REVIEW - Magical A-life Avatars - A New Paradigm for the Internet


Magical A-life Avatars - A New Paradigm for the Internet


Peter Small




Manning Publications (1999)




Francis Glassborow


June 1999



The publishers sent me two books (see Implementing Elliptic Curve Cryptography ) for review. Originally I intended to review this one in a little depth and put the other out for a volunteer. When they arrived I soon found myself reversing my decision.

Artificial life avatars are widely used in games programming and are beginning to become a significant element of Internet development. I find the author's definition of an avatar far from my understanding of the word (the author defines it as: the phenomenon that manifests when a number of components come together at a specific place and time to combine into an integral system. My dictionary defines it as: the descendent of a Hindu deity in visible form: incarnation: supreme glorification of any principle. In computer terms I have always felt that it referred to a computer controlled virtual manikin).

The big problem with this book is that you need Macromedia Director in order to work through the examples in this book. If you have (or know someone who has) such a environment available and have the time to review this book, let me know and you can have the review copy in exchange for a review.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.