I am extremely grateful to Professor Minna Tarkka. Splendor sine occasu. Her insights, advices and encouragement has been invaluable.

Merja Puustinen helped me to understand what virtual characters are about and what kind of messages I am sending with my own bots. Mika Tuomola has contributed a lot to my artistic work with cupid and to this paper altogether. Cupid's character took a giant step forward with the help of Maureen Thomas. She helped me to gain better understanding of how to write nonlinear dialogue and how to give characteristics to a character. Also I would like to acknowledge the great influence that Riikka Pelo, Heidi Grönman and Heidi Tikka have had to many of the point of views that I have taken in this research.

I am grateful to some gods and wizards: Phill Terry helped me a lot with programming of my bots. His friendship and his creation MegBot was a great inspiration to me. Diana Tziouvaras took open-heartedly cupid in her palace. Silvia Banderas has been a great support throughout this research with her insights, comments and friendship. Paul Winters helped me with my English – he is so smart.

My friends have been a great joy with their wisdom and support during the times when I was behaving like a bot. Thank you: Anu, Jussi, Ville and Giedre.

contents <---> chapter 1.