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
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.