What is Avatar ?
A graphical representation of a real person, often seen in user profiles for online forums, social networks or chat/instant-message services. They can be two-dimensional images, representing the author of a blog or microblog; or they can be three-dimensional figures, occupying space in a virtual world, such as Second Life.
They are regularly used in multiplayer gaming, online communities, and Web forums.
Online multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft and EverQuest allow users to make custom characters. The characters serve as the players’ avatars. An example, a World of Warcraft player may choose a Paladin with blue armor as his. As the player progresses in the game, his character may gain items and experience, which allows the avatar to change over time.
Avatars are also used in online communities, such as Second Life and The Sims Online. They can be custom-designed to make a truly unique appearance for each player. When a user has created an avatar, he or she becomes part of an online community filled with other users’ avatars. Players can work together with other they and talk to them using text or voice chat. It’s no wonder that “Second Life” refers to a virtual life that players live through their avatars.
They may also be seen in Web forums. Online discussion boards typically require users to register and provide information about themselves. Several give users the option to select an image file that represents the user’s persona. The image, combined with a made-up username, serves as a person’s avatar. An example, a user may select a picture of a Pac-Man and choose the name “pac01” for his . They typically appears next to each posting the user contributes in an online forum.
Nonetheless the application, avatars allow people to represent themselves online in whatever way they want. They can be considered alter-egos, since users can customize characters that are completely different than their actual personas.
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