailed scientific world that is usually inaccessible.

    Currently, dFORM is continuing to develop scientific demonstrations and educational resources. In addition, we are building VRML spaces to be used as virtual classrooms and laboratories. Some of our next projects will incorporate multi-user spaces and avatars to create dynamic learning environments. These environments will provide the communication channels that will bring people from around the world together. Virtual multi-user spaces are defining a new paradigm in education. They are providing an environment in which we might all have to opportunity to learn from and teach each other.

    Sunday Birds-of-a-Feather (BOFs)
    Discussions on various topics in the virtual realm
    Sunday, 9:00am to 2:15pm, Concordia

    Peter Rosen on Bridging Physical and Virtual Worlds BOF (Birds-of-a-Feather)
    New Schools for the Next Millennium

    Host Summary
    Relatively speaking , the online community is very small. This birds of a feather (BOF) session will be an open discussion on how to provide education and access to those unable to build and explore virtual worlds either because they are economically or geographically disadvantaged (the majority of planet earth), or just don't understand the implications of the communications revolution. We will discuss environments such as cyber cafes, bowling alleys, art and education centers, etc. where children, their parents and educators can plug-in without a sizable investment. We will focus especially on the social and cultural ramifications affecting physical communities as they connect in virtual reality.

    BOF Guidelines
    As this is a BOF format, other participants are invited to talk about their approaches to bridging, and plug in for demonstrations, if they come prepared and if time is permitting. This session is ad-hoc, the BOF host will present for a portion of the available time but then they will open up the floor (and the podium) for more views and approaches.

    John Barrows, The Blue Wolf Network, Keith Cooley, Coolware Inc. host a Bot BOF (Birds-of-a-Feather)

    Host Summary
    We are interested in telling people about our approach to creating what we call 3D, multi-bot, entertainment constructs for delivery over the Internet. We are working in symbolic AI, but will be developing bots with a combination of symbolic and connectionist AI. We are not developing graphical MUDS, Worlds Inc.-like chat rooms, or on-line discussion groups. It is our vision to create an entirely artificially intelligent multi-bot experience that a single user can individualize according to his own interests, abilities, and creativity...an experience and a relationship with the bots which evolves over time. Madame Celeste is in a very early alpha test in the pursuit of this vision. Botsquad is the next big step. Browseteria was our first attempt to see if people respond to this type of Internet delivered 3D interactive experience.....they do.

    BOF Guidelines
    As this is a BOF format, other participants are invited to talk about their approaches to bots, and plug in and demonstrate bots, if they come prepared and if time is permitting. This session is ad-hoc, the BOF hosts will demonstrate and present for a portion of the available time but then they will open up the floor (and the podium) for more views and approaches.

    Worlds for Gaming and Fantasy Role Playing
    Hosted by Rusel DeMaria, DeMaria Studios
    11:00am to 12:30pm, Olympic

    This special session will focus on Worlds for Gaming and Fantasy Role Playing. An excellent primer on the subject is available through Computer Gaming World online and is called The Human Urge to Hang Out by Rusel DeMaria.

    Fabrice Florin will demo Charebus, Zenda's new online party game. Inspired by popular charades, rebus and pictionary games, Charebus is played in cyberspace by up to 15 players at a time. The game now runs on the Palace, using our live host's avatar as the game board, text chat for player input and special cyborg game code. Each Charebus puzzle features a different mystery phrase in a given category (movie, song, TV show, etc.). To solve the puzzle, players must guess the names of various picture clues for key words or syllables of the mystery phrase. We usually play 10-15 rounds per game, for about a half-hour. Zenda is developing a suite of online party games to complement Charebus. We will showcase those games in various online venues, including the Minds Palace, a new virtual world which Zenda is launching this fall as a companion to author Howard Rheingold's upcoming Electric Minds web site.

    The Folks from Sierra Online will discuss..
    On-line gaming's most compelling feature is social interaction. This has been the main focus of Sierra's three year on-line fantasy role playing project, The Realm, a world where hundreds of players interact. Players create and role-play large and easily recognizable avatars using one of the most sophisticated character generators on the market where millions of combinations are possbile. One Sun UltraSparc UNIX workstation with proprietary server software controls The Realm universe with a PC client application managing the animation and art resources. The Realm is currently available on both AOL and Sierra's internet site, sierra.com.

