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AlphaWorld combines 3D graphics, Internet chat and multi-user avatar technology to empower virtual citizens in user-modifiable community

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., October 14, 1996 - Worlds Inc., the leader in Internet virtual reality, today launched AlphaWorld, a user-modifiable 3D multi-user community on the World Wide Web. AlphaWorld is the first community in the Web- of-Worlds, a linked network of 3D virtual worlds that form a 3D World Wide Web, and serves as the home world and jumping-off place to other Web-of-Worlds communities. AlphaWorld is downloadable free of charge at

"AlphaWorld is all about exploring the third dimension. It's about building a 3D home on the Web, instead of merely a home page. It's about sight, sound, sensory experience and interaction with interesting people online," said Rich Abel, president and CEO of Worlds. "AlphaWorld thoroughly enhances the Web experience by extending reality and eliminating cultural, economic, geographic and time barriers enabling activities and experiences not possible in reality. " Unlike the millions of static 2D Web sites that crowd the Internet, AlphaWorld is a dynamic place where users can chat with other people, express their personality and mood, stake a claim to build their dream home, take a walk, or attend virtual events. AlphaWorld is the first 3D multi-user virtual world that enables users to modify their environments, thus keeping the experience fresh and new as the world evolves. AlphaWorld is also linked to the World Wide Web. By clicking on URLs embedded in many objects in the world, users can access any 2D home pages and personal email addresses.

Since the beta launch last year, more than 100,000 people have taken up citizenship in AlphaWorld. Citizens are represented in the virtual environment by 3D avatars that are visible to other users. When a person "speaks," the text is displayed in a box at the bottom of the screen. Users will soon be able to speak to one another out loud using Worlds' newly licensed voice capabilities. Citizens have claimed land and built thousands of virtual structures [ both homes and businesses. AlphaWorld boasts its own newspaper, discussion groups, and a wide array of user-generated content that continues to expand every day. Because of this expanding universe, users have a different and unique experience each time they enter AlphaWorld.

"Our users have been the key drivers of AlphaWorld's success," stated Abel. "AlphaWorld is more than just an experientially rich 3D environment. It's a community. It's a place where citizens can claim land, build homes and businesses, and explore an ever-changing online environment with interesting and useful content."

AlphaWorld is an environment in which anyone can build using simple point-and- click commands. Users can build their own dream home, complete with exotic lighting, fireplaces, landscaping and more, all by manipulating an extensive library of objects at their disposal. AlphaWorld also addresses the needs of the business community, with electronic commerce, interactive marketing and a whole new paradigm of strategic communications. AlphaWorld works on today's PCs using today's modems, and is currently free.

Web-of-Worlds AlphaWorld also serves as gateway to many more exciting 3D interactive environments, all linked seamlessly together to form the Web-of-Worlds. A virtual version of Yellowstone National Park, the University of Cincinnati's online campus, and a taste of Scandinavian sights and culture in Arctic Light, are all accessible through AlphaWorld. Currently, users can access 25 virtual worlds in the Web-of-Worlds.

Citizens can also develop communities within AlphaWorld like Sherwood Forest, a place where people with similar tastes and interests have set up an online environment complete with its own code of conduct, cultural events, and even regularly scheduled cocktail parties.

AlphaWorld Availability AlphaWorld was built using the new Active Worlds(TM) Development Kit and can be accessed at the Worlds Inc. web site ( Users first download the Active Worlds browser, a component of the Active Worlds family, to view AlphaWorld and other worlds in the Web-of-Worlds. They then register for AlphaWorld, receive an immigration number, establish their user name and download the software. There is no charge for individual citizenship in AlphaWorld.

About Worlds Inc.
Worlds Inc. is the leading provider of 3D virtual reality tools for the Internet. The company offers a complete line of client, server and development tools in a turnkey approach to create rich compelling 3D worlds online. It has led the trend toward a new online paradigm of social computing and the Web of Worlds through the development of its ground-breaking 3D multi-user environments: Worlds Chat and AlphaWorld. Its custom production services have led high-profile customers such as Visa, IBM, AT&T;, Nissho Iwai and Toppan Printing, MGM, and the United States Information Agency to understand the value of 3D virtual worlds. Additional information about Worlds Inc. is available on the Internet at or at 415-281-1300.

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