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Zoesis Studios

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Zoesis Studios Unveils New Interactive Attractions at TheLivingLetters.com, the Internet's Only Expanding Theme Park For Children

NEWTON, Massachusetts (Nov. 14, 2000) Zoesis Studios, an animation studio of actors, playwrights, composers, artists and computer scientists dedicated to bringing computer characters to life, today unveiled new interactive attractions at TheLivingLetters.com. The award-winning website is a free, wholesome and fun animated theme park for children ages five to 10 and their families.

TheLivingLetters.com theme park, called Letter Land, grows with new interactive attractions every six weeks. With today's announcement, "Soccer with Iris" and "Ottocize" join three premier features released in September.

The attractions star two loveable characters named Iris and Otto. Iris is a coy character based on the letter i. Otto is a warm and funny character based on the letter o. The user participates actively and positively by playing goalie on a soccer field, by helping Otto work out to cool techno music, by playing tag with Iris and Otto, by designing Iris's costume, and by conducting Otto in his operatic efforts. Both Otto and Iris have emotional responses to the user's actions and behave like real, individual personalities. The engaging characters create a positive and fun computer-based experience for children and their parents.

According to one young user, "The Living Letters are great fun. I would like my very own Otto to keep on my desktop sort of like a virtual pet, so I could play with him whenever I want."

Zoesis Studios is developing the art and technology of artificial intelligence-based interactive characters, called Interactive Theater, which allows people to become actively engaged with believable characters in a computer-animated world.

The computer-animated characters appear to be alive, aware of the user, thoughtful and emotional. The company's founders and creative talent believe TheLivingLetters.com represents a potent art form because it is a new way of combining the power of rich movie-like characters with the interactivity found in video games. Unlike existing video games or movie scripts, however, TheLivingLetters.com incorporates live theater techniques by creating autonomy within the characters' minds. Users, and even the characters' creators, do not know what the characters will do next or how the characters will respond to a particular action.

The Zoesis Studios team brings 15 years of the most advanced artificial intelligence and art research to market with TheLivingLetters.com.

TheLivingLetters.com is currently free of charge.

Technical Requirements
A typical 200MHz IBM-compatible computer or later model running Microsoft Windows 95 or 98 and a 28.8 kbps or better modem with Internet access using a standard Web browser (Internet Explorer or Netscape Version 4 or higher) are recommended for optimum performance. No unusual multimedia accessories, hardware or software are necessary.

About Zoesis Studios
Zoesis Studios, located in Newton, Massachusetts, was launched in Pittsburgh in 1996 when Joseph Bates, a senior professor of Computer Science and Fine Art at Carnegie Mellon University, founded the company with three Ph.D. members of his research team and several key artists. The company moved to Boston in 1997, where it continues to hire artists, researchers, and programmers who come from theater, traditional character animation, and the computer science research community. The company received financial backing as well as technical collaboration from Fujitsu Limited, one of the largest computer corporations in the world. A second round of financing will be sought in late 2000. Further information about Zoesis Studios can be located on the World Wide Web at www.zoesis.com.

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