1. An online community, often a computer based/ digitally simulated environment. Users can inhabit and interact with each other, mainly in a 3d Virtual Environment. MMOGs all have a virtual world, with real world mechanisms such as real-time, communication, gravity. In MMOGs Players will have to create their own unique characters, called avatars
2. Representation of a person or his/her alter ego in an virtual world or cyberspace. Coined by Neal Stephenson from the Sanskrit word avatara ,a concept similar to incarnation. Comes in many forms: 1. 3d Models 2. 2d Icons 3. Even Usernames and Text (E.g. MUD) are considered
3. Forums - user upload an avatar image to indicate that it is him/her Internet chat - web chat software allow users to have avatar (KeepTalking, Cybertown) Instant-messaging Programs (Display Pictures, Animated Avatars) Blogs Video Games - Most famous example. Players will have to create a Character/Avatar of some sort to play the game.
4. Represents the user uniquely and serves as "first impression in cyberspace. It is a face and a mirror to your personality. Allows people to express their identity VISUALLY, rather than just through written words. You can be anything you want Whole new realm for self-expression and social interactions Other people can recognize them - humans are wired to recognize and remember faces In games, allows a player to form bonds and connections with his/her player character
5. Humanoid Avatars Look like human beings, basically players recreate themselves in the virtual world. Many games/virtual environments allow for a multitude of cuztomizations, from eyes, body figure, shape of jaw, nose bridge, everything. Animal Avatars Animals symbolize certain traits/attributes in myths as well as popular culture (e.g. loyalty, strength, cunning) Cartoon Avatars Some players use Cartoons because they resemble them/ source of inspiration/ or just plainly because they like them Cartoony ambience fosters playful regression among users.
6. Celebrity Avatars People use them to express personality traits or social issues that are associated with the celebrity's image (sensuality, intelligence, power, corruption, rebellion, etc.). The user may identify with, desire, or be poking fun at these attributes Evil Avatars Everyone has a dark or "evil" side to his or her personality. Something to do with malicious, aggressive fantasies and/or feelings of guilt. Sometimes to put off other people. Maybe because one can't do this in the real world.
7. Second Life Free 3D virtual world where users can socialize, connect and create using free voice and text chat by Linden Lab. Every expect of the resident is totally customizable http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWEqit-3e3I
8. Second Life Through 2006 and 2007, Eva and Franco Mattes (who are also known as 0100101110101101.ORG) created portraits of avatars from Second Life. Few of their exhibitions: Thirteen Most Beautiful Avatars LOL
9. World of Warcraft Everquest
10. All Points Bulletin Upcoming 2010 PC Game offering very good character customizations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jOY2t2aHB0
11. Aion MMORPG by NCSoft featuring superb customization of avatars E.G. A Player Created Michael Jackson