Avatar

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Avatars Defined

When computer user enters a virtual world such as Second Life, they use an avatar to represent himself or herself. A person may choose to develop an avatar that closely resembles their physical world self or they may choose to develop an alter ego with characteristics only limited by their imagination. Often, the user forms an avatar that in some way represents their personality or the personality they wish to project. Increasingly, business and conference planners are using avatars in online environments to mimic off-line meeting and conference experiences. The options for future use are limitless. Faculty can use an avatar-support environment to discuss grant proposals with off-campus cohorts. Students can use the same "places" to work with groups both inside and outside the university. Essentially, any avatar-support environment is a major push-back against the traditional turf-centric barriers in universities.

Forms

An avatar may take the form of a three-dimensional character, often used in computer games (such as World of Warcraft) and virtual worlds. In other forums, a two-dimensional icon (picture) may be used to represent a person's identity. In other cases, a text-based avatar may be used (this was the case in early systems such as MUDs).

Use in Virtual Worlds

The following image provides a look at an Avatar from Second Life.

Avatar.png

See Also

Second Life A virtual world that uses avatars.

Educational Games

Educational Simulations

References