A network-based animated electronic meeting place is provided for business meetings, education, simulated classrooms, casual encounters, personal meetings, art auctions, parties and game playing, which includes a terminal for each participant on the network and local prestored animation graphics, with simulated participants in the form of animated characters or dolls being driven through sensing of each of the participants at their respective work stations, including their position, posture, gestures, audio content and optionally that persona which each individual wishes to be displayed at the animated electronic meeting place. In one embodiment, a user chooses how he represents himself on the screen through the use of a Persona or Character control. The animated electronic meeting place is provided with real time 3-D graphics renderings, showing the meeting with all of the participants including the individual participant as himself, a microphone to capture the user's speech, digital sound processing for voice localization, and position sensors to detect the participant's gestures and/or facial expressions as well as body movement. In one embodiment, the user is also provided with a view control in the form of a joy stick to zoom in or alter the perspective at which he is viewing the animated meeting. In a further embodiment, through sound localization detection as well as speech recognition circuits, stereo sound at each terminal can be steered so as to localize the sound to the person who is detected as talking.