Concept

Avatar (computing)

Summary
In computing, an avatar is a graphical representation of a user or the user's character or persona. Avatars can be two-dimensional icons in Internet forums and other online communities, where they are also known as profile pictures, userpics, or formerly picons (personal icons, or possibly "picture icons"). Alternatively, an avatar can take the form of a three-dimensional model, as used in online worlds and video games, or an imaginary character with no graphical appearance, as in text-based games or worlds such as MUDs. The term (ˈævətɑr,_ˌævəˈtɑr) originates from Sanskrit, and was adopted by early computer games and science fiction novelists. Richard Garriott extended the term to an on-screen user representation in 1985, and the term gained wider adoption in Internet forums and MUDs. Nowadays, avatars are used in a variety of online settings including social media, virtual assistants, instant messaging platforms, and digital worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. They
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