World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Chip Morningstar

Chip Morningstar
Born US
Residence Palo Alto, California
Education B.S.Comp.Eng., 1981, The University of Michigan
Occupation author, academic and developer of software systems

Chip Morningstar is an author, developer, programmer and designer of software systems, mainly for online entertainment and communication. He graduated from University of Michigan in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. While at the University of Michigan he also performed research in the Space Physics Research Laboratory, where he wrote device drivers and CAD software for electronic circuitry.[1] Morningstar held many jobs throughout his career in the research and development of technology and programs. Most notably was Morningstar's role as project leader for Lucasfilm's Habitat, the first large-scale virtual multiuser environment. In March 2001, Morningstar and colleague Randy Farmer were awarded the inaugural "First Penguin Award" by the International Game Developers Association for their work on Habitat. He also participated in Project Xanadu, for which the word hypertext was first coined. Additionally, he is credited with coining the term avatar for an on-screen representation and pre-Internet work in online information marketplaces.

He is also well known for the publication of his article How to Deconstruct Almost Anything. Currently, Morningstar resides in Palo Alto, California.


  • Early career 1
  • Current career 2
  • Research and Published Works 3
  • Honors and Recognitions 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6

Early career

Chip Morningstar started his career as a research assistant at the University of Michigan and as an independent computer consultant. His original major was Aerospace at the University of Michigan. After his summer job in 1977 where he was surrounded by up to date computer technology, he changed his major to computer engineering.[2] In 1979 he took a job at the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM) as a research engineer. While at ERIM he developed image processing software, languages and tools for the Cytocomputer. Morningstar also co-invented the Leonard-Morningstar image filter algorithm.[1]

From 1984 to 1992, Chip Morningstar worked at Lucasfilm, Ltd. as a designer and programmer, as well as cyberspace consultant. While at Lucasfilm, Morningstar held the position of Project Leader for Habitat, an early graphical online multiplayer environment. Morningstar oversaw all development staff, as well as writing substantial portions of the server system himself.[1] The game Habitat is where the term “avatar” was originated from in terms of gaming. The word used to be related to a Buddhist ritual. Morningstar redefined this word and gave “avatar” its modern meaning today.[3]

Chip Morningstar continued to work for various companies, such as American Information Exchange Corporation, Electric Communities, and Avistar Communications. In 2005, he took a job working for Yahoo!. At Yahoo! Morningstar was the principal architect and development team leader for the Yahoo! Core Identity Platform (CoreID). CoreID is a system that provides a framework for the storage and retrieval for all users of Yahoo!. He was also a team leader of the Yahoo! Reputation Platform, as well as a member of Yahoo!'s Social Media advisory program.[1]

Current career

Morningstar began working for MSB associates in 2009 and still works there today.[1] This company's website states: "MSB Associates, a California corporation, has provided its clients with system design, system security, software development, project management, real-time, networking, client/server, and database expertise for more than ten years. MSB also provides litigation support in technology cases, both as consulting experts and as testifying witnesses. "[4] He has worked on projects with Zynga and Microsoft through MSB associates.[1] The legal work that he is involved in deals with patents [1]

Research and Published Works

1. On The Nature of Space And Stuff (1978)

2. Project Xanadu: (1981–1984) "helped develop and market the Xanadu Hypertext System – the first hypertext project" [2] This project was unsuccessful, but it inspired him begin his work on The Lessons of Lucas Film's Habitat.

3. 'The Lessons of Lucas Film's Habitat (1991) [5] Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer published this article in 1991. "It was arguably one of the first attempts to create a very large scale commercial multi-user virtual environment in 1985" This research and project created a multi-user environment with avatars to create an alternate reality video game called "The Habitat."

4. Cyberspace Colonies (1991)

5. Settlements On The Electronic Frontier (1991)

6. How To Deconstruct Almost Anything (1993)

7. Distributé, Securité, Communauté: Three Cyberspace Principles (1994)

Honors and Recognitions

Chip Morningstar has been recognized many times over the years for the awards he has achieved. In March, 2001, Morningstar and his colleague Randy Farmer were awarded the First Penguin Award by the International Game Developers Association for their work on Lucasfilm's Habitat. This game contributed to the evolution of what is now known as massively multiplayer games. Also, he worked on "The Palace", the world's largest graphical chat system. Later he participated in the development of Xanadu, the world's first distributed hypertext system, which is when "hypertext" was originally coined. As of today he holds multiple patents in distributed object systems and image processing.

He is also known for How to Deconstruct Almost Anything, a 1993 essay in which he presents a step-by-step procedure for deconstructing any given text. The essay effectively demystifies Jacques Derrida's deconstruction which, in the early 1990s, had a nearly faddish popularity in some corners of American academia. Morningstar's essay stemmed from the 1991 "Second International Conference on Cyberspace", at which he and Farmer gave a computer science-oriented presentation but were baffled by the complex and daunting "lit crit" of many other presentations.[6]

External links

  • "The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat", by Morningstar and Farmer, presented at the First International Conference on Cyberspace (UT Austin, May 1990). Published in Cyberspace: First Steps, Michael Benedikt (ed.), MIT Press 1991. ISBN 0-262-02327-X.
  • "Making Java A Secure Programming Language", lecture Morningstar gave at Stanford University
  • "How to Deconstruct Almost Anything" (the version on the author's own website)
  • [1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Morningstar, Chip. "Resume". Retrieved 12/20/11. 
  2. ^ a b Wallis, Alistair (10/12/2006). "Playing Catch Up: Habitat's Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer". Gamastura. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Kan, Michael. "What is an Avatar? Creators Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer Trace the Ancient Roots of the Latest Buzzword". Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "MSB Associates". Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Morningstar, Chip (1991). "The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat". Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 1 (1): 1–23. 
  6. ^ Morningstar, Chip. "How to Deconstruct Almost Anything". Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.