[MUD-Dev] Re: First use of "avatar"?

Dr. Cat cat at realtime.net
Wed Dec 12 20:23:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


Koster, Raph wrote:

> One in particular that caught my eye was this entry:
  
>   avatar (n.) antedating 1992 (in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash)
>   sense is a VR representation of a person
  
> I want to say that avatar was used before Snow Crash. Am I wrong?

My recollection is that one of the earliest uses of "avatar" was by
VR pioneer Jaron Lanier, to describe the user representation in 3D
polygon based virtual reality systems.  I can't remember whether his
use of it predates Habitat or not.  I don't think it was necessarily
the first use of the term, but I think it did more to spread the
usage and awareness of it than most of its contemporaries.  That's
if I'm remembering right.  I'm not even 100% sure that Lanier used
the term at all, so if I were you I wouldn't cite that without
fact-checking me on this one first.  :X)

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