Bridging the cultural traditions of Lebanon, New Orleans, and Texas, Adrienne Haik, known in Second Life as Adri Saarinen, is no stranger to the realities of our globalized, wired world. With deep roots in text-based virtual worlds and fandom subcultures, she likes to say that she “grew up on the Internet.”
As a technologist and communication expert, Adri has established an impressive reputation within Second Life. Her activities have been profiled in several off-line and on-line publications, and she was instrumental in promoting Jonathan Coulton’s recent concert on behalf of Creative Commons and Pop Sci magazine. Exhilarated by the potential of the technologies leading us toward the Metaverse, she believes that virtual world promotions will become increasingly important as people turn off their television sets and turn on their computers.
At the age of five, Peter Haik, known in Second Life as Peter Newell, taught himself to use a Tandy 1000 computer. He completed all stages of the Works Tutorial before entering first grade, an experience that instilled a life-long fascination with technology.
Paying his own way to Trinity University with a combination of scholarships and student loans, Peter established himself as one of the top programmers in the computer science department. It is difficult to wander through the world of Second Life without encountering at least one of his creations. He designed the live music event calendar used by dozens of venues in Second Life, and also developed an innovative story assignment system for the Metaverse Messenger. Today, he focuses most of his attention on ways of seamlessly integrating web-based applications with in-world activities.
During his senior year of high-school, while working as a NASA programming intern, John Plevyak stumbled across a copy of William Gibson’s Neuromancer. He immediately passed it on to his friend Aaron, confidently predicting that a variant of this cyberspace vision would someday become a reality.
A seasoned consultant with degrees from UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois (UIUC), John has worked at Ilex, Ampex, NCSA, Inktomi, and Cray. As one might expect from the offspring of an accountant and an engineer, he tempers his visionary imagination with sensitivity to practical concerns. He has co-authored more than a dozen academic research papers, holds nine patents, and is an active member of the open source community.
"ask about my avatar" shouts the bumper sticker.
Bliargh can't remember how far back his virtual world honeymoon stretches... but it's been a ride. Galavanting from 'vere to 'verse, from early MUD days to M59 & Ultima Online and onward, his world view has been heavily impacted by simulation. He was regularly exposed to (and often in bloody conflict with) perspectives and concepts well beyond local meatspace offerings. Virtual environments have played a large part shaping him, and he hopes to return the favor.
Matt graduated Trinity University with a BA in Communications & New Media, minor in wasting time within simulacra. He holds his MFA in New Media from the Donau Universität Krems, in Austria (very much not Australia). He's absorbed as a bricolagist, virtual worldist, gamer, cleaner, DJ, competetive typist, and lunático robot.
Keith Morris has been a resident of Second Life for more than four years, parading around as a petite blonde female avatar named Jade Lily. in 2005, as a volunteer with the support of the American Cancer Society, Jade founded the Second Life Relay For Life, which has grown to raise more than US$170,000 over the past three years with more than 3,000 participants. jade moved on to work for a number of virtual world development companies and is currently employed as the community manager for Orange Island.
Growing up on the banks of the Mississippi River, Rebecca could never have predicted that her artistic talents would someday lead her into the nascent field of virtual world promotion. An expert in digital and material crafting, she is as comfortable molding metal as she is manipulating computer bits. (She's only caught on fire once.) Rebecca writes style columns for Second Style Magazine, and her goal is to make Second Life more multicultural.