Worldcon, Science Fiction Virtual Style

Dateline: 6/16/99

AussieconVR logo
Illustration courtesy VR Worldcon group.

For this years Worldcon(R) volunteers are toiling NOW, to create a collection of VR environments to complement the show. Aussiecon on September 2 through 6 this year in Melbourne Australia will be an exciting gathering of Sci-Fi aficionado's. Sponsored by the World Science Fiction Society and known as Worldcon, the official business of a Worldcon is to administer annual Awards, known as Hugos. Hugo's are BIG TIME science fiction awards. There is some interesting history on the Worldcons available at their web site. From the Aussiecon Web site:

Worldcons are attended by thousands of Science Fiction (SF) devotees from around the world. Attendees are all ages, colours, races and professions. Of course there will be authors, publishers and people with particular interest in television and film.

In order to let more people attend this gathering what better way than to offer a virtual analog of the event. Work putting together the virtual version of Worldcon is just starting now and volunteers are being sought. Initiated by Miriam English long time VRML and multi-user worlds creator and a group of volunteer individuals are going to create a virtual way for lots of people to participate and attend this very cool happening. The original call was sent via an email message.

A load of Web3D companies are providing some form of support either active by providing virtual worlds, technical assistance, or passive support by not getting in the way of their employees doing actual volunteer work. Blaxxun, VRTelecom, Geometrek, VRA, VRAvatars, VNet, SeeRay Studios, PlasticPlanet and more. The primary venue is being provided in the OuterWorlds Universe (SeeRay Studios) who are offering dedicated worlds on their server. The virtual worlds that will be used will not be of a single type. The events will be held in many types of worlds offering the widest possibilities for participation. Holodesk (from VRTelecom), Blaxxun, VNet, DeepMatrix, and OuterWorlds, all multiuser world systems and technologies will offer virtual venues.

The actual virtual event is being modeled somewhat after the highly successful Avatars 98, held November 21, 1998. There is a terrific summary of Avatars 98 written by Bruce Damer, that's also available. A serious of virtual worlds using ActiveWorlds type browsers, was created and was the venue for a wide variety of events.

People are needed for all sorts of stuff. One fascinating example is the volunteer "bot" being donated and operated by Alex Grigny de Castro (a.k.a. XelaG) who is using his bot to move a Klingon Cruiser from the Atlantis world to the E_TREK world.  Kind of reminds be of asking friends over to help pack boxes and move ;-) Another collection of art work will be created/support by Steve Guynup and the newly formed MacWeb3D organization/web site.

In addition PlasticPlanet, the developers and builders of the the E_XPO world in the ActiveWorlds Universe, are looking for talented builders who can help them set up a unique Sci-Fi themed world for the big event.

If you're interested in getting in on this send email to Miriam English.

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