ARCHIVE / What is an avatar?

The term "avatar" comes from Sanskrit and is used to refer to the embodiment of a spirit.  In the context of computers, the term refers to an animated display of a character controlled and generated by a computer.  Such displays may involve sound as well as graphical animation.  By embodying a character, the use of avatars attempts to encourage a personal interaction with the avatar, and thus the computer program, rather than the command and control form of human-computer interaction with which people are most accustomed.

last updated 2008.08.03

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