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The Book CD-ROM

Your Key to Avatar Cyberspace

"Avatars are not supposed to die. Not supposed to fall apart… The Graveyard Daemons will take the avatar to the Pyre, an eternal underground bonfire beneath the center of The Black Sun, and burn it. As soon as the flames consume the avatar, it will vanish from the Metaverse, and then its owner will be able to sign on as usual, creating a new avatar to run around in. But, hopefully, he will be more cautious and polite next time."

-Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash, pages 102-103.

This quotation from Snow Crash, where the avatar for Da8id, hacker operator of the virtual Black Sun club is expelled by bots from his own premises. Nothing like this can happen (yet) to your avatar in a virtual world, but as you enter worlds through this book's CD-ROM remember that you will be entering a community of living, breathing people. You will be warmly accepted or summarily rejected from each community depending on your behavior. There is nothing virtual about your interactions with these real people and the community you all create is no less real than many communities in the real world.

The CD-ROM included in the jacket of this book is your ticket to a journey into avatar Cyberspace. The CD-ROM is packed with virtual world software that will allow you to connect with other people all over the world who are living and enjoying life as an avatar. The CD-ROM includes virtual world software, a guide to each world, sample chapters and special sections of this book for reference when you are on-line or using Avatars! with students in the classroom. This chapter will help you understand how to use the CD-ROM and begin your exploration of avatar Cyberspace.

Your Guide to the Book CD-ROM

What is contained on the CD-ROM

Getting Started with the CD-ROM

A Quick Tour of the CD-ROM Interface

Directly Accessing the Files on the CD-ROM

Questions and Answers about the CD-ROM

What is contained on the CD-ROM

Your book CD-ROM contains many useful resources to help make your exploration of avatar Cyberspace easier. What is included?

  1. The Avatar Teleport: a powerful interface to your CD-ROM which gives you information and links to each virtual world and the other resources on the CD-ROM. You must have Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader 3.0 installed to access this interface. The reader is provided free for you on the CD-ROM.
  2. Virtual world software for PCs and the Macintosh: These are called 'clients' and they are the special software you will need to connect to virtual worlds and interact with other people around the world. Because the client software is on your CD-ROM, you will not have to download it from the Internet, saving you a lot of time and trouble. Because the client software for virtual worlds is changing all the time, you may find that the software on the CD-ROM is out of date. To help you in this situation, we have included links to places on the World Wide Web where you can download the latest copies of the virtual worlds.
  3. Plenty of HTML (Web) documents: We have included these documents so you can access them with an ordinary Web browser. The following documents are included:
    • The complete HTML (Web) version of the book is included, totally linked together in bite sized pieces. There are hundreds of pages of text and pictures, including some bonus pictures and sections not contained in the print book. Throughout this giant CD-ROM based Web site, live links to on-line web pages are embedded, so you can directly jump to these Web pages.
    • A bonus HTML version of An Advanced Course at Avatar University is included here for easy use in classroom or seminar teaching about virtual worlds. This provides a powerful companion to the book when it is used in schools, colleges and universities. The extended Bibliography of Recommended Reading and Glossary of Terms is also included on the CD-ROM to be used by teachers and researchers.
    • Links to the companion Website are also sprinkled over the CD-ROM interface. These links will take you to home pages of virtual world providers and users.

What is not on the CD-ROM

Note that not all virtual worlds and other software covered in this book are included on the CD-ROM. Where we could not include the software, we have provided links to web pages where you can either download it or find details to order it.

Subsequent editions of this book will update the CD-ROM with even more resources, including further virtual world software, more world building tools, and documents to aid you in your exploration of the world of avatars.

© Copyright Bruce Damer, 1997-98, All rights reserved.