Tag Archives: Avatar

Avatar

An avatar is a computer user’s representation of himself/herself or alter ego, whether in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games or a two-dimensional icon (picture) used on Internet forums and other communities. In English, the word has come to mean “an embodiment, a bodily manifestation of the Divine.” However, the Sanskrit word Avatara means “incarnation.” The term is used primarily in Hindu texts, e.g. Krishna is the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu the Preserver. It was in the computer game Ultima IV (1985), that the term “Avatar” was introduced. To become the “Avatar” was the goal of Ultima IV. The use of Avatar to mean online virtual bodies was popularised by Neal Stephenson in his cyberpunk novel Snow Crash (1992)