Avatar-centric Communication in There

Chuck Clanton and Jeffrey Ventrella, There
chac@aratar.com, ventrella@earthlink.net

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University April 4, 2003

There is a virtual world, not a game. Virtual worlds offer a grand bait and switch. People are attracted by activities, games, shopping, exploring.
They stay because they have made friends and become involved in the community. There are many ways to satisfy these needs on the internet that do not require a 3d virtual world and an avatar. How does an avatar add to communication? The EE380 talk on 2 April describes facial and body expressions, gaze, chat, and how these are all integrated in There's avatar-centric communication. The CS547 talk on 4 April describes the cinematographer and chatprop design in There..

Chuck Clanton and Jeffrey Ventrella are principle designers at There. They were the lead designers of avatar-centric communication in There.
Chuck Clanton worked in user interface design of "serious" software for many years before crossing over to games. He worked on Populous the Beginning, Dungeon Keeper 2, Sim Theme Park, and the first Harry Potter games, all at Bullfrog in the UK, before joining There. He has taught at Stanford, and promoted the sharing of design knowledge between the HCI and game design communities.

Jeffrey Ventrella has a MS degree from the MIT Media Lab, and a MFA from Syracuse University. He has held faculty positions at UCSD, Tufts, and Syracuse. He is an internationally known writer on Artificial Life. He worked at Rocket Science Games prior to founding There with Will Harvey.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

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