    Johnny Wilson will discuss..

    Myth-Understandings in Online Gaming
      I. If you build it, they will game.
         A. How do you drive traffic?
         B. How do you build demand?
         C. How do you build in retention?
     II. Playing together, means staying together.
         A. Deathmatches don't necessarily build community.
         B. "You gotta' have rules."
         C. Community/Communication is more than real-time. It requires reflection.
    III. One size fits all.
         A. Anyone, except Microsoft, who tries flat-rate pricing is going broke.
         B. Not everyone wants the same number of hours per week per gaming
         C. Every game doesn't have to have real-time 3D graphics.

    Multiplayer gaming is not just the next big thing for gamers. It is the big thing for gamers. Gaming is about competition, cooperation and cogitation. You can get the latter and a modicum of the former via packaged games, but you can't get the full effect of all three without stimulating encounters with human-controlled intelligences. Multiplayer gaming isn't just about creating a world and expecting gamers to have fun there, though that can happen in the current era. It's about creating the volitional, societal and situational framework that allows people to be heroic and attain recognition beyond the scope of their ordinary life. Good multiplayer game design will take advantage of this.

    Kids in Digital Space
    Hosted by Larry Kay, Toonsmiths
    1:00pm to 2:30pm, Olympic

    Kids in Digital Space.
    Children are increasingly going online to communicate and as a source of education, edutainment, and entertainment. By the Year 2000 there will be four million USA pre-teens plus four million teenagers who are regular Internet users. This panel will look at cutting-edge examples of Internet worlds that are being created and maintained to provide quality experiences that are kid-and-parent-approved, with compelling content, easy-to-use interfaces, and safe places to build meaningful online communities. Topics include: research results on kids’ and parents’ Internet needs, discussion of what attracts kids to Internet worlds, case studies of online worlds and text-based communities, appropriate interface design for kids, and the use of trained moderators in enhancing online communities.

    Toonsmiths specializes in creating animated interactive and family edutainment for the Internet and consumer multimedia. The company’s 1997 project is a content-rich Internet VRML world for kids aged 8-12.

    David Fox, Moderators in Online Community Building
    David Fox, Senior Producer of Kids & Entertainment Programming, LiveWorld Productions will discuss how trained moderators can encourage exploration of self and the environment, plus diffuse tense situations and spot people who disrupt the community. Using anecdotes, Fox will describe how LiveWorld Productions manages a rapidly growing Internet community of kids and adults, providing a safe and comfortable place for all.

    Vicki O'Day and Mark Shirley
    These two presenters from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center will discuss the Pueblo project. Pueblo is a multi-generational network community and text-based MOO in Phoenix, Arizona. Participants range from kindergarten students to 85-year-old nursing home residents. O’Day and Shirley will discuss what kids, seniors, and others build and do in Pueblo, and how they are going about creating a livable community.

    David Vronay: an Avatar Builder for 3-year olds
    Dave Vronay of ImaginEngine will talk about ImaginEngine's experiences in designing Awesome Animated Monster Maker, a character creation lab aimed at 3 year olds and above. They certainly encountered a number of issues of relevance to avatar design and online communities, especially for kids or other first time or preliterate users. ImaginEngine did not rely on menus and other text-based guidance, and for esthetic reasons, they avoided icons. Instead, they developed a fully immersive interface with help characters and functionality embedded within the imaginary environment. Experience gained achieving high production values and animation quality in consumer CD-ROMs can be instructive to both worlds operators and other avatar companies as they project staffing and resource needs.

    David Vronay, co-founder and VP of Engineering, ImaginEngine. Making Avatars Easy (Enough for a 3 Year-Old): ImaginEngine’s Awesome Animated Monster Maker CD-ROM is a 2D avatar authoring kit for kids as young as three. Vronay will review strategies for creating easy-to-use tools for such a complex task, and will preview research on 3D avatar authoring.

    Starwave Corporation (speaker to be announced).
    Starwave’s Castle Infinity is an online, multi-player adventure game for kids to be launched in November, where kids from around the world are able to team up for the common goal of defeating monsters and saving their dinosaur friends.

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