Oz OZONE Party

On-scene Coverage
Mar 13, 1997

Yuri Tijerino, Senior Avatar Psychologist
By Aimee Spanier

If your avatar is real, I mean really real, it's gonna have problems, just like the rest of us. And when things get heavy, you're gonna need an Avatar psychologist.

Enter Yuri Tijerino.

Well, OK, Yuri is Oz's Senior Avatar Psychologist, but he's not here to fix the psychoses of the avatar. He's here to create them. He develops the Autonomous Agents that roam the streets of Ozone, interacting with user Avatars, and he tries to make them just like real people, warts, moods, tempers and all.

"We tried to create Agents that don't have moods, but they were boring," he explained. "We give them personalities because no one wants to talk to a machine."

So he creates these Autonomous Agents with New Yorker personalities, or Cranky Old Man personalities, or Perky Hollywood Starlet personalities...you name it, and it'll eventually be found somewhere in Ozone.

It's a pretty amazing thing. Seven years ago, when Yuri was a student studying virtual reality in Japan, he figured it would take maybe 20 years before this kind of interaction was possible. Back then, they were working on million-dollar computers, and maybe three people could interact at once. Now, anyone with $3000 worth of the right hardware can enter Ozone.

As Oz's founder Gudjon Gudjonsson said earlier in the evening, this is now. And you'd better be nice to it, or it might deck you.

Copyright ©1997 MediaCast