DigitalSpace Traveler and some of its best-known users are covered in a major feature in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Excerpt from the article (copyright 2007 the Philadelphia Inquirer): Millet, who works for an Internet marketing firm, is a sign technician for Ocean County, New Jersey, and runs a nonprofit called New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination, cannot choose an avatar that literally looks like her.The world she visits - Traveler - is visually old-school, said computer and avatar historian Bruce Damer, chief executive officer of DigitalSpace Commons and author of the book Avatars! Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet. Traveler, created in 1996, was made popular after MTV did a feature on it. These days, it is maintained only by its users - including Millet - who do so just for love.
But audibly, Traveler allows the ultimate personalization, as the avatars speak in their real-world person's voice. There is no typing involved in the conversation - users talk into a microphone or, in a pinch, into the earpiece of a headphone. The avatars lip-sync. And the closer another avatar comes, the louder its voice gets - just as in real life. Recently Millet met up with friends - a horse, a white rabbit, a black-and-white face, a spiky ball, and two cats - at a cyberspace 1950s-style burger joint.
To a first-time visitor, the space was akin to the bar scene in Star Wars or the Restaurant at the End of the Universe from The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. Yet within minutes, the new user turned her avatar to look at the avatar who was talking - or on this occasion, discussing why it is that people from Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York say they "food shop at the food store," while much of the country buys groceries at the grocery store. Strong associations are made even with the relatively simple, nonhuman avatars available for Traveler, its users say.
The black-and-white mask known as Dominic - in real life, his name is Richard Peters and he lives near Seattle - said that at times, he and others have learned to associate a certain avatar with a user whose personality they don't like. It can be hard to break that association when someone else picks the same avatar, he said. Millet says first impressions based on avatars are quite accurate. "There's a pretty-girl avatar that most girls do at first, and if they also give themselves a sweetie-lovey name, I think they are looking for attention . . . or they are a kid," Millet said. "Teenage boys might pick the skull avatar. One we call a lotus head - it has spiky hair - and the rebel guys are picking that. Animal lovers are picking the cat all the time."
February 2006: WB05 e-Symposium. Avatar Panel 5 "Virtual Real versus Real Virtual" More information available here. Please contact Jeremy Turner or Gokhan Mura for more details. This event will be hosted by Tech Worlds
Tech Worlds Lexius First Year Anniversary Party! Friday February 24th Tech Worlds Lexius Traveler server will be celebrating its first year anniversary. My how the time goes by, seams just a little while ago Tech Worlds Lexius was just concept but with Maxie's hard work it became a reality. This DigitalSpace Traveler 3D voice chat server has grown and grown and its been a joy to watch. Come be with us as we celebrate Tech Worlds Lexius first year of operation, and our partnership with the Lexius Corporation, who's support of DigitalSpace Traveler and Tech Worlds has made Tech Worlds Lexius possible. Party will start 5pm Pacific in the Lexius Welcome Room. We hope to see you all there!
Internet-only band playing in support of Live8 exclusively in Cyberspace! This is a call for the internet community to pressure the G8 Nations to relieve African debt now! WHO: The Gates WHEN: Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 8 PM PST WHERE: Cyberspace - The Gates are performing online using the DigitalSpace Traveler avatar platform for PCs.
EVENT DETAILS: One of Cyberspace's first bands, "The Gates" is playing an online tribute concert in conjunction with the Live8 festival. The Gates will be playing exclusively in Cyberspace using the DigitalSpace Traveler avatar software. This software combines both 3D graphic and audio broadcasting capabilities. The event will be broadcast worldwide. Like Live8, The concert is also totally free and exists for those who cannot physically attend any of the Live8 concerts yet still feel a desire to be a direct part of a concert performance. CONTACT: Please contact Jeremy Turner for more details
March 2005: Tech Worlds Lexius is here! Tech Worlds has expanded by adding a new server, Tech Worlds Lexius, for the enjoyment of all Travelers. Tech Worlds Lexius hosts 131 rooms and counting and is located in North Eastern United States. We look forward to meeting all of you and having many good times, come by and visit us soon! Room links can be found here. Look for a party celebration Friday Night, March 4th in the Lexius entrance space.
October 2004: Read an interview about Traveler with Oz, one of Travelers long standing and most dedicated community identities. The interview will be published in the Book of Questions. Book of Questions is a publication produced by Raketa in collaboration with almost 40 contributors; artists, writers, architects, photographers and researchers. The wallpaper book and the net book will be released on October 14, 2004, 5-7 pm at 246 Cafe & Book in Aoyama, Tokyo. The printed book is planned to be released in the beginning of year 2005.
Travelers Network hosts more then 100 worlds for you to explore. Within these worlds, you can talk, move and look around. Each world can hold up to 20 people.
September 2004: Take a look at Tech Worlds, part of the DigitalSpace Traveler family of 3D virtual reality voice chat servers.
Tech Worlds has been an evolving project since May 2002 and launched publicly October 31, 2003. The goal at Tech Words is to create a fun, safe, and entertaining internet community for you to enjoy. Tech Words host many events where Travelers can chat, play music, and make friends. Tech Worlds was created with you, the Traveler, in mind.
Also check out Community Page.net -- Created by MscDex it is a mulitserver destination page. It speaks to 4 servers and is a non-etopcon based system. Updates every 30 seconds to give you a real-time list of Travelers in the community.
January 2004: The AVATARA Documentary DVD now has some sample movie clips online. To preview a Quicktime excerpt of the "Art" chapter, and to get general information about AVATARA, please visit this lin k.
In addition, there will be an extra movie clip of the dance scene from AVATARA that will be part of the Horizon Zero E-Zine. Horizon Zero is the Digital Arts E-Zine of the Banff Center For The Arts.
Last but not least, the Avatar band, The Gates now has an official website. Check them out!
Established in 1971 as one of the first multi-disciplinary artist run centres, A Space has played a significant role in the evolution of contemporary art in Canada. Over the past decades, A Space has developed a curatorial practice that is inclusive of diverse aesthetics, politically engaged, technically innovative and representative of their Membership. The gallery shows contemporary work focusing on current issues and politically-engaged work. The members are interested in exhibiting new media and technology, in keeping with their commitment to contemporary art. Catalogues and essays are available for sale; some are special editions with original artwork covers.
For more information about the "ESC" exhibition, please contact: Rachel Kalpana James - Director
Hosted by Professor Steve Gibson SATURDAY, JANUARY 31 Presentations @ Breakout Room, Laurel Point Inn, 680 Montreal Street, Victoria, B.C. Canada 3:00 PM "AVATARA and other Documents of Virtual Reality". Donato Mancini, Jeremy Turner and Flick Harrison.
Donato Mancini, Jeremy Turner and Flick Harrison will present selections from their documentary AVATARA, which profiles the inhabitants of the avatar platform Digitalspace Traveler. Shot entirely in VR cyberspace, AVATARA is the first documentary of its kind. After the screening they will open a discussion of such questions as the significance of the translation from active to passive media, and definitions of the term "documentary."