The online experience is analogous to CD-ROM, except information is dynamic, updatable, and relatively graphically simplified. Once online, users will start their explorations from a series of VRML spaces that we create, linked to live HTML documents. Information about the sites they decide to go to from our initial pages will be written back to the history on the user's local hard-drive. As with the CD-ROM, the user will see a model of the web navigator (in this case VRML) that can take the user back to the CD-ROM.
Eventually, after accessing a pre-determined amount of information, and successfully solving certain puzzles, users will reach a point in their explorations where they are ready to upload their unique personal history to an online MOO (ultimately WOO -- Web-Object-Oriented) space. This happens by the user's viral representation turning into a wave-form that gets uploaded onto the Net where it is reassembled. Their viral Net form is unique to them, algorithmically generated on the basis of their pathway through the data. Online they will meet a variety of other users, each spawned from their own unique histories. The MOO functions as an extension of the CD-ROM, and serves as an even more dynamic and mutable environment for interactive and participatory exploration. Here people will be able to exchange information about the CD-ROM, offer public comments, enter chat-groups, take part in scheduled events organized around timely topics, and contribute to the expansion of the Web-site by building their own MOO (again, eventually WOO) spaces.
NOTE: We anticipate appropriating existing sites to be reproduced locally on the CD-ROM (rights will need to be secured), simulating a Net experience for users, regardless of whether or not they're wired. This will dramatically increase access times to project data. We hope to use VRML as the interface for accessing this information as well.